Quantcast
Preview: Reinventing the MMO with The Secret World - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


The Secret World  



Preview: Reinventing the MMO with The Secret World


3:00 PM on 03.15.2012
Preview: Reinventing the MMO with The Secret World photo



The MMO space has been steadily filling up since people realized just how much money Blizzard is actually making. Many have tried to break into that space, but most have failed. Funcom has a pretty consistent history of bringing solid titles to market -- nothing necessarily groundbreaking, but they work.

When The Secret World was announced, though, people got legitimately excited. Here, we had an MMO taking place not in space or some generic fantasy land but in the modern day, with a story running parallel to our own world. Here are a few of my initial thoughts on the The Secret World.

The Secret World (PC)
Developer: Funcom
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release: June 19, 2012

Like World of Warcraft and The Old Republic, The Secret World is based on interfactional warfare. There are the Templars based out of London who want to restore and maintain order, the Dragons based out of Seoul who are the embodiment of chaos, and the Illuminati based out of New York who are comparatively moderate. Each of these factions is contending with transdimensional foes, and there are a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of figures vying for power.

Everyone will have a recruitment mission to get them set up with one of the groups, but there is no typical class selection here. Funcom has decided upon Skyrim-style class selection -- pick what you want, do what you want, and find a role for yourself.

There are more than 500 abilities and nine classes of weapons (though some of those are magic), and as you gain experience, you get skill points to distribute into any category to shape your character however you want. Each player is also limited to seven active abilities and seven passive abilities, so careful selection and strategy plays into deciding what you use. It's a really intriguing system that is elegantly implemented with a stunningly beautiful, semi-minimal interface.

Taking cues from TOR, the majority of the game is voiced, though the player character is a silent protagonist. It's a much more engaging way of conveying stories and doling out quests, and it represents another area where Blizzard is starting to fall behind.

Quests themselves are more organic than in other MMOs, and the story is told more through the perspective of gathering information and lore to piece together what is going on rather than through the traditional fetch quest. "Quest givers," if they can be called that, will often actively mislead you either intentionally or unintentionally, and they represent an interesting break with the established tropes of the genre.

I had a good 30 minutes to play the game after a presentation by Funcom staff showing off some new content. I wasn't able to get too far into the real meat of the game, but I got to pick up a few weapons, tool around with some basic abilities, and run around London for a bit. The overworld is rich and lively, and for once, there's a game which does not seem to have the utterly impractical architecture of other MMOs (i.e. buildings that are so utterly gargantuan as to be ridiculous).

Combat is smooth, and everything takes place in real time. The player can move while casting, charging, shooting, etc., so battles feel more like an action RPG than anything else -- faster and more frantic without ever losing complete control. It's a fun and refreshing mix that I can't say I have seen replicated anywhere else.

The Secret World is due out June 19th, which is good because I've been looking forward to this since I first saw it at PAX '09. I'm still a bit concerned as to the longevity of the title, but a lot of work has gone into "reinventing the wheel," as it were, and it definitely shows.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.



Review: The Sims 4 photo
Review: The Sims 4
6:00 PM on 10.02.2014


Review: NHL 15 photo
Review: NHL 15
2:00 PM on 09.24.2014





timeline following:
The Secret World



1:00 PM on 01.10.2013
The Secret World sees 400% increase in 'activity levels'

Taking The Secret World from a subscription-based game to the "buy-to-play" model has done quite well for Funcom. The company has called this re-launch a success, announcing that "Activity levels in the game have increased by...more



8:00 AM on 12.12.2012
The Secret World scraps subscription fees

The Secret World has become the latest MMO to learn that, if it ain't Warcraft, it ain't getting away with charging subscription fees. Mandatory fees have been dropped from Funcom's ailing game, though other areas of monetiza...more



3:00 PM on 11.14.2012
The Secret World gets a chunky update

After four months, The Secret World finally gets its first raid, along with new missions and features in the largest update so far. It was this MMO's dearth of multiplayer opportunities that made me ditch it in fav...more



11:00 PM on 10.18.2012
Halloween comes early to The Secret World

Are you still playing The Secret World? Now would be a good time to log back in, as Funcom has pushed out some Halloween-centric content by way of the new update, Issue #3: The Cat God. It wouldn't be an MMO without nods to ...more



8:00 PM on 09.17.2012
Funcom has tools to make The Secret World free to play

Following the recent layoffs at Funcom, GamesIndustry caught up with CEO Ole Schreiner to talk about the subscription-based model The Secret World uses. He says that the game is profitable now that re-structuring has happened...more



12:30 PM on 09.11.2012
The Secret World lead game designer laid off

Funcom MMO The Secret World did not do as well as they had hoped it would, selling only 200,000 copies since its July launch. And now, as it usually goes, the layoffs happen.  A notable casualty is The Secret World's lea...more



11:00 AM on 08.29.2012
The Secret World sold only 200,000 copies since launch

Financials for Funcom for this last quarter show disappointing results for their newest, MMO The Secret World. The game sold only 200,000 copies since its June 29th launch, despite more than half a million players having sign...more



4:30 PM on 07.13.2012
Secret World's first content update announced

Set to go live July 31st, The Secret World's first content update, Unleashed, (referred to as Issue #1) has been revealed, with promises of more issues coming every month. This first round of content will contain se...more



2:00 PM on 07.09.2012
The Secret World 'Chronicle' profile and leaderboard tool

Funcom has launched a new profile and leader board service for new MMO The Secret World today called Chronicle. By logging in here players can view a complete record of their journey through the game, as well as character pro...more



6:15 PM on 07.03.2012
The Secret World launch trailer should be seen

If you've been keeping up with Funcom's newly released MMO The Secret World, you'll know exactly what to expect. But, for those that haven't, this new launch trailer shows just how vast and lovely this game's world is. Eithe...more




MMO

9:00 AM on 10.17.2014
Shiva does her thing in the debut trailer for Final Fantasy XIV's 'Dreams of Ice' update

Square Enix is gearing up for the release of Final Fantasy XIV's patch 2.4, titled "Dreams of Ice." As expected it will feature Shiva as the new badass Primal encounter, with the new storyline leading up to her rise. Th...more



9:30 AM on 10.14.2014
Square Enix releasing Final Fantasy XIV Game of the Year edition

On November 14th, Square Enix will release a "Game of the Year" edition for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It comes with a lot of physical goodies, including a printed book and five art cards. On the digital side it ...more



10:30 AM on 10.07.2014
The Old Republic welcomes Darth Revan back by way of DLC

You remember Darth Revan? Well he's back! In DLC form! BioWare has announced that an upcoming DLC will feature the classic Revan character from KOTOR in The Old Republic. It'll arrive on December 9th, priced at $19....more



View all MMO






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more