In years gone by, evil was said to walk the earth in its many forms. Strange beasts lived in dark places, and the dead, well, they came alive and feasted on the living. Standing between the human race and the abyss of evil were the famed secret societies. You may have heard of them; the Knights Templar and the Illuminati, to name two of the more well-known. But in this modern age, an age of science fact and enlightenment, we know these myths and legends are just that... or are they?
What if the battle between good and evil was not only real, but has continued to this day. The secret societies we thought had been cast aside in the annals of history have been fighting a secret war. A war against evil, and a war against each other. Welcome to “The Secret World”, an exciting and innovative MMORPG from Funcom.
We can almost hear you say "Whaaa! Not another MMO, when will the tide of 'also rans' ever stop?" While some release fatigue is valid, The Secret World does actually promise something different, and not just in its modern day setting; it also does some bold new things with the way it handles character progression.
Departing from the traditional leveling system that is stock and trade for most other games in the genre, The Secret World promises not to restrict you to a set of predefined character classes and skill progression trees. Instead, you can build your character any way you want, by unlocking hundreds of skills and then combining them in a way that matches the style of play you prefer.
Another appealing feature is the combination of modern day weapons, science fiction, and magic. The latter comes in the form of elemental power: "A power to match the dark shadows who have chosen today to come from the dark and claim the light." Arm yourself with rifles, shotguns, fireballs, and chainsaws - to name just a few.
As you would expect from a game of this type, there are quests, crafting, and items to loot. Quests, however, are not your usual run of the mill "go here and kill 8 of these", but rather they are designed around an overarching plot that promises to challenge not just your combat skills but also your gray matter.
The world is changing above the ground and now you'll get to see the underground world that is only whispered about in the bright light of day. Expect to explore London and other cities of the world while you hunt down the things that squirm, shuffle, and crawl in the dark. Zombies, the walking dead, are mere troopers of an army that includes the stuff of nightmares. Boogeymen, golems and Jack 'o' Lanterns are familiar enough, but there are other things; things with claws, burning eyes, and a thirst for flesh...
This looks like it is going to be quite an innovative game, that - if the hype is to be believed - will refresh and energize the genre. Look out for our hands on impressions soon as we play through the Beta.
The Good: Promises limitless character progression
The Bad: It's another MMO in a crowded market
The Ugly: The gore-covered, flesh eating, bug-eyed monsters