In addition to game updates for Savage 2 and Sauerbraten last week, also released was the first beta of Sacred: Gold for Linux. However, unlike the other games, Sacred: Gold is limited to the beta testers within Linux Game Publishing's closed program. Though as we are part of this testing team, we have screenshots and more details on this game being ported to Linux.
Sacred is a computer video game developed by Studio II Software and Ascaron Entertainment. This title is an action role-playing game and was first released for Microsoft Windows in 2004. Sacred: Gold was released in 2005 and it includes the Sacred game with the Sacred: Plus and Sacred: Underworld expansion packs. These two expansion packs add in new regions, monsters, quests, items, and acts. While Sacred: Gold is what's coming to Linux at this time, planned for release this September is Sacred 2: Fallen Angel, which is a prequel to Sacred. With it coming out four years after the original release, it will also feature an updated graphics engine.
There are eight available character types with Sacred: Gold. These character types include Gladiator, Dark Elf, Wood Elf, Vampires, Battle-Mage, Seraphim, Daemon, and Dwarf. Once selecting a character the gamer begins on the continent of Ancaria and from there depending upon your character type you begin in a different series of quests. Through these quests you must find the five elements of Ancaria (wind, fire, earth, water, and void) and using those elements you must go on to battle (and ultimately destroy) the necromancer Shaddar monster.
The Linux Beta 1 size of Sacred: Gold is 2GB for the base installation. This title does ship with LGP's new game installer. In addition, it also ships with LGP's copy protection scheme for Linux. We'll have a separate article on this copy protection scheme coming out this week.
We reported in early May that LGP was beginning work on another game, which we then found out later that month was Sacred: Gold. Now less than two months after the public was first informed of this forthcoming Linux title, those part of LGP's closed testing program already have their hands on this game. From our trials with Sacred: Gold Beta 1, so far this game has been running quite smoothly on Ubuntu Linux 8.04 LTS and we haven't run into any issues.
This game has a scheduled release date of August 1, 2008, but we're highly skeptical of that. Egosoft's X3: Reunion is one game that Linux Game Publishing has also been porting to Linux, and it's release date was August 1, 2007. Almost a year after the game was scheduled to be released; it's now only nearing completion but has yet to go gold. Bandits: Phoenix Rising has also been rather stagnate in the porting process and many of their past titles have had a history of delays. It will be great if Sacred: Gold is released to Linux this August, but at this point, we would be surprised if that date is met. The Linux requirements for this game is a 1.0GHz processor, 256MB of RAM, ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, OSS/ALSA sound, and an Internet connection. For those interested in the Linux port of this action RPG, it will cost about $40 USD.