First up, a disclaimer: Sacred Citadel is not Sacred 3. If it was, the entire planet would be rent asunder by a volcanic eruption of enraged fans that'd spew out into the streets and converge on developer Southend Interactive's offices. That's because it's a self-described "co-op side-scrolling brawler set in the world of Ancaria," which is quite the far cry from the Sacred series Diablo-ish ARPG lineage. As a prelude to the in-development Sacred 3, then, it's a bit of an odd choice. Honestly, though, it doesn't look half-bad. Different? Sure. But I'm up for hacking and slashing from a side view as well as a top-down one. I am, in that respect, an incredibly versatile human being.
Looks sort of fun, right? Now then, here's the official word from Sacred HQ:
"Sacred Citadel, a downloadable title developed by Southend Interactive, is a co-op side-scrolling brawler set in the world of Ancaria. Sacred Citadel is not Sacred 3. That game is still being developed, and we'll have more news about both Sacred Citadel and Sacred 3 relatively soon."
"There are several playable character classes, such as the Safiri Warrior, the Ancarian Ranger and the Khukuri Shaman, each with a different skill set that can be further individualized through RPG features and collectible items. Each character will also have the ability to dual-wield two exchangeable weapons, use combo attacks and perform double jumps."
And, sure enough, a quick trip to Sacred's official website yields, among other things, a grayed-out image of Sacred 3 that reads "coming soon." So hopefully we'll know something about it before too long - especially since original series developer Ascaron looted an epic set of insolvency papers back in 2009. The developer has since closed up shop entirely. Southend's portfolio, meanwhile, doesn't provide evidence of any experience in the realm of ARPGs, so odds are, someone else will be doing the honors on Sacred 3. (Update: According to a press release, keen games is handling development and aiming for a 2013 release. That's a bit worrisome, seeing as keen's track record is, er, kind of not great.)
We'll see, though. Citadel's slated to launch in 2013, and both Gamescom and PAX are right around the corner, so perhaps some form of announcement is in order? That is, after all, traditionally the way these things work. Or maybe Sacred 3's actually been out for years, and no one's noticed. I mean, have we really, you know, checked? I'm gonna go dig through my sofa cushions, just to make sure.