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Head 2 Head Review: Sacrifice

The Match-Up:
Name: Michelle M. (a.k.a. Mish) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims



Name: Tristinian (a.k.a. Commodus) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims

Tristinian: After Messiah, i didn't know what to expect with Sacrifice, but before we start, i'd like to say i respect Shiny for their innovation more so than any other developer.

"I can't think of many games that reproduce environments as beautifully as this one."

Mish: Yeah, they have a wicked crew of designers and developers working for them...or maybe they are all hooked on acid because i have not seen anything look as mindbending as this game before. The concept is wicked-so different from the 'same-old, same-old' that we have been seeing lately.

Tristinian: Another great concept from Shiny and boy, what a gorgeous game. I can't think of many games that reproduce environments as beautifully as this one. BUT, give us a run down on the premise of Sacrifice.

Mish: Basically, you are a wizard who has to choose to ally with one of the four gods/goddesses, Persephone, Charen (god of death) Pyrus, (god of fire-and if i may, brimstone), and James, god of the earth and its slew of addle-brained humans... As one of these God's little superhero, you have to save the planet, defending it from the others and gather and convert souls for your chosen god.

Tristinian: And souls that you capture mean more troops you can make to defend your alter to your god. Lose your alter and you lose the game. Sacrifice is essentially a gorgeous game, with an exceptional soundtrack, a grand premise and a well-put together package. But let's discuss how it all plays out....

Mish: Well, one notable point concerning how the game plays is that if you die in battle, your "essence" (for lack of a better word) lives on...the first thing that you have to do is bust your butt back to your altar for two reasons 1) To get your body back upon increasing your mana, 2) to defend your altar from desecration. Once your altar is desecrated, not even the gods can help you then...you are toast.

Tristinian: Yep. To perhaps clarify, when fighting it out in this RTS, if you die ONCE and turn into your ethereal state (you never die until your alter is destroyed completely-you simply become ghost like until refilled with mana) chances are your ass is toast. Especially against the computer. The AI is VERY advanced and quick as hell. The AI will be out of the gate real fast when starting a campaign, making this game's learning curve rather high.

Mish: Yes of course, the AI is always two steps ahead of you...so your best bet is to position guards at your altar. The essential thing for when you are out on the road is to create your own little manahoars...which for some of us resemble life sized thermoses of coffee. The manahoars are a direct link to your mana supplies. They are cute things compared to the creatures that you can create and they all have weird and funny voices...i had a hard time taking them seriously.

Tristinian: hahaha...lovin' that description of the Manahoars-no need to go into other possible jokes played on the name either. But yes...they are essential to your survival in Sacrifice. They're cheap, but don't think that not protecting them is a good idea. Sacrifice overall, however, despite the AI challenge and the gorgeous graphics and concept, the gameplay (AI difficulty aside) often appears a little one-dimensional. Particularly considering that the concept is NOT one dimensional at all.

"if you don't go about things in a certain way everytime, you are not going to go very far"

Mish: hehehe...it always feels one-sided when you are getting your butt kicked!!

Tristinian: But did you find the game one-dimensional? I mean... i felt there was basically one thing to do: slaughter the other player and his/her alter-no resources really need mining or anything else. To me, the strategy used could be implemented very quickly using a simple string of events with little necessity for variation. Every game, you do the exact same things to prepare for the battle-it's really not WHAT you do anymore, it's how fast you do it-or so i found.

Mish: Yeah i agree with you...with other RTSes, there is more multitasking involved. You have to research, build, upgrade, explore etc...the typical RTS keeps you on your toes from start to finish... in this game, you collect souls and convert souls, with the souls you create a creature, then you take your bevy of beauties *sarcasm* out onto the field. Other than your altar, there is no home base or territory to protect...same idea as Ground Control which also did not have a base or required any sort of researching or mining of resources.

Tristinian: yes, Sacrifice isn't FULLY squad based, like Ground Control, but i see the similarities. Ground Control too wasn't as multifaceted as other RTSs, but there seemed to be more strategy behind it and less pattern. Sacrifice seems to be the opposite to me.

Mish: Well, it does feels like there is a pattern overtime you hook up in battle with the enemy wizard. And if you don't go about things in a certain way everytime, you are not going to go very far. It feels like there is only one way to fight in battle against your enemy and you have to do it each and everytime. Almost no room for variances in combat.

Tristinian: yeah...exactly what i said. umm....i think, yeah. ok, well shenaniganisms aside, what you think overall in ONE sentence?

Mish: original game that really does not feel like an RTS with great graphics and messed up looking creatures and amazing skies that i could stare at all day long....and you?

Tristinian: A breathtaking game to look at with amazing concept and soundtrack and the drawbacks being the high learning curve and pattern based strategy. I think this may be the first time any two reviewers here have given the exact same mark, but I'd have to check on that one.




No resources to really mine, but you DO need mana. And building a manalith helps you get it. Although you don't really NEED to build them, it still looks nice while you cast the spell to create it.


The graphics are simply gorgeous in this game...which is why we regret having to say that the strategy aspect of this game feels a tad empty. Without hotkeys, you're going NOWHERE in this game, let's just put it that way.


Fire and ice don't exactly mix, but you'll have to make do when fighting on these wintery landscapes.