Let's start out by talking about what Sacred 3 is not. That is to say, it's not an open-world loot-driven adventure like its predecessors. As its original developer, Ascaron Entertainment is no more, newcomer Keen Games decided to make an arcade-style game, much like Gauntlet Legends (or Dark Legacy). If you're coming into this thinking it's going to be a follow-up to Sacred 2, you're going to be sorely disappointed. However, if you're willing to look past that fact, there's a fun, albeit repetitive co-op game to be found, so let's focus on that instead.
There's an evil emperor, Zane who wants to do all of the bad things that evil emperors like to do in fantasy settings. In this case, he's gotten his three strongest lieutenants to steal the Heart of Ancaria, which naturally causes everything to go all pear-shaped. As one of the chosen Heroes, you will need to help spearhead the Ancarian Resistance and foil Zane's evil machinations.
While the story is fairly rote, it's somewhat surprising that Keen decided to pepper the whole thing with silly dialogue that often breaks the fourth wall or seems anachronistic to the setting. For instance, one of Zane's lieutenants consistently uses an incorrect vocabulary, and abuses homophones like you wouldn't believe. At first, the tone was grating, but I actually found myself being entertained by it. The game doesn't take itself seriously at all, for better or worse.
Combat is fairly simple - you have a basic attack, a strong attack that can break defense or interrupt spellcasting, an evasive move (either a dodge or block) and your two special attacks. You can grab some enemies or objects and throw them at other enemies as well. Dealing enough damage to *almost* kill an enemy will put it into a knockdown state which lets you tap a button to execute them, which you can eventually chain together.
My biggest gripe with the campaign is that too many of the stages are simple slogs from Point A to Point B. When the game decides to change things up, such as throwing traps, aerial bombardment, or a holdout/defense objective at you, it becomes a lot more entertaining. As you level up, so do your foes, who gain new abilities. By the time you're nearing the end, the screen will be awash in all sorts of nasty effects you must avoid, all while fighting, interrupting casters and prioritizing threats. Unfortunately, the first half of the game is tragically easy.
In addition to the campaign, there are two or three side missions per tier that let you grind out a little extra experience and unlock consumable items. At first you have simple health potions, but eventually you'll unlock totems that allow you heal or refill the energy of your entire team. There are even auto attacking sentries and smart bombs that deal massive damage.