Jill Seale

The Secret World: A Different Kind Of Same Old MMORPG

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I first saw Funcom’s The Secret World at PAX 2 years ago. The teaser trailers and premise were interesting, but there was hardly any information about the actual game. All we knew was that it took place in modern-day Earth, and that you took control of a super-powered, demon-fighting member of one of three secret societies: The Illuminati, The Templars, or The Dragon. Now we’re getting a sprinkling of game concept and what looks like footage of actual gameplay.

So, what information can we glean from this video that makes The Secret World any different from all the other failed WoW killers out there? Well, there’s the ambitious goal of creating “total freedom of character progression.” Aside from sounding like advertising jargon, that’s also a little scary. Sure, it’s a good thing to shoot for, but you run the risk of making the game less fun in a number of ways. Beyond that, there’s the setting, which is a major selling point for me. The real world locations and well designed characters (you can see some better examples of the characters on the game’s website) have a lot of potential. Finally, the most exciting (and most disappointing if done poorly) is Funcom’s claim that they’ll be mixing MMO elements with alternate reality gaming and social networking. This is great news if you love ARG’s, and I do.

This is one to watch, if for no other reason than to see yet another krill be sieved through the massive teeth of the WoW blue whale. If you’re interested in being involved in The Secret World‘s beta, you can do so by taking the “initiation test” on their website.


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