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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1271 Ratings

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  1. Nov 22, 2014
    I normally don't write reviews but I think this title deserves one.

    This game is in my opinion the most underrated MMO out there. The story is superb, easy to follow and interesting at the same time, it is always giving you more questions than answers but when you follow the story for a bit things slowly falls into place.
    The graphics is far better than most MMOs out there, giving your
    high end computer a run for the money but at the same time scales very well with older harware (I'm currently playing on my laptop gtx 680m).
    The combat is fluid and fun; movement and timing of attacks are more important than bashing buttons (although there is a bit of that as well). The combat never gets overly complicated with only 8 combat moves available at one time, but the variation of moves that can be set up prior to combat is extensive and varied.

    The game is fully playable as a single player only if you so wishes but gets more fun with a group of people in PVE mode. Unfortunately it can sometimes be difficult to find players to join you unless you are a member of a cabal (a guild), but I guess that is true for most MMOs.

    There are three types of missions (aside from dungeons and scenarios which are group missions); the classical seek and destroy, the covert agent missions and the investigation missions. They are all varied and fun to do and seldom feel like a chore. Most of them are repeatable which in my opinion is a good thing. On top of this you have the main story missions which combines all three elements as it follows the progression of your character.

    There is enough endgame material to keep things interesting for a long time and there are regular updates and new content added on. Admittedly it is not the size of WOW yet but it is steadily growing and improving.

    The main criticism I have is the inventory interface, represented by tiles that all look very similar and you have to hover the mouse over it to find out what it is. A minor annoyance that I have learnt to live with.

    I can't comment on PVP as it doesn't really interest me that much.

    All in all a game that I hope more people will try, because I'm sure you will like it. It is definitely worth the 30 dollars to buy.
  2. Nov 13, 2014
    IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF FREE TIME, you're VERY PATIENT, and DETERMINED, you will find yourself immersed in a dark, gloomy world that will make you feel immersed & excited just to be there. This game is very heavy on special effects, not necessarily polygon count, but actual effects and lighting, to the point where your graphics card might actually not be able to handle it. However, if you have dual GPUs, this game looks gorgeous on max, the lighting & special effects make it really a treat unlike any other MMO I've seen.

    As far as the abilities go, it's a little bit clunky since the indication of using skills is not exactly clear, you will probably find yourself button mashing a few times to make sure you used an ability. Once you get beyond that though, you'll find a multitude of hauntingly beautiful stories and puzzles to solve, with a plethora of cut-scenes, and the atmosphere is chilling.

    THERE ARE NO "CHARACTER LEVELS" *BUT* there IS a lot of "LEVELING" of SKILLS, so it's indirectly saying yes you have to level, just not officially saying it. You choose general weapons from shotgun, assault rifle, swords, magic (chaos/blood), and get new spells/abilities as you level up, your choice as to what skills. There's also miscellaneous skills to get such as taunt for "tanks" and heals, but it's all up to you as to what you want to get. There are pre-set templates though to use if you want a guide. Eventually you CAN get every skill on one character, so you don't need to level more than one character.

    The nice thing about the world in this game is it's modeled exactly after the real-life cities & towns, so it's like you are actually there, plus the gloom and doom of demons & zombies of course, but you might find your house if you happen to live in one of those areas in real life, that's how close it resembles the real thing.

    I have not actually gone very deep into the game, even though I've had the game for a while now, because I'm a big WoW player and League of Legends player, and have other things as well, so haven't had as much "urge" to play this game, but I get around to it every now and then. If I had some friends to play with it would be 10x more awesome, but for now I just play it solo and it's fine for a few puzzles / quests here and there just to get my end-of-the-world zombie apocalypse fix.

    They just added a new area: Tokyo, and I heard it's really fun.

    There's also PvP, but again I'm very newbish and can't even hold a stick against the enemy team. All in all, if you have little cash to spend, this is a good game if you have a lot of time & maybe a friend to come with you, but make sure you go in with an open mind and you try to actually immerse yourself, otherwise you'll take it at face value & it won't be fun to you.
  3. Nov 13, 2014
    I had bought this game on steam on sale this past holloween for $10...$10 well spent. Yes the combat can be a little bit annoying at first, but its definitely not the worst. The games combat feels clunky at first, especially if youre used to target ,right click, followed by hotkey presses here and there like WOW or GW2, but once you get the hang of it, its actually a lot better than some F2P MMO's or even payed ones too. The setting feels refreshing and new, the story is well played and the limit on the amount of quests you can have at a time allow that story to be noticed (til this day i can shamefully say i have no idea what the story is about in WOW). the fact that there is no leveling or even a class system is a very bold move for an MMO and kinda shows ESO how this system should've been implemented in some sort, as thats how Elder Scroll games are supposed to be, yes skyrim is the only one with absolutely no class system but even earlier elder scrolls titles gave you the option to create your own class to your liking, which is what TSW does very well. also one thing you either love or hate is the option to change and reassign set skills, to hardcore rpg or mmo players, having those choices engraved forever means you have to choose wisely and level your toon very carefully, that is the challenging factor that makes a good game, however the other end adds flexibility for newbies, and expands ever changing features where you wouldnt have to start a new toon to experience said features. The games graphics are rather poor for a post 2010 game, however this is where accessibility is brought into the picture. Realistically, not everyone has a top of the line computer, so with that said it can run on most PCs. Now since im fairly new to this game (but not to the MMO genre) i didnt experience that many bugs in the game, so its fairly polished at this point, but i did hear horror stories in the beginning.

    Overall this game is a great MMO, its combat is an "either you love it or hate it" situation, Graphics are poor but not terrible, its not perfect and to some it might be dull, but if youre tired of playing MMO's that desperately copy the WOW formula or are in a over-used J.R.R. Tolkien cookie-cutter fantasy, then give it a shot, if youre still not convinced, wait for it to go on sale.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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 .
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.

  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. 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)
  27. Nov 6, 2013
    I'm an avid fan of H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, zombies, and all things that go bump, and I was immediately drawn to The Secret World because of the obvious influence the horror genre has had on its sensibilities. I'd never played any MMORG's before TSW but that didn't hinder me from immediately becoming immersed into its elaborate world.

    The game proper begins in Kingsmouth, Maine, an
    isolated community on Solomon Island (although one can travel to any map from here provided they know the way). Once idyllic, this Arkham inspired New England town is now overrun by zombies, sea monsters, and cosmic horrors. The few remaining holdouts provide the lion's share of the quests available on the island, though there are plenty scattered throughout. The individual quest lines conjoin to build an encompassing island narrative of what went wrong in their community, and there is so much that did. Solomon Island is a haunted, insane place, and I've greatly enjoyed uncovering its' secrets.

    The strong emphasis on story telling and NPC personality really shines in TSW and the voice acting is always top notch. One of my favorites is Hayden Montag, played by Jeffery Combs, who you may recognize for portraying Herbert West in the cult horror film series Re-Animator (Re-Animator was based on H.P. Lovecraft's famous novel). Many of the characters are very aware of common horror tropes, and will casually refer to them in a very self aware, wink to the audience, breaking the fourth wall kind of way that I find incredibly endearing. This is one game where I really pay attention to what every character has to say; every single idiosyncratic word.

    I am also very pleased by how much TSW plays like a dedicated adventure survival horror PC game. There are the riddles, puzzles, and the exploration familiar to adventure gamers and they are all intelligently designed and well presented, many of them requiring research, for example, into Latin, Morse code, Medieval history, even musical composition. If you take the time to figure out things on your own, you can actually learn a lot!

    Having never really played any on-line cooperative games before, I really wanted more of a solo gaming experience going at my own pace, instead of a group one just running around from one checkpoint to the next, but with the option of testing the waters of team play once I had some time under my belt to become familiar with the gameplay. So far I have been able to do exactly that. None of the initial missions are too difficult to be done alone, and once most quests for one map are completed my character was well developed enough to go on alone to the next map. There are missions that are impossible to be done single-handed, but nothing that would hinder the player from progressing from area to area and going back later with a group for the rest. And missions that were first done in a group can always be replayed solo after a cooling off period if you are so inclined.

    The Secret World is huge. At the time of this review there are maps in Maine, New York City, Seoul, Transylvania, Egypt, London, one in Tokyo being released soon, and more, with many locations having multiple maps themselves. They are constantly expanding their universe and it is safe to say there is enough content to last for months or years. I've played for about 60 hours so far and I haven't even made it out of New England yet!

    The game does have its annoyances, but most, if not all, can be resolved throughout the learning curve. Read the stickies in the Newcomer forum on The Secret World message board as they can cut that curve in half. My only major complaint about the gameplay is that when sticking to the same weapons, which you must do in order to level them up, the fighting can get very repetitive.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed The Secret World. It's fun, imaginative, ambitious and unpredictable. Now that it's gone free to play (no monthly subscription) I highly recommend it to anyone who loves adventure games, horror stories, or role playing. In The Secret World, death is just the beginning. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
  28. Oct 31, 2013
    The scores of 10 have to have been written by what was left of the Funcom staff before they all got fired, as there is no way this game should score more than a 5 pity vote. The combat is the worst thing about this game, it's full of bugs which never get fixed (and are built into the Dreamworld Engine since Anarchy Online days and will never be fixed, because lazy devs). Now they've all been fired (and rightly so) there is no way this game will be anything more than on life support. GG Funcom for another disaster. Giving a 0 for balance with all the lying 10s written by staff under threat of the chopping block. Expand
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. Sep 17, 2013
    It's unlike any MMO I've played before. I personally find the combat far superior to GW2 and like the graphic style and locations. It also plays at a nice pace (much more relaxed than most MMO's). I missions (quests) have thought involved and don't rely on the constant 'Hello I need 15 apples from the forest' crap. This alone makes this game stand out. I wanted to grab it at release but with so many other games at the time, I neglected it. With the now buy and play deal (aka no more monthly fees) it seemed like the perfect time to test drive the game. People's views on games varies hugely and TSW is no exception here. I hear that the initial release had many mission breaking bugs and assume that's why the critic reviews score it so low. So far, I'm yet to find any of these and think that if it was re-reviewed in it's current state the critical score would be much higher. I for one will champion TSW as it deserves the praise. I just joined the Firefall beta and was extremely unimpressed with it. People need to look at new ways to entertain the public. TSW does this. Buy and enjoy. Expand
  33. 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
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Jul 11, 2013
    Very cool game could've been done better. I like the sound and gameplay mechanics even thought a bit out dated. Loved the class system seemed balanced and very deep. Equipment could have had more added to it i think. Otherwise very cool story and lore. give it an 8.
  42. 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 :)

  43. Jul 4, 2013
    The game, regardless of its compelling content, is crippled by its bugs and should not be played.

    A year after launch, some friendly NPCs still attack players during escort quests; this has been going on forever and has apparently been fixed before. One of the few useful Blood magic elite actives kills tanks if combined with a signet; Benediction has been a problem for a while.

    of the new quests that end with a cut-scene and teleport simply black out the screen and force you to reset the interface and find the continuation of the quest on your own dime. Was the main quest line supposed to teleport you elsewhere? Instead, it merely blind you, forces you to use your one teleport on long CD, and then forces you to walk to the continuation.

    Problems with PvP queues prevent the majority of players from entering the massive Fusang arena, in which all three factions were supposed to meet for epic combat; some players have waited in line for eight hours. In another arena, one faction was able to win more than 200x per hour because broken queues mean they weren't matched to enemies.

    Even disregarding the new game-breaking problems in PvP, the developers have barely lifted a finger to address major imbalances in all arenas. Nothing prevents farming of new-/lowbies. In Fusang, the bots that were introduced in an attempt to help underdogs do no such thing, especially since they vanish soon after capturing a facility; i.e. the underdog can't hold on to what they were just given. There were promises of matchmaking, but the population is certainly too small by this point.

    It's not as if the developers have been idle. They had time to cut crit and proc rates in half for Burst abilities, an unwelcome change especially for new players who used these abilities to compensate for low stats on early gear. They had time to put a one year anniversary boss in Fusang, where it can't be accessed by most due to broken queues.

    Etc., etc. The game had promise and was accompanied by a large number of promises. These and the game itself continue to be actively broken. Do not participate in this exercise in frustration.
  44. 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.
  45. 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
  46. 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.
  47. 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!
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. May 26, 2013
    Quick Review: Probably the only mmorpg I have played after leaving WoW that does not feel like a game that copied or aspired to be something like WoW. It is just its own game.
    Pros: Excellent world, story, art and theme.
    Cons: Lame, though intuitive, combat system.
    Loses points for having a box price. Any mmo like this should be F2P, especially when there is a micro transaction store in-game.
  51. 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.
  52. May 2, 2013
    This is a great game that many would find fun, but it wasn't for me. It looks good, and lets you freely mix and match skills. Unfortunately, aside from the occasional puzzle to shake things up, it pretty much plays like every other MMO. 1, 2, 3, 4, mob dead, next mob. For contrast, something like DDO ( lets me, as a mage, use spells that will clear an entire room at once, with one spell. They give me the flexibility to have truly powerful and unique abilities something TSW simply doesn't provide, as far as I've seen. The story is interesting, the class system is interesting, but ultimately the game plays pretty much the same as every other MMO. Sad, really, considering the high hopes I had for the game after my first few hours of play. Expand
  53. 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.
  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. 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.
  56. 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
  57. 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
  58. Mar 16, 2013
    More bugs.
    Horrible controls.
    Boring story.
    Very limited BGM (Background Music) variety.
    Too much grinding.
    Way too much grinding.
    Crapiest PVP system on earth. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
  59. Orc
    Mar 11, 2013
    Unlike others below, this game convinced me to give up on Funcom. It's incredibly buggy, incredibly exploited, crashes...often...Did I say that it's heavily exploited? A few minutes in the battle grounds and you will understand ;)

    What does it have? Nice graphics and character customization options...but that doesn't make a game. The battle grounds are hit and miss on whether you
    will enjoy them, or fall asleep. As I learned, falling asleep with your head on the keyboard will get you banned...roflmao. Other games solved that problem eons ago.

    Issues after months of "fixes":

    Dragging items in your inventory takes a graduate degree. It's perhaps the sloppiest code ever written. The possible results range from it moves where you wanted it, it moves somewhere completely different. the game tries to (or succeeds) at destroying it, or (for consumables) sorry sucker you just drank it.

    It's also a massive grind fest. In standard Funcom tradition, they are incapable of either creating in-depth content, or scaling the availability to their desired will grind and grind, and grind. But don't worry, almost every quest is repeatable (brings back memories of Age of Conan back). Yes, you will need to repeat them...forever. Good luck on new content. They fired most of their programmers months ago.

    As for the story. Nice idea, very badly implemented. Despite a plethora of cut scenes, they just did a poor job of developing their story. It was a great disappointment after Age of Conan's beautiful lead in (AoC died late in the leveling scale but at least made it through a few levels of play prior to that).

    Ah yes, let's not forget that this is really AoC with a new skin. Yes kiddies, its the same crappy resource hungy, unstable, gaming engine. Indeed some of the oldest bugs are still there. Just crank up the details and especially the shadow details, and you will see large patches of the world that don't quite work right. Indeed, even on low settings, I found an entire region that became unstable (as in most of it disappeared and I was left staring at the subterrain) during one of the quests.

    Can it be enjoyable. Yes. Can you have fun? Yes. Is it worthwhile to play given the many alternatives? Given a choice between TSW and WoW, I would go read a book, watch a movie, or perhaps watch the birds as they fly past my house going where ever birds go this time of year.

    Other issues,
  60. 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
  61. 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.
  62. Mar 3, 2013
    I played during the beta but decided to wait a bit before buying into the game. I purchased the game in early January so I now have 2 months plus the beta time under my belt and I'm still torn on how I feel about the game. I believe Funcom should be commended for trying to think outside of the MMORPG box in regards to their skills and abilities system. Far too many MMOs follow a simplistic model where the player makes one initial "spec" choice and everything in the future is confined to this choice. By removing the idea of numerical "levels", Funcom was able to dispense with this paradigm entirely, allowing players to earn an infinite amount of Ability and Skill Points that can be allocated in any skill. These skills are then used like a customizable card game, where the player determines which skills they prefer and must discover how various skills and passive abilities complement each other. The system can be overwhelming at first but once a new player gets the hang of it, it can be very rewarding. However, because it's still an MMO at heart, players have discovered which weapons or skills are the "best" and have already started sharing "cookie cutter" builds (called "decks") to min-max potential. The act of exploring different playstyles is negated by guilds (called "cabals") who want people to build certain decks for hard mode content and raids. Gameplay is traditional MMO fare: find a rotation and stick to it. Certain skills build points while other spend the points you build and this can be managed between both equipped weapons. In many MMOs, like Warcraft, the playerbase tends to look down on classes where you only click one or two buttons and call it a day but, thanks to the design of only allowing 7 abilities, TSW makes a 2-4 button "rotation" typical for everyone regardless of weapons chosen or deck design. Within only a few hours, the monotony of the combat system sets in. While players get beefier spells as they progress, the monotony of the design never changes. An elemental magic user, for example, might graduate from "Shock" to "Arc Flash" as a primary nuke but the rotation remains the same. Graphically the game is decent but not great. It suffers from many graphical glitches. DX11 integration is lacking and often causes performance drops even on high end systems. Character models are stiff, bland, and uninteresting while combat models and particle effects are merely passable. The world environments are amazing but suffer from texture pop in and shadow issues on both DX9 and DX11 modes. The story of The Secret World tries to pass off a dark, Lovecraftian, post-apocalyptic world full of warring secret societies but falls flat. The secret societies don't feel fleshed out enough to feel as though they're really mortal enemies, and the world doesn't feel as dark as it looks. The in game store is an unmitigated disaster, often having trouble dealing with transactions and bugging out while delivering items that are bought. In addition, the cost of these items are ridiculously high ($7 for a black trenchcoat for ONE character, for example) and is often the only way to get decent cosmetic items as the game's vendors have simple, bland, goods. All told, it can be an enjoyable game but it still retains many of the bugs that were present back in the beta, nickles and dimes players as bad as free-to-play MMOs, and doesn't do anything particularly groundbreaking. The ability and skill system is refreshing for a while but marred by the repetition of the combat and the blandness of the story and character interaction. At $29.99, it is worth playing for the casual player. For the hardcore MMO player, TSW leaves much to be desired. Expand
  63. 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
  64. Feb 15, 2013
    The other best mmrpg out there. The best being Warhammer online, of course. Yeh, perhaps the density of monsters is too high in some areas, but altogether everything else in this game is right and might.
  65. 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
  66. Feb 5, 2013
    Easily in the top 3 best MMO's currently out, The Secret World does almost everything right. Questing and leveling are a refreshing change from the standard formula, and the setting is immersive and unlike anything else on the market. Fans of customizing a character will love the skill-wheel system, as there are no true classes and you can change literally everything about your character's abilities. Everything has a touch of the Horror genre to it (which you'll feel in depth from the very first area.) Quests can be both very hard and rewarding, some of which require you to do actual research in the in-game browser (or just look up the answer to a puzzle in the many guides that exist.) All that said, the game falls a little flat in the endgame. PVP is mostly unsatisfying and stacked toward premade teams (which are in the same queue as soloers), the endgame Nightmare-level dungeons can be both prohibitively difficult and excessively grindy, and the move to buy-to-play has ensured that endgame content will continue coming out at a slow pace. Not perfect, but well worth the purchase price, and very easy to sink a large amount of time into. Expand
  67. 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
  68. Jan 21, 2013
    The Secret World is a hidden gem in the MMO landscape. The quests are brilliant and very few are simply fetch X of this and kill Y of that. They have a lot of thought put into them and the resulting questing experience is really enjoyable and has a lot of flow. Some of the investigation quests are down right devious and you'll be finding yourself using the ingame web browser to help solve them, or if you are up for a bigger challenge, spending a couple of hours trying to crack the code yourself. For instance, one quest involves deciphering morse code to figure out a location to go to. Not so hard if it was written down, but the morse code is audio. Of course the answer is freely available on the internet if you wish to go that way, or decipher yourself if you're really up for a challenge.

    The dungeons are also well paced and thought out and offer a good challenge, very minimal trash so the action really flows.

    There are no "levels" as such but you'll need to complete quests to gain XP to allow you to wear better armour and gain access to better skills.

    Given that this game has dropped the monthly subscription (I'd be surprised to see any major MMOs launch with a monthly subscription in the future btw - I think the micro transaction model is the way of the future) it is well worth the purchase up front for hours and hours of gameplay.
  69. Jan 19, 2013
    For being an MMO, the storyline is amazing. It's very deep and well written, and the graphics is probably the best in it's genre. There are a few bugs here and there, but overall it's a great experience. Best part is that the subscription is gone. Pay once and play as much as you want. This game doesn't suffer from what other F2P games does. There's no "Pay to win" in this game at all. All you can purchase are more item and character slots and a few boosts that makes you level up faster, but that's more to help you progress faster and it won't effect your gameplay experience if you choose not to pay for extra stuff. Considering that you can get the game for about $20-30, being completely fee-free and offers the player alot of fun, I highly recommend this game. Expand
  70. Jan 18, 2013
    Very inovative as MMORPG in many aspect. Questing is a real pleasure and the story is very deep, an uncommon feature for MMORPGs. Now that is B2P i think it deserves the the attention of many.
  71. Jan 15, 2013
    A game with original background and gameplay. Numerous and various missions. A must have when u love MMos. Puzzles in MMos are refreshing and bring a new blood in these kind of games.
  72. Jan 13, 2013
    It been since bc wow that I've lost track of time where 4 hours feels like 1 cause playing is so much fun. I loved it in beta and it's come a long way since then and keeps getting better.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. Jan 10, 2013
    Great constantly growing singeplayer+MMO.
    Just try it if you have somewhat powerful PC. It definitely worth more than its price (B2P now) just for singleplayer content. So just try.
  76. 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.
  77. 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).
  78. 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.
  79. 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!
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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
  84. Dec 29, 2012
    After shelling out 25 bucks for the game on steam and playing it for 30 minutes, I decided never to play the game again. It sucks that bad ! I got suckered into buying this game because of all the good reviews on here. Now I either think these people are personally insane that gave it a good rating or these are company employees posting. LOL Now after the game is supposedly free to play now with no monthly dues they still charged my credit card after I took the billing details off their website. Hands down one of the worst experiences I have had. Now I have to contest the charges on my card and all that jazz. Such a waste of time and resources for me on my end. Save yourself some time and money and DONT buy this crappy game ! Expand
  85. Dec 25, 2012
    This game tries so hard to emit the creepy, eerie feeling of a classic horror story but it just fails to do so in any convincing manner. Within the first few hours of this game I was already turned off by the narrative, the presentation and the general vibe of the game. Possibly the biggest problem I have with this game is the story, if you've ever read or even casually flipped through a Lovecraft novel you'll find this games attempts to present a dark atmosphere laughably poor. The quests seem to go on forever but with no real purpose, I felt no interest in anything, even though I was trying. The only time I remember actually feeling a twinge of dread was when I remembered how much I had spent on this game. Expand
  86. Dec 25, 2012
    I really have to admit funcom aspires to make a great game. They try on a lot of fronts. But not on bugfixing. There are bugs in there - major bugs which exist already since beginning and there are a lot of people complaining about it. what do they do? put new clothes in the store that you can buy. really i mean. i see that it takes time to fix stuff, but forever? for that unbelievable bad service they do not deserve any points at all. that is just bland evil. Expand
  87. Dec 25, 2012
    Storyline in this game is truly excellent and now that it requires no subscription and costs about $25, there's simply no reason not to try this (even if you are not into MMOs in general, just for the quests, story and setting).
  88. Dec 20, 2012
    If you're tired of the traditional-style MMO, TSW is the game for you. The dungeons are amazing, they focus more on the boss fights than the amount of trash-mobs; the cut-scenes are fun to listen to (they also have some awesome voice actors;) ) Investigation/Sabotage missions can take a while to complete and even require some outside information, or even Google; with a built-in web browser in-game it does not take away from the immersion to use a search engine (if you role-play, think of your toon using a smart-phone). The graphics are amazing, you can see the glitter of a road's asphalt in Kingsmouth Town; the structures of the game look picturesque. Each Society (or faction) has their own storyline to it, and their own way of getting things done, adding a unique feeling to each of them. There are some issues in the game (quest bugs, chat issues; many bugs that plague most MMOs to-date) you can get stuck on a quest tier, have issues with chat, have some tooltip errors or missing items. I must say, Funcom has some of the most hospitable GMs I've ever seen (from my experiences) they get everything done as fast as they can, always are in a good mood, fun to talk to sometimes to :). The combat is certainly interesting. The combinations of passive/active abilities are difficult to decide which one(s) you want in those slots, some skills are just that good. The passive/active abilities can work in harmony to create some devastating effects, like high penetration hits (which do massive damage, more than criticals I believe) or massive healing boosts/damage mitigation. Each skill tree has their strength: Hammers can benefit from Impairment (knock-down, stunning) to increase damage/defense; Blood Magic benefits from DoTs to increase penetration rating/heal/apply DoTs; and so on, so forth. You get one elite active and one elite passive, both of which can turn the tables in any fight, the tough thing is deciding which on you want to use. The Secret World is definitely a breath of fresh air from the traditional MMOs. The modern-day setting is really amazing: from the dark streets of Kingsmouth to the conflict-ridden dunes of Egypt to the gloomy woods of Transylvania; The Secret World does an excellent job at setting the mood for each of the zones and dungeons. The Secret World is definitely a game worth trying, especially if you are a fan of some famous authors ;). Expand
  89. Dec 19, 2012
    I am totally in love of the game. I had not tried early because of the monthly subscription payments (I am pretty busy and did not want to pay for months that I may not even login once), but with the new one time payment and DLC models, it's was hard not to give it a try. And I absolutely addicted to it. Whoever likes the kind of modern/science fiction/horror universe should definitely go for it.
    I feel for this game the same way as when I read a great book and watch an awesome moive: I just want other people to experience it too.
  90. 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.
  91. 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
  92. Dec 17, 2012
    A really great alternative to the current blockbuster MMO's. Its a great mechanics and an awesome story.. well worth the new price point - and now subscription free which gives this 'new' TSW a perfect 10.
  93. Dec 13, 2012
    Everything you would expect from an MMO in this genre, which is saying A LOT because I'm not aware of another MMO that uses the supernatural/X-files/Grimm genre, dark humor included. The UI is ridiculously well designed and intuitive. The Graphics are top notch, while Funcom's Game Engine is the most advanced, and has been for a long time. The questing system flows so that you are rarely without something to do, either solo or with friends or pick-up group. dungeons are boss only, no trash mobs, or very little. Crafting is intuitive. landscape is incredibly well done, and attention to environment detail is ridiculous. PVP is great for all levels, and you can theoretically do all your leveling and buy all your gear from pvp'ing. Armor is replaced with Talismans, that are fully customizable and upgradable repeatedly, where a new upgrade just pushes out the old one. players are rewarded for being versatile and experimenting with their setup, and punished for being lazy and trying to be a one-trick-pony. you can save dozens of different setups and switch to them on the fly. Weapons can be skinned, modified, upgraded or even built from scratch and then broken down again when you are done with it. playfields are huge in scope, while the compass system and maps are well done and easy to follow. teaming is easy. dimensions are broken into shards, where anyone from any server can team up with anyone from another server, great if you want to farm an area and its already full. transportation in tsw is fast and convenient. there is little penalty for dying, except that you can either run back and find corpse or Resurrect elsewhere at a well of your choice, or when in a dungeon fighting boss. if you die fighting a boss in a dungeon, you are locked to an anima well, but you can click the camera option and get a birds eye view of the fight from any teammate still in the fight, which helps to learn the tactics if you die and are new to that boss. ----- In conclusion; this is the best MMO in history for those that love the genre, and just hate grinding. you will meet some of the most fleshed out characters in this MMO, characters that remind you of real people. All voice acted. You will constantly be rewarded everywhere you go, and experimenting with weird and uncanny builds will only serve to benefit you in the long run. If you haven't bought this game yet, do it. just be warned: you will not be able to stop playing. Expand
  94. Dec 12, 2012
    Please do not waste your money. I've played many pay to play and free to play MMOs over the course of 12 years and I can confidently say that I was extremely foolish for buying this game. If you see positive reviews for this game please consider that they are possibly reviews created by the game's PR staff.

    Let me breakdown some positive and negative aspects of this game from a buyers

    (Keep in mind: My PC is setup to smoothly play TERA, Final Fantasy XIV, and Crysis 2 all on highest settings.)

    Positive (The only reasons this game got a 2 from me):
    - The game scenery looks nice.

    - The game has a unique and interesting storyline compared to other MMOs

    - The character creation process is ridiculously limited

    - The character visuals and animations are horrible. The game's scenery looks way better than the character visuals.

    - This Pay to Play game has an In-Game item shop which offers items that are far superior to the items achievable via game progress. You have the option to purchase items in the store with in-game farmed currency, a ton of in-game currency. (really? wtf were the devs thinking?)

    - Combat is below lackluster. Imagine if GTA mated with Second Life and they produced a child game with down-syndrome -> Voila The Secret World Combat System. - PVP in The Secret World is probably the worst PVP that has ever been created in the history of all MMOs. Seriously. Couple this with the derp-a-tronic lamesauce combat system and you will be shortly bashing your head into nearby objects in order to pound some sanity back into your mind.

    - Questing is subpar. This aspect of the game isn't as horrendous as the others but it is a close runner up as far as the actual conent of the questing goes. The only thing that partially makes the questing bearable is the storyline and scenery (which are also the only two aspects which get a favorable review in my opinion).

    I could go on and on but eventually I would run out of word count.

    I gave this game a chance. I leveled and quested until I could only go further for the sake of validating reasons why this game caused me serious Buyer's Remorse.

    If you buy this game for 49.99 on steam then I am sad to say that you have wasted your money horrendously. If you don't believe me then try their 3 day free trial (which they created due to the massive amount of customers wanting refunds due to buyer's remorse. seriously they didnt even have a 3 day trial to begin with until this BS game started making people angry)

    The Secret World had potential. However, if you have played MMOs before and are a veteran looking for a deep sense of accomplishment and gratification then this title is a bane to your existence. I would highly recommend looking elsewhere or spending your money on something more rewarding like a lottery ticket.
  95. Dec 3, 2012
    The dialogue and story are where this game really shines. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed the humor in this game.

    The downside is solo play. Even more than most MMOs, this game (like all Funcom games) is really designed for very social gamers. If you prefer to solo TSW can be incredibly grindy and frustrating.
  96. Nov 28, 2012
    Great game with great potential. Fun, innovatory, educative and most of all - very immersive. Everybody is crying for new ways in MMO but if there is such game, everybody is crying thats too much new ;) Game mechanics arent easy to understand but if you go deeper - you are rewarded.;)Try trial!
  97. 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
  98. Nov 20, 2012
    This game is great. The modern day setting, the story-line, the voice acting, the puzzles; are fresh. I like the fact that you only need one character to fill any party role. In other MMO's I would roll an alt for every class. Now I can pursue endgame content full time. If groups are needing a healer, I'm that. If they need DPS, I'm that. Still learning tanking, but if they break the glass, I can even be that.

    All monsters are real. All conspiracies are real. I love this game so much, and see so much room for future content I bought my first MMO lifetime subscription.
  99. Nov 10, 2012
    The game is a blast and for an MMO the game play, setting, and story is refreshing. Unlike many MMOs as you continue through the storyline you do feel that your character is taking a side in the world conflict.

    I would say this game is designed with the target audience being experienced MMO players who are tired of hight fantasy MMOs and are looking for something different. While the
    game does not strictly put you into one of the basic classes (Tank, healer, DPS) because of the open ended ability wheel and being able to hot-swap what your character does, don't think this means it's a "classless" game. The community as well as how the game mechanics work will eventually lead you to building a set of abilities that basically makes you a tank, healer, or dps. However what is nice is the variety of combinations that you can use to achieve your goal makes leveling and unlocking new abilities and trying them out to see if one is better than another a real treat.

    Endgame still has the same problems as any other MMO in that once you hit it and once you've gotten all the gear you want, there's basically nothing left to do but PVP and finish up the numerous little achievement goals they set out. I hit the cap about two months ago (been playing since release) and am finally to the point where I'm not playing the game every day.

    The monthly updates makes sure that there's always a reason to keep your subscription going (or at least reactivate it ever two or three months).
  100. Nov 8, 2012
    I've actually waited a few to come and post my 2 cents worth of a review. Mostly, because I've been wondering if at some point I would get bored with it.

    Four months later... I'm still playing the game and enjoying every minute of the game play. Even if I'm just doing missions or if I'm grouping up with my cabal mates to tackle a dungeon. The main story was very compelling and even now
    I still talk about the little theories I have about the stories development with my friends.

    Sure things are clunky, but what game that comes out is not without issues. WoW had them, as did EQ, Star Wars Galaxies and a slew of other games. Definitely give this game a chance and watch the content unfold, it really is worth the time.
  101. 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.

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.