The Secret World Reviews

06 Jul 2012

The alternative world and genre-defying mechanics that Funcom has given us in The Secret World appears to be making MMORPG fans quite happy, and that favorable consensus is being (mostly) upheld by the reviews that have hit the web so far.

GamesTM gives it an 8/10:
The Secret World’s weakness (if any) is the paranormal hub world of Agartha, which links the different parts of the planet together via dimensional portals and a sort of, treetop roller coaster, the novelty of which gets old quickly as you realise it’s not a patch on Alton Towers. Agartha breaks The Secret World into smaller chunks, so you lose that sense of scale you might have had staring across to the next horizon. It’s a step-back to the old Everquest generation where ‘zoning’ was necessary, only it’s being forced by a concept rather than limited technology.

Redeye Chicago doesn't score it:
So there are some things that are questionable about The Secret World, but where does this game really shine? To me, the game shows a lot of promise through its storytelling and the PvP combat. It seems that Funcom learned a thing or two after failing to deliver full voice acting beyond the tutorial in its previous title: Age of Conan. This is really good news for The Secret World, which relies heavily on its story, as most quests have a short cut scene to help immerse the player into the world. Even after getting my fill from the beta, it was hard to set this game down as I wanted to know more about what was going on.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun doesn't score it, either:
As for the high points, the investigations and exploring the quality of the world, they’re the best times I’ve ever spent in an MMO. I have three character slots, which is fine given the ability to perform every function with any character, and now I’m thinking there’s one for each faction. I plan to play through the story three times, just for the different texture that the faction-specific missions, dialogue and text provide.

Kotaku goes scoreless for part one:
And that, right there, is what makes me eager to dive back into The Secret World: the work of Ragnar Tørnquist and the rest of the writing team at Funcom. Tørnquist was previously best known for The Longest Journey, widely considered one of the best adventure games ever made, and its sequel Dreamfall. Both feature compelling, diverse characters in meticulously crafted worlds, and The Secret World, so far, appears to be doing a fine job continuing that streak.

VG247 takes the scoreless route for part one, too:
The servers are juddery and there are some obvious bugs right now. It needs more of a tutorial and some proper group tools, but in truth? I enjoyed the opening sequences of The Secret World more than any other MMO I can remember. It’s thoughtfully-paced, exciting, and it looks lovely. There’s no way I could say for certain it’s a stayer (the group issue’s a massive alarm bell, especially now I’m running into missions which are tough to solo), but on first impressions the final product’s a funny, thrilling attempt to drag the MMO into contemporary territory, and it definitely has succeeded in an entirely new take on levelling. Based on that alone we should all be tooling up to quash the mysterious forces of evil right now. The world won’t save itself, you know.

GameSpy continues the part one tradition:
I'm having a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing if these early concerns work themselves out. But after my experience with Star Wars: The Old Republic, I'm a little cautious. The Secret World has a lot of good ideas and the zones ooze with a spooky ambiance that I rarely see in other MMORPGs, but I worry that its appeal won't stick with me for more than a couple of months. In fact, we're already seeing evidence of its limited appeal: Last night at 11pm I logged into Kingsmouth to take a couple of screenshots, and the place was practically a ghost town (again, not in a good way). I saw only one other player after running around for more than 15 minutes. Granted, it was late, but starting zones for MMORPGs are usually crawling with players this soon after a game's release. Not a great sign, but at least there weren't many people there to blurt out the solutions to my quests.

Dread Central gives it a 4.5/5:
The Secret World is a horror and gaming fan's dream come true. The game allows players to experience the best of both worlds with creepy environments and horrific creatures mixed with an untraditional but effective approach to the MMORPG genre. It's rare that you find a game that strays this far from conventional gameplay mechanics and still produces a high quality gaming experience that will have you continuously coming back to see what else the game has to offer. The Secret World is one of the best PC games of the year and one of the better games for any platform. If you're a fan of entertaining games and scary stories, don't be too frightened to pick up your own copy of The Secret World today!

GameMatics gives it an 8/10:
All in all, I loved this game and couldn’t wait to experience it. Funcom did an amazing job with the development and I really can’t wait to see the support that this game gets. After experiencing what this game has to offer, I am so excited to see how much Agartha grows and can’t wait to see what new monsters are hiding around the next corner!

Cheat Code Central gives it a 4.2/5:
On the whole, The Secret World is an amazing experience that's easily worth your $50, especially if you're willing to spend a lot of time on it during your free one-month subscription. Whether it will be worth its subscription fee after that remains to be seen. Only time will tell whether a large community will develop around this eerie and fascinating universe.

BioGamer Girl gives it a perfect 10/10:
The Secret World is a unique game unlike any other. The addictive gameplay combined with the freedom to do what you want, how you want, whenever you want makes the game fantastic, and the game's attention to detail and rich mythology is just icing on the cake. By allowing players to create their own character from the game's start with over 500 abilities to equip, The Secret World has created a revolutionary new character creation system that very well could become the foundation for many games in the future. The Secret World has been in development for nearly ten years and the high quality gameplay is indicative of that hard work. This Fourth of July, celebrate your independence by playing one of the best PC games to come around a long time in The Secret World.

And then Rage3D does a technical review:
Funcom's latest is not far off from all you could ask for in a PC MMO: solid graphics, heaps of options, optimizations all over the place, reliable connectivity, and some neat extras. On the downside, performance, while respectable, isn't ideal, and minor annoyances – which could be patched out – come in the form of a few lacking options, busted features, and confusing menus. Beyond these, it comes highly recommended.
 
 

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