Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review an older game: Sacrifice from Shiny Entertainment

Zubon over at Kill Ten Rats has thrown out a challenge for bloggers to review an older game. I think it's a great initiative. I do have a problem though I am not very good at reviews. I am well able (and often willing) to give an opinion but there is a world of difference between a hastily scribbled opinion and a well thought out, systematic, structured review.

In the sister blog to mindbending puzzles I get around this difficulty through the use of "instant book reviews" which allow me to dress up my half though out opinions as a kind of quasi-review. Its a lazy cop out but it works so I am going to use the same formula here. Therefore I now present the mpb instant game review of Shiny's action rts: Sacrifice released way back in 2000.

Sacrifice from Shiny Entertainment. This 2000 masterpiece remains one of the most beautifully crafted PC games of all time. Everything from the storyline to the sublime array of creatures and spells just oozes creativity and artistry. The action/rts hybrid format is intimidating at first: you must learn to juggle your own spells while managing an army of creatures as well as keeping an eye on resources. Once you get over the steep learning curve though there is an awesomely beautiful game to be discovered. Even the single player campaign offers superb re playability as there are many paths through the game each supported by a dynamically evolving storyline. Now that the game has been re-released as one of Good Old Games launch titles you may even be able to find partners for a spot of multi-player.

Lest you assume my mini-review is the sentimental product of less than perfect recollection I will remind you that is only a month since I played through a full single player campaign. I can happily assert that the game stands up to modern scrutiny and remains a stunning achievement in gaming.

On a closing note I refer you to a heartfelt lament about Sacrifice's lack of commercial success written by Kieron Gillen of Rock Paper Shotgun fame. He concludes:

Sacrifice reminds me exactly how good, how imaginative, how brilliant it’s possible for a videogame to be and it’s clear that no-one’s going to spend serious money on making a game like it ever again.

2 comments:

Melf_Himself said...

Well since you tried my game, I'll have to try yours! I'll let you know how I get on ;)

mbp said...

Hi Melf. Iron Grip was certainly a find, thanks. It is incredible how much harder it is in single player than multiplayer though.

Sacrifice can be intimidating at the beginning too. It has a brick wall learning curve but stick with it and you will discover the beauty inside.