Release Date: April 16th, 2013
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform: [Reviewed: PC], Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network
Genre: Action/Side scroller
Rated: T for Teen
Attention all gamers: Ancaria is in desperate need of saving. So put on your fighting shoes and gather your friends and team up to save the people of Ancaria from the evil Ashen empire.
Sacred Citadel, brought to us by Southend, is a Action side scroller game in which an entire population of people have been enslaved. It is up to you, the heroes, to defeat the evil all while proving that you are in fact a true warrior. The premise of the game is pretty simple. Basically you choose a character then select the Act and the mission. Once in game you run through the level killing the enemies and collecting the loot. Piece of cake right? For the most part yes, but like most other games there is always more to it.
First things first, characters! In Sacred Citadel you are given choices, 4 to be exact. You have the Warrior, Ranger, Mage, and Shaman. Two of which are female, so all you lady gamers out there can feel a little bit more included. Given that the choice is yours you can pick however and whom ever you want, although I’d suggest picking the character that is easiest for you as opposed to who you “like” the best. Now let it be known that although you can only play one character at a time you can have saves for all 4 characters, allowing you to switch between them at your liking.
As you play through the missions your character gets experience (XP) as you kill enemies. This XP allows your character to level up earning points that can later be used to upgrade your skills; Power, Attack, Dexterity and Defense. Like a “Skills Tree” you can allocate points where ever you want them. But be warned you can only reset them and change your mind up until you approve the changes. Then they are yours to keep. So understanding your character is vital. You don’t want to be adding points into a skill not as important.
Once you have selected your hero you will get to choose the Act then the mission. Like all other games you can’t jump to whatever Act or mission you want until you have unlocked and reached it and the same is here in Sacred Citadel. You will have to play all missions in order so that you can unlock the other Acts. These missions, however, can be replayed over and over again. Which is going to be the case as you need that sweet sweet money to purchase potions and gear.
If you get bored of simply playing through the missions killing and looting you can also hit up the vendor who asks you if you’d like to place a bet. Located near a “well”, in the first act. You will have 3 options. First you have “Life” in which you have to beat the chosen level without dying. Second you have “Time” were you are expected to beat the level in a set time. And lastly you have “Score” which you have to achieve a certain score in order to win. Each bet is worth 100$ in the first act and increases as you progress through the game. When you select a bet the game randomly chooses one of your completed missions. These bets add some extra replay value to the game as they give you a task to complete for each mission as well. Not only does each mission show you which bets you have completed, they also show you your previous score. This allowing you to try to beat your previous record.
Loot comes in many forms, all of which you need so don’t leave anything behind. You will find money, food, gear, and even weapons. Pick up ALL the money! You need it. Whether it be to buy new and better gear and weapons or simply to stalk up on those vital potions, it is a must have. Food will only be picked up if needed and you can’t carry it as you don’t have a bag or anything for extra items so make sure you keep track of your health. Next is the gear and weapons, these are much more rare, so stop and take a second to check out each item. When you stand next to it your stats will pop up showing you if it is a good piece to grab. If it isn’t simply continue on your mission, however, if it is good all you need to do is click the pick up button and it will automatically swap out your old item for the new.
Sacred Citadel plays a lot like Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, although Akaneiro is not a side scroller and is web browser based. They both have very similar game layout and structure. As well as as just play very similar. Sacred Citadel is not as graphically appealing as other games in this genre so fans expecting it to be will be a little disappointed. This however has little effect on your experience as a whole. You will be so submerged in the task at hand that you will likely not give it a second thought.
Controls, just like everything else in Sacred Citadel, are very easy once you understand what they mean. And if you don’t like them as is you can change them to what ever you prefer. As you play through the game you are prompted to your new moves. This allows you to learn how to play all while playing, avoiding the often unnecessary and tedious tutorial. They are super simple. From clicking your [<] button to attack to clicking the  to take a potion you wont have any problems. AND if this is too simple for you can always peep the COMBOS screen for some extra awesome attacks.
The only problem I had with the controls while playing was not understanding the symbols for the buttons. As primarily an Xbox gamer I am still new to the world of PC gaming and found these prompts kind of confusing. This is not to say everyone will have this problem rather just all us PC gaming nOObs. Had there been a bit more explanation via the control menu I would have definitely one-upped their score. At least for the controls.
There is so much replay value to this game it is ridiculous. Now whether you like this type of game or not will directly impact whether or not you like the replay value. At times I felt “forced” to replay missions. Since gear and weapons are not as common as money I found that I needed to often buy my items from vendors in the city. Now these items are not cheap and in order to be able to advance to the next mission and be able to actually beat it may require you to get better items. And if your pockets are a little empty you are going to have to replay easier missions over and over and over again until you can afford those items. This is where those bets can come in handy. You not only are earning money while playing through the level again but you are also giving yourself a task making the simple fact that you are redoing a level for the hundredth time fun. And lets not forget the ability to play with 2 of your friends locally or play online with others.
Overall this game is great for fans of this genre and has so much to offer. You can play alone or with friends. Online or offline. You can choose your character and switch to another if you are board or just want to change it up. It even has a super low price of $14.99. And better yet if you love playing with your friends Steam offers and awesome 3-Pack deal for only $34.99 so you can give out 2 copies to your two best gaming buds and take on evil together. And if you are still unsure you check out the Demo for all systems; Xbox, PlayStation and Steam.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5