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The Secret World Preview

Sara Lau
Mar 5,2012  06:03 by

Video game fans, you must have been quite absorbed in games like The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Anarchy Online and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures,etc., which are without exception featured with a marvelous storyline. Well, the game that is to come on stage this time –The Secret World, also belongs to this category.

A portal was opened up as a result of the bomb explosion in Tokyo. Unfortunately, evil forces swarm into the planet through the portal. It seems that the Biblical plagues are staging a comeback: terrible diseases are spreading, ferocious monsters and demons are haunting, unscrupulous people are rioting…Humans are doomed to be tortured by the sufferings resulted from their previous profligate life and ceaseless exploit upon the earth.

We are calling for heroes emerging in such troubled times. I am eager to be the chosen one. But what’s my real position in this stunning contemporary world? Stay cool. There is a pretty funny story on how I am enrolled in the storyline: a vermin flies inside me when I sleep with my mouth open, and then I get miraculous superpowers, with which I start traveling around for adventures.

The fact is, Illuminati, Templar and Dragon are the main three factions assigned to defeat the invading forces. In the meantime, smaller organizations such as Ice Man and Cult of Aten, as well as villains such as Doctor Klein, all occupy a respective place in the game.


Still expecting Elves, Orcs, or Trolls in MMOs? The Secret World is providing us with something really cool—yes, one is Illuminati, people of flesh and blood.

As a rule in MMOs, I start the game by creating a character from the existing three factions—Illuminati in New York, Templar in London and Dragon in Seoul. Customization on the appearances is not emphasized, as there are no classes or levels in the game. As to the weapons, sword, pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, hammer, and axe are good choices, but I am also fond of my mightiest fists.

Traveling across Egypt

I have to be frank that this game is rather time&energy-consuming. Our team has spent a dozen hours at a stretch on the adventures in this exotic country, sweep monsters in dungeons from the Scorched Desert to the Valley of Sun God. Taking the Scorched Desert for example, on the first sight, I am fascinated by the peaceful scene in this small region where humans live harmoniously with nature. However, inexplicable dangers and secrets lurk beneath the calm circumstances, making it destined to be a stronghold that many organizations will cast their covetous eyes on. Does this remind you of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The game’s mini-maps are decent, on which icons of pyramids, camels, temples, etc., are neatly located, as though the developers are preparing brochures for tourists. In addition, there is a handy arrow guaranteeing the right direction I anticipate. In a word, by use of the Studios’ own engine called Genesis, everything including the atmosphere, characters and sound effect turns out to be quite appealing and satisfactory, as if a real contemporary world had been restored.

Classes and level of charge

As mentioned above, since there are no classes or levels, I am entitled a large privilege in deciding how I will progress in the game, and the accessories become more significant. It’s fantastic that with the help of the Ability Wheel, I have over 500 chances to strengthen my character. I am free to choose one among a ranged, melee and magical mode, and even a mix-match within the three.

I am endowed both active and passive abilities in The Secret World. The former are realized through the use the certain weapons such as “Sawed Off” for the shotgun and “Dancing Blade” for the sword. The latter such as “Improved Hit Rate” are more protective. Above all, the set of Skill Points enables me to have certain weapons improved. Accordingly, I am tempered to be an all-mighty warrior with offensive, defensive and creative talent. The game is played from a third person stand, allowing me to get a clearer overview of the whole situation, as well as to tackle the opponents in more flexible ways: to sweep the enemies within close range or take an assault at them from a distance.


Now let’s get down to the character customization. I’ve mentioned a little above, but here the focus is first on clothes—yes, clothes remain closely associated with fashion in this virtue world. Running naked in dungeons where zombies and monsters are wandering? That’s not voguish, and above all, not safe! Do not worry. Experiences as well as a series of items could be achieved by killing monsters. Along with the help of the Tech system, I feel free to shift my appearances from a modern Warrior to a Ninja. Well, courage comes from within, and from without.

Then, I am eager to present the super Power Inventory. Thanks to it, I am able to select the equipments and store extra critical hit and other specific properties. Nearly 120 slots are provided in the game, so you needn’t worry about lack of space in the inventory. Further, various builds could be kept so that I can make a quick shift when necessary. More imposingly, I can share and exchange the builds with friends. Whenever I am fascinated by the cool weapons and trendy clothes of others, I just need to deliver a request to the person.

There is a built-in PvP and dungeon indicator, under whose guide I can make a quick decision on which battlefield to choose with ease. However, this setting is still not so convenient as those in World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Compared with the real battles set in various game environments, the PvP battles are of smaller scale. Unique buffs could be achieved when you have managed to occupy an opponent’s base.

Colored icons

In The Secret World, icons standing for different functions are painted different colors. For example, brown icons are for missions of a massive scale and brutal action, ans yellow ones are for sabotage missions to be carried out in a furtive way.

What’s more, there are investigation missions which require you to search on the Internet for the answers to the questions raised in the quest by use of the in-game browser.

You may be a little dizzy considering my descriptions on the diversified settings and missions? Do not worry. The quests in this game are installed in a well prescribed order, and at a time, you are merely entrusted with a main quest together with a side one.

It could be the one.

By now, I have almost worked out the answers for the question “What makes The Secret World stand out from the flourishing MMOs among which some have been proved to be especially competitive and influential such as TERA and RIFT”. Well, in a word, what is unique is that this game allows me to be myself advancing along an engrossing storyline with weapons and magical powers at hand in a contemporary world.

But I am still questioning why a MMO brought about from such a fascination storyline. Personally, a single-player RPG could be better, since it will allow players to be completely immersed in the game with a full sense of accomplishment upon finishing quests. Anyway, I still hold great expectations on the game and wish it a promising future.

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