What would happen if every myth, legend, fairy tale, conspiracy was true? Secret World is an MMORPG, developed by Funcom and published by EA Games, where fantasy/magic meets contemporary.
This weekend Funcom is celebrating their first month since Secret World was officially released and I got the chance to try out the new MMO.
This weekend Funcom is celebrating their first month since Secret World was officially released. Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough time to play and review this game on its final beta but I’ve been given a second chance and on the final product! Now a lot of you will most likely be asking “What is Secret World?” and a few friends have already asked when I said I was playing it. Secret World is an MMORPG, developed by Funcom and published by EA Games, where fantasy/magic meets contemporary. Every myth, legend, fairy tale, conspiracy is true and takes place in a modern day world. If this review is a “tl;dr” situation, then there are plenty of screenshots you can view to see what the game looks like and remember to click on the thumbnails to full view them.
The first step when creating your character is picking a server and faction you want to be in. Conveniently, there are videos provided to summarise you on what each faction is all about, their beliefs, goals, etc. The three factions are lluminati, Templars and Dragon.
Now for the fun part, creating your character. Depending on the faction, there will be a different background. The Illuminati are based in New York City, Templars are in London and Dragons are in Seoul. From the images below, you can see the options available. My first reaction when getting to this stage was “Ah, it looks like APB Reloaded!”, however, there aren’t as many options to customise your avatar like body figure, height, cheekbones, tattoos, piercings, scars, etc. There are quite a few items of clothing in each category (“Accessories” which should be renamed to “Glasses”, chest, coats, legs and shoes”) to choose from but don’t worry, you can buy clothing in-game and by unlocking “deck” outfits (more on this soon). I did notice that the variety of facial traits do depend on what faction you select in the beginning but these are only slight differences.
Once you have a created your character, there is a cut scene explaining the current events in the news and how your character enters the Secret World of cults and chaos. I thought it’d be easier to share the video but I also took screenshots of when I played the game also.
This scene is the same for each faction you choose except for the person who approaches you on the last day to invite you to their faction in the battle (sorry I didn’t get a screenshot for the Dragon story).
You can collect Lore around maps all over the game and can keep track of which ones you have yet to unlock. I really appreciated the Lore, it clearly shows they put a lot of effort into creating the game and giving it more depth. There is Lore regarding locations, myths, the factions and more, if you can be bothered to read them, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
When you seek the faction you chose/invited you, you will get to try out the variety of weapons and pick your favourite to start your questing. They have the magic range of combat which are Elementalism (self explanatory, weapon is a charm), Blood Magic (if you like Vladimir from League of Legends then you will love this one. Weapon is a book) and Chaos Magic (sort of like a magic that aids with fighting, like a monk in other RPGs. Your weapon is a shield). The melee weapons which are Blade, Fist Weapons and Hammer, they may sound boring but the skills are very cool. Then there are the range weapons which are pistols (You’ll feel like Deadpool), shotgun and assault rifle.
What I love about this game is that there is no such thing as a “class”. You can be a pistol shooting mage one second and switch to a Hammer and Fist weapon wielding tyrant the next. So there is no need to make a character that’s a “mage”, another that’s a “soldier”, etc. You can experiment all you like, you are not constricted to one weapon choice throughout the game, they encourage you to create your own combinations of weapons to compliment each other e.g. Blood Magic and Blade. Secret World also provide recommended builds called “Decks” and each faction has their own unique ones, think of them like Classes. When you complete these Decks, you get to unlock the outfit of that deck by getting the passive and active abilities listed. They also show your progress on unlocking a Deck by turning the ability icons into grayscale if you have yet to buy them with your AP. You can view the rest of the Decks on their website.
I felt that the “Ability Wheel” was quite unique compared to other MMORPGs (this game is unique to other MMOs in my opinion). At first, I was overwhelmed at the sight of the Ability Wheel but it is quite easy to understand. From the image above, each type of weapons has it’s own section and colour within the circle. These sections spilt into three so that each weapon also has its own section. Then there are layers for each weapon with the layer closest to the centre being the first stage and you work your way outwards by unlocking more abilities. Apparently, you get tons of AP (Ability Points) so there’s no need to be cautious with how you spend your points in case you pick an ability by accident for example.
I like that there are tabs to swiftly go onto other options such as “Character Skill Points”. You use “SP” (Skill Points) into this category to power up your character in certain weapon types and in talismans (think of them as accessories that provide bonus stats like attack rating or health rating). As you go on in the game, certain talismans will require you to have Major Talisman 3 for example.
Another amazing aspect of the game, quests. These aren’t generic, repetitve quests. These a lot of investigating, exploring, discovering and more. In Secret World, you have one main/story mission and only up to three side missions. I found this quite annoying when you come across a new side mission but have to overwrite existing side missions or remember where you found that pamphlet under a car that gives you the mission. On the side of your screen, you can only track one quest at a time but if you hover over that area, you can swiftly switch by clicking on the quests tabs. Quests come in “tiers”, basic missions would only have one tier but the story quests may have something like eight e.g. Tier 1 is go talk to him, Tier 2 is now kill these monsters, etc and there are cooldowns to repeat certain quests (not sure if it’s all quests).
Quests are not a mystery for players and the map tells you where exactly you have to go and how far away it is from you, this is probably because it’s a modern day MMORPG with the technology? Either way, it’s great! However, when I pressed M to see the full map, I felt it didn’t suit the rest of the game and looked like something I would see in a book at Primary School. I suppose it’s too look more authentic to a real map unlike the fantasy MMOs. Another thing I liked with questing in Secret World is that you send a report using your mobile phone to complete a quest instead of running all the way back to the person like in most MMORPGs.
It seems to be a trend to have cut scenes for quests but I appreciated that Secret World only have cut scenes explaining story quests and not every possible quest like in SWTOR.
There were some boring quests at the beginning but, to be fair, it is the newbie area after all to get you used to the game and controls. If you love zombies and monsters, then you’ll love this game! There was a lot of “get supplies from here” or “find out this guy” and the guy ends up dead, in the church or turned into a zombie. However, you go further into the story, it starts to get really interesting and you get to seek and the legends and destroy them. The solo instances also were very fun and more challenging, my favourite one so far is sneaking through bases trying to creep past cameras and discover secrets.
The scenery, cut scenes and general graphic aspect is stunning and I was even playing on Low graphics. I have screenshots on going to and arriving at Agartha Portals as well as part of the story at the beginning which shows how pretty this game is. The music in this game can be very eery and really sets the atmosphere for the game, if you watched the Youtube video earlier on then you could hear some. I really enjoyed the voice acting of the characters in this game, it made the characters believable and some characters added humour to the game.
I really enjoyed this MMO. It’s set in the modern day which is quite refreshing to all the fantasy MMO’s out recently. It’s great for players who are into the occult, killing zombies and monsters. When playing, you can tell a lot of effort has been put into this game especially from the Ability Wheel, Decks, Lore, Voice Acting and Quests. The variety of weapons are catered to every kind of player from FPS players to fantasy magic players and I am looking forward to experimenting and combining them together. Secret World is there to help when it comes to catering for quests, you don’t want to run around the map trying to find a monsters you have to kill and you can easily send a report on your mobile phone instead of running all the way back to the person to hand it in. The monster look amazing and I have only started playing to game, I’m looking forward to seeing the even bigger ones. I seriously recommend this game! If I haven’t persuaded you yet, perhaps this trailer will.