Of course, much could be overlooked if Sacred Citadel provided a compelling cooperative experience. This is true to an extent, and that is apparent during local cooperative play. Being a fan of the genre, there is something quite satisfying about playing a good old fashioned brawler with a friend on the same screen. Plenty of laughter and deaths will be had during the course of the game. It is long enough to last a few gaming sessions with your friends, but oddly enough, only three people can play at a time. Quite a strange decision when there are four playable characters. Players will receive the same loot, so it is up to you on how you want to best divvy up the spoils of war. Players do possess their own stash of gold, so town business can be handled in private transactions. Enemies will not scale to the number of people in your party, sadly. The difficulty of the game, like that in the single player mode, is pretty static. But it can still be an entertaining, albeit short romp. Online cooperative play is identical to local play except it can be a bit laggy and quirky. When tested out online, there was occasional lag that resulted in teleporting allies across screen and at least one level-halting bug that prevented my partner from continuing the level. Perhaps it was also due to lag, but the netcode as a whole seemed a bit wonky.
Sacred Citadel is a frustrating game. It is so frustrating because on paper, it has all of the elements that a great brawler should have. It is fast-paced, has a stat-progression system, customizable equipment, and classes. Sadly, once you beat the game, there is almost no incentive to go back with your leveled character. The only reason to start another play through is to test out a new character, but they are all so similar there isn’t much of a point at all. In order to be a great game, something needed to be added in order to hook and give an incentive to the player. It is simply not present in the game. While cooperative play can be fun, it suffers the same problems in the end.
An XBLA version of the game was provided by the publisher for this review.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to three players can join forces in local or online co-op throughout the entire campaign.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.