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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1271 Ratings

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  1. BMF
    Jul 3, 2012
    Damn this game has blown me away it was the smoothest MMO launch I have ever seen. The secret world is a beautiful DX11 masterpiece with no lag whatsoever and stunning locations filled with people and monsters to interact with and what I have seen of the crafting system looks deep and interesting. If you are looking for a new MMO to play and have been disappointed with recent releases you owe it to yourself you buy this game!

    PS: I like how the only negative reviews are people who **** up using the slider and still say good things about the game.
  2. 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
  3. Jul 9, 2012
    I've been playing MMOs for over a decade now, and not since the original iteration of SWG has a game stunned me the way Secret World has. This MMO sets itself apart from a field of rather lackluster and dated games in every way. The combat is fantastic, coupled with a skill-based leveling system that lets you create a truly unique build. The world that Funcom has created for this game is mind-blowing, and the attention to detail is nothing short of incredible. Having experienced the dreadful AoC launch, I was incredibly wary that this game would suffer a similar fate, but to my surprise it has had the smoothest launch of any MMO I've ever played. I would highly recommend this game to anyone looking to break away from the typical WoW-like MMOs, you won't be disappointed. Expand
  4. Jul 3, 2012
    This game is by far one of the very best MMORPG I've ever played! The combat is dynamic and responsive, the world is incredible huge and offers a wide doze of variety. The zombies are always fun to kill, and there is a ton of missions that never gets boring! I would recommend this game to people who likes almost every game genre there is, I came from Demon's Souls, Battlefield 3, Diablo 3, etc., and instantly fell in love with this game during the beta. In my opinion, this game is a must have! Expand
  5. 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.
  6. Jul 3, 2012
    I really amazing modern day horror MMO that completely breaks the mold of MMOs. MMOs have always been focused on the combat, but no matter how different you make it, you're still going to be fighting things thousands of times and get bored of it. TSW changes this and instead of focuses on immersing you into an incredible setting and story. The stories are incredible, every single character I've met has been memorable, the environments are just spectacular, and the monsters will scare you. Plus, there are no levels and the skill system is completely freeform, pick and choose what you like and run with it.

    This is really a game that needs to be experienced.

    Side note though: This game received a Mature rating for good reason. Don't expect fantasy cuteness here, there is constant cursing, drug use, sexual innuendos, and lots of blood and gore.
  7. Jul 3, 2012
    Ok, i can take funcom off my hate list. this game is simply stunning. I cannot explain how fun it is to have an MMO set in modern times. Kingsmouth is the single best MMO zone i have every experienced. How funcom pulled this one out of the hat i have no idea. Better voiceover quests that that starwars game, the best writing in any MMO by far. Interesting quests, no more collect x of y and bring to z. HIGHLY recommend this game. This is how all MMO's should be from now on. Expand
  8. 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.
  9. Aug 29, 2012
    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
  10. 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
  11. Jul 6, 2012
    Ah, the secret world. How I longed for this game at its very first secret-ish reveal with the website that had the coded numbers, counting down until it's release, which turned out to be bogus thanks for that, Funcom. No. But the real sh!tsinker here is that they chose Electronics Arts as their publisher later on which was the biggest kick in the balls for me, knowing that one of the most acclaimed "creative" studios are to be mutilated completely by budget-cuts and "quality assurance" departments while having the release be full to the brink with glitches and short-cuts in the design at release and boy was I right. There is next to no facial expression or movement in the cutscenes in where they have glorified so much in the trailers, leaving any chance to an in-game atmosphere in the hands of the voice actors. Who in all fairness, does a good job in bringing out personality from the polyphonic excuses of characters and the grinding. Oh the grinding they promised us the game didn't have. You will be pressing one button five times and then another button. If anything, it is a cut-down version of wow's grinding, only including Rogues. Oh and "Active dodging"? Moving to avoid attacks? The only motion of avoiding damage is to slowly back away as an enemy stands still for 15 seconds, charging its AoE and letting you know how much is left by showing an obnoxious expanding circle beneath its feet, which bugs out completely if there is a change of elevation nearby. You could also be "Actively dodging" in any way, direction or timing but it will not reduce or remove ANY kind of damage, be it ranged, magic, melee or AoE and this is AFTER they "Reformed" it fit for release. Developers that are serious in having "Active dodging" should honestly go and try out Gunz: The Duel before smearing down the word "skill" but then again, Funcom is just like Electronic Arts, in which it comes to no surprise they have partner-shipped considering their combined illegal business practices and non-existing decent customer support. Yes. I initially asked for a refund after they've had the bright idea of strangling the already underpopulated pvp activity by mutilating the reward-system right before release and I got greeted with "Hi, yeah, we can't give your money back for your GAME ORDER because you've logged into the game". I gave the kind support staff a lesson in customer rights and ethics but he continuously repeated their EULA and ignored me, forcing me to contact the BBB. Five minutes later, I got my refund so a big warning to anyone out there, considering to purchase and/or glorify this game. Yes, It is unique. But at what price? Fanboys, greedy corporates and monthly fees with imbalances at every turn. P.S Big thanks to all the fanboys of the title that will be thumbing down my review, just like they've done with everyone else that rated this game negatively without reading what they've typed. It really just proves my point. :) Expand
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. Oct 3, 2012
    This is a weird game...but it is enjoyable. It really doesn't hold your hand or explain very much. Fortunately, if you have a question there is a huge community that probably already has the answer that can be quickly accessed in the ingame web browser. The graphics are above par for an MMO. A ton of care has been taken into the story telling for each individual quest. The game is awash in missions to complete, and you can even go back and DO THEM AGAIN after they cooldown. The frequency of updates for little tweaks is nice as well, and let's you know the developer is listening to the community. And the atmosphere...absolutely awesome. That being said, I've been playing this game for about a week...and the leveling/skilling, vendor situation is still incomprehensible to me. While the missions are fun, it's just not very clear what the strategy is for acquiring skills. It's not even clear what the skills really do until you purchase them and try them out. Even the XP system is fairly vague. After a lot of grinding to get to upper level AR skills, which had it's own issues telling me I needed the incorrect things to unlock, resulted in me spilling 9 AP (that's alot at an early level) in my first AWESOME upper level obtain something that is actually worse than a similar skill I gained right off the bat. I'm guessing it has some sort of stacking ability that can be really awesome if someone else has some other skill and buffs me...but how do I know what that skill is? How do I find someone that intentionally went for this buff or even knows that this buff will make an AR guy like me a beast and be looking for me? This is where the game really falls down. The difficulty rises pretty quickly and your skill choices become more and more costly...even though half of them seem like traps that are garbage skills. If not, the game never explained the usage. The interface is at times really cool, and others really clunky. This game is so good and so bad at the same time. I would still give it a 7. Even when I get frustrated with it, I come back to it a little later. They need to clear up the vendor system. Work a little bit harder at explaining the mechanics. Expand
  15. Oct 5, 2012
    Simply the only mmo i can play and have fun.The character development is huge you can bent your character quite easily into what your desire and not start about the huge breathtaking scenario,world and of course the innovative skills and ability systems without any class or fancy armor or stupid orcs.
  16. Jul 3, 2012
    This is the MMORPG we were waiting for. Smooth release. Fantastic world. So fun to play. You can play what ever you want. Tons of spells and weapons to test your builds. Just perfect MMORPG.

    And the story and Voice over are just amazing. You need to experience this game yourselfs.
  17. Jul 3, 2012
    Consider it the irony of all ironies. On its surface, there's nothing special about The Secret World. Classic MMO with a change of setting. But the deeper you go, the deeper it feels. The character (ability) customization is second to none. The varied playstyle between the multiple "decks" (classes) is very wide. And Investigation and Sabatoge quests bring incredibly unique elements to the MMO genre. The problem is this: If you don't give TSW a long enough chance to really sink your teeth into it, it's very easy to just pass over and I don't feel like Funcom really gives you a good enough idea of what the game is about until a few hours in. Granted, this isn't FFXIII where you need 40 hours of patience. Just a couple. Try out a few of the investigation (Green) quests and the Sabatoge (Yellow) quest in the starting zone. Look across all the decks of all the classes. You will see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. I didn't plan on playing this game past GW2- but I might end up playing both. I am very pleased with how TSW is turning out. Expand
  18. Jul 7, 2012
    I'll just chime in here. For an atmospheric, mature storyline, you can't find a better MMO out there. Cutscenes are top-quality and set the mood for a dark romp through modern-day horror, whether in H. P. Lovecraft's universe, the world of Dracula, or Egypt.

    Is the game perfect? Nope. That's why it gets a 9 instead of a 10. The character creator is sub-par, and that's why the developer
    has already said, several times, that a barber shop/tattoo parlor will be in the game soon. Is the game revolutionary? Nope. You still have to kill a lot of stuff and do so by pressing numbers on your keyboard/mouse. However, it takes many steps forward with the investigation (no killing required) and sabotage (sneaking is optimal) quest types. Additionally, even when killing ten foozles, it's presented in a way that's less grindy. The grind isn't completely gone, but it's less than any other MMO I've played.

    In conclusion, the game is _absolutely worth_ your $50 for a month. You'll get some of the best storyline ever (comparable with SW:tOR's main story) and lots of interesting questing during that time period.
  19. Jul 7, 2012
    Ok this game is nothing like the other MMO's that I've played before. First of all there's no such thing as level. And it feels actually bad ass because a 2 year long player can even fail a starting quest like the beginners. (ofc if he/she got distracted etc) And the game's actually HARD. How come? Like I said there's no leveling and you can master every skill and that brings to player think a bit. Which also shoo away wow-kids from the game;) From what I've been telling mechanics are ok but this game's newly released. It's going to patched fixed etc. So I'm changing subject to another topic instead of talking something going to change in the future for sure. Here are the things that I don't like. The number one thing that I hate is the font selection. WHY THE HELL YOU'D USE FUTURA? IT'S NOT 80'S! Ugh... And the UI is literally hurts my eyes. It's obviously been rushed and art directors didn't gave a crap to revise. But that's actually %50 important to make the game UNDERSTANDABLE. If you do not put sweat what's going on with the UI you'll never understand what did you just unlocked or achieved. because every single object is scattered around the monitor. I can guess they were trying to minimalistic but that's not it. That's an UI sketch. Not even processed. That's actually NOT a thing a game company would forget to check. because nowadays %50 of the consumers want nice appeal. and believe me TSW is going to loose most of their potential customers if they don't fix their horrendous UI. But if you don't give a crap about UI and check metacritic if this game's good or not, I could advice you to give it a shot. I cannot say you could love it because it's REALLY a diffirent MMO. (it may feel like tera online from the teasers and gameplay videos but it's not even remotely similar) Expand
  20. Jul 16, 2012
    There is something special about a game where the immersion is so complete you simply take for granted that you are going to need Google for some help or call in some intel after a boss fight to let your Faction / Society know what you've been doing. It is a brilliant game with some minor flaws that can be easily fixed and the player base that I have encountered, is very smart and astute at keeping the game flowing and keeping it real when it comes to PUGs. The way you can manipulate your character means you never ever will be concerned that you want to re-spec or that you wish you chose a different class. You can be all 'classes' eventually. As for 'leveling' well there is none in the truest sense. But unlike other MMO's as you get further into the content the XP flows like water and you actually progress FASTER in character Skill points and Ability points.! It's a breathe of fresh, 'un-grinding' air to have it this way. The Secret World has a lot to offer and takes you down the rabbit hole in a way few other games ever will. It has my full attention for gaming right now and that is a very hard thing to do because I enjoy so many facets of the hobby. Buy this game and enjoy yourself, I have a feeling the 'noobie' zones will even be quite full for a good long time. Expand
  21. Jul 13, 2012
    The Game is the same as Star Wars: The old Republic. You play it for the Story, and wenn you finished you have nothing to too ... Funcom must update the Game fast to hold the Player
  22. Jul 10, 2012
    Game of the year! Fantastic atmosphere, great questing and beatiful visuals and music. This is also a game with huge potential, as there is a wealth of myths and legends waiting to be brought into the game. I came from SWTOR, and this is so much better. Recommended for everyone able to immerse themselves in a game. I got the lifetime subscription ;)
  23. Jul 7, 2012
    Offers a different spin on the formula that does just enough to excite this mmo old hand into writing a review. The story is both terrific and terrible in pieces some quests and environments will have you on the edge of your seat to see what's next others will have you cringing (The secret world must be a secret to a hermet living in a cave with fingers in his ears singing loudly because everyone else in game is well aware of it's existence) The combat is the standard combo point affair we all associate with rogues. Where the game really shines is it's deck system which allows you to make your own class out of a dizzying selection of weapon classes. In short if you like the trinity game play of healer, tank, dps with dungeons, pvp and end game content you'll probably love this as it does enough different to hold your interest. If you were hoping for a re-invented wheel then I'd wait until someone combines swtor's story telling teras combat and guild wars. Until then this is an excellent way to spend your time. Expand
  24. Jul 4, 2012
    Overhyped, and oversold. Funcom has a history of creating mediocre games, and ultimately, as an MMO, that is what The Secret World is.

    As a single player game, TSW would shine like a beacon. The decision to make it a massively multiplayer game--and one that runs off of both subscriptions and a cash shop--should strike any player as a profit-dominated choice, not a design choice. Every
    MMO aspect in this game only worsens it. So let's get down to what "it" is:

    Like Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, TSW introduces you to a "secret world", and provides a compelling setting and story in which gameplay mechanics come secondary. When it comes to the setting and story, TSW does swell. Not as well as the fanboys may want you to think, but still very nicely. The trouble comes when MMO mechanics and realities are tossed in the mix. Do you like a little "Kill 5 zombies? Great, now kill 5 zombies!"? No? That's right, nobody does. And for all it sells itself as a puzzle game, the puzzles in TSW are far and few between. At their best, the puzzles require a quick Google search (provided in-game) and a click on the very first hit. At their worst, they're completely obvious (cue bad poetry in which each of the puzzle pieces is mentioned explicitly in order: "First, the Skull..."). And then you have "kill 5 zombies" quests disguised as puzzles. Absolutely unfun, and there's a lot of this sort of fluff designed to keep you around long enough to pay $15 a month.

    Trouble is, TSW just doesn't have the content to keep anyone sticking around for a few months. Nobody finds the combat fun, and after the story is consumed, what else is left? A weakly designed crafting system? Repeating WoW-esque quests? Spending in the cash shop?

    Spend your money elsewhere. This game will go F2P fast, and Funcom is just charging you for being impatient. There are plenty of other MMORPGs coming out (most notably Guild Wars 2) which don't charge you for the privilege of wasting your time, and have something beyond a good story and setting to offer you in the long run.
  25. Aug 28, 2012
    This game is an absolute groundbreaking MMO in almost every way. The story, the skill wheel, dynamic, lore - i could go on and on on how revolutionary this game is. Why "professional" gaming sites scored this on average below 8 and Star Wars the Old Republic above is proof how money is more important than quality.
    I only gave it 9 and not 10 because i think it can evolve to be even
    better. I hope that anyone that reads this review wil want to give the Secret World a chance because its really worth it. I think that projects such as this one should be supported to show that taking risks in the gaming industry to make something unique and new pays up. TRY A FREE TRIAL AND LOOK FOR YOURSELF. Expand
  26. Aug 13, 2012
    A strong MMORPG set in modern horror with an enjoyably unique character progression system. Loses a point for lack of polish: can't hotkey consumables and the quick gear+talent swap tool doesn't always remember your gear (useful for switching between a tank and dps role, for example, but you have to manually equip some of your tank gear). Does multiplayer right by allowing friends to play together even from different servers.

    There are three things I think really stand out for this game:

    -Non-linear character progression
    There are no levels in this game. There are nine weapon types, from which you can equip any two at a time, and each has it's own skill tree with about 50 abilities. These trees start with cheap, up-front abilities, and branch into more expensive, specialized ones. The catch is, at any time you're limited to 7 active (clicky) abilities, and 7 passive abilities. The game facilitates and encourages swapping these in and out as your situation requires, which can be done instantly and freely anytime you're out of combat. This is way more enjoyable customization than what "talent trees" and classes in other MMOs tend to provide. It also tends to solve the natural lack of tanks/healers, since these roles have the option to deal damage with a simple gear/spec swap.

    -Engaging story and dungeons
    Most of your experience points will come from completing quests, which are usually much better than those offered up in other MMOs, and are repeatable on about a day's cooldown. The game differentiates between different kinds of quests, and by design limits you to one main quest at a time, making it more engaging and less of a to-do kill list. Action quests are closest to your standard MMO fair: you kill a progression of baddies usually culminating with some big baddie at the end. Sabotage missions typically involve sneaking around some cameras, traps, or high-powered guards, with very minimal fighting. Investigation missions will test your puzzling skills and imagination, and even require looking up information outside of the game (hieroglyphics, Morse code, ISBN numbers on books, etc). The latter can be incredibly rewarding both in xp and in the atypical nature of the quest, though like any puzzle game solutions can also be found online.

    Dungeons are very well streamlined. Trash pulls are almost non-existent, so the group can focus on the real meat of group instanced combat: the boss fights. There's plenty going on during the fights, almost every fight has you dodging some badness, reacting to changing phases and adds, etc. Roles tend to stay pretty close to the "holy-trinity" of tank+healer+3dps, but the nature of setting up your 7 actives/passives leaves within that quite a bit of room for diversity - off heals/tank are definitely possible, and anyone can opt for a personal heal/cleanse at the cost of one of those 7 precious slots.

    It's the little things. Like most MMOs Secret World breaks into server instances to manage its user base into manageable chunks. Unlike most MMOs, Funcom didn't make this into an artificial barrier to playing with your friends. Your friends list seamlessly crosses servers, and you can join a group with someone on another server and temporarily hop to their server to play.

    Because there are no levels, there's no level gap, either. You can group with another player regardless of different power levels, and complete missions, and not feel penalized for it, and because you can repeat most missions you can always find something to do together.

    These two things together might easily be the biggest selling point for the MMO, and they're so simple it's stupid, but so many other AAA MMO games get it wrong, in my opinion. The most important thing in an MMO game is the game should be multiplayer friendly, you should be able to join your friends and find rewarding content to enjoy effortlessly - and Funcom nailed this.
  27. Jul 3, 2012
    A classless, level-less, dark fantasy MMO rooted in the works of the likes of Lovecraft, King, Barker and Miéville. The Secret World seeks to break several MMO moulds, and does so for the most part competently and elegantly. Whilst not without its bugs, and in places a little rough around the edges, The Secret World delivers an engrossing storyline, an interesting and innovative combat system and a darkly atmospheric world permeated with secret societies, mystery and the occult. Strongly recommended to any MMO fans - or fans of dark fantasy - looking for something new and different. Expand
  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. Jul 12, 2012
    The game has great graphics, story and dialogue is superb, and the open way of doing things is great. SO when you start the game it feels great. But it quickly loses its shine as you realize there is absolutley nothing unique about the game. You have seen all the creatures before, they are from fables when you were a kid. So really the game isn't bad, the quests can range from extremely boring, to very in depth and fun. Overall the game is extremely well put together with few flaws but that just doesn't save it to the fact the game is like a repeat of past mmo's. So i rate it a 6, great game and mechanics, poor originality. OH and that little thing they advertise about "no levels" is such a lie, you do have levels, you progress through the perk tree which makes you insanely stronger to people with lower perk yeah there is leveling they just dont name it that Expand
  30. 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
  31. Jul 16, 2012
    Okay people check this game out thorughly BEFORE you buy it. Watch videos on youtube about gameplay and character creation. I took a bit of a risk buying this game, it did not pay off.
    First issue for me is the CC. I think modern day mmos should have excellent chartacter creators, the one in SW is poor. The hairstyles for females are a joke, plenty of mohawks, short boy cuts and some very
    messy looking bobs and mid length hair styles (about 3) NO LONG HAIR AT ALL. That stinks. The hair colours are weird and dont match the palette, the make-up otions are awful, two badly done ordinary blush and lip colour selections the rest of the make-up choices are horrendous tattoos and clown faces. The slider selections are limited to face selection, jaw, eye shape (not size) lip shape and nose shape. No sizing for body or face at all. ALL BODIES ARE EXACTLY SAME SIZE AND SHAPE. You get to choose some start off clothes, big thrill (NOT) Only accessory choices are glasses, no hats or any other type of accessory.
    I found the graphics appallingly clunky and chunky, it looks and feels like a game made ten years ago, no details, the clothes are the same, badly drawn and low quality textures. My husband tweaked graphics as much as he could but game is still very poor to look at.
    First taste of fighting was some ridiculous dream sequence, awful fighting mechanics, my character felt heavy and difficult to manage. So far I am nearly hating this game. It feels like a chore and I feel very badly about the money I wasted on it. Am trying to play some more to see if there are any good points. Will come back and add more if I find any.
    PLEASE PLEASE dont believe all the hype you read here, check this game out VERY carefully before you buy.
  32. Jul 9, 2012
    I've been playing MMO's since UO Beta back in 97. TSW was the first game that actually got me to learn the lore and go through the quests while listening to them. It's intelligent - challenging - and has plenty of tongue in cheek references for all of us who love science fiction / horror.

    Try it and get into the story. You wont regret it - Guaranteed hours of fun.
  33. 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).
  34. Aug 5, 2012
    One of the most unique and ingaging mmorpg's out there that actually thought outside the copy+paste mmo genre..If you like mysteries, myths , and creepy monster designs; you're in for a treat!
  35. 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.
  36. Jul 5, 2012
    Amazing game to spend couple of months in it. Awesome lore, modern day conspiracies, magic, urban legends,interesting quests et cetera et cetera. I suppose there also exist some PvP at battlegrounds and PvP zone, interesting skill system, highly customizable equipment, clothing and shiny weapons. The only thing that possibly spoils the game is absence of replayability and as far as we can see no endgame. But for the time while you still have at least couple of quests not done this game surely absorbs you completely. Expand
  37. Jul 4, 2012
    When i first heard about this in 2007 it was a web forum with some enigmas on it. It was called Dark Days are Coming. We didn't even know it was TSW back then, all we knew it was a game and it had Ragnar Tornquist working in it. Thing is, Tornquist is amazing and i had high hopes that we were going to receive an amazing adventure game. It kinda annoyed me that in the end it was an MMORPG by Funcom. Well, whatever. 5 years later TSW was launched. I didn't play a single Beta Weekend. In fact i just avoided the game all i could. I was simply bored of MMOGs. After 6 years of WoW, a few months of TOR and a lot of other crappy MMOs: Aion, WAR, AoC, Fallen Earth, Tabula Rasa and so on... I was so tired of the genre. Then TSW came. I bought it in a impulse. Didn't even read about it. And it really impressed me. The graphis aren't really great and character creation could be better but if you are an adult gamer you should not be bothered by it. Gameplay is simply amazing. The combat is fun, the classless system is perfect and the skill system is so amazing i find myself thinking of the many possibilities of different builds. The world is really, really nice. And the setting is amazing. Anyone who really likes conspiracy theories, Lovecraft or some good ol' stories should pick this game. Questing is so much fun, from the average kill those barstards to the innovative investigation and sabotage missions. Once i even had to search the internet for a way to learn morse code to finish a quest. It was simply amazing. All in all one of the best MMORPGs i've played so far. It brings all the innovation the genre needs and it should be played by any fan of MMO Gaming. A must have for adventure fans. Expand
  38. op8
    Jul 6, 2012
    Ive been playing TSW for over 20 hours now and i can safely say i will not be subbing at the end of the month. It just isnt worth it for a mediocre game when there is better on its way. Combat just feels too cheap and clunky and some of the design decisions (like having to cancel quests and then later backtrack) have left a bad taste. The whole look of the game is dated and the animations just look unpolished. It deserves a 6/10 score because it does have an intriguing setting with interesting npc's and some good (for an mmo) quests. The guys that have been giving the game perfect 10 scores and then going on to explain the faults of the game must be delusional fanboys and must be ignored if you dont want to end up wasting your money on somthing that will dissapoint. At the end of the day are you willing to spend £40 + subscription on a 6/10 game? Expand
  39. Aug 1, 2012
    The most immersive MMO I've ever played. The attention of detail put into even the smalles things in this diverse universe is astonishing. The skill & combat system is complex but not complicated, it allows quick switches between different playstyles (tank, DPS, healer, melee, ranged, etc.) and quite variable builds.
    The story is compelling and manages to walk the line between sustaining
    immersion and self-referencing on a meta-level.

    As everyone knows Funcom's support has managed to build up some bad rap over the years. Apparently they finally managed to get it together. GMs respond within minutes to your requests with personal messages (no automated BS).
    With the first content update after only a month of release, it seems as if they can hold up to their promises of monthly free content updates that keep the universe dynamic and interesting.
  40. Jul 3, 2012
    After being disappointed by a number of MMOs that failed to live up to the hype that surrounded them, that were released early, and that all-around disappointed, The Secret World actually delivers so much more than I had dared hope.

    It is the best MMO, and among the better games in general I've ever played. The story and narrative is incredible. But the best part is the game design,
    it's completely new. There is no grinding to get to the end game, or to good content; the good content starts straight off the bat, and there's little to no reward for rushing through it.

    The missions typically require you to actually use your brain, eyes and ears, and can some times be difficult in a very satisfying manner. Same goes for combat. It's not ridiculously hard, but it does give you a serious challenge. The game doesn't hold your hand.

    The world design is amazing. People in it feel real, have character, and have their own agenda (that may or may not align with yours). And it's all jam packed with lore, and more mood than I know what to do with.

    The combat controls are fairly standard for an MMO, but attacks can channel while you move around, and a lot of emphasis is put on moving around. There is the occasional buggy quest (so far seems to mainly stem from too many people trying to do a quest all at once), but overall the game is very polished.

    In summary, it dares to break from WoW and defines a new generation of MMOs, and sets an example that will very difficult for others to follow.
  41. Oct 3, 2012
    Seriously disappointed in this game. After just a few hours it's still a confusing mess to figure out. The interface is the most unintuitive in existence. The starting zone is the hardest of any MMO. The quest system is clunky and confusing. The game looks quite good, the story is excellent as well. But navigating through the interface and quests logs is more challenging than doing a 25 man raid in your underwear. The learning curve is steep and I'd rather like to be able to learn how to play the game while playing the game instead of having to spend a couple of hours trying to figure the interface. Expand
  42. 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.
  43. Jul 14, 2012
    Fantastic game so far. Anyone can become anything they want without starting again from scratch. Great PvP with 3 way battles between the 3 factions. Great story and game design. Beautiful graphics, best I've seen in an MMO. Keep up the good work TSW!
  44. Aug 20, 2012
    I was not going to get this I never got into the "futuristic" or "modern" MMO's, being a pure fantasy nut. SWTOR was just a reaffirmation of avoiding that.

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

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

    It is definitely worth trying out the trial...and you have to get into Kingsmouth before you throw in the towel and say it's not for you, as the starter area does not represent the game...
  45. 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.
  46. Jul 8, 2012
    I went into the Secret World wanting to like the game. Since the game was announced a few years ago, I have followed it's development, curious to see where the game would be taken. After playing it for the first time during the game's beta, I was excited to see what the game had to offer. I was not impressed. The story was interesting, but the game itself just doesn't hold up to a modern standard. The game's story is somewhat interesting, but the combat mechanics did not hold my attention enough for me to get very far in the beta. At it's release just a few days ago, I tried again. I really did want to like the game, and I was able to excuse some of the previous flaws I had seen based on the fact that I had been playing a beta. But the same weak combat just could not hold my attention. The game was very ambitious, but when it comes down to it, The Secret World doesn't have enough to offer in today's MMO saturated market. Expand
  47. Jul 8, 2012
    Ok time for review number 2. After playing a bit longer:
    Quests and atmoshpere are nice, but the engine is so unoptimised its hard to enjoy FPS choppiness in this game's multiplayer aspects... PvP is a lagfest beyond timing controll. The particles seems to give my GPU a heart attack there. Maybe its due to 1920x1200 resolution with v-sync on, but hey... why should it not be playable on
    gaming rigs? Plenty of players uses monitors bigger than 720p native nowadays so it should be optimised for them aswell. Son in sum...
    With computer like mine:

    - 1920x1200 res with v-sync ON (to get rid of tearing)
    - gtx 480 video card (better than gtx 570 bear in mind)
    - i5 2500K 3,3Ghz overclocked to higher rates by motherboard when its stressed
    - 8 gigs of fast ram

    you will be able to play smoothly only while questing, only with advanced visuals options set to "1" (right next to "0" out of "5"), and light details totally turned off (so no shadows). Seems game is really made for 720p small resolutions and non-demanding players who are satisfied with mediocre FPS and only some pve in a game.
  48. Aug 12, 2012
    It's a fun game. Perhaps not suited for people that are used to grinding through an MMO but if you treat it like a game its really good. The plot and setting are refreshing and the skill tree is ok (a bit confusing )

    Try to avoid using walkthroughs or google. It will really suck the fun out of the very fun puzzles. Me and my wife really enjoy solving them together.
  49. Oct 11, 2012
    Really 8.5 but as there are no half marks, I gave it a 9. Perfect MMO? No. Innovative MMO? Hell yes. In truth this is like a breath of fresh air in the stagnant world of MMOs, most of whom aspire to be WoW-but-looks-a-bit-different. The Secret World actually *is* different. Moreover Funcom are reactive to major bugs, the Devs actually comment in threads on the official forum and I have never had better customer service in any game from in-game GMs when I file a petition for some reason. That last point alone is probably worth 2 points on the score! The freedom this game offers from the cookie cutter 'Trinity' and 'One Best Build for Task' is very refreshing indeed. The story lines are uncompromisingly adult and the puzzles are bloody hard (the game has a modern setting and an in-game browser so you can google things!). So if you like a game to molly coddle you and not force you to think, then this is *not* the game for you. Likewise you actually have to move in this game because position matters, so if you prefer games that are essentially your min-max spreadsheet against his min-max spreadsheet, again this game might not be your cup of tea. Otherwise, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Oh and if you are a fan of the HP Lovecraft genre of horror, you will be hit in the face by all the references like a rubbery Shoggoth tentacle. Simply splendid. Expand
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. Sep 30, 2012
    Great MMO, awesome new fresh take to the mmo genre! It has story, adventure, solving mysteries an quests!~ Nothing is just handed to you on a platter you gotta WORK for it like a mmo should be. Missions where you must think not some guide that just tells you how to do it all.
  53. Jul 16, 2012
    This game came out of nowhere for me, and I have to say that it is a breath of fresh air in a big field of WoW clones and stale ideas. Does it have flaws and need polish? Of course (and what new MMORPG does not?). What it has in spades though is ADVENTURE. No more quest hubs and grinding for the sake of grinding. I love just running around, seeing the sights, being engaged by thoughtful interesting plot development, and immersing myself in some of the most well done and atmospheric zone design ever. And no levels! The ability to eventually learn every skill in the game with one toon! I have heard that PvP is a little lackluster, but I haven't tried it yet. Funcom, fool me once (AO), fool me twice (AoC), knock it out of the park here. Wait, what!?! Expand
  54. 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.
  55. 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
  56. Aug 31, 2012
    Secret World is a breath of fresh air from the monotony of the average MMO and is one of the most original and exciting games to be released in years. The setting, a modern-day fantasy world with a dash of Lovecraftian horror, brings back fond memories of the pen-and-paper RPG Shadowrun or Vampire the Masquerade. Perhaps the most innovative and exciting aspect of this game are the PvE investigative missions. Tired of 'kill 10 bears, then kill 10 more'? Well, don your Holmes pipe and get your notepad ready to do some occult sleuthing. Better brush up on your latin translations and Morse code though because these puzzles are HARD. Like, old-school 'You are likely to be eaten by a Grue' stuck-for-days hard. The not-quite leveling system is also brilliant, with a near infinite combination of character classes in each weapon class. Only a few significant downsides to this game: still a great deal of MMO-grinding particularly in the terrible timed-kill missions; no indication for some group or high-level missions; and sometimes tediously long speeches from mission-givers. These are minor quibbles, though. Step away from GW2 and give this game a try- you will not be disappointed. Expand
  57. Aug 8, 2012
    This game is trash just like most EA games. Does not feel polished. Gameplay is slow and doesn't seem responsive. I predict F2P in 6 months easy. Its just like any other MMO.
  58. Jul 22, 2012
    I did not know how I would feel about this game. I wasnt even planning on buying it, but I to a shot and was very happy, I have been playing SWTOR (Star Wars The Old Republic) but found the story a little boring. The Secret World has a amazing story, and fresh new ideas. Yes with every new mmo there is a few problems, but they will for sure works those out.
  59. Jul 4, 2012
    The game is by no means perfect and it still has a way to go but it does something that most MMOs don't do which is make you think. The answers aren't handed to you on a plate and at times that can be frustrating but that's all part of the game's draw as you try to figure out the next piece in the puzzle.

    The character progression can be a bit confusing to get your head around if you're
    used to the talent trees of old but once you understand that if you don't like a weapon you can just equip a new one and start learning skills for that without being penalised by paying for the privilege (1 G anyone?) its quite liberating.

    The PvP on offer in the form of persistent warzones is also an interesting new twist. It's open 24/7 as your faction tries to take control of as much of the map as you can. The main reason for this is to get a faction wide buff (even for those not taking part in the battle). Fighting against the other two factions is with up to 225 people on the map at any on time (75 of each faction) means you're always watching your back and there's never truly a winner. If you haven't got patience or want things handed to you on a plate this isn't the game for you, if you like a bit of mystery and enjoy figuring things out then you'll be more then welcome here.
  60. Jul 10, 2012
    If you want to run from A to B and just kill stuff dont even bother to pick up this game...go back to whatever old mmorpg you are playing.

    I wil go so far to call this a mmorpg for adults, the missions you are doing are so wel presented it would be a singleplayer RPG game. The world is so interesting and well designed and it's is a JOY to finaly feel the urge to walk around the next
    corner to take a peek....and the next and the...wel you know.

    This game wil get alot of hate becaus it does things diffrent, and it wil not be the next fix for many mmo players out there that are stuck in old school mmo style games. This is just 1 of a handfull of new mmorgp games that are making way to the future of mmorpg games.

    And I urge you to take the trip in The Secret World as it is a journey like non before.
  61. 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.
  62. Jul 4, 2012
    The best PvE in a MMO in the past 10 years. Probably the best MMO that has come out since DAoC. It doesn't hold you hand, it forces you to think, it forces you to be creative. Also, the skill system is without a doubt one of the best designed in MMO once you get use to it. The sheer amount of freedom you get designed your character is unrivaled.
  63. Jul 21, 2012
    If I could sum up the game in one word it would be "cheap". The game looks and plays like a indie project that didn't have the resources to make a decent quality game. It has a good story and the quests are fun at times, but it also has plenty of bugs and glitches which ruin the immersion of the game.

    Don't be be fooled by all the spamming user reviews that give this game a 10 out of
    10. It's just some lame kid hired by FunCom to inflate the meta scores of this game. They are desperate at this point because they know everyone that pre-ordered this game are incredibly disappointed.

    By the end of summer, this game will be the The Lonely World.
  64. Jul 19, 2012
    I love The Secret World - it is absolutely unlike any MMO you've played. You've probably heard all the big selling point by now, and they're all true. The setting and atmosphere are crazy brilliant, the quests are more diverse and original than most single player RPGs, and the character advancement is really unique and refreshing (you will find yourself constantly changing around your abilities to fit the situation - which is how the game sells itself as "classless"). Instead of leveling vertically in levels, you gain skill points and ability points at a fairly rapid basis... allowing you to not only be more powerful, but much more flexible (you can change out any purchased abilities on a whim, as you see fit).

    Besides the theme, and the fact that the game can get really genuinely creepy, the thing that sold me was the diversity of quests (called "missions" in TSW). These missions sometimes require solving actual puzzles and riddles, and frequently doing ACTUAL detective work (sometimes involving Google, Wikipedia, and lots of actual, real-world websites that the devs have set up - in addition to in-game clues). There are still the occasional (albeit rare) "Kill X Monsters" quests, and they're still as tedious as ever... but they're few and far between enough, that I don't mind when they pop up once or twice per zone.

    That said, the game still has all the rough edges. In particular, the sheer inventiveness of the quests means that the developers are still cleaning up lots of obnoxious mission-related bugs... some of which are bad enough that they can completely stop your progress. And the real kicker is that the bugged quests almost always seem to be the coolest and most inventive (like The Black House, which would be one of the coolest game experiences ever... if it worked). There's also a pretty good number of quests where monsters are supposed to spawn but don't, or take so long that you just assume it's bugged and leave (which in turn sometimes breaks the quest even more). As with most MMO launches, this is fairly par for the course, and hopefully if you wait 2 or 3 months to try the game out, these annoyances will be fixed.

    As others have also stated, character creation is really underwhelming at the moment... particularly in the realm of hair styles (for both male AND female characters). Once you are actually in the game, the clothing options available for purchase (with in-game money or actual cash) will put most fashion districts to shame - so keep in mind that as disappointing as the facial creation is, the possibilities for customizing your clothing are downright INSANE... and the cloths are really what define your character's look, anyway. But if the character creation still gets you down, know this: the developers are busy adding barber shops, plastic surgery centers, and tattoo parlors to the game - so that character you created at the beginning... it's not permanent. It can be changed and tweaked to your heart's content once you're in the game (in about a month, anyway).

    And that's the kind of cool stuff that will keep my playing The Secret World for a long, long time. It's the choice, the diversity, the excitement and fear... The Secret World is a refreshing, genuinely original, and fun MMO that gets it right everywhere that counts. The developers passion for their product shines through every feature... and once they get that extra coat of spit and polish on there (in the form of bug fixes, barber shops, and plastic surgery)... then I'll be able to say with complete honesty, that this game is a perfect 10.
  65. Jul 12, 2012
    I don't usually review things on Metacritic, but when I do, it's because they're awesome.

    I'm a huge horror fan, so I've been waiting for something like this for a very long time. The setting, sound, graphics and plot are all way beyond what I've ever seen out of an MMORPG before. Also, don't mind the people complaining about the combat. The dodging is cool, and the abilities and the
    almost infinite ways you can sync them up are amazing.

    This one takes a few hours to really get into, but it's totally worth the time. Once you get a feel for it, and you're knee-deep in zombie guts and Illuminati puzzles in Kingsmouth, you'll be glad you did.
  66. 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
  67. Jul 5, 2012
    This game surprised me big time, I had no intention of buying this game until I watched a couple streams, but wow its fantastic. The world, music and all has such an amazing spooky, realistic feel. The gameplay is simple tab targeting but feels alot more fast paced than most mmos, not to mention the dodge feature which must be used to evade monster attacks. The variety of weapons, skills, and environments is absolutly incredible. Expand
  68. Aug 27, 2012
    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.
  69. Jul 7, 2012
    Awesome game. Best MMORPG I have played in a long time. Unique and fun. Highly recommended. Enjoy the lore and the quest - rich and good voice acting. Love the skill system and the "leveling".
  70. Sep 18, 2012
    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
  71. Aug 30, 2012
    TSW has a few things going for it, namely it's storyline, investigation and sabotage missions and the skill wheel is a pretty nice addition (although there are many repetitive skills in there). The problem is, once you have completed the excellent storyline and missions you are left with the same old loot treadmill and absolutely terrible PvP. Combat itself lacks polish, skills often share animations and don't "blend" well, the sounds for combat are very repetitive (ex: all pistols sound exactly the same) and it lacks that visceral "feel" to it. Hopefully these are things Funcom can work on.

    Overall, you'd probably get your $50 worth from playing through the story, but in it's current state, it's just not worth paying a monthly subscription for. If it makes the change to F2P then it's definitely worth picking up.
  72. Nov 6, 2012
    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
  73. Jul 28, 2012
    Starts out great, nice world, investigation missions are really interesting, not your, 13 a dozen typical MMO-quests, kill this, fetch that boring kinda stuff. After a while though, it becomes more and more same ole same ole. The skill wheel offers a lot of flexibility, but overall longevity is real concern with a P2P model. Still really good game for at least a while. It will see strong competition next month from a certain Buy To Play game that is, fortunately for TSW, situated in a Fantasy setting.
    So many 10 's are being given by new accounts. The User Rating is probably a bit too high to be close to what it really is, but whatever.
  74. Aug 15, 2012
    A lovely concept pretty much spoiled by terrible planning and execution. I gave this game a while, I really did, from beta testing to release and a month after. It's a slap in the face to all of us how many bugs we've reported that have taken so long to fix, how long they've left known issues unannounced, and how little attention they've given the support of supposedly supported graphics cards. Inconsistant design elements, such as a single quest sometimes counting goals for the group and others demanding each individual carry them out, are constant immersion-breakers. The beta of this game was actually quite a lot better than the release version, sadly. The simple beauty of the basic world design is spoiled by so many filters, you'd think they were made of pure cowbell. Turn one way or another in the game world and things could turn green, or blue, or black and white, or distorted. Everything, it seems, can be improved with MOAR FILTERS!!! Hokey fight sounds, grunts and screams, are cringe-worthy in the somber Lovecraftian setting. They also fly in the face of a choice not to voice the main character, supposedly to let the user define their reactions. Finicky, frustrating movement puzzles are made tedious by bugs and terrain design problems, and a mistaken idea that people enjoy attempting the same jumps over and over because a minute reflex deficit or an FPS drop-- far too common in this game-- sent them back to the beginning. Just to make sure it isn't something that might become relaxed and fun, there are timers, yay! Tedium and tension seem to be the goal. The worst choice, however, was the one to make so many puzzles environmentally dependant while failing to properly gate simultaneous action. Many proximity triggers-- which are annoyingly routine in the game-- will fail if two people walk up to them simultaneously, which in an MMO, happens a LOT. No matter how many times we point that out, they don't change. This kind of group-busting activity happens too often in the game, sometimes even splitting groups off into solo instances mid-quest. It's very frustrating for people who use MMOs to spend extra time with friends.

    I want this game to succeed, but I want it to be fixed first. I think adding new content without fixing the problems is a slap in the face to everybody who supports this game and endures the problems. They need to get their act together before I can give them a good score.

    3 points for good writing and some good characters-- when you can actually see the animations smoothly, when their faces move properly, and they aren't bugged by being rendered live rather than being rendered beforehand as proper cutscenes. Very sad that the anatomy and general appearance of the so-called 'cinematic' cutscenes is so grossly off the mark, considering their extensive use of motion capture. All in all, give it a miss until they clean up their act.
  75. Jul 18, 2012
    I am absolutely blown away by this game. Its not perfect people! In fact, there are quite a bit hiccups that need to be ironed out. And I believe they will be. PvP is not very engaging or thought out, but again, Im sure that will be addressed. Seriously though, I have never been so immersed in a game like this one. When im not playing, I daydreaming about playing. The Story, the quests, the atmosphere, even the combat are excellent. At first, I was a little worried about what I had invested in. Not more than an hour later, I had a completely different view. I love being able to yield a gun and magic. The options for your choice of weapons are so diverse. And come on, its got Zombies!!! I've even had a great experience with the other players when I've asked for help, or needed something. I'm a lifer now, and I have no doubt that I will not lose interest in this game anytime soon. Expand
  76. Jul 14, 2012
    I've played a lot of MMO's and while I did not find there was a lot of innovation besides the class system in MMO style of play, I was completely taken in by the atmosphere and immersion. The story telling aspect is top notch and the dungeons require a lot of thought and teamwork. There are plenty of solo quests to keep you busy if that's your thing as well. I heard that there is new content already planned and the upcoming stories sound interesting. I can tell right away that I will be sticking to this one and look forward to seeing how it improves over time. If your on the fence I'd say give it a shot. Expand
  77. Aug 30, 2012
    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.
  78. Jul 3, 2012
    Wonderful world, interesting story and many, various side quests. Technical issues also very well done. This is MMo what I've been waiting for the long time!
  79. Aug 10, 2012
    First MMO that is set in the present day. The zones do a great job of combines the stuff of scifi and fantasy with the "real" world. Has great variety of quests varying from old school adventure games to platformers. I also have to mention the character development system that allows you to truely build up your character whatever way you like. Best new MMO release since LotRO in 2007. Definitely worth trying. Expand
  80. Sep 20, 2012
    The game advertises that players can choose to build their character any way they choose. That's all well and great, but the game still follows the standard tank/dps/healer model of gameplay. So obviously some character builds will be superior than others to fill these roles. And of course there will be elitist players ingame who insist that if you're not following the standard cookie cutter build, you're not really serious about group content. Still, I find the game to be enjoyable. The atmosphere is absolutely wonderful. I love the horror theme of the game, something that's new in the MMO genre. I'm having fun and I continue to log in to play which says a lot more for this game than most other MMOs on the market. I think you'll enjoy it too. Expand
  81. Jul 24, 2012
    I've played many a PC game over a long time and quite a few MMOs. This by far my favourite MMO. Sure the toon creation could do with more options and PVP has its issues but otherwise it is a fun flavour filled game. Try it.
  82. Jul 7, 2012
    Far too much focus has been placed on the storytelling aspect of this game, which is, after all is said & done, a standard combat MMO. Once the story has been experienced once, it's no longer important, no? So why all the focus on this in a subscription based game we're supposed to play for years? The biggest problem as a result of this mis-focus is unsatisfying combat. Since the player will spend the majority of his time fighting in a game like this, it's crucial that combat be well thought through. Instead, it appears that no thought whatsoever has been given to this front & centre aspect. As a result, a child could predict that this game will fail. I've given a very low score due to the fact that I know the developers have been aware of the combat issue for a very long time now, but opted for the usual bone-idle denial rather than making corrections that could have easily made the game a success. Such roaring stupidity does not deserve mercy. Expand
  83. Jul 4, 2012
    As a veteran mmorpg player, and a participant in many, many launch events I am ecstatic to report The Secret World public release as being a resounding success. It was very smooth with only 1 bugged quest (that I know of), which was fixed on the second day by the developers. 100% server up-time with a stable connection.

    The world is rich, unique for this genre, realistic, atmospheric
    and genuinely quite scary at times. I am running it on a very high end PC at 2560x1440 and I am gob smacked by the graphics almost constantly. I have noticed no network latency from their servers even with large numbers of players together. The quests are excellent, with very few obvious courier/kill x of y mechanics being used. Some of them are fiendishly difficult to solve and many come without quest markers or any other guide to completion beside the intended clues e.g. newspaper clippings, dialogue, photographs, rumour. I really respect their decision to keep this level of difficulty and strongly believe this will help build a mature interesting player base. The 5-man dungeons I have completed are good fun and fairly quick to run, with boss-to-boss encounters for the most part. The skill system and ability wheel are simultaneously quite simple to grasp and very complicated, with deep customisation available. Don't worry there are suggested builds but also anything is possible.

    I can't write any more at present as I can't stay away from the game any longer.
  84. 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.
  85. Jul 3, 2012
    This game has had an amazing launch. Gameplay has been very smooth, and most of the bugs have been ironed out. I've played a lot of mmo's, and for me, what sets The Secret World apart is the skill system and the ability wheel. Best. Thing. Ever. One character. Do just about anything. Progression has never been this much fun. A score of 10 is a bit premature (I have no idea what the end game is going to be like), but I just wanted to recognize how much fun I'm having right now. Expand
  86. Jul 8, 2012
    I've been playing MMOs since ~2005. This is the first MMO that hasn't felt like a chore to me - it's a solid game without the MMO, and even better with it. Is it revolutionary? No, not really. But it's not just another WoW-clone, either. Contrary to what some are saying, the combat is quite fluid and fun, and the flexibility in character development adds a lot to it. No need to make multiple characters for different classes - just develop what interests you. You can max everything on one character. As others have mentioned, the story is just leaps and bounds above other MMOs. There's a bit too many solo instances, but not enough to really dampen the fun of group questing.

    Negatives: the inventory system is HORRID (grid based, and lots of similar looking icons. no sorting). Crafting, while fun, is somewhat pointless (as you'll generally get gear drops that are better, and crafting requires kits which don't drop until after the item you'd make with them stops becoming useful. When they add the trading post, this will not be an issue.) PvP is sort of a mixed bag - one of the modes is just a lackluster, laggy, non fun deathmatch, while the other encourages more group play, but is still sort of spotty on the fun factor. I imagine a lot of this will get better over time.

    Honestly, my biggest complaint right now is probably the monthly fee is pretty high.
  87. 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.
  88. Oct 8, 2012
    Lots of fun, amazing lore, lots of content, something new, deep combat & leveling system.

    Fun: Combat is challenging, but not frustrating. There's plenty of easier content to run through if you are in the mood for a casual day. Plenty of really tough stuff to run through if you are in the mood for a challenge, too. The game does a great job of making you feel like more of a bad-ass as
    you level up, as well. Lore: It is like a good novel. Interesting characters, some pretty intense situations, very few pulled punches, extremely creative. The writing and voice overs are top notch. Even if you aren't interested in getting sucked into a MMO, I'd encourage you to consider playing through this game like a single player game.

    Content: There's a pretty huge amount of content. Lots of quests, lots of land to explore. I do repeat quests that I find fun, but you could progress very far into this game without ever repeating a quest if you so choose.

    Something New: Really love the investigation quests. Puzzles are very challenging, require some modern tools (like google, through an in-game browser), and help isn't hard to find when you get stuck. As a side-note, the community is pretty great. Deep Combat & Classes: I love to build. I've been a D&D addict for a long time for that very reason -- it is a fairly complex system that lets you get creative. TSW is exactly the same! You can mix and match abilities from a variety of trees to create a build that compliments your play style. You can literally learn every skill on the same character given time, as well, so your build doesn't need to get stale. Just pick up a new weapon when you want something fresh. Learning abilities is fairly quick, so you do not need to go through the chore of grinding for weeks & weeks to do so, either.

    Overall, great game, highly recommended.
  89. Jul 4, 2012
    I would love to give this game a 10 but one major things a preventing me from it: Every NPC dialogue is wonderfully voice acted... except from the Player Character which is totally mute. I am not asking for branching dialogue options but at least have him acknowledge when spoken to with a one liner. With that out of the way, the character development is great, the instances are fun, the setting is unique, the launch was the smoothest I have seen in an MMO. Beware though this is not an MMO for everyone; if you are looking for elves, floating question marks on NPCs, a 30 entry long questlog with quests à la kill 10 of this, gather 5 of that; look elsewhere. It also has a steep learning curve when it comes to the Ability wheel synergies.
    Also neither I, nor any of the other reviewers can really comment on the longevity of the game. The end-game revolves around raids and heroic dungeons, the former are still not in-game, the latter need tweaking with regards to difficulty and rewards.
  90. 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
  91. Aug 20, 2012
    I believe the "professional" critics have got this one about right. For all it does differently in the narrative department, The Secret World is still an MMO at its core. The game has all the regular genre staples such as guided progression via solo and group questing, group dungeons, and loot grinding. If you enjoy daily quests and daily quest hubs then consider The Secret World one big hub because virtually every quest is repeatable. The combat is simple enough that anyone willing to learn it can but it may not have the depth that others desire. Overall it's a decent game that's got everything people have come to expect from MMOs, both good and bad, except for the raiding. That's fine with me. Expand
  92. 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.
  93. Jul 6, 2012
    Do not believe the hype. Try this game first. If they will give you trial that is. Combat is b.o.r.i.n.g. Missions are b.o.r.i.n.g. Crafting is total failure. PvP? gimme a break. Also, no motion capture was used so your toon moves like a rag doll. Game looks quite nice when you do not move though.
  94. 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
  95. Jul 12, 2012
    This game rocks. Some obnoxious bugs, but I'm still drawn to playing it regardless. The story is good, the progression paths and power levels are very well done, and the PvE content can be very challenging which forces you to be a better player to prosper. Also looking forward to their promised monthly content updates; I'll be playing this for a long time to come.
  96. Jul 10, 2012
    My review is that I have been playing it every waking hour for the last 4 days and cannot stop!

    I have been playing MMO's since EQ1 and had given up on the genre after the SWTOR debacle. It is a bit like an adventure game MMO (like Monkey Island opnline or something). If you do not like puzzles or adventure games then you will probably not be hooked like I am. I was getting really
    really sick of the "kill 10 rats" quests in other games and this game solves that problem.

    It is worth buying even for the month of obsessive fun you will have. I am unsure how it will work out as a subscription offer on a monthly basis, but am prepared to give it a couple of months to see if it does. It is giving me many more hours fun than a night out at the bar and is much cheaper.

    They are giving out buddy keys, so check with a friend if you want to try before you buy.
  97. Jul 3, 2012
    A brilliant game with great depth in every aspect. It is story based, but challenges your mind and emotions instead of trying to be "in your face" and "epic" all the time. The pacing is masterfully scripted. Hands down the best story written for an MMORPG, and probably even for a game, that I have seen.

    Progression wise you never feel like you've hit a wall that is due to anything but
    the build you've chosen and skill. In The Secret World, though it's a theme park, you can play it like a sandbox most of the time. You will mostly focus on a mission at a time and immerse yourself in it rather than gathering up dozens of quest and doing them robotically like in other MMOs.

    The best part about The Secret World is that it puts "RPG" back into MMORPG. There will be choices. There won't be any disconnecting lines of dialogue blurted out by your own character that you would never say in a certain situation. And most of all, you can tailor your character to your own liking no matter what.

    There is honestly nothing here to complain about except the chat system, that can be annoying from time to time. So if I could, I would give it a 9.9 - but if there was ever an MMO that deserved top marks, it's this one.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we've finally seen MMORPGs evolve!
  98. Jul 3, 2012
    By far one of the most unique MMOs I've played in years, if not the most. It's questing system is designed to make players flesh out the storyline of the place calmly, instead of going through the rush of plundering hub after hub to reach the max level. The skill system allows for an almost infinite number of unique combinations(although min-maxers will possibly find the best for each role), and designers have incredible freedom with bosses thanks to that. In TSW, we might as well see bosses that requires, in a raid of 10 players(NYI), 8 healers, or, say, 5 tanks, and players will be able to roll with that just by swapping their skills and armor. The combat is your tried-and-true hotbar tab-target, but with a bit more action with the active dodge(just a bit though). This is a game that will make players think as they quest. So far, I've had to decipher morse code messages, decode enigmas, hack computers and even overload a giant capacitor. Where in other games can you do that? All in all, TSW has the potential to break the shell MMOs have been stuck in for a long time. Expand
  99. Jul 14, 2012
    Not quite the best MMO so far. However, this game has an amazing foundation and depth. Funcom really redeemed themselves with this game. The quests are actually well fleshed out for the most part; however, combat needs to be polished a bit more. Though the game had a good launch, it really did not have that much stress put on their servers due to population. TSW is a game that is going to start out small, but grow continuously throughout it's life span. If funcom keeps the game up to date, you're going to be hearing ALOT more about TSW than you have in the past. Expand
  100. Jul 7, 2012
    An MMO so very different than anything ever made in the name that is MMO.
    A very dynamic combat, dynamic graphics, and a truly new, with everything it has... new gaming experience...
    Funcom has achieved something other companies so many times had failed to do so, doing something new.

    All those games with their clicky skills, simpler and simpler user interfaces just to attract more
    players can just learn so much from it. Expand

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.