Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Centuries ago, some unknown ancient sage called Keeron Gillan wrote about a strange action strategy game called Sacrifice. I haven’t heard anyone mention it since. We have failed.
Sacrifice did interesting things in a genre that still struggles to do more than copy notes from the nearest RPG. A portentous tale of multidimensional chaos and inevitable deicide, it nonetheless had a great sense of humour, and kept its clever storytelling from ever getting in the way.
The multiple paths through it are almost hard to believe today. Any complete playthrough features nine levels, but exactly which ones you play depends on which of five warring gods you side with at any given moment. You could complete Sacrifice multiple times and still miss over half the levels, and on top of that, your roster of units and spells depends on who you worked for on previous levels, multiplying the effect futher. Madness.
And you’ll want to replay it too, just to hear more of the script. The gods are bursting with character and increasingly dangerous flaws, but even the openly villainous ones are likeable and sharp witted. I find myself seriously pondering their arguments before (often reluctantly) choosing which one to support, not even caring what it meant in gameplay terms. It’s a bit special.