Sacrifice (video game)

Sacrifice is a real-time strategy video game published by Interplay Entertainment in 2000 for Microsoft Windows platform. Developed by Shiny Entertainment, the game features elements of action and other genres. Players control wizards who fight each other with spells and summoned creatures. The game was ported to Mac OS 9.2 in 2001.

2000 real-time strategy video game
For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation).
2000 video game
Developer(s) Shiny Entertainment
Publisher(s) Windows:
Interplay Entertainment
Producer(s) Mark Teal
Designer(s) Eric Flannum
Programmer(s) Martin Brownlow
Artist(s) Joby-Rome Otero
Writer(s) James Phinney
Composer(s) Kevin Manthei
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Release Windows:

  • NA: November 17, 2000[1]
  • EU: November 24, 2000

Mac OS:
December 14, 2001[2]

Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Unlike many of its contemporary real-time strategy games, Sacrifice places little emphasis on resource gathering and management. There is no system of workers; the players’ wizards collect souls to summon creatures, and their mana—energy for casting spells—constantly regenerates. Players customize their attacks by choosing from spells and creatures aligned to five gods. To defeat an opponent, the player’s wizard sacrifices a friendly unit at the opposing wizard’s altar, thereby desecrating it and banishing the enemy wizard. Aside from a single-player campaign, Sacrifice offers a multiplayer mode, in which up to four players can play against each other over computer networks.

Sacrifice was created by a small team of developers; most of the work was done by four key personnel. The graphic engine of the game uses tesselation: thousands of polygons are used to display an object and as lesser details are needed, the number of polygons is reduced. By adjusting the required level of detail, Sacrifice can be run on various machines with the highest possible quality of graphics. Complementing the graphics of the game were the voice work of professional actors, such as Tim Curry, and the musical compositions of Kevin Manthei. Sacrifice was praised by reviewers for the novel designs of its creatures and for its humorous content. The high level of attention needed to manage its frenetic combat was mentioned as a flaw. Despite winning several awards, Sacrifice was not a commercial success.

. . . Sacrifice (video game) . . .

In Sacrifice, players control wizards, looking over their characters from behind.[3] Each match starts the player with a wizard and an altar. Using the keyboard and mouse, players move their wizards around a virtual world, directing armies and casting spells to eliminate their opponents. A player’s wizard defeats an opponent by desecrating his or her altar through the magical “sacrifice” of a friendly unit.[4]

In Sacrifice, players control their character from a third-person perspective. Pop-up menus show the formations the characters’ army can assume.

Wizards can cast spells that harm opponents (combat spells), heal damage taken, or summon creatures.[5] More advanced combat spells affect large areas of the battlefield, taking the form of tornadoes and volcanoes.[6] Casting spells requires energy, which the game represents in the form of mana. Recovery of mana is slow, but a wizard accelerates the process by staying close to his or her altar. Close proximity to one of several fountains of mana scattered across the world increases his or her recovery rate as well. A wizard can monopolize a mana fountain by erecting a structure known as a manalith over it. Because mana can always be regained, it is an infinite resource.[7] Souls are the other type of resource in this game; they are used, along with mana, to summon creatures, who form the mainstay of the players’ offensive capability.[5] Unlike mana, souls are limited in quantity. Players start with a few souls and increase their resources by locating unclaimed souls, or by converting the souls of unfriendly creatures their wizards have killed.[7]

Summoned creatures are mainly classified into three classes: melee, ranged, and air (flyers). In a rock-paper-scissors manner, each class is a counter to another. Melee creatures inflict more damage to their ranged opponents, but cannot retaliate against flyers, which in turn are vulnerable to those who can attack at range.[8] Several creatures also have special abilities,[5] such as creating protective magical barriers,[9] becoming invisible,[10] or immobilizing their opponents.[11] Two units, manahoars and sac doctors, have special purposes.[8][12] Manahoars help to recharge their summoner’s mana by channeling energy from manaliths to him or her.[13] Sac doctors are summoned to extract the souls of fallen opponents and bring them back to the altar for conversion.[7] These units are also summoned to hold the sacrificial rituals required for desecrating enemy altars; killing a sac doctor disrupts the process.[14]

The spells and abilities of the creatures are designed along the ethos of five gods. Persephone, the Great Healer, bestows her followers with powers of regeneration and nature. Her counterpart, Charnel, God of Strife, celebrates death and decay; his creatures are undead and his spells drains the life of others. The other three gods—James, Stratos, and Pyro—govern natural elements, granting their followers abilities associated with earth, air, and fire, respectively.[15]

Unlike other real-time strategy games released in or before 2000, Sacrifices gameplay is not focused on large-scale management of resources and bases. Instead, the game emphasizes micromanagement of the players’ units; success in the game is linked to meticulous control of individuals or small groups to overcome enemies.[8][16] Players order their armies to assume formations by pressing an assigned key or navigating through a pop-up menu. The order can also be given by moving the mouse in specific patterns without waiting for the menu to appear.[12][17]

. . . Sacrifice (video game) . . .

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. . . Sacrifice (video game) . . .