Daniel Dumont talks action RPG Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
PlayStation Universe recently had an opportunity to conduct an interview with Ascaron Entertainment in order to discuss Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. Daniel Dumont, Sacred 2 Game Director, was kind enough to answer our questions. Despite the slight delays over the last couple of months, Dumont reaffirms the notion that Sacred 2 should offer plenty of gameplay worthy of its asking price.
PSU: Sacred 2: Fallen Angel has been well received within Europe thus far. Has the rest of the world shown as warm of a reception, and do you think console gamers will follow suit?
Daniel Dumont: Well, I think the PC version wasn’t really accepted outside Europe. Maybe people think it’s huge and too complex, which would be a shame as Sacred 2 is really simple to get into. For the console version we concentrated on delivering fun and easy gameplay. The controls on console are direct and not mouse-driven like the PC version, and there are help functions like “automatic equip” which helps players find and equip the best equipment without being forced to compare and understand every detail of every item you’ve collected. However, players who want that extra level of depth can happily drill down and optimize their character.
On PC, Sacred 2 is an Action-RPG title competing in quite a crowded and established genre. But on console we have a different situation as the Sacred 2 genre isn’t especially represented on console. On top of this, there are few games that compete with Sacred 2 in terms of a huge world free for exploring.
PSU: With the extra months taken for development of the console versions, will there be any new additions to the game in the form of creatures, quests, spells and mounts?
Dumont: The console version has a complete new interface, the ability for two users to play together on one console, a more flexible online mode (dedicated servers aren’t required, and we have a very secure anti-cheat system) and the direct-control method. The console version is extremely stable, well optimized and features substantially more balancing as well as some additional creature changes and mini bosses.
PSU: Since you are developing on consoles which provide set system specs, what can we expect in terms of visual appeal in comparison to the PC version? Will the console versions support the 'elite' textures that were only available in the PC Collector's Edition?
Dumont: Both PC and console use the same graphical assets. Details, number of objects, and complexity of level design – this is all the same. The “Elite” textures were created specifically for high end extreme gaming PCs and need more graphics card memory than the consoles have in total. This isn’t a set back as Sacred 2 on console offers a Full HD gaming experience.
PSU: A lot of developers often assure gamers that their multiplatform titles are similar on both platforms, but the reality of the situation usually leaves the PlayStation 3 with the short end of the stick. Do you feel that Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is successful in bringing a parallel experience to both consoles?
Dumont: Both consoles work with the same sources for interface, logic, graphics and level design. Both versions offer Full HD. There are some differences on the technical side, for example on PS3 you can’t go online with two users on one console so it’s not possible to log in two users to the PSN at the same time. However, there’s a generous HDD in every PS3 which allows us to use more space for temporary streaming data.
PSU: Games which are predominantly keyboard and mouse-centric happen to transition to consoles very poorly. Do you believe that the development team was able to create a control fluid scheme for the consoles? Also, will the console versions support keyboard and mouse?
Dumont: No, there is no keyboard or mouse control for the console versions. We kept the logic behind the interface and created a completely new interface and control method which fully supports console pads and the console experience.
PSU: Will the console versions be supported with post-release patches and DLC?
Dumont: We have implemented the function to offer post-release support, and there are a number of ideas we have to make use of this opportunity. However, please keep in mind that Sacred 2 is a huge game that literally offers over 100 hours of gaming right out of the box. That’s a lot of gaming for your money!
PSU: With the release of the console versions, development on Sacred 2: Fallen Angel will be finally complete. Are you guys planning any expansions for the title and if so, will they be offered for console users as well?
Dumont: I can’t tell you right now about other projects, but I can confirm console will be a primary focus.
PSU: What’s your take on the PS3 Trophy system, and how do you feel it stacks up against Xbox Live Achievements?
Dumont: Both systems are fine for supporting the explorers and achievers out there. The approaches may be slightly different as, for example, there are medals on the PS3 and points on 360. However, Sacred 2 supports both systems in a similar way and I am sure it will provide an enjoyable motivation for users on both consoles.
PSU: Have you thought about PlayStation Home support for Sacred 2?
Dumont: PS Home dropped in at a late phase of our development and we had no opportunity to support it to the level we wanted to. For the future? Yes, this is definitely something we plan to look into and take some time over.
PSU: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dumont: People who have played Sacred 2 have been impressed with just how much game we have created and also how well the controller works on consoles. Some of the most positive comments have been for the multiplayer modes… four-players online has been very well received, and simultaneous two players on one console receives continuous praise for being great fun. Sacred 2 has been a great project to work on and we’re all looking forward to the response from console players.
We'd like to thank Daniel Dumont for taking the time to sit down and answer our questions. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel will be available on May 12.