In an effort to ease my WoW burnout I’ve been pretty much only logging on to raid, which off has left a huge hole in my schedule. So decided to give The Secret World a go.
Published by Funcom, it’s described as a ‘modern day’ mmo. Horror based, it has elements from HP Lovecraft, Stephen King (the is an Overlook Motel), as well as conspiracy theories and urban legends being thrown in the mix. You can chose from 3 factions, The Illuminati (they aren’t giant lizards sorry), The Templars and The Dragons. I chose the dragons as I liked the deck combos, but more on that later.
I was a little disappointed with character creation. In someways it’s really detailed, you chose you entire outfit, and there are loads or hairdos and make up choices to chose from, but you can’t customise your height, weight or build, which I liked about the other Funcom title Age of Conan. So you are stuck with a generic skinny and slightly flat chested female character, whereas I like to make my character of a bigger build.
It’s not a newbie friendly game I have to say. It tells you about Ability Points and Skill Points, but not much more than that. The beauty of the game is you continually gain AP and SP, so you can eventually get every skill in the game, but it doesn’t make that clear at first. You build what are called Decks: Weapon and Skill sets that suit your play style. When you start the game you chose your first weapon skills, then you can combine it with a second weapon skill. For example my character uses Blades and Elemental magic, but you can have any combination. And as you gain more points you can build more decks, so you aren’t stuck with one role. Rather than character levels you progress through gear level, or Quality Level. And you can repeat quests aft a set amount of time, so say you have completed all content with one Deck, then you can go back and do it again to build other Decks. This isn’t however explained to you when you start up, or it’s not very clear if it is explained.
Gameplay wise I love it. Rather than buttloads of quests to ‘kill X number of Y mobs’, there are investigation quests which involve puzzles and research, and sabotage missions, which involve stealth and cunning. For example in one quest you have to decipher a message in morse code, so you have to look up how to do that. There are even web pages set up for the game you have to find to get needed info. However I am well aware this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so whilst it attracts me, it probably puts others off.
Graphically it’s very pretty, but it requires damn good hardware to run on anything more than the lowest settings, or so I’ve found. And the background music is very atmospheric, though maybe a tad repetitive after a while. It’s one of the few games recently to creep me out and I feel the BGM has a lot to do with it.
But does it have staying power? Can I see myself continuing to play it once MoP hits? I honestly don’t know. But what the hell, I’m having fun now, and that’s the main thing!
So if you are on the EU servers look out for Elphane.