Friday, January 18, 2013

Game review: The Secret World

My dear readers, today I'll be writing about something slightly different. First of all, it's a MMORPG... Second, it's a modern time MMORPG! Yes, that's right, it's The Secret World!

A bit about the game and developers.

The Secret World has been developed and published by a very known company called Funcom. Funcom is a company behind a few very known games such as Age of Conan, Bloodline Champions, Anarchy Online and few others.
The Secret World is a pretty new game and it used to require monthly fee but that has been removed. This is more like a puzzle MMORPG in modern times. You got this kind of special power and a faction chooses you to fight for them, do missions and so on and on.

About Gameplay. 
As said earlier The Secret World is a MMORPG. But in this game there are no levels. Instead of that, you need to fulfill xp bar at the bottom of your screen to get Ability Points (AP) and Skill Points (SP). Getting them is actually very, very easy, but using them might be a bit tricky for a beginner like me. SP is used to make your weapons stronger or to allow you to wear better talismans (equipment). AP is used to obtain new skills or spells., depending on the weapons that you use. Yea, that's right, this game doesn't have any classes. You can combine two weapons and just use them as you please. I started off as dual-handed pistol user, and as soon as i "leveled up" i chose to also be able to use assault rifles. Bear in mind that you can't use weapon without using at least 1 point on it's skill tree first.

Therefore, it's a bit tricky, but once you decide what you want it becomes easy. I totally failed at it. I started off with dual pistols and assault rifle, then I decided to use shotgun instead of assault rifle, but then I decided to use sword instead! So yea, I wasted a big amount of ability points, hehe. Skill points are a lot harder to gain than AP, and you need to use them very, very wisely. You get 1 SP per full xp bar, and you need a lot of SP to rank up what you need. For example, you rank your pistol damage by 1, and to rank it up till 2 you need to use 2 SP instead of just 1! Then to rank it to 3 you need to use 3 SP. And so on and on. So you better think five times before choosing! At least I was smart enough to always keep 3+ of SP unused in case i get something that I want to wear but don't have good enough SP for it.

There is also just a certain amount of skills / spells and passive abilities that you can use at the same time. You have 7 usable skills slots, and 7 passive skill slots. So you have to chose what do you want in your skills wisely, because trust me, in combat you don't have any time to change it. You can't just right-click enemies in this game. You need to keep spamming your skill buttons to make your character attack the creature (or player). Also, running around is crucial part of this game. You need to dodge a lot of attacks and you need to run away non-stop because there is usually always more than just 1 opponent that is trying to get you. There are usually four to five zombies or something. It's hard but once you learn it, it's no big deal.

Bad thing about TSW is that you can only have five quests at the same moment, and therefore you need to run around a lot. You can have 1 main mission and four side missions. You aren't required to do any side missions but they are sometimes fun. While other times they are so annoying and hard that you (well, I) just abandon them.

Which brings us to the other very unique, sometimes good and other times bad part of this game. As i said earlier, this MMO is a puzzle game. Which means that when you get a mission, you get no help. For example NPC tells you "There is a camp on a road." and a short quest description is "find a camp"... So yea.. What road? What camp? Where? Who? Why me and not the other player? So I couldn't help myself but to open up google on my browser and search for walkthroughs of some quests. Some of them are so easy that you'd never guess what you have to do. Which also makes this game very fun to play, and very enjoyable.

I would talk about PVP but sadly I have never managed to enter battleground, and you can't just pvp between factions. In fact, I have seen Illuminati that were in party with Templars. So yea, sadly I can't tell you anything about that. I also can't tell you much about worlds, because I was sure I'd die if i leave the place I currently am, but as much as I've seen by my play time.. The world should be pretty big!

Graphic and Audio
I was very surprised when it comes to graphic and audio of this game. Songs are very quiet, relaxing but "modern" and I love them. Especially the intro screen one. I once just  opened the game up, turned my speakers up and wrote to June while I was listening to the The Secret World song in the background!
Graphic is very beautiful and effects are very nice and sometimes stunning. I really enjoyed watching this game. And the HUD is awesome! It's very small and simple so you can have whole game screen for watching, and no big mini-map or chat window to bother you.

Okay so The Secret World is one of those MMO's which is mainly based on story than PvP in my opinion. There are a lot of different main missions in TSW and I sadly didn't finish even first one. They are long and hard, but extremely fun! And cinematic of the game are amazing as well.
Your first main mission is to clear one town from a fog that turns innocent people into zombies and some other very weird creatures. You have to do a lot of puzzles to get where you want to and this is one more good, unique experience. I won't be telling you anything about the story since it would reveal way too much spoilers :P

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Unique puzzle quests.
- No leveling system, which is also sort-of unique.
- You can use any weapon at almost any time.
- Amazing graphic and audio.
- Awesome HUD.
- Great storyline!
- Great community.
- Decent customization

- Didn't manage to see any PvP in a week of gameplay.
- SP is hard to get on beginning of the game, and is very, very needed.
- Some Puzzles may be slightly too hard for some people (like me :P )
- No armors, just "style" clothing.

Total gade: 8/10

Extra Info: TSW is very fun and unique MMORPG and If you're searching for something challenging and new, this is surely a game for you! I'd keep on playing this MMO but sadly I just got 30 day pass to the game so I don't want to get overly attached to it yet! Anyway, I recommend this game to anyone who wants something different.
P.S. Yes I did make my char look a bit like me :P



  1. This seems like an interesting MMO. If only it is free. lol

  2. Looks interesting. Thanks for review!

  3. "SP is used to make your weapons stronger or to allow you to wear better talismans"
    -Not exactly. SP does allow you to wear talismans, but it also gates off weapon QLs, and gives you a passive for each rank. It also keeps you from glancing (missing attacks) on enemies as you progress (if you're QL2 and wielding a QL1 weapon, but you're entering Savage Coast (a QL4-5 area), you're not just going to do minimal damage, you're also going to MISS a lot with your attacks. This is designed to keep you in zones instead of rushing through the game. (AKA we still have leveling, but its just a lot more fluid than a Lv 1-60 thing you'll see in other MMOs)

    "I wasted a big amount of ability points"
    -Not really. There's no 'wasting' of points in this game. Keep in mind that the paltry 1-2 SP you're getting in Kingsmouth becomes more of a standard of 5 SP in later Solomon Island, then 10-20 SP in Egypt, then I was actually able to make 40+ SP in one night in the first zone of Transylvania alone! If you pretty much do every mission, by the end of the entire zone 'leveling' process, you'll have pretty much everything maxed out for SP, so then you'll be turning to AP grinding to fill out the other 1/3-1/2 of the wheel ;)

    Just make sure you're SP Level 3-4 in your chosen 2 main weapons in at least one skill line for them, and you're good to move onto Savage Coast. Then do that again for SP Level 5-6 for Savage Coast, and SP Level 6-7 for Blue Mountain etc.

    "because there is usually always more than just 1 opponent that is trying to get you"
    -Sort of. The triangle dotted mobs are 'groups' of mobs, yes, but the single dot mobs are to only be fought at 2-3 at a time tops. Then the skull (elite) and crowned (boss, etc) mobs are usually meant to fight one on one, until you're overpowered for it.

    "Bad thing about TSW is that you can only have five quests at the same moment, and therefore you need to run around a lot."
    -You'll find this preferable as you advance in the game. Sometimes a single mission with several tiers will cover a whole major area of a zone map. They want you to FOCUS on what you're doing, not derping around with 20 quests to then hand into a questgiver (and I bet you wouldn't even read the quests in that case, like most players).
    And I suggest you do side-missions because they almost always still contain story information, and teach you about how certain enemies and systems work, as well as collectively give you a significant boost in EXP (I'd say several side missions = 1 investigation mission or 2-3 action missions, or more or less).

    -PvP exists in an informal form in the Fight Clubs in each of the faction cities, and in a formal form in El Dorado, Stonehedge, and Fuseng. There is no open world PvP currently, but Funcom is working on 'open world PvP hotspots' away from mission areas in zones, so expect that in a later Issue.
    Right now, the PvE zones are purely for the 3 factions to band together against the darkness, not squabbling over it.

  4. "Worlds"
    -You mean zones and regions? Here's an overview:

    -Kingsmouth QL1-3, 60 missions (approx, not including Issue missions)
    -Savage Coast QL4-5, 50 missions
    -Blue Mountain QL5-6, 40 missions

    -Scorched Desert QL7-8, 55 missions
    -City of the Sun God QL8-9, 45 missions

    -Besieged Farmlands QL10, 30 missions
    -Shadowy Forest QL10, 30 missions
    -Carpathian Fangs QL10, 30 missions
    =up to 350 missions in just the PvE zones (including main and side ones)
    Each region (Solomon Island) has its one main storyline mission, but there are 2 'Interlude' missions between regions, and 3ish faction rank missions.

    They've added approximately 20 main missions scattered throughout the game (some in zones, some in cities, and 3 for auxiliary weapons) over the last several months, and Halloween and Winter event specific missions. They'll be adding Tokyo as a new zone by the middle of this year, and hopefully a 2nd zone in 2013 (South America?) if they can handle it.

    1. Thank you very much for long comment which is in case a review of your own xD I didn't know that i have a long time to play TSW and therefore i had to hurry up. I have played over 6 hours today and I've learn a lot more new stuff, so next re-review of this game will be much better! Thank you a lot!