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Sacrifice By John "Award" Del Percio, December 17, 2000
Developer :Shiny Entertainment
Publisher :Interplay
Release Date :November 2000
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Ethereal Bliss

A unique feature of the game, both in single player and multiplayer is that you must build your character up over time. In the process, you can obtain spells and monsters from any of the gods. In the campaign, you can add one more monster and one more tier of spells per level, building up to one nasty wizard. You can have a heavily healing flame shooting, corrupter of souls that can summon rock monsters and blast enemies away with a shot of air. Sort of a frightening combination to think about, isn't it?

The future of Silicon Valley
Red hopping mad!
Not what you want to wake up to in the morning
Take the high ground!

Gameplay is extremely unique. You focus around your main character, and control your character as though it were a Third Person Shooter (looking behind the character, but moving as if first person). You can cast spells as your main character, healing your forces, attacking, spawning more monsters anywhere, and dragging more behind you. The strategy part comes into play in that you must create armies to fight and organize them into formations and groups. The game follows a "counter" method for its units. Flying units counter melee units, ranged units counter flying units and melee units counter ranged units. This simplifies combat to a point.

The resource model is rather interesting as well. Mana and souls are the primary resources. You obtain mana by capturing mana fountains and building manaliths atop them. You then channel that mana to you by summoning manahoars (no, it doesn't sound right) to follow you. Souls are the most limiting resource though. You need souls to summon creatures, the larger the creature, the more souls it takes. There is a finite number of souls available, aside from slaying villagers to obtain more. When one of your creatures is killed, a blue soul floats up. If you collect that soul by touching it, you may create another creature (nearly instantly) with it. When you kill an enemies creature, it's red heathen soul floats up. If you convert it by summoning a sac doctor, and the sac doctor successfully brings it back to your altar for conversion, you gain the soul. It is fairly obvious, then, that a good battle strategy is to wear down your opponent. If they have no souls left, they certainly can't win.

Hope we have magical rock salt
Stratos' shrine o matic for quick and easy heathen conversion
The sky is falling! No, really!
Err, hello. AAAH!

Of course, unlike most strategy games, winning is a bit more complicated then blasting whatever moves. You see, being a wizard summoned by the gods, the wizards don't die. If killed, they go into an ethereal form and can no longer cast spells or summon units, but once their mana and health recharge enough, they rematerialize, and are ready to collect their souls and command the next attack. So how do you get rid of an enemy wizard? Very carefully. You must first choose a creature to sacrifice (get it?) then cast "desecrate" on it near an enemy altar. If during the time of the desecration you kill the enemy wizard, their altar is destroyed, and the can no longer respawn.

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