This is The Secret World, the title that bowled me over to become one of my all-time favorite MMOs. When you talk about "MMOs" with people, chances are everyone assumes you're talking about a fantasy RPG along the lines of World of Warcraft and EverQuest. This mashup of often-unseen MMO settings makes for a world quite unlike the rest of the pack. It's a world that's falling apart rapidly, with complex characters doing everything they can to keep it together while ensuring that their side comes out on top. Probably one of the most polarizing aspects of The Secret World's gameplay is its greatest strength: that it requires you to go far beyond mere button-mashing to use your wits, logic, and investigation skills to solve quests.
I'm about halfway through the game, and already I've seen so many quests that use elements I've never seen before in MMOs.
One of the big misconceptions of the game is that only the investigation quests require your head. The quests and world at large isn't a watered-down heroic fantasy in which the bad guys wear the black hats and the good guys always include you.
Do you ever moan about the fact that all fantasy MMOs share so many of the same tired tropes? Why do I bang my head against tough quests and spend a lot of time trying to figure out a build that doesn't leave me at a massive disadvantage? Simply put, TSW puts so many games to shame with its presentation and execution of storytelling.
It's why we players rejoice when every new issue (update) comes out: We know that there will be additional missions, and thus, new stories. The Secret World may not be the easiest game to slip into; I've often said that you need to devote yourself to playing it for a while before it clicks. Let me simply say this: The Secret World so worth your time, and I truly wish everyone were playing it. Some of the new characters from returning games include Ness (Earthbound), Captain Falcon (F-Zero) and Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda).
The quest counter inches forward, mocking me with the fact that I'm still just on the first part of a six-tier mission. Despite plenty of noticeable flaws, its daring approach to a stuck-in-the-mud industry more than compensates for that.
Perhaps there are those who see past the overwhelming fantasy tropes to a sci-fi setting with starships and lightsabers.


It's contemporary except when it's historical (yeah, there's some time traveling involved). The game isn't pandering to the lowest common denomonator of players, which is why it might scare some folks away. Sure, there are guides out there for every one of them, but I find that a lot of folks take pride in not looking up the solution. On a base level, it definitely has a lot of swearing, blood, gore, sexual themes, and nightmare fuel.
That's right: TSW often makes you wonder whether or not you're on the side of good in all of this.
Nudity, when present, isn't there to titillate or shock; it's usually part of the character or story.
That's because we understand those tropes; if developers created a completely new fantasy world with all sorts of different concepts, they would have to spend most of the game trying to explain everything to us. Because The Secret World is like a can't-put-it-down novel: I always want to find out what happens next.
The voice acting is top-notch, and the characters are quite memorable, but more than anything else, these are tales to get lost in. Why I Play is a column in which the Massively staff members kick back and reminisce about all their favorite MMOs. Everything is true."The opening monologue of the new 2016 trailer for The Secret World pretty much sums the game up prefectly. The new characters this time around include Rosetta (Super Mario Galaxy), Charizard (Pokemon), Wii Fit Trainer (Wii Fit), Captain Olimar (Pikmin) and many more. I dart in, tag an enemy cultist, and then pull him out of the path of his patrolling friends. The next stage has me figuring out a code and then attempting to open a door while mummies burst from sarcophagi all around me. It loves mythologies of all types as well as pretty much every conspiracy theory and cryptozoologic creature that's been dreamed up by man. There are quests that cause me to do my own research on a particular topic, just because it's fascinating and unknown to me. When you can't brute-force your way through every mission and instead have to use your mind to solve a fiendish puzzle, it might come across as too foreign to a largely complacent gaming population. Stealth missions are like elaborate environmental puzzles that need a fair bit of lateral thinking, and even action missions often toss in an intelligent curveball or two.


But it also presents us with realistic NPCs who act and talk like real (if strange) people, made up of as many flaws as virtues. I've wondered whether I'm a mindless pawn, a person who justifies the means by the end result, or a powerful figure in the middle of a 10-way tug-o'-war. OK, maybe our world doesn't have C'thulu monstrosities ripping up the street every day, but most of what we see in the game is completely familiar. Whether it's the new hotness or an old fan favorite loaded with nostalgia, each title we cover here tugs at our heartstrings and keeps us coming back for more. A new leaked Japanese character screen has however emerged and indicates even more characters that may appear in the game. It's certainly in love with the horror genre, especially with Lovecraftian horror, zombie films, and Japanese ghost stories. And at no point do I think, "Man, I've seen this a million times before" because I really haven't.
A game is treating them like grown-ups, and players respond to those higher standards by treating it with respect in turn.
You figure out who they really are by reading into the subtext of their conversations, catching the off-quip, or even looking at their body language. Some you gradually piece together from lore objects, the environment, and snippets of dialogue.
There are so many great questions that TSW raises and only a handful of solid answers to date. Imagine a world where you can become anything you want to be, without restrictions such as classes or levels. And it utilizes plenty of out-of-game sources so that you could even nudge this title into the "alternate reality game" genre. It's like watching a great TV show that keeps throwing cliffhangers and plot twists at you so that you can't wait to come back for more.
This is the premise for The Secret World, Funcom's massively multiplayer online game set in the modern-day real world."As a personal fan of The Secret World, I whole heartedly hope that their new campaign pulls through and a fresh batch of players gets involved in the total madness.Think this sounds like your cup of tea? Let us know what you think of the legitimacy of the character select screen in the meantime.




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