User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1243 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Mar 8, 2014
    1
    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.
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  2. Feb 23, 2014
    4
    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.
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  3. Jan 26, 2014
    4
    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
  4. Oct 31, 2013
    0
    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
  5. Jul 27, 2013
    2
    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.
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  6. Jul 4, 2013
    0
    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.

    Many
    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.
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  7. Jun 28, 2013
    0
    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.
  8. Apr 14, 2013
    4
    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
  9. Mar 16, 2013
    1
    Bugs.
    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.
  10. Orc
    Mar 11, 2013
    1
    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 investment...you 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,
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  11. Feb 12, 2013
    3
    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
  12. Feb 1, 2013
    4
    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
  13. Jan 13, 2013
    0
    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.
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  14. Jan 5, 2013
    3
    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.
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  15. Jan 2, 2013
    3
    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.
  16. Dec 29, 2012
    0
    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
  17. Dec 25, 2012
    0
    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
  18. Dec 25, 2012
    0
    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
  19. Dec 12, 2012
    2
    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
    perspective:

    (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

    Negative
    - 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.
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  20. Nov 6, 2012
    4
    I was really excited about TSW. It seemed to offer heaps of innovation. I pre-ordered it, and only played for a week, didn't renew my subscription. Very disappointed. The setting, theme etc are really different. It has story, voice acting etc. Great stuff and well done for that. More MMOs should be like it. BUT, the game is dull. You spend ages just running around, unable to interact with the world around you (especially the bicycles lying around which would really speed things up if you were allowed to click on them!). The combat is extremely repetitive and old-fashioned. Just mash the same button over and over again, against the same-looking set of zombies over and over again. It's like SWTOR, story and character, but the gameplay is stuck in the bad part of 2003. Expand
  21. Oct 29, 2012
    1
    I created an account just so that I can provide my opinion of this game. I purchased this game when it launched on steam (after the initial launch) and was very disapointed with my purchase. The game was still lacking in the polish department which was unacceptible for the price paid. Text dissapearing from character names and logs, poor font visibility, and insanely poor combat animations are all things that should have been fixed before this game came out. People should not pay retail for a company to actually finish their game. I have played many MMO's over the ages, (DAoC, WoW, UO, Tera, LoTRO, GW2, etc) and trust me this is an MMO to avoid... I gave this a three due to good ideas and decent atmosphere but overall this game is a mess. Further, I honestly think NoFuncom is paying people to Lie in here... Expand
  22. Oct 11, 2012
    0
    Extremely inconsistent game; poor balance between "classes" (your class is, more or less, the two weapons you're using) leading to a small number of flavor-of-the-month builds; constant exploitation and bugs; questionable endgame involving extremely repetitive farming.
  23. Oct 11, 2012
    4
    The game is very mixed: a great levelling process followed by character progression that is purely gear related. It was so close to being a good game, but at the end of the day, it's one for the grinders only.
  24. Sep 29, 2012
    4
    Ok first off I have no respect for the company who make this game which is a bad start. I will keep this short is this a Good game? Unique game? Worth your MOney? IMO No,No,and No.
    If you still wish to play the game wait a month or two it will be free to play as Funcom already have the tooling to make it so. For those who bought Life subs I am sorry for your loss, but same happened to me
    in Lord of the Rings Online when the shaft3d me and went Free to play leaving Life subscribers like me with no value for my money. I learned my lesson accepted my loss and moved on as the free to play version of Lord of the Rings Online was completely useless. So hang on play for free well not really free cash shoppy but you know what I mean soon. Expand
  25. Sep 18, 2012
    3
    If I had to choose one word to describe this game, it would be "bipolar". While it has clear aspirations to be one thing, the implementation of game often seems to be quite the opposite. Starting with the story, the setting and the tone it sets, it felt like a breath of fresh air in the MMO landscape. But then it chose to give your character no voice, literally or figuratively. In all the quests and cut-scenes, there is almost no input from you, or even your character, who stands mute and emotionless during the monologues of the quest giver (or dialogues, in the few cases where the giver is more than one person). I felt less involvement and immersion with my character, than I have in most FPS games, much less one that is supposed to be an RPG. (Even the characters you play in Left4Dead have more personality.) At the end of the first chapter, I was afforded a choice, which took me aback. But even here, I felt I lacked the information I needed to make it, and afterwards, I felt little repercussions from it. Also, I found that contrary to the setting and premise, there's very little exploration of the conflict between the secret societies. For the most part, it's filled with "monster-of-the-moment" quests, with little flexibility as to achieving the goal--and after you do so, the lack of interacting with the quest giver again often feels like there is a lack of closure to the mini-story. After finishing the first chapter, looking back it just didn't feel like a cohesive and engrossing plot line--just a string of connected events. The "subterfuge" type quests promised different gameplay, and in one sense it does as you try to avoid combat, but without any stealth mechanics in the game (not even the ability to crouch behind things ala Deus Ex: HR), "sneaking around" means just staying out of aggro range. You cross open areas with enemies in plain sight, but just not close enough for them to engage. I guess they are all very nearsighted and lack glasses.... The investigation-type quests also had potential, but since this takes up a slot as your one allowed main mission, you feel "frozen" as you have it, and instead of keeping it in the back of your mind as you explore, I found myself getting very impatient with them. The game touts itself as "leveless", but it only meets that literally. You have to buy abilities with AP and some skills with SP. Tied with bonuses due to gear, this means that the game has a very definite progression, perhaps less than in some leveled systems, but still very pronounced. Plus, the ability system seems to reach "plateaus" of effectiveness, meaning that there are often huge stair-steps in your progression. Eventually, about 2/3 of the way through the first chapter, I found that I had pretty much max'ed out a build, and that to try to achieve something better would mean trashing and reformulating my build, all the while not getting any "better". Gameplay itself, while promising to be fresh, plays that way to begin, but then devolves into monotony, as with only 7 active abilities at one time there's very little tactical selection when playing solo. You end up using the same rotations over and over. As a final comment, since this game uses a subscription model, you are constantly reminded of the fun-vs-cost ratio that must be maintained for your own satisfaction. In my opinion, it doesn't come close to meeting my bar for such. If you are looking for a story experience, SW:TOR delivers far better. If you are looking for gameplay, many others are more entertaining. Expand
  26. Sep 13, 2012
    3
    This game is not worth it. The only thing that makes it different from any other MMORPG is the modern-time setting. Don't forget you'll be buying the game AND paying a 15 dollar monthly subscription. The graphics are nothing glorious, the animations are basic and abrupt (i.e. you can go sprinting, then randomly jump higher than two cars piled, then land normally and go on sprinting), the combat system is horrible and the missions are blatantly repetitive. Of course it has an original storyline and setting, no doubt about that. But Funcom is just trying to leech your wallet - a different story doesn't make the game worth its current prices. Star Wars The Old Republic made it free to play, and if they don't do the same with The Secret world, its going to fall... face-first. Summing it up: Game CD + 15 dollars per month for something you can do on WoW, Allods, Forsaken World, Vindictus, or any other MMORPG, with no special features or revolutionary game mechanics. Is it worth it? Not by an inch. Expand
  27. Sep 12, 2012
    3
    Terrible combat. Rubbish animations. Too much running back and forth due to Funcom deciding you can only carry one of a particular type of quest. I'm giving it 3 specifically for the investigation quests. These are the ONLY good part of the game. The rest is pretty poor. The story is OK, not great. The voice acting is awful in places, especially the NPCs with English accents, and London in general is a joke. I really wanted to love this game, but in my opinion, Funcom did their usual thing and rushed it to get it out before GW2 and maybe MoP. It didn't work. I'm glad I wasn't one of those suckers that bought the GM pack. The biggest fail here however is the monthly sub. This game does not warrant the largest monthly sub fee of any MMORPG that is available in the UK. Funcom are ripping players off by charging around £3.00 more than the market leader - World of Warcraft. That's suicide right there if you ask me. Expand
  28. Aug 30, 2012
    4
    Sadly, this would have been great as a single player game. Excellent story and questing marred by boring, unpolished combat, tacked on PvP and a WoW-esque approach to endgame. Third time is unfortunately not a charm for Funcom.
  29. Aug 29, 2012
    0
    At first i realy liked the game, but unfortunately there is a fair amount of game breakers in this game. It starts with little things which are most likely the influence of EA. For example even though its a subscription based game, there is a cash shop. Many outfits have a single item, which is not available ingame except from the cash shop. So either pay cash or never complete your outfit.---------------------- Next thing they offer in the cash shop is server transfers. Dragon faction members are underpopulated on almost all "Dimensions" (virtual servers on the single TSW server). But instead of offering free transfers to them, they are blackmailed into "stay in your factions empty "fusang" (persistant pvp area), or pay 20 euros". And there is a huge bunch of annoying bugs, some of the dungeon bosses are only killable by exploiting and especialy pvp is full of bugs. For example a signet that is bugged and gives 100% blockrate. Its known since months, and fixing it would only require to change it from "stacking" to "not stacking". But it simply isnt fixed because no one cares. Or an ability called Reap and Sew which basicaly makes healers useless as in its bugged state causes dmg output to heal the passive target constantly. There can be fun had in this game, but you should wait until you get it for less then 20 Expand
  30. Aug 27, 2012
    3
    Pros : Interesting skill system, fresh take on quests, great world to play in.

    Cons : Terrible developer support, poor animations, many skills feel the same

    I would pick this up when it goes free to play or when the box price drops. DO NOT fall for the lifetime subscription plan as you will get through the content within one month anyways.
Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 55
  2. Negative: 1 out of 55
  1. Oct 22, 2013
    90
    The Secret World delivers an MMO experience that's distinctly different from its competitors, and it's likely going to remain the standard for future games in the horror/supernatural genre.
  2. Dec 17, 2012
    81
    I am really looking forward to the next mission, the next dialog, the next puzzle. As in a solo role-playing game flat. And this is not an error but a boon.
  3. Sep 18, 2012
    76
    I like the open character development where I don't have to wear a class straitjacket as well as the quiet discovery of mysterious dangers. But more often that it wants to, The Secret World is "just" an ordinary MMO.