Secret World, The (Video Game)
Developed by Funcom
Distributed by EA
Rated M for Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs & Violence
Available exclusively for PC
The Secret World is a brand new MMORPG from developer Funcom that imagines a world similar to our own with one major exception--all of the myths and legends about monsters you've heard your whole life are true, and many creatures in this world are even inspired directly from real-life horror films. The Secret World may be a MMORPG, but the game presents major innovations and changes many of the rules you've come to expect in the genre. The Secret World may not be what you were expecting, but once you've booted up the game, you'll find it incredibly difficult to leave this scary good adventure.
The Secret World is full of legendary monsters from all realms of horror, and you will soon join in an ongoing war against these creepy beasts, but you must first choose a secret society to fight for. The Templar, the Illuminati and the Dragon each exist outside of common knowledge and fight the evil beasts lurking the face of the Earth, but each also have their own reasons for fighting and ultimate goals. Choosing a society to join is nearly as important as creating your characters, as each of the three secret societies come with their unique set of equipment and will progress through the game's storyline differently. Although The Secret World's storyline is simplistic and easy to understand on the surface, you will begin uncovering more of the game's complex backstory and historical universe with your every action in the game. Each monster has their own history as well, and the game's NPCs having interesting stories of their own. No character or location is wasted or taken for granted in the game, and that's something plenty of game developers should try to imitate in future releases.
Another of the major differences The Secret World features is in character creation and customization. The game has done away with character classes and levels that bound your character to a predetermined set of character progression. Instead, you are allowed full freedom to create your character into the ideal fit for you as a player with up to 7 passive and 7 active abilities equipped at any given time. Character's skills can be customized to fit your preferences and can be changed relatively easy whenever you wish. This encourages you to create strange combinations and experiment with a variety of weapon, magic and other skills that will keep the game fresh and entertaining for hours on end and give you tactical advantages over fearsome foes.
For all of the drastic differences you'll notice in The Secret World, the game still sticks to a handful of traditional MMORPG game mechanics. You'll still receive numerous missions in addition to main quest missions that will require you to explore deep dungeons, dark caves, dense forests and other dangerous locations, and you'll still find yourself grinding through hordes of monsters in search of more money and better equipment. The primary differences in actual game modes come in The Secret World's player vs. player matches. Here, you either compete in up to 10 vs. 10 vs. 10 matches called Battlefields in a variety of historic locations such as Stonehenge or El Dorado, or you'll head over to the Fusang Projects where the three secret societies are locked in an ongoing battle for control of the entire territory by controlling pivotal points located around the game's map. Each mode can be a ton of fun, and it's nice to see they all provide different experiences should you ever grow tired of any other modes in the game.
The Secret World is a marvel from a presentation standpoint combining great graphics with an appropriate soundtrack and a storyline that always has something new to uncover. Character design is where The Secret World shines; the game features a deep roster of terrifying beasts for you to fight against, and several of them are some of the better looking monsters seen in any MMORPG. Player characters and NPCs look great as well, and the game's animations and framerate continue to look sharp and lag free no matter how hectic fights become. Sound design is another plus in The Secret World offering up great sound effects and a soundtrack that helps keep your attention on the task at hand. In-game menus offer up a helpful HUD and handy ways to keep track of your character's skills on the handy skill wheel, equipment for you character and the game's deep history.
The Secret World is a horror and gaming fan's dream come true. The game allows players to experience the best of both worlds with creepy environments and horrific creatures mixed with an untraditional but effective approach to the MMORPG genre. It's rare that you find a game that strays this far from conventional gameplay mechanics and still produces a high quality gaming experience that will have you continuously coming back to see what else the game has to offer. The Secret World is one of the best PC games of the year and one of the better games for any platform. If you're a fan of entertaining games and scary stories, don't be too frightened to pick up your own copy of The Secret World today!
For more information on the game, check out the officialThe Secret World website.
4 1/2 out of 5