Should I Get The Secret World?

The Secret World

Katanas and guns, everything a person could want in a game.

I’m really struggling with this one. Usually I know long in advance of any MMO being released whether or not I’m going to buy it. I knew I was going to get SW:TOR way before its released date was ever announced, I know for certain I’m going to be picking up Guild Wars 2 when it comes out in August and the forthcoming Mists of Pandaria and Storm Legion expansions are total no-brainers but The Secret World? It really has me on the fence.

Although I’ve been intrigued by the game since it was announced, perhaps part of my hesitation is due to the lack of build-up (or seemingly so) it’s had in comparison to other games. Maybe it’s just me, or the sites I read, but it hasn’t had that excruciating, drawn out, endless marketing and promotion cycle that other developers and publishers seem to be able wangle. I pretty much bought Diablo 3 just so I didn’t feel left out from what everyone was talking about. I also think Blizzard managed to hypnotise me but that’s another story.

There are a few genuine things about TSW that have me concerned, though. The price tag for one (since when did digital copies of PC games become so expensive?), performance another (I heard it wasn’t very well optimised). Likewise, replayability isn’t meant to be great and that’s a factor I consider very important to my long term interest in a MMO – personally, I love nothing more than rolling new alts and exploring new low level areas. Finally, it’s made by Funcom. Not to jump on the clichéd bandwagon of negativity but they do have a pretty ropey track record with their MMOs and I don’t want to get burnt for £40 on a game that I only end up playing a few hours.

However, The Secret World does look pretty darn cool. The setting is very unique and, apparently, rather moody and immersive plus I love the idea of playing something that’s a little different from the standard fantasy themepark almost all MMOs seem to offer. And, shooting zombies with an assault rifle just looks frickin’ awesome.

Oh decisions, decisions.

So, I need some advice. What do you guys think? Should I get The Secret World? Is it good? Or should I give it a month to see what it’s like after the dust has settled? Or just avoid it completely? Vote below, my pretties.

Should I get The Secret World?

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-Gordon

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16 Comments

  1. João Carlos says:

    I am playing The Secret World while I wait for GW2.

    Sincerelly, I am not sure how much time before I burn out. The Secret World just have a diferent setting, but the rest is the same old MMO. And like any other MMO, you have “kill ten rats” quests and people looking for healer and tank for go to dungeon…

  2. Carson says:

    I’m not qualified to offer an opinion on The Secret World, but I will point out that Hellgate London also promised katanas and guns. Promised them in the form of the most ludicrously over-the-top “cool” trailer I’d ever seen. Didn’t really work out so well.

  3. Pascal says:

    The setting of Templar, Dragon and Illuminati, the homage to Lovecraft and secret societies and all the machinations involved in it lured me into a lifetime purchase.

    Initially I hated my experience in the game, particularly because it felt a bit Funcommed. You know what I mean. They offer you basic customisation and then drop in an item store. They do prime-time maintenance. They just seem to miss the plot in general terms.

    But I can’t wait to play the game. The combat system is interesting, although I’d have liked a bit more of APB for ranged weapons. The noise shotguns and assault rifles make are gratifying, especially when you see those zombies up-close. The Decks and skill trees – man. There is a vast number of options there and it takes time to find what works well for you. But you can’t really make a mistake, because you can always pick up points in other areas.

    To me it is in its infancy, but the game, the concept and everything about that concept is grand. If they manage to avoid Funcomming themselves, I think it is going to be a fun game to be involved in. It managed to lure me away from Diablo III which … to me at least … was telling.

    Face it. Shotgun to the face. Tentacled monsters from the deep. Witchcraft. Ravens. Zombies.

    Oh so many zombies.

    *cocks shotgun*

  4. Rohan says:

    Do you like adventure games? (King’s Quest, The Longest Journey, etc.)

    If you do, you’ll probably like TSW. If you don’t, you probably won’t.

  5. Noizy says:

    I played in the last weekend beta and the game definitely has promise, but I didn’t rush out and buy TSW. I thought Funcom might have been rushing things a bit to release the game when they did. I’ve heard some problems with chat locking up and people being moved from their chose dimension to another dimension for no apparent reason. I’m not sure what else is going wrong, but I’m waiting a month or two to give Funcom to fix more of the issues.

  6. Get the game you’ll enjoy it, it’s a bit a sleeper hit of a MMO. I’m currently playing it as well. Currently game does have some bugged quest but nothing funcom shouldn’t be able to fix soon. However despite that you can play and progress well in the game. Some optimization issues are there but where the game really shines is in the very well written and done stories and mystery missions that are overall different to most MMO’s. I’ll no doubt you would enjoy the game if you do get it.

  7. Jeromai says:

    It depends on how attached you are to the traditional concept of MMOs (long term, race to max level, raid-endgame, virtual world with players interacting) and fond of polish/lack of bugs. If those are top priorities, then don’t get The Secret World, it’ll only disappoint.

    Tolerance of bugs especially is a key criteria, stuff is breaking and they’re working to fix it. If all you care about is the former and not the latter, don’t get it yet, it’ll only make you short tempered. Things get fixed pretty promptly and then something else breaks all over again.

    But if you look on TSW as more of a couple month adventure game hybrid, where you’ll get the chance to enjoy a refreshingly new setting, some creative spins on thinking-mans’ quests and just commit to the idea of exploring the content once with a character, I think you’ll have a couple pleasant surprises within the 1-3 months. It’s certainly worth the experience.

    Beyond that point, we’ll all shrug and wait and see if the devs can surprise us further. Worse case scenario, GW2 is coming out and people will jump ship over to the next big thing then.

  8. oakstout says:

    Lets not forget that EvE was a sleeper hit and now look at them. I like that the game is on the down low right now. I think word of mouth is the best way to see a game like The Secret World. I’ve been enjoying it since release and have to say that with the exception of a few bugs, mostly chat, that the game runs great on my system. I get little to no lag, the graphics are awesome and eerie and the sounds in this game are some of the best I’ve ever heard. As you walk around you can hear gun fire in the background as people dispatch the hordes of zombies. Its more like an RPG where you unlock skills and abilities instead of worrying about what level you are or how many levels till you get that next cool spell. Want to switch to a different class or role, then just put points in that area and your there. Its different, versatile and unique.. which I think players have been screaming about wanting for years.

  9. Telwyn says:

    The setting is a turn off for me so I’m skipping this and waiting on GW2, despite the fact that there are puzzles and involved storylines. I do wish the game every success though as the industry needs some variety.

  10. bhagpuss says:

    You should definitely try it.

    It’s probably the best-written MMO I’ve played, which I know is damning it with faint praise. Both the writing and the voice acting is about on a par with a good comic or a middling indie movie.

    The art direction is as good as I’ve seen in any MMO, maybe the best. The attention to detail is superb. You can spend literally hours just exploring a few streets and houses.

    The setting is really fresh and just works. I didn’t think I had any interest in seeing a version of my own contemporary world in an MMO but it turns out Funcom knew what I wanted better than I did.

    The quests are well above average in general and the much-hyped investigation quests really are different. Yes, you can just look up the answers, but if you have any willpower whatsoever you won’t want to.

    Combat’s fun. Monsters are interesting. Skill wheel adds a lot of theorycrafting possibilites. All in all it’s a very solid, interesting MMO. There’s only one reason you might hold off from buying it now and that’s the imminent release of GW2. Depends if you want to give TSW just a couple of months before you shelve it for a while. Personally, it fills that gap nicely and I anticipate coming back to it on and off for a long time, especially when it inevitably goes F2P.

  11. numtini says:

    It’s the best new game I’ve played since 2004. The deck building system is interesting and provides a lot of options. The atmosphere and quests are incredibly well done. It’s also the first game in a very long time that is actually challenging in a gameplay sense before you get to the end game. Quests are sometimes hard and have some trick to them or the solution might be that you’re not supposed to kill the monsters, you’re supposed to run and grab something or sneak through. It brings back the “this is scary” vibe of EQ.

    It is funcom though. It’s clearly been released early to beat GW2 to the market. The auction house isn’t in. There are bugs including a nagging one that logs you out of chat leaving you unable to talk to anyone. However, this is more like the kind of old school launch bugs, not a complete unplayable mess like Anarchy Online was.

  12. Gonna echo those who have said this is the best new MMO I have played in a long time. The thing is, this is a game that only starts to shine after you have played for at least a few hours, when you start getting drawn in by the setting and the atmosphere and the charm of the NPCs. When I played it during the fourth beta weekend, I only put in a bit more than an hour, and I just didn’t get it.

    But in early access, I got hooked. I’ll admit this game isn’t for anyone. It’s the “same” as other MMOs but also “different”. It’ll take time to really get, into the ability wheel, as it’s not very forgiving if you have no idea what you’re doing. The quests have familiar MMO elements in them, but with a twist. I find I’m fighting things, but not hacking away at them for no reason. And the investigation quests, just superb. It’s all very atmospheric and immersive, they have the horror angle nailed down. The NPCs are also a joy to talk to, not an hour goes by that one of them doesn’t say something that makes me laugh out loud. I think this may be the best written MMO. And I say this as a huge fan of SWTOR, who believed Bioware were the masters of storytelling and dialogue writing.

    Again, it definitely has some “niche” characteristics about it. Someone who loves WoW type MMOs may not get into it, though I did, and I do have a broad taste as well. People have 24 hour buddy keys to give away at the moment, I’d say the best thing to do it get someone to hook you up so you can try it. Make sure you play it when you have a huge chunk of time though, like I said it takes more than just an hour or two to get a feel for what the game has to offer. I’d say you can have my key, but it’s already spoken for :P anyway, good luck with your decision!

  13. Drannos says:

    It’s different. Even where it’s rooted in the standard MMO mechanics, it’s a different take, and a really nice step forward (calling in my quest as completed on my cell phone is SPECTACULAR!).

    It’s gorgeous, and the settings atmosphere are top-notch. Yes, you play the Silent Protagonist, but the voice acting feels natural and is generally very well done. I might not be saying anything, but the NPCs behave as if I did, so I find myself just naturally filling in the blanks in my mind. Which I prefer to the 3 dozen canned responses I seemed to have in SW:TOR.

    At the very least, it’s worth the price of admission, and to see it for yourself until something else you are truly sold on comes along (GW2, because, let’s be honest, not much else is appealing between now and the end of August). Like Pascal, I also bought a lifetime subscription – not because I think it will always be my main game (though it quickly is become that at the moment), but because I’m genuinely taken with the game’s story and setting, and want to be able to go back any time. I want to take it at my own pace, and I know I will be going back regularly. And my lifetime sub to LotRO has paid off pretty well, even considering the move to F2P.

  14. Tyrion10 says:

    I left SWTOR for this game. The setting was the seller for me. It’s modern day, scary, and requires you to think. Where SWTOR basically gave you the next task with big flashy arrows saying “GO HERE” this game encourages exploration and experimentation with the combat.

    I also like the fact that I might, and have, overstepped my bounds and was promptly killed for it. There are no levels, so if bite off more than you can chew, you pay the price which puts a little tension in the game. Also the community is top notch.

    I’d say go for it.

  15. ScytheNoire says:

    + Setting
    + Skill Wheel
    + Story
    + Some unique quests
    - Graphics
    - Subscription + Box Fee + Cash Store = GREEDY (or desperate)
    - Same old MMO stuff mostly
    - BUGS

    Wait a year, the bugs will be gone, the subscription will be gone, probably even the box sale will be gone. Hell, Funcom might be gone.

  16. Feliz says:

    It’s now 5 days since his last post. He must have bought the game and got lost in it, just like most of us.

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