Diablo-clones are a dime a dozen, and Sacred was never really an exception. The series has always distinguished itself with its difficulty, high fantasy settings and a more open-ended world, but beyond that, better options have always existed.

A proper Sacred 3 is happening eventually, but to prep for the upcoming game, new publisher Deep Silver will also publish a beat 'em up spin off entitled Sacred Citadel. XIII and ilomilo developer Southend Interactive has the game looking very beautiful.

The reveal trailer claims to put aside point-and-click dungeon crawling, and replace it with "b*tchin battles," "ridonkulous rides" and "crazy co-op."  Not quite the high fantasy the series is known for, but its nice to see the young publisher taking the promising franchise in new directions.

Classic 2D beat 'em ups have enjoyed just as much of a revival over the last few years as any during the retro-fad. Still, the hardcore action and slick visual style set it apart, and will definitely be worth a look when released.

Sacred Citadel will be released on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network some time in 2013. Check out the team's Facebook page for updates and to give feedback.

[via Joystiq]