Sacred Citadel recently hit Xbox Live Arcade and brings a really fun side-scrolling arcade brawler. If you aren’t familiar with this game than simply think Castle Crashers and you will get the idea. Developed by Southend Interactive, Sacred Citadel tells the story of the land of Ancaria which is in a lot of trouble. The Seraphim have been the protectors of this land for a many years but laid down their weapons a long time ago for a life of prayer. Seizing their moment the Ashen Empire uses Grimmoc to try and eradicate the Seraphim and destroy the Citadel. You were relaxing in a bar after a hard day of work when the town was suddenly attacked and a number of buildings were on fire. You immediately jump in to battle to not only defend the town but also Ancaria itself.
Sacred Citadel allows for up to three players to play at once either locally or online. It has four different character classes for you to choose from. These classes are a Warrior, Ranger, Mage and a Shaman. Each one has its own set of strength and weaknesses and you’ll have to work together to be successful here. While going through the game for this review I chose to play as the Warrior class while my friend elected to go as a Ranger. This offered a great mix of offensive strategy as I was able to get right in an enemy’s face with my melee combat while my friend could sit back a bit and do some damage from afar. This strategy definitely proved to be beneficial during boss fights as there were at least a couple of times where a boss would unleash an attack that would hit me and potentially knock me out while my friend was able to attack from a safe distance. The gameplay is standard fare for a brawler with your primary and secondary attacks, the ability to heal yourself if you have potions, the ability to revive a fallen ally and more. Going through the battles you can certainly button mash, however, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed at times. As you progress you will learn some different combos and moves that you will need to employ if you want to survive. There is even an achievement for launching an enemy up into the air and then juggling him with your friend.
Sacred Citadel has four acts for you to go through as part of the main game as well as a fifth act that is available as downloadable content. Each act features a different locale such as a forest, a swamp, the mountains and, well, you get the idea. Each act features five to six different stages in addition to a town. The town is where you go to purchase items needed in battle such as upgraded weapons, armor and potions. As you are playing through the game enemies will drop weapons and armor from time to time along with potions and money. In my experience there were quite a few times where an enemy would drop a really powerful weapon which meant I didn’t have to really worry about saving up money to buy one in town. Armor on the other hand was dropped less frequently and that is what I spent the bulk of my money on. I also tried to make sure I was carrying the maximum amount of potions I could for when I would come across a tough battle. Additionally, there were crystals that you could buy in town or gain from an enemy that would give you a temporary stat boost such as “Attack +6” for the next ten minutes or so. As you progress through the game you will gain experience which will allow you to level up. You can choose to upgrade your attack, defense, dexterity and power.
Sacred Citadel is a lot of fun and if you like games in the vein of Castle Crashers then you definitely need to give this a shot. Some people will be annoyed at the day one downloadable content and understandably so as it seems like the fifth act was taken out of the main game for the sole purpose of charging people extra money. You can go through the Sacred Citadel campaign by yourself but it is best played with friends. My friend and I went through the game in an evening where it took us roughly five hours to beat. Once you have beat the game your character levels do carry over so if you want to go through the game again to try and max out your character you can do that. Graphically speaking the game is very pretty with a sort of a water color aesthetic. There are certain areas where it can be really gloomy and then other areas where it is really bright and you can really appreciate the art style the development team utilized. Sacred Citadel is a fun game to play and I can see myself going back and playing it from time to time if I only have a few minutes to spare.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network