I've decided that, since it's taking freaking forever for me to truly write up a worthy final review of FunCom's "The Secret World" MMO, I'm going to write a diary of sorts to publish in parts so people can be up to speed on what I think of the game. This will be a continuing project until I feel it is no longer necessary, whether because I feel like I've finally done the game justice or I decide I'm just not enjoying the game any more.
After spending a lot of time running around in the same area I got to play in during the beta, I've discovered that there is even more to this game than I realized. It is THICK with mythology and mystery. When they decided to call this game "The Secret World", they weren't kidding. There are so many secrets and hidden mysteries littered throughout the game that it actually kind of makes my head spin. It's as if they wrote a million little stories and littered them throughout the game with only the lightest touch so that you could learn the history of events in the world but only if you looked really carefully.
Honestly, that's one thing I've enjoyed a lot of so far in TSW. In being set in the modern world, it has all the regular history thereof, so the only history to be sought is that of the secret world, no pun intended, hidden just beneath the surface. Solomon Island, the first region you explore in the game, is littered with history tied to the Illuminati, for instance, and tragedies throughout the island's past can be tied to various supernatural links. You get the sense from the get-go that the zombie outbreak currently going on on the island is not the first supernatural occurrence there and that the island has always been a sort of supernatural hot-spot.
The game certainly doesn't "hold your hand", as some reviewers have put it. You are totally free to build your character as you desire, and you never "lose" any of the points you have spent. There is no need to respec your character the way you do in other MMOs. Instead, if you want to change your build, you either swap out the abilities you have equipped or you spend ability points and skill points in the areas you don't have yet. In other words, you can get to the endgame and still continue gaining experience until you've maxed everything out, at which point you can basically just change what you do with your character whenever you like. The game is still heavily gear-based, so you won't be jumping from, say, tanking to a damage role without having an alternate set of equipment, but you can still do it.
I personally loathe PvP in MMOs, so I haven't tried the PvP in the game yet, but I suppose one of these days I'll give it a go. I suspect I won't enjoy it much, but I would be doing a disservice to my readers not to at least attempt it.
Recon Diary: The Secret World Pt. 1
Blog entry posted by Breefolk, Jul 26, 2012.