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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff
I played Secret World during the beta and in the early-access period.

I won't dwell too long on the setting; all the myths of mankind are true and a trio of secret societies have put their differences aside to tackle a rising darkness in the world.

I've played a lot of MMOs (Eve, WoW, LOTRO, Tera, WAR, Rift, SWTOR) and The Secret World is the first...
Published on 3 July 2012 by J. Wilson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seemed good if you like MMORPG's but watch out for memory problem
I'd never really played any online RPGs before as they haven't appealed, however the more present day and action oriented approach taken by The Secret World seemed different and interesting so I took the plunge. It sets the scene well and plunges you in, and I felt a little overawed at first, but soon got the hang of it. It seems there's loads to do and I liked the...
Published 22 months ago by James K


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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff, 3 July 2012
By 
J. Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I played Secret World during the beta and in the early-access period.

I won't dwell too long on the setting; all the myths of mankind are true and a trio of secret societies have put their differences aside to tackle a rising darkness in the world.

I've played a lot of MMOs (Eve, WoW, LOTRO, Tera, WAR, Rift, SWTOR) and The Secret World is the first one since WoW to really suck me in. It's not like any other MMO I have played.

Funcom have developed a leveless, classless style of play where a player has over 500 skills to choose from, but can only use 7 active abilities and 7 passive abilities at any one time. The abilities they equip define their role. It is hard to describe just how well this works. As you progress through the game, complete missions etc, you unlock ability points which you can accumulate and spend to give your character specific abilities. If, at any point, you begin to regret your choices, you can simply begin investing points in other areas.

The combat feels solid and mobility can be crucial, which gives the game a much more actiony feel. The settings in game are particularly well-executed and it is evident that this is a labour of love.

There are somethings newcomers should be aware of. If your background is from WoW or one of its derivatives, where everything is sign-posted and your hand is firmly held throughout - TSW does not follow this. There are a number of different mission types, one of which is Investigation. For this you will be tasked with tracking down information using loose clues, your knowledge of the local game area and the in-game browser. The game actually requires you to think. I've seen a lot of people just asking in general chat for answers to riddles or codes. If that is your default way of dealing with challenges in an MMO, then save you money and skip this game because you won't enjoy it and the community will react badly. Also, there is none of that respeccing nonsense. If you go deep into pistols and then decide you don't like it, you can't refund your points and invest them in, say, Blood magic, you need to start from scratch. While this may seem alien, it makes sense as eventually a player will have every skill and be able to fulfil every role. But, again, if you want instant gratification, TSW is probably not for you!

Also, there is no world pvp. It doesn't fit the lore and this was a conscious design decision on the part of Funcom. For one, I am glad as in most other games 'world pvp' simply means 'ganking'.

Personally, I think this is the most refreshing MMO I have played in years. The missions are filled with both humour and horror, and there are a lot of references to real life cultural signifiers as you travel through the world. The character customisation options (beyond the character creation which is, admittedly, limited but due to be improved) are so very numerous. I can't recommend it enough and if you are looking for something beyond the usual, check it out.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early impression, 3 July 2012
By 
J. Green - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
So far I am very impressed with the game. I have been playing some beta weekends and now since the early access.

I have played many mmos over the years, a lot of time in EverQuest, Anarchy Online and Warcraft. But not since the earlier years of WoW (some 8 years ago?) have I played an mmo that has remotely drawn me in.

But this has.

Good freedom, a core main plotline for your faction, but many missions you can do (or not) in loose order.

The missions are much more cerebral, some even using mock websites outside of the game.

The styling, scenario, music, and atmosphere are all fantastic. Not a hint of cheese. No twee armour and 18 foot swords.

Good amazingly flexible yet simple combat system.

You can only follow 1 main quest at a time (some moaned at first but it works great), so you follow its plot and understand it.

All characters voice acted and animated, with a little cutscene at the start of a mission.

But so far so good. Hopefully the content remains consistently engaging through the game (I would imagine they have learned from Conan).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb at last a truly refreshing MMO, 13 July 2012
By 
Mr. Stephen Froud (County of Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I was bit dubious of this game at first, but I took a chance and tried it out, having played WoW, Age of Conan and EQ, I'm familiar with these types of games, but this one is just unique, very much like a going through a movie, except you can decide how to play, many interesting plots and quests, and it's set in the modern world.

Fantasy elements alongside guns etc, the atmosphere is truly amazing and it certainly is addictive, takes a few hours to get used to it, but if you stick with it for a day or so, you'll suddenly forget the current troubles in the world and totally lose yourself in this epic fantasy, modern day myth & legend experience, also there's going to be monthly content added, be aware that this is a subscription game, but if you, like me you have a tight budget, just play for a month, leave it for a while then play again when you can spare 11 for another 30 days.

I play a few games, this one being the flavour of the month atm, you get 30 days free to start with. Well never mind Guild Wars II, I'm going to stick with this and the grind that there is, is actually fun!

10 out of 10 well done FunCom! This an MMO that breaks away from the usual dull grind of the usual MMO's. Well worth a try!

You need to actually use your brain for some of the quests and researching things on the net to solve puzzles means you'll actually learn things useful, unlike WoW etc.

Solo or Co-Op play, you choose, or whatever you feel like at the time! So put your seat belt on and get ready for the MMO ride of your life!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome gamne, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I really didn't give this game a look when it came out, and after playing it I can't imagine why I didn't. It is a cracking game.

I love the skill system and the fact there are no classes or levels. The story and cut scenes are superb so far, and the setting is very atmospheric and spooky.

The starting areas are still good to run through to get your skill points, along with starting quests they are still useful when you become more geared and skilled. The skill system is such that eventually you will be able to get every ability, you just choose the build you want. Everyone can have a healer build, tank build or dps build as you can store multiple gear and skill setups and switch at a moment's notice as there is are no classes.

One nice thing I noticed while playing was that if you are on the same quest as someone else and they hit something you need, so long as you join in you also get credit. So not many queues waiting for a mob to respawn.

The quests themselves are much better than kill 20 zombies, then kill 20 more and more involved. There are combat quests, hardware quests that involve either some sort of stealth or avoidance, and also investigation quests The investigation quests can be insidiously hard, with an in game web browser available to research some quests for information. I don't mind admitting I am pretty rubbish at them and get stuck often, but there's always hints on the web or someone in game willing to help out.

The investigation quests really do add atmosphere to the game, and are perhaps best done with friends.

The game is free to play, and most of the shop is outfits and cosmetics. Which brings me onto to gear. Gear is your weapons and talismans, clothing has absolutely no effect, which means you can have whatever look you want by equipping the clothing items you want and they won't touch your stats. No more having to wear that armour piece that doesn't quite look right.

All in all I have to say they have done a really good job with the game. More than happy to give it a 5 star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seemed good if you like MMORPG's but watch out for memory problem, 2 Oct 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I'd never really played any online RPGs before as they haven't appealed, however the more present day and action oriented approach taken by The Secret World seemed different and interesting so I took the plunge. It sets the scene well and plunges you in, and I felt a little overawed at first, but soon got the hang of it. It seems there's loads to do and I liked the overall mood and atmosphere of the game, and there was no shortage of other players.
However my enjoyment was marred as the game crashed regularly saying there was a problem with insufficient memory. My PC more than met the requirements for the game and it seems this is a known issue and is something to do with my having the x32-bit version of Windows 7 running instead of 64. Given that a fair bit of messing around is required to rectify this and as I wasn't playing the game very often, I decided to quit there and move on. Perhaps they have patched the issue by now, there were a number of sizeable patches even for the short period I played the game.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret World is the best game I have played for at least 5 years, 18 July 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Try The Secret World out! Do not rush, but let yourself dive slowly into the game and enjoy how it starts to grow on you.

TSW is more fun than any themepark released in the last 10 years. The game is social and fun for roleplayers. Quests and storylines are so damn good in this game but people who "farm" probably will miss out on that. The missions are interesting, the NPCs have stories and character.

One other thing to note is that Funcom are already working on bringing in entire new zones, most games don't even do that unless there's a expansion pack.

As you probably understand by now, I can recommend The Secret World higly. 3 weeks in and I am still having a blast! If you too decide to try it out, enjoy!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funcom breaks the MMO cookie cutter mould (well there's cracks in it), 3 July 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I've played this since closed beta and early access.

When I first logged in at beta I hated it. Your in this town full of zombies and I hate zombie games ( I wouldn't play left for dead or resident evil) and I'm not a great fan of real world setting. However after a few days the game grew on me and now I think it's great. There's plenty to get stuck into.

The skill system is freeform so you can have an axe and a sword or a sword and one of the 3 magic type powers or....well loads of combinations. Not only that you save a build and just swap between them. Then there's your gear which can specced for health, healing, dps or a mixture and again can be swapped at a moments notice. It's great fun just messing about seeing what works and what you like.

Crafting is okay and you can make some nice weapons and gear.

The quests are also well written, some being puzzle based or have to be stealthed through. Some take along time others can be really quick and are repeatable. Some also have cutscenes and there's a good main storyline but it's not overdone as much SWTOR was.

The character animations aren't great but the world looks great even on low specs and it's quite spooky in places. The world seems quite large cut up into an island (3 areas) a dessert (2 areas I think) and transylvania (again 2 areas I think) where you get to meet Dracula I believe.

Theres is pvp which seems fun and I don't even like pvp :)

Overall a good game, litte rough around the edges though. Funcom have set out to break the cookie cutter type MMO and they have certainly had a good attepmt at that. I'd say if your tired of the same old MMO in different skins then try this.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Non Knee Jerk Reaction Review, 26 July 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I have played this for about 60 hours (over the last month). I am glad I waited until now to write the review, if I had wrote it having only played a few hours it would have been a very different review.

I had hear about this game for quite a while with the hype engine certainly doing its work, but does it live up to the hype? Well, I'll get back to that later.

I have a seven year old pc with Radeaon 5700 series graphics card, an Intel Q6600 quad core CPU and 4 gigs of RAM the game runs fine but I do get some occasional rubber banding a some other graphical glitches. A friend of mine has a one year old high spec PC, he sets the graphics to ultra but still experiences the same graphical problems I get, with any new MMO there are bugs. However, in comparison to to other MMOs I have played from launch this has fewer bugs and they are being fixed quickly.

The official forums have plenty of posts saying that the devs say that this is a PvE game first and the PvP is secondary, you might want to consider that if your a heavy PvP player.

Creating a character, a huge disappointment. The character creation is extremely basic and there's not much to chose in terms of clothes. If you want to make your character look a bit more distinctive you have to buy points to spend in the store. This would be acceptable if the game was free to play but it's not, and the initial charcter creation is so basic it's insulting. The store looks to me to be a free to play type model- I read ages ago that this game was going to be free to play, but they must have changed it along the way. A decent complete outfit costs 1200 points which equates to about 8.50 (can't remember exactly but it's between 8 and 9).

Lack of classes and levels, the hype engine makes a big deal about the lack of classes and levels but it's not innovative as they make out. Yes there are no classes or levels but you still build up skill and ability points and spend as you would if there were levels. The ability wheel is simply an ability tree in a wheel format the character progression still works in the same way as most MMOs, you just don't get a level number but your character still gets indicators as to their 'level'- stars under their faction sign then metal round their faction sign... Also the lack of classes is not really true, the ability wheel uses 'decks' these are templates that indicate which abilities you should spend your points on to create a particular 'class'. I choose the martial artist deck as the description says it's for tanks.

The game environment, the environments look real good with attention to detail. It was refreshing to play in a 'real world' environment as opposed to ye olde fantasy environment or scifi environment. However, given that I have played for the length of time I have I'm finding the 'real world' look to be a bit boring (but not a game breaker), I can get 'real world' environments by looking out the window. Having said that I have not got to Egypt or Transylvania yet.

Cut scenes, there's too many for my liking, I find myself skipping them. I don't mind them for the story quest but I don't need a cutscene every time I pick up a main quest.

Bugs, as mentioned they are there but being fixed quickly, gear management is broken and yet to be fixed. This can get very frustrating, it's great that they have gear management but it needs to work to be effective. Other than that I have only experienced minor bugs which have now been fixed. I have found when logging the issues the response is generally quick but you need to be logged in to get anything sorted as a GM will PM you then sort out the issue. I have had to do this a few of times, generally for items and enemies not spawning where or when they should.

Gameplay, with this being an MMO I am very disappointed that the story quest is predominately a series of SOLO instances. I play with a friend and when doing the story quest we can travel the objective together but then we get spilt up into solo instances which quite frankly is dumb. I can't understand why they have done this, they should have just scaled the difficulty to accommodate for more players in a particular instance.

You have your typical grind missions, but also investigation missions. These investigations were good to start off with but then I find they become annoying. You have use the built in browser (or alt tab out to your normal browser) to find quest hints, except I just end up reading the walkthrough as the logic behind some of the quests is, shall we say a little fuzzy e.g. for one particular investigation you have to die to access the correct area which would not have occurred to me and seems counter intuitive.

I am quite enjoying the PVP, well only the Stonehenge area (though plenty of people moaning about it in the forums, and the nerfers are quite vocal). The problem with having three factions is the unbalanced nature of gameplay. I play the Dragon faction, Grim dimension which is heavily outnumbered by Templars. This game has only been a for about a month yet there seems to be a lot of hate towards the Dragons- what can I say there are a lot of juvenile players out there. Furthermore the other two factions- Illuminate and Templars, through the game forums got together and decided to screw the Dragons (I don't know why, I couldn't be bothered reading the forums as they are just full petty insults and trolls) thus making it impossible for Dragons to get any real foothold in PVP (in the Grim dimension at least). Though to be fair, I have played matches in Stonehenge which have been fair so it's probably just a case of a very vocal minority (I hope). But Funcom needs to address the being outnumbered issue as the Fusang warzone has constantly been held by the Illuminate. This is important as those winning PVP get PvE XP and stat bonuses as long as they continue to hold PVP objectives.

After the free month the subscriptions costs weigh in at 11.49 (including VAT) per month, this is totally unjustified. If it were round the 8 mark that would be OK but given the free to play model any MMO coming out now really needs to be something special, innovative and different to justify any sort of monthly subscription. No doubt this will end up being free to play after subscriptions drop - just look at SWTOR they lost somewhere in the region of 400,000 subscribers (I was one of them) and are now struggling but yet have not gone full free to play (to their detriment). Also with Guild Wars 2 not far off and that is subscription free I expect people will be jumping ship to that, I know I will (though I may pop back to The Secret World if subs come down, or goes free to play).

So, coming back to my earlier question about living up to the hype, for me it does not live up to the hype. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to play and I am enjoying it, but once you get through the initial honeymoon period it is still a standard MMO. Credit to Funcom for trying to be different, they just didn't go far enough. I suppose it comes down to what you're willing to put up with and what your expectations are, I find there to be less and less innovation and more rinse and repeat in general for gaming nowadays. Funcom are doing buddy trial keys so try get one of those before committing to buying.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME quests, atmosphere, skillsystem, dungeons wich a couple of bugs wich are being fixed very fast., 5 July 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
+atmosphere
+skillsystem
+no classes
+clothes just optical
+it feels "fresh" (not like any other MMO I played so far)
+very nice "one-server" technology
+quests!!
+horror elements
+setting (modern-day)
+minecraft'ish crafting system :)
...

-a couple of bugged quests (not many. My Q-Log says I already solved 90 Quests - 5 of them were bugged), wich you can trick by changing the dimension (worked with every bugged quest)
-It took me a couple of hours to understand how the crafting- or skillsystem is exactly meant to work)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative and fresh MMO, 24 Aug 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Secret World (PC DVD) (Video Game)
The Secret World is a rather fun, innovative new MMO. Rather than the fantasy setting of World of Warcraft or the sci-fi setting of Star Wars the Old Republic, this game is set in the modern day. Strange events are happening, and as you develop new powers you must choose one of three factions to side with; the Illuminati, the Dragons, or the Templars.

The gameplay is rather fun. While you only choose from seven active and passive skills simultaneously, character development allows you to play the tank, dps, healer or hybrid role freely without rerolling - you just need to get enough action and skill points (rather than levels) to buy the skills you want to use. This is a really nice approach, and one that encourages you to just go out there and try things. Skills are linked to ranged, melee or magical weapons. Want to wield an assault rifle and Wolverine-style claws? Go for it. Fancy sword and blood magic? Sure thing.

The graphics are top notch and suck you in to the game world. There's achievements and lore to find and unlock, which encourages exploration of the game world. One early zone is inspired by The Fog, with a little coastal village where zombies and mutated humanoids roam around you. The video clips, scripts and voice acting are all very good.

So far so good. Well worth a try if you're bored of traditional MMOs.
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The Secret World (PC DVD)
The Secret World (PC DVD) by Electronic Arts (Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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