So my friends have you just finished killing your 127565th Orc? Or have you delivered your one millionth resource to some nameless npc? Or perhaps you are just tired of getting fragged by that 12 year old kid from Duluth that claims that you do inappropriate things with your Dog and mother on saturday nights. Well my friends I know I am (damn that kid one more second and I would have got him). That is why I have dusted off a game that I really liked but at the time I did not have the computer power for, The Secret World.
This game came out two years ago and has really slid under the radar of MMO’s. It is very much influenced by HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, and a little Indiana Jones. You represent one of three secret groups and you get thrown into a world of intrigue, horror, and adventure. Let me tell you the game has a place that is not filled by any other MMO. In a way it almost reminds me of the Matrix MMO that came out years and years ago. At least in its feel, dark, gritty, and in your face.
The game has many upsides and of course a few down sides. The upsides for me starts with the storylines, I really just want to know what is going to happen next. I mean come on, when was the last time you played an mmo and thought that listening and reading the story was one of the best parts? The stories are in depth and go far beyond kill x creature x times for a reward. The second thing that I like is the advancement, this game is not a level based game. You develope weapon trees and in the end you are expected to gain access to all the powers in the game. What you need to decided is how to mix and mach them to form your perfect “operative.” Of course you still have the basic roles tank, healer, DPS but, how you do it can lead to some intriguing combinations. Third thing is the music and more directly the atmosphere of the game. I am not saying the game scares you, but the music combined with creative visuals really gets you into the mood of the game. Most MMO’s I turn off the sound and play my own music. Not this game, you do that and you miss out on a part of the game that really improves the experience. Finally the puzzle quests, this game has a lot of VERY hard puzzles to figure out. They have installed an ingame browser to search the web for help, which you combine with the clues provided by the area you are in and past quests to solve these puzzles. These quests in my opinion are the meat and potatoes of this game. The thing that truly makes this game stand out. Of course you can use that web browser for walk throughs and such. But if you do then you mise well play Diablo because you are missing out on what this game can really provide.
Unfortunately this game is not all peaches and cream. There are some pretty big flaws and some minor ones. The number one biggest problem is the combat system. It just seems flawed to me and I know I am not the only one to comment on it. It is true that eventually you will get all the powers for weapons. But early on you can make your life very difficult by choosing poorly. Second I have not been able to grasp the crafting system. Very early on you find an npc that teaches you how to craft. But after that I just have not been able to make anything truly useful. Third some of the investigation/puzzle quests can be VERY VERY hard. If you do not have patience and the time to really research things then this game is not for you.
Finally the power jump as you move to new zones. The first zone is fairly easy, you never feel like a monster or group is unbeatable. But when you go too the next zone known as the savage Coast oh howdy do you face plant on those first mobs and let me tell ya it gets worse. What I have seen is that people get to the second zone and get frustrated and quit. You see there is a secret that just is not obvious, you need to upgrade your weapons before adventuring to far in. I know, I know you are probably thinking to yourself “Crawdadr, Duh, we all can figure out that you need better gear for harder areas. We are not stupid.” But you see as you progress in the first stage everything goes smooth and you spread out points a bit. What you have to do is add points in each weapon you use (two by the way) in one category (damage or survivability) So that you can get a tier five weapon. Then you go and find the weapon vendor and get yourself this upgraded weapon. All of a sudden you go from face planting to “damn this is hard.” Which is so much better. I had a few friends that played when I first got the game and none of them made it past the Savage Coast. So I suppose that is realy the biggest problem I had not the combat system.
Well I know this is not a complete write up on the game. But I am still fairly new at it. Perhaps if I get deeper into the game I will write more. Fact is I hope I do but as some of you may have noticed I am a game jumper so we will see. In the end if you can give this game a try I think many of you will enjoy it as a breath of fresh spooky air.
On a side note thank you all who are reading this I appreciate it.