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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1243 Ratings

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  1. Jul 31, 2012
    Much like StarWars: the old republic the game is more like singleplayer with benefits than a real MMO. With all the problems. The story missions are really nice for an MMO, but i wondered regularly how great the experience could have been if the developers had focused purely on this part in a standard singleplayer rpg. The MMO part on the other hand feels shallow and dilutes the story with unnerving grind in order to be ready for the next region. In the end, the games neither real fun as a story driven experience nor as a progress driven MMO. Two halves don´t always make a whole. Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. Jul 4, 2012
    The theme of the game is very nice, but a few things really takes away from the enjoyment. Very few character options. But the glaring problem (for me) is that you so often have to search Google for walk-troughs to quests.. it just ruins the immersion that the game otherwise succeed to provide. Bottom line, if your not a native language is not English and/or have excellent puzzle solving skills.. the game gets boring fast. Expand
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Jul 12, 2012
    Ok so guys i know you don't want to hear this buuuut: The combat system is one of the worst combat systems EVER. You only have 7 active abilities and are limited to button mashing resource generating skills about 5 times until you can use another skill, and there also is no auto attack so you really gotta mash. Most skills are boring and only have slight differences to them (one does a bit less damage but casts faster and so on). I ended up playing this game (and i really tried using the keyboard but man it was SUCH A PAIN) with xpadder using my game pad with 2 buttons for actual combat using the makro function from xpadder. So a fight was like this: Press X on the gamepad wich corresponds to: press 2 wait 0.8 seconds press 2 wair 0.8 seconds and that 5 times then i activated a root and then 5 consumer abilites.... And no this game does not leave room for optimization since there are no procs, no abilities that need timing or such. And the feeling to the combat also is horrible, effects suck, animations are hilarious at times and it just feels like your standing there and doing nothing ( esp. in pvp). So now to the part that makes many people think this game is so special: it does not offer levels, ok sounds great right? WRONG!!!!! Levels are just replaces by QL ( quality levels from ITEMS) so this whole game ends up being about farming items... that just **** boring and since enemys don't always drop the items you need(or quests as reward) you will end up having a very **** feel to the "progession" this game offers. The skill wheel at first sight seem rather complex, let me tell you this: it is not, it is one of the worst systems i ever saw in an mmo. You farm forever to unlock abilites towards the end of a "circle" and most of the time the game leaves you absolutely no choice which abilities to combine since the active skills AND THE PASSIVES often need each other to function properly. Further the weapon system limits the systems overall "flexibility" even further. On the good sides of this game are some rare missions in which you can have adventure like game play, but the quality of those is not comparable to a GOOD adventure game! Ok but honestly, the world is gray in gray throughout kingsmouth etc, and can be very depressing at times. For like 15 hours that would be ok i guess, but man this drags on and on. PvP is a mess too: The combat system makes sure fun is destroyed after a few matches, and the battlegrounds are primitive and designed poorly . Let me remind you of one thing: MOST OF THE TIME YOU WILL BE FIGHTING IN THIS GAME, LIKE IN ANY MMO, AND COMBAT SUCKS HERE! So no matter how different this game may look, it is just more of the same and worse than most other games out there. And the new stuff is mediocre overall at best. And no the great camera angels don't help if what happens during the cut scenes isn't even worth watching them. Oh and i almost forgot: This game is a rip off: Selling life time subscriptions for a game the developer said it will be f2p in no time just seems like wanting all the cash possible before sinking the ship. AND THIS GAME HAS A REALLY EXPENSIVE INGAME SHOP FOR CHARACTER SLOTS BOOSTERS ETC!!!!! This is unbelievable and wrong for a GAME WITH A 15 DOLLAR FEE PER MONTH. Guild wars 2 is a way better game and anyone should rather buy it instead of this since IT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A SUBSCRIPTION FEE AND A FAIR ITEM SHOP. I had so much more fun with Gw2's beta than i had with TSW after launch. I **** regret even spending one buck on this game! Expand
  10. Jul 12, 2012
    The Secret World is an MMO set in a modern day atmosphere utilizing myths, folklore, and old school legends. You see them come to life as you explore and adventure through all of its environments. What may be the most detrimental feature in The Secret World is that the game does not feel like an MMO at all. Instead, the game focuses on its single player experience with elaborate cut scenes and character interaction. The game does a spectacular job at making you feel like a part of the world. However, the writing in general can be entirely too obnoxious. There are times you would rather skip the cut scenes explaining your mission to move on. Moreover, your character doesn't actually speak or offer any responses. You simply watch an NPC talk for anywhere on average 5 minutes. You feel no connection to your character.

    After acquiring your missions, you are to complete typical menial tasks involving "gather 10 of these" or "kill 10 of these" to complete your mission. The combat is uninventive and lack luster despite having so many choices in weaponry. Animations are mostly horrid and rather out dated. There are some times you don't even know if your skill was performed. Combat doesn't make you feel like you're actually hitting something and gets old really fast. Your skills are determined by your weapons, a la Guild Wars 2, which then determine your "class." The "no classes" feature of the game is hidden by that facet as once you start equipping different weapons you clearly start seeing the specific rolls between them.

    What The Secret World does well is its presentation in atmosphere. There are times that you will look at your surroundings in awe because of the wonderful graphics. It's disappointing that Funcom could not maintain top notch graphics across the board. Character modeling seems to be graphically the worst looking in the game with a Grand Theft Auto 4 resemblance. Even during cutscenes, characters perform unusual and unrealistic movements. The attention to detail seems to only be focused on the environment and your surroundings.

    Outside of investigations, you have your typical quests where you are to perform a list of actions from an NPC (questgiver). These are the repetitive "grindy" quests you learn to love or hate. PVP doesn't offer anything new and is a big disappointment - partly due to the terrible combat system and mostly hindered by the lag. Character creation is an extreme disappointment. Players aren't given many choices for actual character features but are provided with a large amount of attire to adorn your character with. This makes the game seem more like a "dress up barbie" feel where everyone looks the same feature wise with different clothing.

    One of the biggest "differences" Funcom announces is that they offer no levels in the game. Players are given a giant wheel to allocate their skill points. It's a clever mask to the level system and in actuality is just another way to set your talents as you secretly level up. The only difference is that you can max everything out, if you so choose and if you play enough. The player is responsible for doing their research before making a selection in skill points. If you make an incorrect decision, you're forced to live with it through the rest of your character. There is no option for a reset or "re spec" which is quite daunting.

    Dungeons you ask? End game? The developer and its users claim that the moment you create your character, you're playing end game. There really is no "end game" per say and true raiding. There are dungeons but those are few and far between. Funcom promises that there will be more dungeon content added in the future. With its current stage in content, after completing your investigations you're left with daily repetitive quests and that's about it. PVP isn't worth the time and crafting in the game is just there for busy work with no reward.

    Funcom is right saying that this game is a unique experience in an "MMO." Quite simply, don't be deceived by the genre that is labeled on this game. This is not an MMO. This is a single player game labeled as an MMO to somehow justify their $15/month commitment on top of the $50 product. There are no standard features in this game most MMO's offer such as a looking for dungeon tool, respeccing, or even any relevant or rewarding crafting. The intention of the developers is to have one character that experiences all the content which leaves no viability for alts; thus, this gives the game a "one time play through," much like a single player game. Overall, the game is a 2/10. If the price were to drop substantially, the game might be worth checking out for the free month. The single player is some what worth the experience but, beyond the first month, there is no justification for a subscription to this game. It simply lacks any multiplayer functionality beyond a guild (cabal) and chat system.
  11. Jul 13, 2012
    + Great universe
    + Interesting quests

    - Awful animations
    - Bad character customization
    - Character leveling DOES exist
    - Zombies again and again....
  12. Jul 21, 2012
    There's something very strange about the user reviews here for The Secret World. Almost all of the positive 9's and 10's were left by people with only one review: TSW. Not only that, but when I read these reviews, I can't help but wonder what game these people are playing, because TSW is not NEARLY as good as they are making it out to be. I was in the closed beta, and have been following this game for years, and I am completely disappointed by it. While the modern setting is cool, the story fails at being realistic at all. This is the SECRET World, not the OBVIOUS World. For example, when starting the Illuminati quest, you eventually are led to this building where it is obvious the base has to be inside, with hands pointing the way to your end goal. Then, when you get there, the Illuminati are wearing... Illuminati uniforms... Where are they getting this stuff made without exposing themselves? How has normal society NOT discovered their barely hidden base entrance? And characters are running around with their weapons on their backs, in modern day, not hidden -- the fact that no one is being noticed by the police further wrecks my immersion. The quests feel very single player, and if you have to gather items, prepare to compete with everyone around you to pick up the items (that have a terribly slow respawn rate, too). The graphics are very outdated. I found myself staring at the doctor's misshapen arm while he talked, and couldn't pay attention to what he was saying because he looked so terrible. If this game was 10 years ago, the graphics would be acceptable. Character customization is limited and bland, and while there are no "levels" or "classes" advancement is still done with XP and you choose your specialty weapon (which defines your abilities like a class). Most of those weapons are terrible, unless you pick something melee. Combat is terrible, clunky and slow, and absolutely not fun. Don't bother trying to play a ranged class, because enemies run up on you faster than Left4Dead (hence why you need to pick a melee weapon from the start). I've also experienced random bugs, such as getting stuck in a doorway, and having to log off to get unstuck. Do not be fooled by all these good reviews on here about this game -- it's currently unpolished, unfun, and a great disappointment that isn't showing any signs of getting better. I expect whoever has been leaving these false reviews is going to thumbs down mine, but I have to get the word out anyway. It's very possible this game will go F2P like most other Funcom titles, and when it does, that would be a nice risk-free way to give it a try. Expand
  13. Jul 5, 2012
    Between it's 6 year old graphics, boring combat style and linear missions system this game fails on all levels that it promised.

    You are unable to get immersed into the game due to a quest limiting system that forces you to complete one quest type at a time.
  14. Jul 5, 2012
    I wanted to like this game. I wanted to LOVE this game. Modern day settling with a supernatural theme and secret societies? What is not to love?

    Unfortunately the answer to that is, the graphics, the story and the gameplay.

    The game is woefully short on content and because of that the developers have implimented a quest limitation system to force you to constantly retrace your
    steps to complete missions. (You can only have 1 mission type at a time, so when you find a new mission, you have to "pause' your current mission) then go and complete the new mission, then go back to the first person and then "unpause" the previous mission.

    The PvP is standard and borning, as is the combat system.

    Such a shame.. it had such great potential, but fell apart in execution.
  15. Jul 5, 2012
    I'm really disappointed in this game. What a huge regret buying this game. I was expecting something fresh. I read some of the reviews thinking the game was fresh. A lot of these reviews makes me think the authors were in a cave playing only WoW for 10 years and nothing else. The game is so dated and clunky that I'm surprised it was even released. The combat is by far the worse. It is not new. It's the same old mmo gameplay tweaked to try to be different. Where's the story? It's just a bunch of mini quest that are voiced by terrible voice actors. Where's the unique missions that are not mmo missions? Most of these reviews are lies. I believe there's puzzles in the game but I have yet to see one. Grah, now I have to fight for a refund. Don't make the mistake I made believing this mmo is fresh. Expand
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Jul 27, 2012
    The game doesn't do anything well and copied many bad ideas of past MMOs. The only positive feature is the modern day setting but because it is cosmetic it adds no value to game play. Poor features include: 1) combat animations and abilities need a massive overhaul because combat is boring and the abilities are boring and not balanced well against one another. 2) Player-versus-player (PvP) needs to be redone, factions have massive population imbalances but PvP is ignored by players due to such poor PvP mini games and also my first point. 3) The story needs a lot of work as whomever wrote the cut-scenes just copied everything from someplace else, TV, movies, books, internet meme, etc. hire a writer. The story often has nothing to do with the quest objectives either. 4) BUGz of the UI, quests, chat, and other random annoyances that are far more common than in other MMOs. 5) Small for an MMO, only 8 combat areas and only 3 regions so geographic and monster diversity is small. 6) To much emphasis on the single player experience, are fewer group instances than recent MMOs and much less group content outside of the instances. This MMO is going to need so much work to salvage and even then it may end up average, I have doubts as to how much post release work will be put into the game. More content was promised but much of the work was done before release. The overhauls to game systems such as combat, PvP, and social features or raid areas must come in a timely fashion. Expand
  19. Jul 9, 2012
    I really tried to like this game. I can usually forgive a newly launched game a few bugs, but this is too much. I consistently felt that the developers were in over their heads, and trying to dress up five year old graphics. Animations are crude. The game crashed regularly (on a new machine). Occasionally I got dropped into a no mans land with nothing to do but restart. Combine that with game mechanics that feel awkward, even cut and pasted, and the few "innovations" of the game mean little. I tried several decks. Gradually, you realize they all function exactly the same way (no matter your build, you keep doing the same things). I also tried each faction, but found that they are all essentially the same (even the "decks" are exactly the same; you would think each faction would have its own type of character builds, but no: "cut and pasted"). The so-called "puzzle" gameplay is just a novelty. It gets old, like the rest of the game. I had lots of fun with their "Age of Conan", so this was a real disappointment. I do not see this game surviving long. Expand
  20. Jul 5, 2012
    I am not quite sure where all the good reviews are coming from, but it doesn't seem to be from the player base, who all seem to be privately complaining about the game.

    There are a few "fan boys" for sure, but the public chat has been very negative as are the messages on the official boards (except for the ones stickied at the top). I think people really wanted to like this genre and
    have been longing for it, but this isn't the game that executes it.

    Why did it take 6 years to launch a game with so little valuable content and such a thin storyline? (By the way, the graphics show that it was started many years ago, because that is how it looks).

    To make up for the lack of content, the developers decided to make you grind for you levels (ahem, skill points) by making you repeat the same quests over and over OR pause and unpause them to get others done.

    I got completely bored after just a few hours of playing and had no desire to continue. Thank GOD I got a code from a friend and didn't have to waste money to find out about this game.
  21. Jul 13, 2012
    This game was released to early. It is plagued with multiple problems. Complaints range from account issues and not being able to log in, to mission that players can not complete. While the story seems like it would be fun, and the cut scenes are nice, it is hard to progress to really get into the game. Constant reloading of the UI or re-starting the game is standard protocol. The game makers should have held out for 4 more beta tests and a couple of months to make this game worth buying currently. Expand
  22. Jul 14, 2012
    Essentially fibbing in its claims of being a game without classes or levels, that is precisely what this game contains. One kills monsters to gain experience points to reach the next "tier" (i.e., level) and begins the game by choosing a "weapon" (i.e., the class whose skills they will increase as they level up). There is nothing particularly innovative about this game. PVE is monotonous. Combat is stale. Heaven forbid, you might as well just go back to playing SW:TOR. Expand
  23. 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.
  24. Jul 19, 2012
    Not wanting to spoil TSW for myself, I decided to avoid all beta testing and so my first gameplay taste was on launch. The storyline is interesting, the immersion is GREAT and the RPG elements truly are well done. But after reaching the second zone where combat is less forgiving, I just couldn't handle the combat any more. Not because of a learning curve or challenge, which I would have loved; simply because the combat is horrible. Instead of click-reaction, it feels more like click-clunk-maybe. This really spoils the entire feel of the game as combat is inseparable from TSW as a whole. At the end of launch week I ended up booting the game, playing for 30 mins and then logging off in frustration. If you can handle a shoddy FTP style combat system, this is the best game out today. Expand
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. Aug 12, 2012
    The Secret World is an amazing mmo, with unique style setting it apart from all others. Unfortunately it is dragged down by technical issues and the worst tech support seen on the mmo-market.

    Let's start with the good parts: The Secret World is the first mmo in a long time that wants you to think. It takes place in a mock version of our own world and time, where monsters and
    conspiracies are real but hidden from regular people. It takes inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King in fabricating a world of horrors, and dumping you in the middle of it.

    Pay attention to the details, because they are masterfully crafted. Every character, monster, or even piece of decor has a good reason for being where it is. Similarities to the real world shouldn't be ignored, because this game flirts heavily with Alternate Reality Games. If you find a business card in-game, you will find the company's website on the real net. Many quests requires you to browse these websites for answers, or ask you to use real skills, like history, religion or even Morse code in order to solve them.

    And beneath it all lies hints to a story that keeps growing every month.

    Game play is class-less, with a system of unlocking skills that theoretically allows you to learn every skill in the game. Skills only scale in power depending on you equipment, and unlocking new skills offers more flexibility instead of power. At any time, you have a small sub-set of skills "equipped", and can swap them out at will. Much like a good trading card game, it all boils down to finding unique and powerful combinations, or "decks", of skills.

    This system of advancement works well, and as you progress, you will need to keep optimizing your skill-set to stand a chance against more difficult enemies.

    The game play, story and setting are all masterfully done, so what stops it from getting a top score?

    The bugs. All mmo-games have bugs, especially at launch, but The Secret World is a top offender. Broken quests (in a story-driven game), unreliable chat-system, non-functioning skill-management, often bad performance, and a lot more. What makes things worse is that after more than a month since launch, only a small handful of bugs are really fixed. Communication is almost non-existent, and players have no idea if it will take days, weeks, or even months to fix core mechanics of the game.

    The tech support is no help either. Every question you ask will be met by a wall of apologies and sympathies, but no real help is ever provided. GMs do not communicate with each other, and the ticket system can have you bounced between a dozen different GMs, all giving wildly different answers, or asking for information that has been provided several times before.

    It is not uncommon to see tech support giving answers that completely ignore the actual issue you are having.

    The final verdict is that The Secret World could be a great game, but isn't yet. If you are very tolerant of technical issues in games, it may be worth it to take a gamble at this game. For everybody else, I recommend you wait and see what happens. If Funcom gives The Secret World the treatment it deserves, all serious issues will be fixed in a few months, and you can enjoy one of the best mmo-games ever to be released.
  29. Aug 13, 2012
    Secret World is a mixed bag of great game and dropped balls. It excels in story and voice acting, but your character does not speak and just weirdly gestures. The environments are excellent and atmospheric and draws you into the world, but character customization (hair, face, body type) severely lacks, and animation is still horrendous even after trying to fix it between betas and launch. It's still the same idle pose, and your char wont move unless he sheathes his weapons. Funcom's excuse for horrible animation is the untethering of the lower & upper bodies for being able to cast while moving. But other devs (in newer MMOs) have done this without the same horrible result in TSW. This can be overlooked if Funcom is new to MMOs and building games, but it is not. 3-faction PVP, as advertised being a main feature, is not implemented well in Fusang and ends up just a game of switching control between wells. Bugs, bugs, bugs. it gets frustrating when you are at step 6 of 7 and the next step wont trigger. Their workaround: go to a dimension where the quest isnt bugged. Funcom is doing all this charging you for the box price, for a monthly and a cosmetic shop. So much promise, but it got Funcommed and EA'd. Expand
  30. Aug 20, 2012
    The basic concept of TSW is very good, an 'Adventure' style MMO. However, the actual implementation of the game leaves much to be desired.

    * This is another released 'Beta' game. I am thinking it really needed another 6 to 12 months of content development, beta testing, bug fixing, and polishing.

    * To few zones, and the zones are VERY small, with grinding the same content repeatedly
    (almost all the Main and Side quests are 'dailies') needed to actually build a character.

    * Quest model where you can only have 1 Main / 3 Side / 1 Dungeon / 1 Story is, in my opinion, just a mechanic to drag out the time needed to play a zone. One should note that even though when you complete a quest, you (sometimes) get the completion reward on-the-spot via mail type mechanic, you STILL need to go back and pickup a new quest anyway. 95% or more of your 'game' time will be spent running from point to point.

    * Really not much choice in progression. Choose a weapon, grind all the SP/AP to build that weapon. Rinse and Repeat. More grinding. There really is no choice, other than what weapon to start on first. Eventually, you do get some extra skills, and have to select what to go on your hotbar, but that selection is pretty straight forward depending on what you are going to be doing, Tank/Heal/DPS.

    * Yes, this is yet another 'Holy Trinity' game. So tired of this model. Really.

    * Yet another Single Player MMO. Every incentive NOT to play with other players, except in dungeons/Raids. Same old, same old.

    * Gameplay is laggy, buggy, and not very smooth. Glowy quest items often do not work.

    * So tired of the !/? Quest model. Time for it to go.

    * Overall, I see TSW as a thinly disguised WOW clone. Not worth the $50 box price, and
    certainly not worth a $15/mo subscription.

    * Box Purchase AND $15 Month Sub AND Cash Shop == Fail

    Give it a try, if you have the extra $50 to spare. But, just be aware that this game is really in an advanced Beta state, and that it is a grinder. Nothing new to see here.

    P.S. Even though ALL the cut-scenes show what most folks would consider to be standard, slow moving zombies, the zombies in TSW game itself are the fastest dang zombies I have ever seen.

    Note: This is my review that I posted on Amazon, should it look familiar.
  31. Jul 5, 2012
    I am not quite sure where all the good reviews are coming from, but it doesn't seem to be from the player base, who all seem to be privately complaining about the game.

    There are a few "fan boys" for sure, but the public chat has been very negative as are the messages on the official boards (except for the ones stickied at the top). I think people really wanted to like this genre and
    have been longing for it, but this isn't the game that executes it.

    Why did it take 6 years to launch a game with so little valuable content and such a thin storyline? (By the way, the graphics show that it was started many years ago, because that is how it looks).

    To make up for the lack of content, the developers decided to make you grind for you levels (ahem, skill points) by making you repeat the same quests over and over OR pause and unpause them to get others done.

    I got completely bored after just a few hours of playing and had no desire to continue. Thank GOD I got a code from a friend and didn't have to waste money to find out about this game.

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.