A wizard fleeing from a land torn asunder, his past tinted a bloody red, finds succour in a land on the eve of war. A pawn of the gods, or chaos itself? Or perhaps no pawn at all...
Imagine a world without the internet. Imagine being alone in a room with a computer, and no internet, for several hours a day. Perhaps some of you don't need to imagine, perhaps some of you still live a life away from the madness of the net, able to sequester yourself in an insular paradise. Well, if that is the case, or perhaps you need to forget the world for a few hours and a lifetime, I honestly have to recommend Sacrifice.
I bought this game back in 2002, the first year of uni, and I have to say for about 4-6 hours of every day - before I met up with my friends, this was my world. I suppose I should have been a better student, studied more and achieved better grades. But it's very rare to be able to look *back* at a time, and say while it mightn't have been the best use of the time, you don't regret it. This game was that much fun.
Later on it was joined by staples such as Wizardry 8 and fps's i'm sure we've all played, but even throughout the next two years of my life, it still earnt its place on the shelf. It's just...an amazing game. It is still beautiful, the insane character models defying time, the gameplay still challenging and sometimes even frustrating, the spells still awesome, the gods still scheming and the action as frantic as ever.
I have yet to play a game that really catches up to Sacrifice. Like a lot of great innovative games, at the time it just didn't get to its audience. Like your system shocks or deus ex's, where decades have passed before they've been emulated and resurrected, Sacrifice fits into a niche that is hard to define. You play like a field marshall, summoning troops to your side even as you dodge incoming fire and fury, and your objective is often simply to conquer, to destroy, to cleanse. But the path to that goal is often turf-war, sneak attacks, flanking, trap-setting and straight bull-dozing through your enemies. It's a wild and wonderful ride, with an atmosphere that pulls you in almost from the first moment.
I can't recommend it enough.