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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1263 Ratings

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  1. Aug 22, 2012
    What a breath of fresh air to an ailing market. Finally a game that warrants its players with some intelligence and doesn't treat them like children.

    Complex and involving investigation missions (if you ignore the general chat!) that will keep me coming back time and time again.

    Well done Funcom, you should be commended.
  2. Aug 22, 2012
    The Secret World restored my faith in both the genre and developers. This is not a WoW like grindfest, or a rush to get to "endgame" content. The skills and abilities you earn at the beginning of the game can serve you perfectly well through later game content. The skill system doesn't focus on the grind or min/maxing. Instead, the player is treated like an adult, a person who enjoys a good book, a person who wants mature content in a mature world. The world is the most visceral quality in the game, and they have managed to bring every zone to life. The quest system changes your mentality from jumping from quest to quest to actually exploring and seeing the care crafted into it. I look at each quest as a page on my characters story, rather than something I need for experience or loot. I take my time with every bit of content and the pace fits my desire for a mature game. The growing community is patient and educated, mature and confident. Wiping 10 times on a boss in a dungeon isn't something to be ashamed of, it's a challenge. Release was smooth, with quick additions and bug fixes steadily applied. Since starting, I've turned 5 like-minded friends onto the game and each of them feels the same. This isn't a game to rush through, it's not a game to power level. It does not hold your hand and go over every single detail. Investigation missions send you out into the world to figure things out and adapt. This is the first game in a long time I've felt challenges and expects its players to rise to the challenge. With monthly content updates and a long term plan, more than any other MMO before, I feel like my subscription is well spent. Expand
  3. Aug 22, 2012
    This is the first MMORPG that I really enjoyed in the last 5 years, and I played almost every single MMO out there since Ultima Online!

    The history is really amazing, actual and not a tipical franchise of other worlds. Having the history line occurring in a real world and in the current year is just adding icing to the cake. It mixes real history, past myths and secret societies, that
    feels a mix between lovecraft, the davinci code and the walking dead :)

    Combat and gameplay is quite unique, I really enjoy playing it both solo and doing dungeons with other people. There is tons of options to experiment, improve and you are not stuck to once role or skillset, which is great.

    I've been playing already for 1 month, many hours every day, and I just can't feel bored anytime. There is so much stuff going on that is overwhelming!

    The current score of 72 from Metacritic is just sad, they don't deserve that score, at least they should have a score of 92.
  4. Aug 22, 2012
    This game is a breath of fresh air to me, a dedicated MMO gamer of many years. It's the first game for a long time that a) makes you use your brain, and b) has no stereotypical levelling structures. You have freedom of how you want to skill up your toons. The scriptwriting, dark humour, and cutscenes are awesome. The monthly sub on this is actually a pleasure to pay for me. I have been so sick of mindless button mashing MMO's for such a long time. Expand
  5. Aug 24, 2012
    A good game, with not too many bugs, and the few bugs I encountered have now been fixed.
    Very nice difference on this game compared to others. Sure a lot is the same (since its an MMO), but compared to some of the other larger ones, there is definitely remarkable differences.
    The investigation missions are fun, some hard, and great.
    I advise NOT to cheat yourself through them if you
    can. Get some hints? Yah you probably do need that on some of them, but the journey in this game is great.

    I have played every major western MMORPG since before that word was coined, and I havn't had as much fun playing them since I did in the days of Asheron's Call, and later the betas and first two years of WoW.

    Missions do not feel repeative (even though almost all quests CAN be repeated as often as you like), the world seem great and interesting, and the fact that you can play across all the servers means you always meet good and interesting people to play with.

    I've had a lot of "Man, I really enjoy this!" moments in this game so far!
    It definatly gets my stamp of approval.
  6. Aug 24, 2012
    I tried the secret world. I loved the secret world. And I will NOT pay for it any longer. It has some pretty neat ideas (world, character development,some quests, etc.) but I do not like the fact that it is simply broken. If I always have to think, if I am too dumb to solve that quest or if it is broken, it spoils all the fun for me. I found myself always using the in-game browser to solve the most mediocre quests to find out where I have to go and/or if I am there, what I have to do to fix it. Best example: The Black House. Nice quest. Nice story behind it. No combat. Great. And then it is buggy midway. Yeeehaw.
    Then the leveling system. I like it. I could do whatever I want. In theory. Practically I have to predetermine a deck and use it all the way to the higher levels or I would totally suck at the second map. It is a system that should encourage curiosity. But it punishes me for it. Why?
    I would have preferred a system in which I would be able to not suck so much even at lower levels. When I got my first elite skill, I thought, yeah, now I can fight those pretty heavy monsters on even terms. Well, no. I used pistols. My elite was overpowered first, but then it lost all useability. That is not the way of an elite skill, is it? It should always be useful, but not overpowered. What is the sense of a skill wheel, if I have to use some skills which are clearly stronger than others? Why can't I just spend my skill points just as I want, without suckin early on (I put some thought in it, I did not just use random stuff. It works well at the beginning, but afterwards, I just suck, because I cannot unlock the skills I want, but the next one. And that bloody takes a freaking long time)
    I did not play it to the high end content, because the game would not let me play as I wanted it to.
    The ideas are great. I would like the skill wheel if it was properly balanced. A lot of skills are useless, but I like the idea of a lot of skills. It would be great if I was able to unlock all of them in an earlier stage. I hate the shackles this game is giving me.
    I liked the combat though. Yeah, you gotta press a button and aiming for yourself would be sooo much cooler, but hey! If I can do what I want (which I CANNOT) why not. The game crushed repeatedly on my computer, making it nearly unplayable. All in all:
    It is a beta. I would play it if it were free to play. In its current state I won't.
    If they fix all the bugs in the quests and give me my freedom I expected from this game, I will definitely come back to the secret world. Try it when it's free.
  7. Aug 25, 2012
    This game is everything I've been waiting for. The storyline and setting sets a mood unlike any other mmo. The potential to social interaction almost outweighs the game itself, with already two online radios organizing live in-game events. The game mechanics are original in almost every aspect and allow you unprecedented freedom in, imagining what your kick ass hero would look like and than making it happen in game. Expand
  8. Aug 25, 2012
    Wonderfully refreshing MMO in a market saturated by WoW clones. Funcom dared to be different with The Secret World. Excellent modern-horror story. Well-written voice acted missions, to the extent that it is easy to become invested in the outcome. Open-ended ability progression with near limitless deck combinations. Give the trial a go, you may be pleasantly surprised!
  9. Aug 25, 2012
    Even with it's flaws, The Secret World is definitely worth checking out. I haven't been hooked this much since I first played World Of Warcraft. Try it and love it!
  10. Aug 27, 2012
    Awesome game. The modern day setting, the story line of myths and legends brought to life, the skill system - all of it is a much needed breath of fresh air in an otherwise dull and predictable MMO landscape.
  11. Aug 27, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Some people mention bugs, but when I consider how fresh this awesome MMO is, I would have expected far more. The greatest MMO I have ever tried! YESYESYES... Expand
  12. Aug 28, 2012
    This game is an absolute groundbreaking MMO in almost every way. The story, the skill wheel, dynamic, lore - i could go on and on on how revolutionary this game is. Why "professional" gaming sites scored this on average below 8 and Star Wars the Old Republic above is proof how money is more important than quality.
    I only gave it 9 and not 10 because i think it can evolve to be even
    better. I hope that anyone that reads this review wil want to give the Secret World a chance because its really worth it. I think that projects such as this one should be supported to show that taking risks in the gaming industry to make something unique and new pays up. TRY A FREE TRIAL AND LOOK FOR YOURSELF. Expand
  13. Sep 20, 2012
    The game advertises that players can choose to build their character any way they choose. That's all well and great, but the game still follows the standard tank/dps/healer model of gameplay. So obviously some character builds will be superior than others to fill these roles. And of course there will be elitist players ingame who insist that if you're not following the standard cookie cutter build, you're not really serious about group content. Still, I find the game to be enjoyable. The atmosphere is absolutely wonderful. I love the horror theme of the game, something that's new in the MMO genre. I'm having fun and I continue to log in to play which says a lot more for this game than most other MMOs on the market. I think you'll enjoy it too. Expand
  14. Oct 11, 2012
    Best. Game. Ever. I would discuss why but it's been said in most of the 10/10's What I would suggest is being wary of many of the really negative reviews. Only because quite a few have been so glaring wrong (and I mean factually as opposed to their opinion) that I doubt they really even played the game. Although a tad expensive I feel the regular content updates coupled With the excellent concepts coming out of the dev teams really make it worth it's money. On top of this, the content designers are actually listening to the fan and building and implementing what's being asked for. Please note however that this is a very PvE centric game and whilst developers are aiming to improve and expand the PvP content it would not appear to be the main focus. So if roflstomping your fellow man is your bag then you may need to readjust your expectation should you decide to subscribe to the truly excellent The Secret World. Expand
  15. Oct 11, 2012
    Really 8.5 but as there are no half marks, I gave it a 9. Perfect MMO? No. Innovative MMO? Hell yes. In truth this is like a breath of fresh air in the stagnant world of MMOs, most of whom aspire to be WoW-but-looks-a-bit-different. The Secret World actually *is* different. Moreover Funcom are reactive to major bugs, the Devs actually comment in threads on the official forum and I have never had better customer service in any game from in-game GMs when I file a petition for some reason. That last point alone is probably worth 2 points on the score! The freedom this game offers from the cookie cutter 'Trinity' and 'One Best Build for Task' is very refreshing indeed. The story lines are uncompromisingly adult and the puzzles are bloody hard (the game has a modern setting and an in-game browser so you can google things!). So if you like a game to molly coddle you and not force you to think, then this is *not* the game for you. Likewise you actually have to move in this game because position matters, so if you prefer games that are essentially your min-max spreadsheet against his min-max spreadsheet, again this game might not be your cup of tea. Otherwise, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Oh and if you are a fan of the HP Lovecraft genre of horror, you will be hit in the face by all the references like a rubbery Shoggoth tentacle. Simply splendid. Expand
  16. Oct 11, 2012
    If I compare TSW with any other MMO I've played in the last years - this one really captured me. I just recently started with doing Lair bosses and they are a good alternative to the nightmare dungeons or pvp combat zones. I've seen many players coming back from GW2 recently, which I see as a good sign for the future of TSW. With the new game director Joel Bylos there will be many more features to explore and play with in the next few months - so I will definitly keep on playing that game and no other... Expand
  17. Oct 11, 2012
    It's not a perfect game.... but it's the best game in 2012.. actually is the best MMORPG why? because it is a MMO ROLE PLAY GAME differently from many other came out under the MMORPG label but that are honestly not ROLE PLAY GAMES a game with only class and no role cannot be considered a RPG it's closer to a FPS then to a RPG (and a bad FPS) I understand the contect wont last in the hand of people that play 10 hours a day but for a person that play at a normal peace is a very nice game different and interesting Expand
  18. Oct 13, 2012
    Finally a game that requires real intelligence. a lord fantastic, beautiful graphics.
    If you want a game simple and lightweight go your way. By cons, if you are looking for a deep play and require The secret world is the best game that you can find
  19. Oct 28, 2012
    The best MMO i ever played. Cool modern world setting. Unreachable MMO graphics. Funny actionbased gameplay. And a much harder end content in instances than all other MMOs have. There is no better MMO on the market. And the game will be better every month with this content updates.
  20. Oct 28, 2012
    The Secret World is one of the best MMO experiences I have had to date. The lore and story is very immersive and extremely well done. The voice acting is top notch and really puts you into the story. The skill based system is very interesting, and allows you create a character of your liking. Funcom has also proven that they can delivery content updates and features worthy of the subscription fee. I highly suggest you give this game a try. Expand
  21. Nov 27, 2012
    Its different yes, which also means that it does things differently.

    So if you are looking for a new WoW clone, then look elsewhere - because this is just so much better than what you are looking for then. This game is among the best games i have played and it is also a solid MMORPG. For once we see innovation in the MMORPG genre and i like it. Graphics are crisps, no performance
    issues, solid questing system and better storytelling than any other MMO (Maybe SWTOR have better story, but then again that is more of a massive-single-player-RPG). And big thumbs-up for the monthly content updates and bug fixes. Unlike many other, FunCom is very dedicated to correcting and expanding the game. Already after one month old areas was worth a re-visit to see the new stuff. Try it - it is definitely worth your time! Expand
  22. Dec 18, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm totally enjoying this game and it's been well worth the money i've spent. If you like your MMOs with a narrative then this is the game for you. And now that it's free to play, there's no reason to not give it a try. Expand
  23. Dec 19, 2012
    A very well thought out, complex game, that continues to be enjoyable even after launch. Excellent Sandbox MMO. End game is starting to come around, PvE is fun and makes you think to solves puzzles. PvP is challenging but still fun.
  24. Jan 2, 2013
    I was debating for weeks if I should get this game due to the reviews. I finally caved and bought it and am very glad I did. I played wow for 8 years and have been searching for a replacement for a long time. I tried countless other mmo's, and nothing could hold my attention for very long no matter how hard I wanted them to (rift, tera, gw2, swtor - the list goes on and on). The graphics, animation, combat, gameplay are all awesome. The weapon and ability customization is killer. The server I am on has tons of people, all with really cool and funny clothing (some even have dogs and cats), and the community is very helpful. Questing is a blast, more fun than I have ever had doing so.

    There was a lot of people writing about puzzle quests. This is a very minimal part of the game, and being able to press b for the in game browser makes any quests you get stuck on easy as could be. Just press b, type in google: tsw and instantly the first result is a site that shows you exactly what to do, but like i said, you will not need it often.

    If they keep adding on to this game it could easily become one of the best mmo's around. I would easily have paid a sub fee for this game. This is by far the most fun I have had playing an MMO. I like it so much that I was compelled to write a review for it - something I have never done before for any game, but I really wanted to get it out there to others how much fun it is.

    So if you are sitting there like I was, reading 1000 reviews wondering if you should get it - do it!
  25. Jan 7, 2013
    The best MMO I ever played (I have long background in Legends of Mir, Guild Ways, SWTOR). Interesting storyline, quests that are so different from standard (go to location X and kill 100 worms), interesting combat and character upgrade system. Really worth checking especially since now it's B2P, you pay once and pay for ever (ok, later you may want to buy DLCs, but it's up to you like in GW).
  26. Jan 13, 2013
    The game's topic is fascinating, some of the cut scenes are OK, and the combat system is interesting. Unfortunately, for a secret societies / end of the world game, it does not have any suspense or horror feeling.

    Expect to start playing the game either with heavy support through game chat, or by searching the net for hints, as both the user interface and the quest design often is
    lacking. The community is nice and helpful, though, compared to other MMO communities, so getting started is not too bad.

    I cannot imagine that a developer studio that has quite some past experience with creating and running MMOs produced such an obvious B title on purpose. My impression of the game is that it was shoved out the door both regarding design and implementation, before the funding ran out, hoping to fix some of the design errors later. "Later" never came, as many customers these days rather spend their money for finished games, having enough MMOs to choose from.
  27. Feb 12, 2013
    This is not a good game by any stretches of the imagination. It has appeal, but it's very limited and very niche. Your average MMO player I don't think will see much in this game at all or get much out of this game. I personally find everything about the game annoying, from the bad combat to the abysmal voice acting. Playing recently again, the first time since beta, it felt like self-flagellation I have to be honest. I enjoyed nothing about the game. To be honest I think there has been somewhat of a campaign on here to bump up the user score after Funcom blamed this site for it's initial poor sales. In general some people may like this game, but it's not a gamers game its a below average third rate MMO. Expand
  28. Jaz
    Feb 23, 2013
    TSW is different than most MMOs thats a fact. Some things are good, some not though. The settings, environment, sound are great, especially at first areas. But Look of characters and animations arent good. Combat is nothing special. Quests can be good or very frustrating. End game below average. PvP is bad. Zones are few and small compared to other MMOs. Overal its saving grace are the 3 first areas, they are amazing and you forget the negative parts. But then the magic slowly fades. Still i d play it just for those beginning areas. Expand
  29. Mar 5, 2013
    Amazing game do not be fooled by the low critic review this game has a great modern day world to explore, tons of interesting quests, this game is worth the 30 dollars hands down.
  30. Mar 7, 2013
    The style of character development takes some getting used to and some of the solo missions are a complete pain in the butt; however, it it turns out to be a very enjoyable game with great atmosphere and store lines.

    I wish there was a better mechanism for finding groups, it feels very lonely for being a MMORPG. But if you manage to come with a friend or two of your own it is a lot of
    fun except those solo missions. Expand
  31. Jun 5, 2013
    I just got back into this after a 10month hiatus. Whatever problems there may have been at the launch are gone. Funcom has done a great job of addressing many of the issues and has even provided additional changes to improve upon the user experience of the game. secondly, the world is just amazing. I'm really tired of JR Tolkien's environment (ok, it's still awesome) and this was a great opportunity for CHANGE.

    There is a learning curve, but that comes with anything that's different. i.e. Windows 8.

    Try it, you won't be disappointed.
  32. Jun 19, 2013
    This is one of the best MMO's Ive played since WoW. Its a very new fresh feeling of a MMO. I'm really digging it atm.

    Steam has it on sale for 50% off so 15 bucks, its also F2P now. Cant lose for 15 bucks.

    have fun!
  33. Jun 22, 2013
    Skeptical like most the people about the game i waited and bought it on sale about 3-4 days ago. Now I played plenty mmo's in my time to their respective endgame content .(WoW,WH:O,Tera,GW,GW2,NWO,AoC,FFXI,Rift) And i have to say this game was a refreshing addition, Not only the leveling is engaging and interesting the atmosphere of the game is great and on point, and if your playing with a friend is even better! I admit i only have about 24 hours in but as of now i would have gladly played full retail i bought in game points to contribute Expand
  34. Jun 28, 2013
    This game has great visual design and awful gameplay. I'm reviewing the gameplay. ZERO. unplayable
    There are so many games out there that deserve the exposure of TSW. TSW does not deserve any.
  35. Jul 27, 2013
    When I first heard about 'The Secret World' I thought I would have loved it, I liked the dark themes it was supposed to be based on and found the idea of exploring a Lovecraft inspired world fascinating. So I drooped my $50 down on steam and got going, it was a disappointment for the word go. Whatever the story's and plots were they made no sense to me, the combat was very plain and unsatisfying and the way the game explained how to play was very vague and didn't compel me to learn more.
    After 7 (long) hours or so I gave up on it. It was basically run from point A to B and press 1 2 or 3 a bunch of times. The tactics I've enjoyed in other MMOs weren't there and the usual thill of getting to the next character just wasn't there either. I wish this world had stayed a secret to me and I would have saved $50.
  36. Sep 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. the game starts out good and the sense of adventure is intense you want to see whats all there the first area is fully voiced accept yourself of course the story line is fantastic but you are unfortunately limited to were you can go on your own and allot of the plots and story is in the dungeons and high difficulty zones witch are impossible to do on your own just starting out the game hasn't, been updating the main story line for the average character you have to buy missions in order to get different weapons and they have been catering to the player vs player more then the main story line itself and the story line is what makes the game so excellent but i digress the game is good in the begging and the side missions are fun but if your the type that has to see every thing in the story and how it ends i say look somewhere else cause this game will only get your hopes up and the drive them straight down. Expand
  37. Oct 16, 2013
    The game hasn’t released without some bugs.

    I have seen some reviewers bash on the fact only three or four main areas have been described. However, this leaves plenty of room for expansion. Maine (traditional home of Cthuhlu mythos), Egypt, and Transylvania are detailed in multiple zones each. This leaves so many other places available.

    Another person has reviewed the game and said
    the 3-3-3 tiered system of melee, ranged, and magic looks limited. This, though, is another area of expansion potential. Martial arts and weapons, ranged weapons like submachine guns, and other arenas of magic can all be added down the line, expanding the game. Expand
  38. Nov 23, 2013
    i played many mmo's and this is the most innovative i've ever played. the game is not perfect but it DESERVES a 10.

    If like me you can't force yourself to go back to your wow account because when you play it again you're bored because it's always the same stuff, and because it is now a "fast food rpg", secret world is for you.

    Plus, the maps are well done, the voice acting is
    immersive, the quests are interesting (and you can skip the (rare) "kill x mobs" quests if you want. The dungeons are well made (interesting boss fights, no 999 trash mobs the xp system is great too you do what you want, not like some mmo's where leveling is automatic ...

    a fresh breeze in the world of wow and wow-clones
  39. Nov 29, 2013
    This is an AWESOME MMO! The one thing I have seen that may turn off some players is that this is NOT an easy game that holds your hand like WOW does for example, it's actually challenging. And that is why I love this game. One unique thing that I like is how you can change roles from healer to tank to DPS by simply switching builds...if you so choose. Heh...just DPS alone has tons of choices as to how you want to DPS....pure caster, pure melee, ranged or any combination of those. Although some may argue, there is no cookie cutter build that everyone and their dog is using. It's more a matter of preference.

    And the story line is AMAZING...if you take the time to follow it.
  40. Aug 18, 2012
    Pretty much everything has already been said by others, but my main reason for giving this a full score is that it's just so refreshingly different and deep. Yes, there are a few mission bugs, but most are fixed now, and they are only minor problems. Graphics are great if you have the computer to run max (as with all other games...), music/sound backs up the mood and setting, developers are listening, communicating and fixing. It can be a bit difficult and challenging, but come on - you cannot blame a game for not letting you cruise through all the content! Join a good Cabal that will help you if stuck, team up, try another approach.
    This game is not for anyone looking for an easy game, but if you value a bit of challenge, like to think a little in your games, enjoys great stories and characters - you HAVE to at least give it a try. You can sign up for free tryout if you hesitate spending any money.
  41. Aug 19, 2012
    This is the best MMO right now..Wonderfully handcrafted masterpiece..Such a joy to play ..
    Combined with great atmosphere, great action filled combat and one of the most thrilling dungeon bosses created for an MMO..

    The quests in this game is also very innovative, sure you have "classic" ones but even with those there is innovation. But the quests actually forces you to think, some are
    hard, some are VERY hard, but they still doesn't become frustrating,, Expand
  42. Aug 20, 2012
    Im LOVING The Secret World. I have encountered only a few minor bugs. The story is GREAT and the open builds for the characters is really a fresh idea.
  43. Aug 20, 2012
    I was not going to get this I never got into the "futuristic" or "modern" MMO's, being a pure fantasy nut. SWTOR was just a reaffirmation of avoiding that.

    Bored with nothing new out lately, I tried the 3 day trial and was blown away! For the first time I found an interesting story and the way the game handles quests is refreshing. Instead of the basic FedEx quests and Kill
    X creatures, you are have your choice of a vast number of types of quests. The puzzles are nice with the in-game browser, and having a great time.

    Even though Funcom is doing poor, I am finding this MMO stirs something in my that I haven't felt since the days of AC1...something that may keep my interest longer than a week or two.

    It is definitely worth trying out the trial...and you have to get into Kingsmouth before you throw in the towel and say it's not for you, as the starter area does not represent the game...
  44. Aug 25, 2012
    Good Graphics, Quests are the best that I have played in a MMO, Voice acting is spot on, the mood the game sets is truly sucks you right in and keeps your interest. The skill wheel allows for freedom to overcome most things ingame which I have never seen alts required. The overall story is just engrossing, you just want more and more. The community is very helpful and mature, none of that barrens chat. Definately one of the better MMOs I have played in a long time. The critic review based on a beta version seems to be way off. Expand
  45. Aug 25, 2012
    I have no clue why this game got so low of scores. It is a solid game with a fresh take on all the mmo worlds You also get tons of fun conspiratorial view points.
  46. Aug 25, 2012
    Positives: 1) The world and atmosphere is beautiful. TSW takes place in a modern setting, running with the idea that all myths are routed in truth. There are 3 main areas (Solomon Island, Egypt and Transylvania) each with 2-3 sub regions. Each zone just looks amazing and I think really captures different horror genres. 2) The system is classless and level-less. As you gain XP you unlock AP to buy more abilities and SP to improve your weapons/armour. This lets you change your character on the fly provided you have enough abilities unlocked. In a dungeon and need more healing? Throw on some healing abilities. Need to do more damage damage? Change to do magic damage. Now while the system is effectively level less, areas are balanced you having a certain gear level, so there still restrictions in place on what you should be doing. 3) The game really forces you to think. There are 3 types of quests you can get
    a) Action quests, these are your standard do this or kill that
    b) Sabotage quests, go here try to avoid mobs
    c) investigation quests, like playing an old school adventure game mixed with an ARG.
    So investigation quests give you puzzles ranging from solving this encoded transmission, to solving riddles to translating Hebrew to looking up the wife of a worker off a fictional company website. To help you solve these Funcom has armed users with a browser in game. Now a few of the sabotage/investigation missions I find can be solved in a few ways, though I found a few that seemed like they required just brute force guess work.
    4) The story and NPC's are pretty interesting. Funcom wanted everything to tie together and did a good job. For instance at the start of Solomon Island you quickly learn there is a zombie problem. After doing a few missions and talking to a few NPCS (which actually say useful and relevant stuff mixed in with the fluff) you start to figure out why there are zombies and what they are being used for, There not just there to be annoying to players, Funcom actually wrote in why and how they are there.

    Now the negatives
    1) Cost. TSW is the most expensive MMO on the market. It has a full game box price, a monthly subscription (even more if your not from N America) and a cash shop (where stuff is bought PER CHARACTER not account).
    2) TSW's combat can best be described as boring and out dated. While choosing and building your decks is fun, combat itself is not. Combat in TSW uses a tabbed based targeting system with some attacks building resources and others consuming them. Most combat can be broken down to: use your builder 5 times, use a finisher for weapon one and a finisher for weapon 2., rinse and repeat. If you see a white circle, move; if you see fire on the ground, move. Personally I find the tabbed system makes all weapons feel the same, it doesn't help that a lot of animations are repeated so not only do they feel the same, they look the same.
    3) While Sabotage missions are a very cool idea, lack of real stealth abilities make some of these the most frustrating things you will ever attempt. Since there are no stealth abilities and the AI in TSW is standard MMO level of stupid (or Doom 1 like AI) Sabotage missions tend to break down to avoid all guards since they will 1 shot you, and sometimes hit the glowing yellow object to distract said guards. Personally I found the sabotage missions at the start had some interesting mechanics like stealing uniforms and causing more distractions, a lot of them just involve memorizing guards and preying you get lucky, You have to start to wonder after nameless grunt #1033 catches you and throws you in an easily escapable box why they aren't out saving the world and instead leaving it in the hands of the PCs. 4) The game has a lot of bugs. Chat breaks pretty consistently which at times leaves you with no way to communicate with users. Some missions break down from too many people trying to do them or certain mobs don't spawn making them impossible to finish. As well as the bugs there some pretty bad design decisions. For example if your watching a cutscene and a mob happens to aggro you somehow you can die in the middle of said cutscene. For non main story/investigation missions this could mean having to wait 1-3 days to resee the cutscene, for story or investigation missions this means you now need to search youtube preying that someone recorded the cutscene for you to watch. The cutscenes also give you important missions hints/clues.

    Over all I would recommend trying to TSW. The unique setting and investigation missions are a ton of fun and a breathe of fresh air in a rather stagnant (imo) market. Over all though I don't think TSW is a perfect game and has more than its fair share of problems. At times the game really seems to want to be a 3rd person action game, but had to make numerous unfortunate compromises
  47. Sep 28, 2012
    I found the game fun but not worth paying for. The action gameplay style and skill based combat concept is nice but the game itself doesn't grab you by the face and draw you in. Instead it plops you down and tells you good luck follow the butterfly.
  48. Dec 30, 2012
    This game was a wonderful game for the first two areas to the middle of the third area. I was surprised by the game, I liked the model of the monsters, but not the character models (no matter how much you try it seems impossible to either make a good looking female character or a tough looking male character) - they all look weird and off. The game was intriguing and fun until Blue Mountain. The game soon became annoying. Your build begins to fall apart and even trying to take on two individuals on a mission labeled Very Easy becomes tedious and almost annoying. I can understand difficulty in a game, many of the investigation missions were fun and enjoyable until they become more of a problem than their worth. The investigation missions go from using wit, and intelligence to say "hey, this sounds like I should go to city hall to complete this quest" to "match the symbols". Mobs go from minor problems and quite fun play toys to annoying pests that make trying to walk on roads on a problem. Trying to flee will turn from an easy escape when you are overwhelmed to getting a small dose of hope before you essentially commit suicide because you know that when three regular mobs are on you... you are screwed. The Savage Coast was the most fun of the entire game I had. The mobs were diverse and fun except for the charging bug creatures. Blue mountain soon becomes cluttered and traversing an area without being attacked by any mob means you are lucky. The game has this idea that there are no level system but your level is basically determined by the quality level of your items. In the same sense that a level 1 will be devastated by a level 10 in other MMOs, a player with quality level 1 gear will be devastated by a mob designed to be attacked by a player in quality level 10 gear. I may have bashed the game severely, but do not get me wrong... I loved the game for a large portion of it and made me addicted to it. However, I have never played a game that made me so frustrated that I impulsively uninstalled the game and there have been games that have had me consider breaking my computer at the infuriating aspects. Expand
  49. Jan 2, 2013
    I didn't expect much from this game, and that's what I got. Stiff animations, boring story, and cooldowns on shotguns? Really? TSW tries, but fails to entertain me. A game can't survive on cut scenes and dull combat.
  50. Jan 5, 2013
    This game definitely is different in all the right ways, but the same in all the wrong ways to other MMORPGs out there. The mobs in this game are repetitive and annoying. While you do get different weapons and equipment than a standard MMO, it plays out the same. So you get a book instead of a staff or a gun instead of a bow, but you're still mashing the same attacks and doing the same damage. The UI is not intuitive is hard to customize and there are still quite a few glitches in the game. The community is hard to get involved with. One thing I hate about this game is the zones. Everyone is segregated into whatever zone they are in at the time, and it really makes it hard to have any lasting friendships made in-game and social aspects are not there like in other games. Zones can take hours to go through and have many quests, but once you move on, odds are you won't want to go back.

    I did like the story, and the cut scenes, and the voice overs and the environments. But I could get much better stories, cut scenes, voice overs, and environments playing a solo RPG. The reason I wanted an MMORPG was so I could have social interaction. Since I didn't feel this community in The Secret World, the game boils down to a lackluster and glitchy low-end RPG game with mechanics that do not do well for solo play.
  51. Jan 8, 2013
    So a few things about this game that set it apart from other MMOs: Investigation Missions, which require the player to put some thought into quests (unless you look up spoilers); you will be required to use clues, and put 2+2 together to solve a mystery or puzzle. Sabotage missions: these quests typically involve stealth and non-combat to solve. There is no "stealth mode" so it means actually having to sneak by guards without fighting. No levels or classes: characters have access to every skill, ability and weapon in the game. As you progress, you eventually will have ALL the skills, weapons and abilities; the tricky part is to find the right combination of weapons and abilities that will allow you to beat a particular type of creature. You build multiple decks that can be swapped in and out as the situation requires. Lovecraftian, modern day setting: it's a mix of X-Files, Poe and Indiana Jones -- the atmosphere is just great. Because it's modern day, you have access to devices such as cell phones and a browser within the game. Story and personality: All the missions have great individual stories, and they all tie together into a larger story as you explore. Fantastic cut scenes and great humor -- the NPCs are truly inspired.

    Fun, challenging dungeons: the dungeons don't have lots of trash, but they DO have great settings and very interesting mechanics. They are a bit on the difficult side, so figuring out how to tackle the big bad is always challenging and fun.

    Separation of gear from clothes: you can look however you like since clothes are completely independent of the gear (talismans). Some very nifty clothing options, and cool uniforms you can unlock as you open decks on the ability wheel.

    Great community: one of the friendliest, mature and most helpful I've been around. Lots of opportunity and support for RP, including pubs, a nightclub and an in-game theater stage for plays.

    Downsides : PvP is still a work in progress (it has its dedicated followers), animations are a bit lackluster, and not as many facial and body type options as I would like. There's little in-game hand-holding, so the learning curve can be a bit steep, especially with the ability wheel and decks. Still, the community helps here. There are a few niggly bugs still hanging about.

    Overall, though, a fantastic game, if something of a sleeper. Heartily recommended.
  52. Jan 12, 2013
    Featuring original content, a rarely seen modern theme and a gaming experience that is both engaging and thought invoking, The Secret World really does bring a lot to the table. This game will push you more than most western MMOs. Messing up a puzzle could mean the difference between life and death and combat even against trash mobs is intense to the point that it really makes it clear that it's a MMO meant to be just that, playing with other players. Not only do I highly recommend this 20 dollar AAA title, I give the game a full 10/10 for its bold decision to not be another clone of a generic grinder. Once again Funcom has created a great MMO experience unlike any other for the time.

    Also, I wanted to note that some 'professional' reviews have been ridiculously PMS over the game while they reviewed it in a limited closed beta test phase with nearly no content. No really, read the review from G4 and it's clear that the reviewer decided that limited closed betas are good enough as full releases and the game does not deserve a proper review... Real professional indeed.
  53. Mar 17, 2013
    Very under rated game. It's one of those games you can put endless amount of hours into it. There is so much to do and explore. Quests are fun and they don't feel repetitive. Developer is active and always adding new free content. I would have never tried this game if there was a monthly subscription and I'm glad. My only complaint is some of the riddles are too difficult but you can always cheat. Highly recommend it for anyone looking for a new game to get into, riddle fans or RPG fans. Expand
  54. Apr 14, 2013
    The combat in this game is quite possibly the worst experience you could have in a game. If you are looking to buy this game for it's combat, buy something else. The environments and detective quests are surprisingly enjoyable, but still I always find myself asking the same question; why couldn't they have put more effort into the combat? In my honest opinion, there are better games to waste your time on. Expand
  55. May 29, 2013
    It's easy to jump into a MMO, form an impression love it or hate it and state your opinion. I was so very tempted to do that. I had waited for this game for years, I was primed to love it, and as I started playing I found a lot to like. Great visuals, dynamic combat, gripping stories, creepy mood, beautiful ambient sound and sweeping score, fun well designed instances, insanely dificult investigation missions... But will it last... will I want to wait for the proposed 7 years of story updates by the time I have 'finished' the launch content?

    Ok, so here I am a year later. I have finished the story campaign, and all of the side missions and caught up with the 'monthly' Issues that move the story forward and... YES! I still want more.

    I don't love the PvP, but that has never been my thing. I hear it has gotten better since launch and they have some interesting open world PvP in the pipe. I haven't advanced to the end of the instance nightmare instance lair raid progression... but working on that has been fun.

    Sure at this point I plan on scaling my playing back a bit as I wait for new Issues to come out. I'll log on to run instances with my friends or catch a player run show at the Albion or attend guild RP events... and that is great. If I had to play at full bore for 7 years... that would be too much. But given that the game is free to play now it's perfect for my pattern of play!

    This game would be worth many times it's purchase price even if you just play the story line mission and then never log on again... give it a try and my bet is that you will still be playing at the end of the 7 year story arc.
  56. Jun 21, 2013
    Ahh, The Secret World. What a curious game. I was really looking forward to this. I enjoyed other Funcom games, like The Longest Journey and Age of Conan. The subject matter in SW is really right up my alley too; Conspiracies, horror, Lovecraftian themes and a modern day world. What could go wrong?

    Secret world does a lot of things really well. I like the look of the game. The writing
    is just excellent. NPC characters are characters with a big "C". I like how you can find quests as you explore the world. The investigation and sabotage missions are a lot of fun. Secret World also tries to innovate the MMO genre by removing levels and pre-set roles. You are not stuck with being a Tank, dps or healer, if you don't want to. You can always switch later.

    But... This doesn't change the fact that you still need to have healers, dps and tanks to complete dungeons. Your level is also basically your gear. The better the gear, the higher your level is. So the question that comes to mind is: -Is this true innovation or a clever camouflage for the traditional MMO way of running things? Are they in fact just throwng things out the front door (levels, roles), and then merely sneaking said things back in, from the back door?

    While Guild Wars 2 is happy to speed things up, Secret World goes the other way around and slows things down. In other words, SW is a very time consuming game. It involves theory crafting, sitting down and trying to figure out puzzles (as you would in an adventure game) and even combat takes longer. Someof the puzzles require you to browse the web (while half a dozen hungry zombies are trying to chew on your butt). Interesting gameplay mechanics to say the least.

    While the investigation missions and sabotage missions are breath of fresh air, most of the time playing SW is about fighting mobs, a lot of mobs. While there aren't that many trash mobs inside dungeons, there are plenty outside them. The monsters tend to have a lot of hp. The areas are densly populated and the mobs usually have some sort of attack that you have to dodge. This leads to some annoying things; While dodging attacks you have a risk of aggroing more than 2 or 3 mobs and after that you are as good as dead, since they have a lot of hp.

    Combat it self feels a bit dry. The animations are nothing special and most of the attacks feel and look underwhelming. There is no stealth skill, so you can't usually sneak past the mobs either.

    The PvP..Well Im not going there.... Inventory system needs some work. Crafting is nothing special. Conspiracies and factions barely exsist. There is lack of polish almost everywhere except for the dialogue and voice acting.

    They also gave your character no voice. You can't even respond to any of the npc's. You can't interact with them. You just silently listen to their monologues.

    At the end of the day, this is another Themepark MMO, with all the shortcomings and highpoints of that genre. The endgame tends to be another gear-grind and I personally have no desire to experience that again.

    But still, the game is Buy to play. It does challenge you. It wont hold hands with you, like most other games out there. If that's your thing, then the Secret World is definetly worth cheking out.
  57. Jul 9, 2013
    Easily the best MMO I have ever played. The writing is top notch, the voice acting is extremely good. This is one game where I have watched every cut scene and been happy to read the NPC content as it makes the game that much more enjoyable.

    The missions are refreshing, no grind fest here, you actually have to think to play this game and think to solve many of the missions. The overall
    eeriness of the game is also a big plus. I find myself drawn in each time I play it. Having just spent way way too many hours playing during their first year anniversary event I am very pleased with my purchase, very pleased that I have a lifetime subscription and cannot wait to see what they have in store for us next.

    Do not pay attention to the poor reviews about this game. Give it a shot..and look me up in-game just look for Dracnor :)

  58. Jul 16, 2013
    Ugh, this site has a 5000 character limit. So, to summarize: 1) The game never should have been an MMO. 2) The game's atmosphere is spot on. 3) The game's fully voice-acted NPCs help to make you care about the world and what you're doing; you are seldom just doing quests for the sake of quests, you're also doing it for the sake of the people who are around you. 4) Your "mission control" sends you emails and gives you phone calls periodically which help further reinforce the feel of the world, as well as giving you things to look forward to.
    5) The game has some wonderful dark humor in it.
    6) The investigation quests and smattering of other quests where you are solving mysteries are wonderfully immersive, require you to think outside of the box, actually require you to access real world information (and fake set-up websites), and are actually done in-character you have a smart phone and internet access in the game world, so it makes sense that you can actually look up websites to translate morse code and the like. They also require you to think about the information you have been given and make use of it, and very often require outside of the box thinking.
    7) The classless system works incredibly well. Because everyone can do literally anything, just not at the same time, you only ever have to make one character, and switch weapons between them to give them the powers you need to support your teammates or overcome challenges. The weapons are fairly diverse and interesting, though some of them (particularly the Assault Rifle for DPS) are rather centralizing, in that you're going to rely on them far more than others, while a few (Blood, namely) are underpowered and not particularly useful. However, even if you pick some bad skills, its alright you don't need to start over or rebuild your character, you can just pick up good skills, and eventually you get every skill in the game, so it doesn't really matter.
    8) Because characters only have 8 powers each, they matter more and it is easier to understand what everyone in your party is doing. Likewise, because you have access to every power in the game (eventually), you can actually know what all your allies are doing because you can do it too, and as such become familiar with everything.
    9) The game doesn't overstay its welcome. There isn't tons of pointless grinding anywhere in the game; when you are moving around in the world, you have some purpose beyond gathering xp.
    10) Some of the dungeon bosses have interesting mechanics to them which really reward teamwork and make for a fun experience.

    So what's wrong with this game?

    1) It never should have been a MMO. It really gains nothing from it. There are only a small number of things which require you to work in teams, there are a lot of things which require you to NOT work in teams (which is very bad for an MMO you're trying to play with your friends!), the mysteries are better solved on your own... really, the only team content which is really meaningful is the dungeons, and they feel a bit disconnected from the rest of the game, particularly the ones later in the game.
    2) PVP is a mess, not because it doesn't work, but because it isn't particularly interesting. It feels very pointless, which sticks out in a world where everything you do while going around the PvE areas is purposeful.
    3) It has no endgame. This would be a non-problem if it wasn't an MMO, but as an MMO, this is a fatal flaw. You complete every quest in the game and then you're essentially done with it. Sure, there are the elite and nightmare dungeons, which give you better equipment, whose only purpose is... to beat said dungeons more quickly and get even better equipment? While the dungeons are actually reasonably enjoyable to play through multiple times, the truth is that it is all utterly pointless, as there is no more "meat" to the game after you've beaten transylvania.
    4) Combat is not good. It is bog standard MMO combat. Some will complain about it being bad, but ultimately I don't think it is any worse than any other MMO combat I have played, and is actually better than many as unlike some other games, you can actually understand what is going on in combat at any given time. But as most MMOs have terrible combat, this isn't actually a good thing.
    5) Many of the boss monsters fail to really live up to their potential. Puzzle bosses and "stay off the bad" bosses are the only types of bosses that MMOs can have which are actually interesting, but many of the bosses are just "stun them at the right time" and sometimes, in the lower difficulties, not even that.

    All in all, the game should have focused on being a single player experience, and I think it would have been less disappointing to Funcom and worked out better in the end.
  59. Jul 16, 2013
    I enjoyed this game a great deal in Alpha and Beta. I got caught up in other games for a long while and I decided what the hell and bought it. I had forgotten how fun overall this game is. the story telling in it is fabulous.
    The mythos is spot on which just makes this game more for my style the quests are not just go collect X you HAVE to use your brain. the in game browser helps with
    that if you have issues though. I try to stay away form the sights that solve the puzzles for you though.

    If you want a challenge buy this game.
    If you love horror BUY THIS GAME!
    Also there is no longer a subscription needed to play so buy once and play forever. DLC is extra and they have a cosmetic cash shop which keeps the game alive.
  60. Jul 25, 2013
    The Secret World is the most unique and deep mmorpg on the market now.

    1) The Story: all main quests are professionally voiced and cover all the dark mysteries of the world. There are minor quests to discover around the map. Map is pinnable so you can save visited locations for later use.
    2) Graphic: graphic is very good, framerate could be better due to sporadic lag but overall
    it is very polished and capture the "feel" of every zone.
    Monsters (especially bosses) are the best designed ones in a mmorpg to date.
    3) Combat: combat is very varied, it is possible to change your gamestyle 100 times. Guns, melee, magic is all here. It can be somewhat hard to figure at the beginning but once done it is a fun ride.
    4) Difficulty: the game is hard and i love it. Progression is slow and you have a sense of accomplishment. Thing that most of the latter mmorpgs have omitted.
    5) Modern setting

    The cons:
    1) No gathering: you just loot stuff from mobs and experiment with a tool what can be done with the resources. It could be a new feature, but i really miss some old style "gathering"
    2) Social features could be better
    3) Rides: you just run all the time.

    All in all the game is still young and continously improving, Lets see what future have in stock. But as of now it is one of the best mmorpg out there.
  61. Aug 6, 2013
    I pre-ordered the game and played it for about 3 months straight (what means 10-14h a day) last summer, until I reached the point where my character achieved everything possible that time. ^^

    It's really been the weeks of my (digital) life and so I never regretted buying The Secret World.

    Unfortunately, regarding player counts and earnings it was a huge fail for Funcom anyway (and I
    will never be able understand why), Funcom had to cut back on jobs and so this game was never able to make the most of its incredible potential. :-(

    Anyway: I would still recommend this game to everybody (especially if you're looking for a game you can play in a group with some friends). Great Story, Scenery and created atmosphere. Still pretty okayish graphics and sound and enough content to play about 900h+ intensively without getting bored.
  62. Aug 22, 2013
    This really is an amazing outing by a great company who has really turned a new page in customer relations. Funcom keeps coming out with quality content at a good pace. No subscription fee this company has really listened and cant wait to see future products!

    This game broke out of tradition and offers something new, exciting, mysterious, with great artwork style and direction.
  63. Sep 29, 2013
    The Secret World is a Fantastic MMORPG. The story and plot are just enough for a MMORPG. Gameplay is fun, without levels or classes you are free to try any skill composition you want. The theme of the game is fun and while it lacks any true horror, at best it is slightly disturbing, the idea is really unique and well executed. This game however is somewhat frustrating for beginners as the skill building system, the crafting, and some of the quests will have you looking at a guide just to figure out what to do. That being said TSW also has something that I personally believe a lot of MMO's lack, difficulty, it's a hard game sometimes especially the Investigation missions where you have to be able to riddle out problems and use internet resources to find where you're going next. This brings me to my next topic, the missions have variety and are interesting for the most part. Dungeons are particularly good in TSW especially Polaris, the first dungeon, they focus mostly on boss fights with very few trash mobs in between. It is definitely worth a try for MMORPG fans especially considering it's only $30 up front. Expand
  64. Oct 26, 2013
    This game is an absolutely unique game and has a brilliant atmosphere. This world is so brilliant. The characters has a really good style too, IMHO this is the best looking in any of the MMOs. And the quests are so epic and various, it's amazing! The skills are also great, and has great effects, and the UI is cool, it's number one. So overall it's a great game and by the way, you don't need to pay a monthly fee, so it's definitely worth it's price! Expand
  65. Nov 8, 2013
    Pros: -Gorgeous graphics -Storyline is fun and exciting -Dynamic environments to interact with Cons: -The do-it-yourself skill/ability system sounds interesting in theory but you'll be super frustrated if you don't use a pre-designed build by the time you hit mid-game....which defeats the entire purpose and just means you have to do more work. I.e.. You want a tank? Go look up how to build one.
    -Crafting system makes little sense and is incredibly frustrating.
    -Auction House is bare bones (feels like it's still in Beta)
  66. Jan 6, 2014
    The reason I gave this game a 9/10 was because of its unique aspect. On the surface The Secret World looks different straightaway. However, after experiencing the lore, the quests, conspiracies and the world itself, it is clear that Funcom has spent a huge amount of time and effort in creating this MMO.

    Brief bullet reasons why you should play; and why it gets a 9/10.

    1. Unique
    modern setting. Featuring: New York, London and Venice,
    2. Highly thought out missions, quests and conspiracies that are inspired by the works of: H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King and our world today.
    3. Pay once; play forever. Expansion packs, or known in The Secret World as Issues, are purchasable)
    4. Classless system. Play and be the character YOU WANT TO BE.
    5. Interesting story.
    6. Also, I believe if you bought the game before January 2013 you get the first 4 'Issues' expansion packs) FREE.
    7. Regular updates.
  67. Jan 15, 2014
    I absolutely love this game, it's wonderfully unusual when compared to other MMO's. Admittedly its style may not be for everyone as there's a significant emphasis placed on research and puzzle-solving rather than straight up kill-everything-that-gets-in-the-way. I love the atmosphere, Funcom pulls off the 'dark fantasy' theme and world exceptionally well. The abilities and powers available to the characters are diverse and interesting, and the potential combinations between them are fun to explore. The voice acting is also exceptional, and in my honest opinion the quality of writing is worlds better than any other MMO I've played.

    My only gripe with the game is that there are a number of small bugs that seem to have avoided the dev-hammer and while they're nothing truly gamebreaking, at least not for me, they are noticeable. For example, when using the sitting down function, it doesn't visually display for other players that were not present when the emote was used and so to them you're still standing. As I said before however the bug issue is relatively minor and has very little impact on the brilliance of the game. It's a definite must-buy for dark fantasy fans and those who are looking for an MMO experience beyond the straightforward World of Warcraft-esque grab n' grind.
  68. Jan 26, 2014
    Great game Idea, very poor execution. The concept and setting are fascinating, but the actual game play leaves a lot to be desired. Quests are buggy in spite of 1.5 years of complaints, the difficulty is very inconsistent and there is no in-game play/build guidance of any sort. I’ve noted that players who have written some of the most used guides have quit the game out of frustration. The emptiness of the zones outside of endgame and start up are highly indicative of a game that causes most players to quit before they get too far. Overall, a real shame, this could have been the next great thing. Instead, its best just to leave it alone. Expand
  69. Feb 23, 2014
    The secret word(tsw) has some good points-- atmosphere, original setting, story, and an interesting skill system. The story is especially engaging. However, Funcompetence is in place. TSW has bugs that will never be resolved, rough edges, BS un-fun quests, and the need to stop and grind to make progress in the story. Also, the game doesn't have enough new players to make it easy to find groups for new players who don't bring their own friends.

    For me, the non-positives prevent enjoying the positives of the game. TSW is less fun to play than other games that are available.

    If you are looking for a non-fantasy MMO with good story that you don't mind playing solo, then TSW may be for you. If you want a polished game with longevity that doesn't make you grind, then tsw may not be for you.
  70. Feb 2, 2014
    The story and idea are intriguing. The letdown is in the grinding whether this is pvp or dungeons, or even mission grinding. In other words there is little replayability once you have gone through things the first time. Also I find it hard to believe how the secret world can remain secret for very long the way characters are flinging magical firepower around.
  71. Sep 29, 2012
    Ok first off I have no respect for the company who make this game which is a bad start. I will keep this short is this a Good game? Unique game? Worth your MOney? IMO No,No,and No.
    If you still wish to play the game wait a month or two it will be free to play as Funcom already have the tooling to make it so. For those who bought Life subs I am sorry for your loss, but same happened to me
    in Lord of the Rings Online when the shaft3d me and went Free to play leaving Life subscribers like me with no value for my money. I learned my lesson accepted my loss and moved on as the free to play version of Lord of the Rings Online was completely useless. So hang on play for free well not really free cash shoppy but you know what I mean soon. Expand
  72. Oct 3, 2012
    Seriously disappointed in this game. After just a few hours it's still a confusing mess to figure out. The interface is the most unintuitive in existence. The starting zone is the hardest of any MMO. The quest system is clunky and confusing. The game looks quite good, the story is excellent as well. But navigating through the interface and quests logs is more challenging than doing a 25 man raid in your underwear. The learning curve is steep and I'd rather like to be able to learn how to play the game while playing the game instead of having to spend a couple of hours trying to figure the interface. Expand
  73. Oct 11, 2012
    The game is very mixed: a great levelling process followed by character progression that is purely gear related. It was so close to being a good game, but at the end of the day, it's one for the grinders only.
  74. Jan 1, 2013
    Best MMO out of the market atm. The stories the community and developers are first class. The developers have delivered over and over again with regard to updates and quality, you are genuinely doing yourself a disservice if you don't pick this up particularly now it is Buy to Play.
  75. Jan 2, 2013
    Its a strange game but very interesting.I don't know what to make of it yet but it's definitely got something.Great settings and exploration so far.Combat is a bit odd though.
  76. Feb 1, 2013
    So I just took my first look at "The Secret World" I figured no sub, one time buy... why not? I have to say that I am torn in whether liking it or totally hating it. I lean more towards the total hate side. The trailers and description are total eye candy... However as we all know the trailers will show the best the game has to offer and not the worst, similar to a photo album... All you will see is smiling faces in the pictures. The game itself has a terrific storyline but the game play just does not match it... It almost seems they put more time into the "lore" if you will then the actual game itself... I like the fact that they took a step away from the traditional MMO's that we see so often now a days but I would be lying if I said they took a step in the right direction... If a game becomes a job then there is no point to it, and many of the problem solving aspects of this game is damn near like a job... Kudos to the developers for doing their own thing and not following "the scene" but as far as a semi-hardcore players view it is lacking immersion, basics and excitement. Expand
  77. Mar 27, 2013
    I loved this game.. almost all the other MMO's are super boring to me and I literally was about to give up on them all togeather until this game came out. You always have something to work toward in this game with the unique skill system. I love being able to work on a tank set, then go for a melee dps set, or healer and can switch between them whenever I want. The story is awesome and I love the Templar faction. Only real complaint is some of the bugs and the PVP.. I can literally toss some tank gear with some dps and troll people with AOE skills. Other than that, some of the battles for the factories in pvp are legendary. I highly recommend the game. Expand
  78. Apr 12, 2013
    The title and boxart made me think this was some crappy Asian import. (Boy was I wrong.)

    This is a game for people that enjoy depth and complexity. The writing is phenomenal. The class(less) system is extremely complex. This game is a hidden gem and there's no monthly fee.
  79. Apr 27, 2013
    Amazing game. The combat is very fluid, but it there's a higher than usual learning curve on making a build that flows well. The lore is engaging. Unlike another fully voiced MMO we know, the questing feels a lot less pointless and I found myself trying to clear every single quest in a zone before moving on. Haven't really run into any serious quest bugs, but a lot of the investigation missions are quite difficult and may lead many to think they're bugged.

    TSW is seriously underrated by critics, but if you look at the user scores you'll see that it's very high in comparison to that of other MMOs. There's no more subscriptions, but if it weren't for the misleading reviews at release, I totally would have bought a permanent subscription.
  80. May 23, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You step into the game and are greeted by a solitaire cowboy warming up on a bonfire. Then you notice something is not quite right. Suddenly the cowboy grabs his rifle and shoots a wandering zombie in the head. You can't help but thinking "you are so cool".

    Welcome to The Secret World, one of the most under-rated mmorpgs of all time. The game is an amalgamation of horror and sci-fi genres joined by a good storyline. Zombies, Lovecraft, city detectives, secret societies, egyptians gods, vampires, war horrors...Really refreshing to not have a fantasy theme for once

    Honestly my note should really be a 9, but I feel this games has been unfairly reviewed by the press. I've joined the game recently so my explanation is that there were many bugs in the release. Happily the game is pretty much bug free although there's a few still around.

    Only pity is the game fails to deliver the final punch and you keep thinking "if-only". If only the dialogues could be more interactive and your character could speak. If only the pvp was better. If only there would be more endgame content. There's a feeling with a bigger budget this game could have been a masterpiece. In any case the case is tons of fun as long as you are forgiving with a few issues and don't mind the conditionals:

    - you are not a pure pvp oriented player: there's only one effective pvp map and it often feels like headless chickens running around. Also there is no real proof of skill and there are no ranked matches so often matches are noob-stomping by premades group. Still jumping in once in a while is good fun.

    - you are not hardcore: there's plenty of content in the game and it's incredible good value for the small price (it's f2p now) but it's possible to "finish" the game beating the hardest content after about 200 hours of gameplay. A really wide approximation from my side but my point is that you can actually "finish" the game after a respectable amount of time. Unlike other MMOs where you basically has to lose your real life to beat the last boss.

    - you are a mature adult: the game treats like an intelligent being, there's not "toons" graphic and the community is nice and sane. There's a notorious lack of abuse, insults etc in general channels

    The strong points of the game are:

    - plenty of quests to do on your own with good storylines and distinct flavours
    - an innovative skill system that allows an interesting way of developing your character. It's easy to get a basic build up but being able to build the perfect build is more challenging. Then you have the possibility to become the three tank/heal/dps roles at the same time which works wonderfully
    - Interesting and challenging dungeons: 8 dungeons with a storyline, hardly any trash mobs and challenging boss mechanics.
    - Being able to equip cool weapons like assault rifles, shotguns or blades, each one offering different play styles. Plus 5 auxiliary weapons (rocket launcher, flamethrower...) that add a little extra spice to your build

    - Excellent GM support

    - Free to play subscription is real free. You'll never feel like a second class citizen for not paying.

    I've been playing MMORPGs for 15 years now and can honestly say this is one of the games I've had more fun with. I love you can still progress in the game without the feeling of it becoming a second job. The game seems to be designed for adults, who don't have so much time to sink and can get the "wink" of so much of the content. It really feels great to walk in in-game streets of new york, london or seoul and notice the details that make them so similar like the real ones.

    Absolutely recommended and incredibly good value for money.
  81. Jul 17, 2013
    First of all if I was going solely by game-play this would easily be a 10/10. TSW allows you to simply choose two weapons, equip your abilities from any of many skill choices for those two weapons, and choose passives labeled under any weapon. Questing is not boring like many MMOs, because you are often solving complex puzzles. You actually have to think about the game, which makes it far more interesting than the standard "go here, kill this, repeat." The atmosphere is also very well designed, and pulls you into the game while leveling. It has six zones you quest through, although it does end up feeling like three zones because of how they designed the environments. (You progress through 3 sets of similar looking areas.) The story line is not only interesting, but unique in that it is modern and has more of a serious mood to it than many games. Leveling itself is unlike any MMO I have seen, because there are no real levels. You also don't need to read the story... lots of voice acting. Huge plus for me. You just keep unlocking abilities, and have the flexibility of investing points into other weapons/skills for it if you want multiple specs. Your level is basically the quality level of gear you are wearing. (Which ranges from 1-10 while leveling then 10-10.5 end game.)

    End game instances are a lot of fun the first few times you do them. They can be very challenging; especially the high end ones. However, that is somewhat ruined by the progression model for end game. Unlike questing, which is a lot of fun, end game gear progression is a slow boring grind. Instances are fun to run every once and awhile, not every day. Unfortunately to get end game gear it is necessary to run as many as you can daily, and even then it takes a long time. Gear does drop from bosses, but that is justr starter gear. The good stuff you just buy with black bullions. (They are tokens that drop off nightmare difficulty bosses.) To have any chance of clearing the high-end instances, which are challenging and fun, you need to grind out that gear first, which is a long and boring process.

    If you enjoy raiding (Instances with 10 or more players involved) then unfortunately TSW will disappoint you in that aspect. The only real raid is a single boss, that honestly is easier than a few of the nightmare mode 5-man instances. A second raid will be coming out, but it is just another 1 boss raid. There are lairs, which are fun every once and awhile. But they are not challenging at all, can be done with 5 players, and really just drop signets that you can sell to other players or use to enhance your gear.

    Finally the glitches. There are many glitches, including frequent game crashes for most video cards. Many bosses have all kinds of glitches, some areas give players massive fps drops, etc. They don't seem to be fixing them either. It gets frustrating when you need to exit and reenter the game every hour and a half to prevent crashing, just to glitch out in once of like 500 different ways. It seems to be the same with EVERY Funcom game I have ever played.

    All in all worth playing for the unique game play and fun questing, but expect frustrating glitches and a sub-par end game.
  82. Dec 22, 2013
    Fun game, very dynamic character progression system. Graphics are top notch for an MMO. What sets this apart from every other MMO that I have played is the story.

    It will take you a few hours to really grasp how the game works, but it's great once you get the hang of it.

    If this game is on sale, I recommend buying it. The story alone is worth it.
  83. Jan 4, 2014
    I'm enjoying the game however, Funcom needs to sort out their customer service. I rolled on a dead server, like, seriously I didnt see anyone for hours and hours. They want me to pay for a server transfer, which seems dodgy..if you have a dead server, why let new toons start on it? Seriously, if there is ANY aspect in a game that literally takes the fun out of the experience, just remove it... simple. Or at least let us have a couple of free bonus points to change to a more lively server. It is silly to allow this. Their customer support was entirely unhelpful and had no respect that I had paid money and was not getting what they advertised (a MMO experience).
    Aside from Funcom's failings as a company, the game is fun and worth trying out.
  84. Jan 20, 2014
    Very innovative story telling for an MMO. The quests are revolutionary, and actually require you to think. They're more akin to puzzle and adventure games than the typical MMO grindfest of "kill/collect X things." The graphics are very highly polished and the UI is slick and clean. The combat is ok, but you're not going to play TSW for the combat, you're doing it for the experience; that there's no other MMO out there like this one, and in a good way. Expand
  85. Jan 26, 2014
    I have been playing this mmo more like a 'normal' game than as I would normally approach an mmo and, as such, it is quite enjoyable. Fully voiced npcs with unique and genuinely interesting personalities alongside its novel weapon-leveling system makes this one well worth it. I am just in love with this world and they definitely delivered on giving a genuine Lovecraft experience.
  86. Jan 30, 2014
    The ONE BEST ONLINE MMORPG! Investigation missions that combine history, myths and tales; stealth missions and pure shooting. Touching characters and stories that make you cry out of sadness or joy! Creepy places. Happy places. Original and beautiful. You can seemingly freeze in snowy mountain one moment; then see a desert sun.

    Newest missions make great fun by seem like, say, Indiana
    Jones type of mission. Regular updates.

  87. Feb 1, 2014
    Metacritic is horribly off on this one. The game has been amazing so far. I've sunk 30 hours into it so far and can foresee sinking hundreds more into it. It's very immersive, and has a nice feel to it. The npcs are all voiced. I have yet to experience any bugs. I accidentally bought the initiate pack on the store when I already had the massive edition. They don't normally do refunds, but they were very cool about it, giving me the full amount back. Expand
  88. Feb 21, 2014
    Fun and interesting. I originally never gave this game a chance. I was wrong; once I tried it again it turned out to be amazing, creepy and immersive. The story gets grindy, and some of the stories are only single player.

    However, it is so captivating and interesting that I have to play more. This game is for people who love horrors, mythology, a modern fantasy game, or who love to
    fight. I'm not much of a horror person, but there is a drive to keep going and find out how everything is happening.

    10 stars for being awesome, fun, different and original. -2 stars for the excessive grind.
  89. Mar 8, 2014
    I would like to credit the developers for trying to make a new kind of MMORPG, where levels and classes don't matter. It's a great way to TRY and make a fresh new MMORPG. Yet it fails miserably, not only on the before mentioned. However, even though there are no levels nor classes, there is. You do gain levels and classes are bound by weapons. Each weapon represents a specific class and levels are aquired to gain new skills and wear new armor. So, there are levels and there are classes. If you don't got enough levels or good enough gear, you can't move on. Just like in a regular MMORPG.

    I would like to state that I did enjoy the atmosphere and the graphics, they are some of the best I've seen in a MMORPG. Yet, it's not optimized well enough. My fairly high-end system featuring a GTX 670 and an i5-3570k are struggling too keep up at high/highest settings. At times dipping well under 30 FPS.

    Also, some of the quests were exciting enough to keep me interested for a few hours, yet the quality of the quests drop really fast. They become your typical grind and pick quests way too fast.
    Combat is bland though and your hotbar is way too small in my opinion. Only featuring 5 passives and 5 actives.

    It's clear to me why the game went from monthly fee to 'buy once, play forever'. It's not worth the money that you spend, so stear clear and save yourself some money.
  90. Mar 11, 2014
    The first time I saw this game advertised I thought it could be amazing. But then I heard about the subscription and decided I should stick with WoW, as I already knew what to expect. Then they moved to a pay once model with cosmetic microtransactions, and one of my friends sent me the game as a gift on steam.

    When I first played the game, I wanted to apologize to the developers for not
    giving the game a chance and playing when they had the subscriptions. It was that good. I was convinced that this was the best MMO I had ever played, it was like nothing I had ever played before, with a style that I absolutely loved. I was almost certain that this game would end up taking up more time than WoW ever did for me. But I was wrong.

    There's not much wrong with the game at first, in fact there are so many things right it's almost shocking. Playing through the missions for your first time is a euphoric experience. There are some minor bugs I remember coming across, but nothing that broke the game. So why didn't this end up being the end all be all MMO for me?

    It's all because of the endgame. When you start the game you're presented with a glorious wheel of abilities that you can choose from. Ultimately you can reach a level so high that you will have learned every skill for every weapon in the game, everyone can. The thing about this game is levelling up and doing missions is more fun than the endgame by far. The anticipation of getting another skill to try out in your set, of getting the outfits associated with certain builds, adds a lot to the levelling experience.

    The thing is, I spent nearly 400 hours on this game. A bargain considering it costs 30$. But what I found out was that you are pidgeonholed in your abilities at the end of the game depending on what you want to do. Once you reach the level of gear required to do nightmare mode dungeons, you'll realize that if you're not a ranged dps, you're probably gonna have a **** time trying to find a group. When I first started the game I was excited for the endgame because I figured I could use almost any of the weapons any way I wanted. But the fact is, a melee dps just isn't as viable as a ranged. Even though fist weapon abilities can either be offensive or used for healing, it doesn't mean you can make a dps build for dungeons using claws as your primary weapon. There's no benefit to taking a melee dps over ranged. In a nightmare dungeon you are more likely to be killed being melee, you are also less likely to do as much damage because you're constantly running away from AOE. While ranged people can attack at range, obviously.

    It's not that you can't do a dungeon as a melee dps, I found a few groups willing to put up with me and we successfully did the dungeon. But it's a headache, half the groups won't pick me up and to the ones that do I'm basically completely optional because almost anyone could do my job better, no matter how good I was at staying alive during boss fights, you just don't get the time to dps that ranged characters do. If we ended up having trouble with a boss fight, I was almost always the first one to be kicked, and justifiably so.

    So with that huge rant, this game still deserves an 8/10. 400 hours, 30 dollars, nearly 2 months of playing this game religiously, I didn't even finish every single mission. But I finished the main story mission, and when I did I realized the endgame had nothing that I wanted.

    Worth every penny that my friend spent. The PVP is ok.
  91. May 4, 2014
    Absolutely the best MMO I've ever played. The quests are individual and expand the lore of the game. The settings are gorgeous and moody and the mechanics are engaging. Character customization is the very soul of the game and you can spend hours mastering the synergies on hundreds of abilities. The maps are full of hidden mysteries, side-quests and hidden lore.

    This game is great even
    as a single-player game! Expand
  92. May 26, 2014
    This is a great game For people who like something different. A good plot .a bit difficult to understand but fun and flexcible weapon and skill system. The graphics is excellent and u can play the whole story solo as if you were playing a good rpg game. There are fun and excekently written events each season.coustomer support is great. The bads---------- Updates are always delayed.
    Some of the low tier skill animations need to be enhanced.
    Pvp needs something more.....

    I love this game and am still playing it avidly .
  93. Jun 19, 2014
    X-files on crack, modernized and made into an MMORPG. Similar humor. Urban fantasy would be the most apt genre description here.

    Puzzle quests. Like RE puzzles? These go well beyond those in difficulty. Look stuff up on fake web pages designed around the game. Riddles. Codes. Biblical clues. Ciphers. Some are tedious, yes, but once you get the gist you can cheat if you like
    rather than plugging away at the mechanics of the cipher you already figured out. Solve the puzzle, leave the tedious mechanics to someone else, or not, as you like.

    I honestly don't know why reviews weren't better. I think the monthly fee sticker shock may have turned people off. Or the near simultaneous release of GW2 influenced reviewers in a bad way, the big company does have a lot of money to throw around. If you're going to charge, at least bring it down to the Netflix going rate of $8, not $15. Now on a proper buy the game once then play for free, with an opt in to pay what, $10? for each new content installment. Cash shop is mostly clothes over Pay To Win.

    I hate MMORPG questing. It feels like running through a hamster wheel and is boring. Dungeons are where it's at, EXCEPT with this game. The questing here is unique and enjoyable. Bonus, call in your turn-in on a cellphone instead of hiking back to the questgiver. There are solo dungeons interspersed through the storylines, most being difficult, forcing you to figure out how to develop your toon to win in each scenario. This, I think, properly prepares players for endgame dungeons, a much needed aspect in any MMO.

    Lacks in-game voice system. This game was released in 2012, surely the tech is there for such things when a 2006 game like DDO can have a perfectly clear and nicely done in game voice available on auto upon joining any group. Fail.

    Requires passage through a "gatekeeper" scenario. First you have to complete all the starting endgame dungeons, then you have to solo this guy, not easy. Once you "pass" you can then play endgame. Again, much needed to rout out the whiny gimme cuz I want to ask for it instead of earn it crowd infesting MMOs these days.

    Alts not required. Seriously. I think people start one each faction just to check out the storyline diffs, but you only need one. You can learn and have everything on one toon. Much needed death to altism.

    Want more inventory? Just buy it with ingame currency. No lie. Bank or backpack, have at it.

    Want more ingame currency? Quest. You get it in copious amounts, quite easily.

    Want to play with your buddy who rolled up another faction on another server? Do it. Even guild with him if you like. Servers and factions don't offer any real barriers to gameplay at all, except in PvP.

    It's lack of better ratings is mind-boggling.
  94. Aug 24, 2014
    Story wise it is great, graphic wise a failure you basically have to constantly adjust you brightness and gamma for outdoors then when you do underground scenes, 2 yrs out and you would think they would have fixed it. Will tell you that the game is almost impossible to solo using melee, magic and shooter is somewhat easier but still labor intensive. The system requirements are higher than they say. Expand
  95. Oct 14, 2014
    This game snuck up on me. When I first played it, I didn't like it much, so I put it away and went off to play Starwars. After that bored me to death, I came back to The Secret World and this time it hooked me. I think the main thing that put me off the first time was not understanding the leveling system. TSW does not have levels. It uses a ranking system plus a Quality level of your equipment to determine the power of your character.

    I like the general overall story of the game, although the zombies do become tedious after a time, but once you are strong enough, they are just a nuisance that is easily gotten rid of. Once you leave the first couple of areas the zombies are no longer a problem.

    The quests are the major draw to TSW for me. They are well thought out and keep to the story throughout the game. Most of the quests, at least the main quests, are chains, chaining from one to the other until the final quest and boss. There are several different kinds of quests. The main quests are stories that require a lot of fighting usually. You may only have one of these active at any time. There are investigation quests, and exploration quests, each one of these types of quests have their own look and feel. The puzzle are sometimes rather amazing, requiring much investigation, usually on the web. There is a web browser included in game for solving these puzzle quests.

    You can play TSW solo or with a group. The group quests do require a group. If they are attempted solo the play will most surely fail.

    The NPCs are very life like. The quest givers are fully voiced and always have an interesting story. You have to listen carefully because they will slip in bits and pieces that can be extremely funny. Pay particular attention to deputy Andy.

    One caution, if foul language offends you, then give TSW a pass. The NPCs have some very flowery language. The game, for me, is never boring. There is always another quest to do or puzzle to figure out.
  96. Oct 16, 2014
    Excellent game. Character progression is interesting. The instanced dungeons are some of the best I have ever seen. Quests are fun, challenging and interesting. Graphics are amazing. is hard to find people to play with. Cabals have almost no functionality. PvP can be iffy.

    The only MMO I have ever played where the story has me hooked. I will continue to come
    back to it just to see what happens next. Expand
  97. May 29, 2013
    It's easy to jump into a MMO, form an impression love it or hate it and state your opinion. I was so very tempted to do that. I had waited for this game for years, I was primed to love it, and as I started playing I found a lot to like. Great visuals, dynamic combat, gripping stories, creepy mood, beautiful ambient sound and sweeping score, fun well designed instances, insanely dificult investigation missions... But will it last... will I want to wait for the proposed 7 years of story updates by the time I have 'finished' the launch content?

    Ok, so here I am a year later. I have finished the story campaign, and all of the side missions and caught up with the 'monthly' Issues that move the story forward and... YES! I still want more.

    I don't love the PvP, but that has never been my thing. I hear it has gotten better since launch and they have some interesting open world PvP in the pipe. I haven't advanced to the end of the instance nightmare instance lair raid progression... but working on that has been fun.

    Sure at this point I plan on scaling my playing back a bit as I wait for new Issues to come out. I'll log on to run instances with my friends or catch a player run show at the Albion or attend guild RP events... and that is great. If I had to play at full bore for 7 years... that would be too much. But given that the game is free to play now it's perfect for my pattern of play!

    This game would be worth many times it's purchase price even if you just play the story line mission and then never log on again... give it a try and my bet is that you will still be playing at the end of the 7 year story arc.

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
    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
    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
    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.