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We have collected 8 reviews of the The Secret World. Experts rate The Secret World 7.2/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the The Secret World and PC games.
Confession: I always read quest text in MMOs. Always. As a direct consequence of that habit, I'm often left in the dust while my friends pick up a new task, click through the dialog window as quickly as possible, then dart off into the horizon toward their objectives. Can't say I blame them, though; the writing in these games sometimes seems like as much of an afterthought for the developers as it is to many players. Personally, I'll take whatever nuggets of lore and context I can get if I'm expected to spend hundreds of hours in a fictional world. And, to be fair, storytelling in MMOs is improving, not only with respect to the quality of writing, but also in terms of narrative presentation. Just as quests replaced the free-form, player-defined goals of the earliest online RPGs, developers are gradually transforming my beloved flavor text into full-on cutscenes, in some cases complete with dialog trees and moral choices. Sounds like a fair trade to me. Funcom's new MMORPG, The Secret World, continues along that same evolutionary path by placing a strong emphasis on characters -- not necessarily your character, who suffers from an unfortunate case of silent protagon-itis, but the various quest-givers that populate the game.
Daydreamers like Walter Mitty would love The Secret World. Other MMORPGs may thrive on fantasy settings cobbled together from memories of JRR Tolkien or Lord Dunsany, but Funcom's new creation promises -- and delivers -- a world where mummies stir restlessly beneath Egyptian sands and gateways to Hell simmer in dirty roadside motel suites. Everything is true, we're told, from Lovecraftian curses on quaint New England villages to the existence of secret societies like the the Illuminati, and Funcom uses these truths to create a world that's more vivid than Azeroth or Telara. But daydreamers know all too well how rudely reality intrudes on their reveries. A lover's voice becomes a newscaster on television; a cathedral bell becomes the microwave beeper. Here, concepts that initially seem innovative reveal themselves as familiar features in disguise, and the most appealing settings sometimes succumb to the taint of the mundane. And who needs flightpaths when you can scurry about branches like squirrels? Still, The Secret World's innovation sometimes manifests itself in simple ways.
The Illuminati, Templar, and Dragon factions revel in keeping their dirty work out of the public eye, and after really digging into The Secret World, I found an eerie parallel between art and (fictional) life. See, I thought Funcom's modern fantasy opus had shown me its true colors early on. Midway through a main story mission, it handed me a tattered sheet of paper littered with sloppy scrawlings vaguely related to my next objective. Then it booted me out into the cold without so much as a waypoint to my name and told me fend for myself. Now, in the grand scheme of TSW's investigation missions, this one wasn't even that difficult. But after years of playing MMOs more or less on autopilot, I was suddenly in uncharted territory. â??You want me to think?â? I said to no one in particular. â??Like, with brains and things? Does it... does it hurt?â? Initially, I was tempted to use a walkthrough. I mean, any time this mission spent chewing up and spitting out my gum wad of a brain stood between me and sweet, sweet XP. And yet, here was TSW, throwing a monkey wrench in the level treadmill. But I decided to go with it, so I wandered around Kingsmouth for 30 minutes or so.
In a genre filled with dryads and dragons, The Secret World emerges as a dark and thoughtful counterpoint to the enchanted forests of most modern online role-playing games. Even when the skies are bright, an emotional cloud hangs over your every action. Rather than rush you from waypoint to waypoint, The Secret World takes its time to tell stories and build tension. Instead of spelling out your goals, it makes you think about the reasonable next action hinted at by scribbled notes and cryptic clues. This is an unusual game, and like many unusual games, it demands patience and focus. What makes this massively multiplayer game so unusual? To begin with, the setting is unlike any other MMOG. The Secret World doesn't whisk you away to a fantasy fairyland or a scorched sci-fi landscape, but occurs in an off-kilter version of our own planet. "Everything is real" a quest giver might tell you, and so it is: biblical plagues, haunted house horrors, and zombie invasions are threats--as well as symptoms of a greater power at play.
I have a soft spot for online RPGs, especially MMOS that try to revitalize the stagnant genre with unique design and progressive flavor. The Secret World fits right into my archetype; not only does it attempt to go in a bold new direction with level-less design, a modern setting, and fully voice-acted cutscenes, but it's made by a developer with over a decade of experience. In essence, it's the perfect setup for either a big surprise or a huge let-down. The Secret World starts off exactly how you might expect—spending nearly half an hour creating a character. But don't be fooled, it's not because there are a lot of options. Selecting from one of the three cool factions (Dragon, Illuminati, and Templar) is cool, but the character creator is too limited. Most of your time will go into choosing which clothes to wear since the choices for designing your character's features are slim. During the first hour it feels like the game is tearing control away from you with dozens of cut-scenes and dialogue, but on the plus side the voice-acting is great. Initially, it almost feels like you're finally playing a modern action-adventure game with MMO roots, but that potential is quickly swallowed whole by the first taste of combat.
How The Secret World ignores the rulesSomewhere between All Points Bulletin and the Flagship Studios dud Hellgate London is that pervading sense that giving up on the fantasy formula is a sure-fire way to get your studio shut down in record time. APB in particular, that Realtime Worlds MMO that tried to bring the modern world to an MMO, is still a shadowy edifice warning any developer who thinks it might be a good idea to break out of the tried fantasy market what can happen. The modern world is dangerous territory, somewhere even Funcom hasn't handled in its own history with MMOs. The studio has gone from the early (and brilliant) sci-fi setting of Anarchy Online to Age of Conan, staying in safe proximity to the genre's fantastical roots. So the idea of them trekking into the failure-strewn territory of real world environments really should raise the alarm – at least if it weren't for the fact that despite the danger The Secret World has the best depictions of a modern setting of any MMO.So welcome to New York, then. On our hands-on tour of The Secret World, the city is the starting point for the Illuminati factions.
Is The Secret World more ambitious than The Old Republic?It's not too often you get to be eyewitness to a top MMO in decline but thanks to World of Warcraft's users dropping with the kind of fervour usually reserved for the X Factor's viewing figures it's finally possible. Seven years ago when World of Warcraft was first in its prime we saw a rise in clones that took their cues directly from the working model Blizzard had created. But its inability to keep players interested forever has meant in the last year we've been able to see clutches of games emerge with a distinctly anti-WoW methodology. The Secret World sits somewhere near the top of this pile as an MMO that is nearing its release date with as little of Warcraft in its genetic code as possible.If you're a Funcom aficionado you might be familiar with their adventure game series The Longest Journey, or even Anarchy Online - the studio's very first MMO from ten year's back. Imagine an amalgamation of the two and you start to get a firmer picture of The Secret World. It takes the structure of an MMO, but in terms of in-game content Secret World has cultivated a puzzle-riddled ethos closer to what you'd find in adventure games of yore.
Conspiracy buffs love secret messages; in their world, everything from pictures of the Kennedy Assassination to the dollar bill contains proof that there are sinister forces working behind the scenes. So it only makes sense that the conspiracy-minded The Secret World would have plenty of secret signs of its own -- many of them hidden outside of the game itself. In a recent presentation, Funcom shed light on a number of mechanics that will play a central role in their upcoming MMORPG, which has been as mysterious as its name to this point. They include what can only be described as "massively multiplayer puzzle solving," in which players come together to solve riddles that yield hidden items and other prizes. One example has players following Illuminati Symbols found on sewer lids, which leads to a secret code in a town hall painting, and finally to a secret Illuminati cache. Lead designer Joel Bylos hopes to take the mechanic even further in the final game with what he calls "puzzles raids" -- explaining, "We have these people who love raiding, and we have people who love puzzles. So we have what I call 'puzzle raids,' where the first guild to solve a puzzle each week gets a buff."
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