Sacred 3 review

While the previous two instalments in the Sacred series were pretty full-on action role-playing games, Deep Silver's latest sequel has mostly ditched all of the RPG elements in favour of four-player monster-slaying that harks back to old-skool favourite Gauntlet. Unfortunately, Sacred 3 has none of the charm, immediacy or addictive qualities that made Atari's 1985 game such a hit in the arcades and at home.

Things take a pretty bad turn from the off as Sacred 3 introduces players to its particular brand of painfully forced and unfunny comedy. Presumably recognising that the button-bashing gameplay itself was as basic as it comes, the developer appears to have decided that Sacred 3 should lampoon the tropes of the fantasy genre. Rather than build this notion into the game itself, it's done by having characters constantly chatting while you're playing, filling your speakers with childish jokes and inane asides.

But even this constant jabbering in your ear fails to make the experience of playing Sacred 3 any less monotonous. Regardless of the various locations on offer and the reasonably attractive graphical flourishes that accompany magical effects, it remains a one-trick pony. And, as that trick is hammering away at buttons until your thumbs bleed, it's not even a fun trick at that.

Sacred 3, Deep Silver, Xbox 360/PS3, £38 Approx