Monsters? Real. Ghosts? Yes, they are real. Demons? You bet they are real. Bigfoot? Of Course why wouldn’t it be real? The Secret World is a MMORPG, developed by Funcom, set in the modern day world that every myth, legend and conspiracy is non-fiction. That noise you just heard in your house. It is most likely a demon that just happens to be hungry for human flesh. Fear not, for there are secret societies that are aware of everything that is going on and are working on their own form of solutions. Allegiance must be decided on one of the three playable factions: the Illuminati, the Templars, or the Dragon.
The Secret world has many similarities and differences from your “cookie cutter” MMORPG. There are no levels and no classes. Quests and monster killing grants you experience. Progressing further into the game increases the amount of experience gained from quests and monster deaths. This experience unlocks points that will be used to purchase abilities that are used to form your character. The better the ability the more points it will cost and also will need to have prerequisites of the previous skill category to be unlocked. Weapons that your character has equipped will dictate what abilities you can use. Abilities are locked to a weapon type and you are only able to equip two weapons. There are three weapon types, magic, ranged and melee. The amount of abilities you are able to assign to your quick bar are seven along with seven passive abilities. If you are unsure or scared of what combination to use, decks are added to the game that offer a template to build to for specific secret society that offers a special reward once complete.
Quests in The Secret World fall in two categories: investigation or typical quest styles in every MMORPG. Investigation quests are unique in the way you actually have to investigate. Yes, you will have to use your brain to solve whatever the quest entails. It might have you look over information from small clues that piece together or break the fourth wall by using the in-game internet browser. The Secret World also has your typical quest style quests. Such as, gather and bring back to the quest giver or kill a certain amount of monsters. Sometimes they might even mix the two categories together in quest chain to make things more interesting. Also, the main story quest line helps loosely paint a guide throughout each zone, progresses you further and narrates your characters personal story.
Combat is huge in MMORPGs. The Secret World takes that and adds a little bit of action to it. You have the ability to doge attacks of enemies with minimal use that must be recharged. So when you are in a dungeon and the main boss is about to do a huge attack everyone can see an indicator and quickly doge out of the way (if everything goes right). Of course there is PVP in The Secret World. Why wouldn’t there be, the three secret societies might not always play nice together, right? They have warzones that are available to join and fight for your secret society. There are quests for specific PVP objectives that will award experience points once complete.
When I first played this game I wish I could of filmed myself playing because I did the “what the crap” face a lot from the story before I started to understand what this game was about. The story, very at odd at times, does have a unique way it presents itself. How does your character get their powers? A bee flies into their mouth and awakens some dormant power…Exactly what I was thinking when I first played it. Gameplay is fine and what I was expecting for an MMORPG. There is nothing ground breaking here however. I do like the added action when you are able to dodge, although sparingly, attacks from monsters. The best feature for the skill tree that is open for the user to choose basically removes the need to create another character (unless you want to change secret societies or sex). If you want to have a new weapon or play style just simply start buying into that weapon tree. All skills are available for purchase thus having the way you want to play in your hands.
The Secret World does have a unique way to progress in the game, it still has the same typical MMORPG structure when it comes to grouping for a dungeon. This game boasts that it has not classes but you will still need to fill a “role” in a group. Someone needs to heal and someone needs to tank. The rest will DPS. So what I am trying to get at is that the “no class” game still requires a “class role”. Thus making the “no class” game filled with class (I hope I am making sense). A “no class” game, at least in my eyes, should have a successful group clearing a dungeon without needing the traditional “class roles”. The story behind the main or side quests at times is awesome but sometimes it is downright boring. This game becomes the victim to “great there is a skip the pointless quest giver dialog scene” so many times because most of the time the game fails at making you want to care about the story.
The Secret World has done what most game developers are afraid to do, take a risk and try and change things up. Success or Failure? A little bit of both. The “no class no level” system still has to make the player fit into a class role, making it a class based game at times. In the same sense, it is different because it helps you to customize your play style. Combat is average and the story gets boring real quick. People who like MMORPG’s will certainly find themselves putting a lot time into the game however, it has not done enough to separate itself from other MMORPGs to be top.