Obviously, I did not JUST start playing The Secret World. After pre-purchasing the game as soon as it was available, I’ve been playing open beta weekends and early access. But now, after playing the full version of the game for a week, I have to say I’m even more impressed with it than I thought I would be.
I had high expectations going into this game and that usually means I end up disappointed. However, so far, that hasn’t happened. Granted, I have only still seen maybe .05% of the game (I’m still in Kingsmouth and still have a ton of missions available to me), but what I’ve seen gives me an idea that the scale of this game is unlike anything that has come before it.
For those unfamiliar with the premise of The Secret World, it’s a modern horror RP game where you play one of three factions (I’ll eventually have a character for all three myself): The Illuminati, The Dragons and The Templars. Each faction has its own sort of code that it lives by. However, the character you play is not limited to a specific class, like in most MMO’s. Instead, you can be a magic-wielding and gun-toting bad-ass all at the same time. The characters skills are fully customizable and not limited to anything specific.
The gaming environment takes place in our world, where horrible things are beginning to happen and monsters are starting to surface from wherever it is monsters come from (hell). The area where I’m currently playing, Kingsmouth, is a nod to both Stephen King and Cthulhu with zombies, weird tentacled sea monsters and people with New England accents.
Yes, there IS voice acting, too. Funcom was, after all, the first MMO to do that with The Age of Conan. And it’s just one more thing that makes this so much better than World of Warcraft.
Also, the days of grinding and killing 10 of these and 10 of that (although you still get achievements for number of monsters killed) are over. And I say good riddance! After awhile, I get bored with most MMO’s because I don’t like the grinding and leveling and collecting. Here, the game is all about the story, which is as it should be. In fact, The Secret World doesn’t feel like an MMO at all, save for the fact that you see other players in-game while you’re playing.
I’ve been playing the game on ultra settings and it’s dark and dreary and gorgeous. The monsters are scary and the storyline is dark. There are no dancing elves here. Take time to dance and you just might have a zombie eating your brain for supper. Although I have not experienced any RPG yet, the potential is there and I hope to get involved with a group once I make some friends in-game. Right now, I’m solo’ing (although a few players have saved my butt a few times from some sneaky monsters), but I’m looking forward to my first group mission.
Speaking of in-game friends, the game also features a way to jump from server to server to play with anyone you’d like. You are not limited to just one like with many MMO’s. This opens the game up to a host of new possibilities. I’m also guessing that this means that server load will be more equally balanced as well.
Did I mention the scale of this game? It’s MASSIVE! Again, I’ve been playing for over a week and still haven’t made it to some of the other cities that you get to explore in-game, including London and New York (and many more).
I see some complaints about the monthly subscription fee, but I’m going to say this right now: It’s worth every penny. EVERY penny. This is something new and different, something you haven’t seen before. And I’m already feeling that I’m in the game for the long-term. I have never felt that way about an MMO, so that’s a rather hefty statement on my part. I ended up canceling my Gamefly subscription (let’s face it, there is a serious lack of good console games right now anyway) in order to justify this new cost. And I have no regrets.
So what are you waiting for? Come join me in The Secret World. My character name is Amaiya and I’m currently playing a Dragon.