Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 55
  2. Negative: 1 out of 55
  1. Oct 22, 2013
    90
    The Secret World delivers an MMO experience that's distinctly different from its competitors, and it's likely going to remain the standard for future games in the horror/supernatural genre.
  2. Dec 17, 2012
    81
    I am really looking forward to the next mission, the next dialog, the next puzzle. As in a solo role-playing game flat. And this is not an error but a boon.
  3. Sep 18, 2012
    76
    I like the open character development where I don't have to wear a class straitjacket as well as the quiet discovery of mysterious dangers. But more often that it wants to, The Secret World is "just" an ordinary MMO.
  4. Sep 14, 2012
    90
    If you've been looking for an MMO to check out that's not World of Warcraft, definitely give The Secret World a shot. While it's not perfect (it'd be nice if the in-game browser could remember your last visited page during the same game session), it's still a fun game with a unique way to improve your character, truly making him or her whatever you want them to be.
  5. Sep 10, 2012
    90
    Time will tell whether it has the legs to keep up with more traditionally-styled MMOs, but for what it is, I'm certain that the gaming world will always have room for experiences like The Secret World.
  6. 70
    Even an unconventional title like The Secret World struggles in a market full of great alternatives without those monthly payments.
  7. Aug 31, 2012
    88
    It's basically a single-player game, disguised as an MMO and brimming with awkward combat mechanics. There's no group/dungeon finding tool. The inventory is horrendous and the available abilities and builds are chaotic. It's also completely, utterly irresistible. [September 2012]
  8. Aug 30, 2012
    70
    The Secret World isn't your traditional MMORPG, but there's no denying, that it's one of the most inventive games in the genre ever. Funcom has delivered lots of well thought out, interesting innovations and the gamers get a perfectly crafted wold and lost of fun. But remember – it's not a game for people with slow Internet connection; they will suffer from texture pop-up, severe lags and occasional server disconnections that can result in their character's death.
  9. Aug 24, 2012
    60
    A great story and an entertaining game as long as I'm playing by myself. When the massive online part comes into play the experience starts to fall apart and the lack of tools to communicate with and a very poor player versus player component makes it hard to see anyone continue paying to play this for very long. It is different and interesting though, so giving it a try for the first free month included is still recommended.
  10. Aug 24, 2012
    80
    Fresh MMO with some good ideas, but can't quite escape from antiquated MMO conventions. [Oct 2012, p.90]
  11. Aug 20, 2012
    75
    With The Secret World, Funcom reveals a good exponent of a MMO genre, thanks to a solid storyline and fun gameplay, but severely lacking in PvP and with a weak and poorly optimized game engine.
  12. Aug 15, 2012
    68
    The Secret World makes a few big mistakes in important areas; the fighting system lacks depth, PvP bonuses bring unbalance to the server and the skill and ability system isn't always easy to understand. Yet the story, investigation quest and the atmosphere of the world make this MMO worth a try.
  13. 80
    Unexpectedly good MMO grabs your attention in an instant with some remarkable ideas, unique world and gripping plot. [Issue#220]
  14. Aug 8, 2012
    90
    If you love the journey more than the destination, The Secret World offers the most refreshingly unique, genuinely scary, fiendishly clever and immersive journey I've ever seen in the genre. [Sept 2012, p.63]
  15. Aug 6, 2012
    80
    An attempt to make an online game of the present day has turned out well. The game is enjoying, thrilling, making fun out of us and tormenting our brains, but at the same time it offers the moments of ecstatic rejoice, happiness and relief.
  16. Aug 3, 2012
    75
    The Secret World is a breeze of fresh air within the MMO landscape. It's mainly the deep story and the puzzles that will keep you playing, but the farther you go into the game, the more boring it gets. Let's hope Funcom can make this game more interesting in the near future and lowers the high monthly price you have to pay for The Secret World.
  17. Aug 3, 2012
    75
    An MMO that doesn't cuddle the player, The Secret World can be a great experience for veteran fans of the genre. Unfortunately, its dark and beautifully crafted world isn't enough to cover the numerous flaws completely.
  18. Aug 2, 2012
    85
    The bottom line is that TSW is a very good game right now and is a great game in the making. It's got one of the most compelling storylines of any MMO I have ever played which is enough to bring in even the most jaded MMO fan. Add in a dedicated team of developers anxious to make itthe go-to MMO for players and you have a surefire recipe for success. I am convinced that Funcom will deliver on the promises given and am anxious to see what's next. I firmly believe that The Secret World, like a fine wine, is one of those rare MMOs that will only improve with time and attention, something that Funcom is clearly prepared to do.
  19. Aug 1, 2012
    69
    The weak combat and MMO padding hurt the experience, but The Secret World has innovation, atmosphere and charm.
  20. Jul 31, 2012
    75
    From the start The Secret World absorbed me like the best of Stephen King's novels – it proves that an MMO can set up a great mood and tell intriguing stories. It needs some polish in many respects but it's definitely worth a try as a surprisingly good and fresh blend of an MMORPG and an adventure game. [September 2012, p.48]
  21. Jul 26, 2012
    70
    The Secret World flirts with brilliance and – at least, during earlier zones – looks primed to seal the deal. But, as time goes on, its its seemingly bottomless bag of tricks starts to look a bit shallow.
  22. Jul 23, 2012
    76
    Despite its flaws, you still get some solid gameplay from Funcom's The Secret World. The story keeps you hooked and the simplified leveling system keeps you constantly improving. Those two things will keep The Secret World strong in the minds of MMO fans, as well as the hope for improvement and expansion.
  23. Jul 22, 2012
    87
    It's not an MMO as we currently define them; rather, we like to think of this as the next step in the Adventure game genre. It is pay per play, with in game shopping, but - to be frank - it's worth every penny.
  24. Jul 21, 2012
    73
    The Secret World is not your average MMO. The feeling is great, locations so detailed, the upgrade system fresh and interesting. Investigation missions are genious. However, it's flawed by a mediocre combat system, terrible PvP and especially a lack of endgame contents. There's really no reason to come back after a while and this is bad for a subscription based online game.
  25. Jul 20, 2012
    65
    Its mainstream, postmodern pastiche of gaming and nerd culture that ranges from John Landis and Edgar Allen Poe to alternate reality gaming is a welcome respite against the backdrop of Blizzard and BioWare. But The Secret World's successes have little to do with the MMO essentials, and though its trappings are unique and sometimes powerful, its core is undeveloped.
  26. Jul 20, 2012
    73
    The vainglorious plot and meticulous landscapes of cliché will draw you in place of base compulsions to hit a level cap or maximize a "gearscore." If you can stomach the horrors of the night, as well as rote combat and occasionally glitched gameplay, you might just be the perfect pledge for this secret society.
  27. Jul 19, 2012
    50
    The Secret World is admirable for attempting to inject much-needed originality and life into MMORPGs, but while its fiction and theme succeed, its mostly derivative questing and stale combat fail to justify the steep time investment.
  28. Jul 19, 2012
    50
    The Secret World has too many problems to function...After playing the game for over a month I haven't seen any serious signs of improvement. Quests remain buggy, graphics suffer and the core of the game is still as obnoxious as ever.
  29. Jul 19, 2012
    70
    Besides an interesting story, The Secret World's most important feature is a new character progression system, but there are also many things that Funcom needs to fix.
  30. Jul 19, 2012
    70
    For all that, though, The Secret World succeeds as a thinking man's MMORPG. Many of its features demand intellectual prowess as well as the usual dose of combat mastery, and none of its competitors come close to matching its affection for the esoteric. It has its issues, to be sure, and all of the investigations and sabotage missions available won't stop a good amount of players from spending 20 minutes with its combat and dismissing it as a substandard World of Warcraft clone.
  31. Jul 18, 2012
    80
    I enjoyed exploring and the missions were always entertaining. You'll probably need at least one friend to buy the game and play some missions with you, but as superbly Funcom allow players to move their characters between servers at will (YES!) and join forces with players of a different faction (hooray!) this becomes very easy.
  32. 75
    The actual physical experience of the game can sometimes feel a bit aloof. Your character sort of glides along the ground, and combat lacks visceral impact.
  33. Jul 16, 2012
    60
    In closing, The Secret World might well have worked better as a third-person action adventure with a co-op focus, rather than a fully-fledged MMO. Had the developers gone down this route, it could still have delivered that thrilling story-based experience, but also provided more in-depth combat mechanics. As its stands, it feels like a collection of inventive ideas that haven't been used to their full potential.
  34. Jul 15, 2012
    80
    A narrative triumph, The Secret World is fascinating and a daring attempt to improve story, character and dialogue for MMOs. However, Funcom will need to show they really can maintain interest with the monthly updates if they want the suscription model to suceed for this game. If they do, players are up for a really good trip.
  35. Jul 14, 2012
    70
    To ask so much of gamers here in 2012, especially when there's such great competition out there, means that they should be delivering a game that's exciting to play, easy to get into, deep when people get to the endgame, and well-rounded in nearly all aspects - and I can't say that they've done that. This game is damn good in concept but it falters in the execution.
  36. Jul 14, 2012
    80
    With a unique setting, immersive story and open-ended character system, The Secret World offers up a great MMO experience that's only held back by problems with replay and weak PvP.
  37. Jul 13, 2012
    70
    There is a real MMO in there - a secret world within The Secret World - but it's estranged from the player, clouded by obfuscating systems and smothered in charismatic but stolidly single-player adventuring. Tornquist is a writer, the man behind adventure games The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, and it seems like he's more interested in telling stories than building adventure playgrounds, never mind emergent worlds.
  38. Jul 12, 2012
    80
    By eliminating class and level systems, the game allows players to take a more free-form approach to character development, effectively allowing a single character to fulfill multiple roles, depending on what the situation calls for. Add in a deep story, diverse quest structure, and some amazingly dark and horrific environs, and the end result is one of the biggest surprises in recent years. Once Funcom squashes all of the bugs-and assuming they continue to support it with new content-The Secret World could become the hit it deserves to be.
  39. Jul 12, 2012
    80
    The Secret World is a very innovative MMO. You have a fantastic universe, a very nice "questing experience" and a good history... But also a lot of bugs, a half-developed PVP and there's an important lack of content right now.
  40. Jul 11, 2012
    60
    Some truly innovative ideas that all MMOs would do well to take notice of, but they and the intriguing narrative are wasted on the tedious and derivative combat.
  41. Jul 11, 2012
    75
    The most fundamental aspects of moment-to-moment interaction fail to engage, and this is the unfortunate first impression that could push players to a more immediately fun game. Sadly, the wonderful flexibility and challenge of the Secret World is lost on anyone that quits early on.
  42. Jul 11, 2012
    70
    The Secret World is a sort of a mixed bag. You have a very nice questing experience, a new way of developing your character and a stunning and dramatic atmosphere. But on the other side you have a lot of bugs, a boring fighting system and an half-developed PVP. Maybe in the next months it will be better, but you never know with MMOs.
  43. Jul 11, 2012
    85
    If you've been waiting for a true challenge, a sense of adventure, genuine progression and a world that is filled with complex actions, real people and real threats, than you could do worse than entering The Secret World.
  44. Jul 10, 2012
    70
    The Secret World is different enough that it won't be for everyone even when its plethora of bugs are fixed, but when that happens, a lot of people are going to get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
  45. Jul 9, 2012
    40
    Less ambitious MMOs break less dramatically. But The Secret World breaks differently, crushingly, almost tragically. There are various explanations and workarounds and excuses, and it mostly comes down to the simple fact that making games is hard and making MMOs is even harder. Funcom is simply unable to make the game they designed.
  46. Jul 9, 2012
    75
    Unfinished and yet terribly ambitious, The Secret World stirs up a hornets' nest among the MMORPG titles. Its fantastic and modern universe does not bother introducing the usual elves and dwarves, and offers a great graphic experience. Moreover, by introducing investigation side quests we could find in the game In Memoriam, the title moves us away from the traditional fight sequences against monsters.
  47. Jul 9, 2012
    88
    A game that shines, but needs to be quickly polished for Funcom to establish it as one of the great games of the genre. Its atmosphere, story, character progression system and mission design have captivated us, but we fear that the lack of content and the errors it has can cut its potential. If Funcom can achieve a good pace of updates, with new content and enhancements, this secret world can live for years.
  48. Jul 9, 2012
    80
    Even though the combat aspects could be improved, The Secret World is an exciting and wonderful game waiting to be discovered. The setting mixes myths, realism and pop culture into a delightful stew and is definitely worth exploring. It is a modern MMO brimming with potential.
  49. Jul 8, 2012
    90
    The Secret World is a breath of fresh air in a stale genre. It is the adventure reimagined for a new era. I love this game, unequivocally. And I sincerely hope you do too.
  50. 60
    A disappointing game from a great developer...Even though The Secret World has some original things going for it, it also offers stale controls, bad sound and bland gameplay.
  51. Jul 6, 2012
    50
    The Secret World is a title that may have made a splash five years ago. Now it's just another archaic MMO looking to fit in.
  52. Jul 5, 2012
    60
    The Secret World has some really different things to offer than your usual MMO. This makes for a dividing design; some will love it, some will hate it, and the usual MMO player may very well fall into the latter category. PvP's a joke, but the writing is brilliant, the investigation quests are solo but rewarding, and the combat good enough. Too bad there are still so many bugs, and a pricey subscription to play it.
  53. 84
    This is a game that turns an entire genre on its head and lives to tell the tale.
  54. Jul 3, 2012
    80
    There's room for much improvement in The Secret World, as there often is with any new MMO launch, but this has far more promise than anything Blizzard or EA have had to offer recently.
  55. Jul 3, 2012
    84
    Funcom has colored outside the tried and true (and often dull) MMOG lines and drawn a game that's truly different from all the rest.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1263 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 79 out of 522
  1. Jul 3, 2012
    10
    This game is by far one of the very best MMORPG I've ever played! The combat is dynamic and responsive, the world is incredible huge and offers a wide doze of variety. The zombies are always fun to kill, and there is a ton of missions that never gets boring! I would recommend this game to people who likes almost every game genre there is, I came from Demon's Souls, Battlefield 3, Diablo 3, etc., and instantly fell in love with this game during the beta. In my opinion, this game is a must have! Full Review »
  2. Jul 3, 2012
    10
    Wonderful world, interesting story and many, various side quests. Technical issues also very well done. This is MMo what I've been waiting for the long time! Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2012
    10
    Ok, i can take funcom off my hate list. this game is simply stunning. I cannot explain how fun it is to have an MMO set in modern times. Kingsmouth is the single best MMO zone i have every experienced. How funcom pulled this one out of the hat i have no idea. Better voiceover quests that that starwars game, the best writing in any MMO by far. Interesting quests, no more collect x of y and bring to z. HIGHLY recommend this game. This is how all MMO's should be from now on. Full Review »