Abandoned amusement parks: the least frightening of all environments!
Jason’s 2 cents:
Mike’s already gone over some of the main sticking points with The Secret World, so I wanted to focus on just a couple of features of the game that I really like and keep me coming back for more. The first of these is a sort of cooperative feature based around quest completion, specifically, having to kill X number of enemies, or having to kill an enemy in particular. If you’re given a quest where you’re required to do some cleaning up, and you see another player (or players) doing the same thing, all players can get credit for the kill - provided that they actually contribute to the fight. This doesn’t work all the time, as some of the enemy fights may be scripted in such a way that you have to go through the whole fight, but it works for a majority of the quests you’ll come across and makes questing that much easier/friendlier as you’re no longer competing with other players for kills.
The other compelling feature of The Secret World is the Investigative Missions. These things are somewhat addictive, in my view. Combining equal parts puzzle solving with exploration and clue finding, these missions do something very few MMOs do - require you to use your brain. Some of these missions may simply entail running around a certain zone, finding different spots based on semi-vague descriptors, and some may have you pulling up the in-game web browser to look up a fake website or a piece of scripture. The same web browser can be used to look up any of a number walkthroughs, but give the mission an earnest shot before going down that path. It’s rewarding in its own right to know you figured something out, and most of the puzzles don’t go much deeper than what’s presented to you (i.e., don’t overthink it). They mostly seem to work off a key/priming word within the phrase or note you find to point you to the next part of the puzzle.
The Secret World isn’t the greatest MMO to come out in a while, but it is certainly one of the more unique ones. There’s a lot of solid Lovecraft short story and Cthulu mythos integrated into the game, along with conspiracy theory, and it has a few features, like the Investigative Missions, that keep in interesting. My free trial-month with the game comes to an end this week, and I’m very tempted to pay the $15 to keep going for another month. There’s enough potential, through the regular content updates and patching, for the game that it really seems worth it.