The Secret World has been reborn as Secret World Legends and while on the surface it may look like the same game it doesn’t take long at all for you to start seeing the differences. But that isn’t what this review is about. This Secret World Legends review is written for people who are completely new to The Secret World’s universe. With that in mind lets jump in.
It all begins as MMOs do, in the character creator. From the start, you can see that this is a modern setting with modern, sensible clothing options. Though when you get to make up you get to go a little bit wild. The character creator isn’t anything to write home about. While it does offer a lot of variety it lacks scales and the ability to reshape faces in fine detail. The result is an outline that always looks the same, great for the cutscenes, but not so great for customization. Once you’ve dressed your character you get to name them and pick a class. To further emphasize that this is a modern setting and the modern world you must give your characters a first and last name. Their nickname is the only thing that has to be unique, this is the name your character will go by in the game, So have fun Xxx_Candy_xxX.
Classes are a pairing of two weapons that are compatible with each other and can be changed later in the game so you aren’t stuck with the same things forever if you don’t want to be. The final step before you enter the secret world is to pick a faction. All factions play together but which you pick will change the flavor of things slightly.
Be prepared to sit through quite a few cutscenes as you get settled in. This isn’t the type of game that will throw you into the action the moment you start. The tutorial will teach you about several different types of missions you’ll face, showing you the mechanics you’ll need to know later on, while other parts of the tutorial offer more story to get you started. Once you’ve met with the representative of your faction it’s finally time to jump in.
At first, combat can be somewhat awkward. Each weapon has its own mechanic that you need to learn and understand. Building up resources and spending them is something that needs to be monitored and some abilities cannot be used until you’ve built up a charge on them. It took me about an hour of playing before I started getting comfortable with the abilities. The fight itself is very action oriented, so be prepared to dodge and keep an eye on the fight at all times.
Your stats aren’t from armor like most MMOs, instead, you have jewelry, belts, and talisman. Get something you can’t use or isn’t as good as what you have? You can sell it, or you can use it to upgrade what you already have.
More Than Just A Fight
There’s more to Secret World Legends than combat. This is a thinking (wo)man’s game. You will need to do research, translations, and be aware of your surroundings. Stealth is equally important as you have to sneak past powerful enemies and avoid paranoid lunatics who have explosives rigged to cameras. If you’re the type who usually skips cutscenes you’ll want to break yourself of that habit as Secret World Legends has cutscenes that are vital to missions, with big name voice actors. Not to mention they have a wicked sense of humor. Secret World Legends isn’t a race to the end, this game is all about the journey.
Where Secret World Legends really shines is in the setting. This is a modern world where every conspiracy theory is true and there are dark secrets being kept from the world. The atmosphere for each zone is perfect, and thanks to the new server technology that only allows about 10 people on a map you actually feel like you’re alone in your tasks. Wandering down the streets of a zombie infested northeastern town you don’t have to worry about a horde of players, only the hordes of zombies. It really allows you to be the hero of the story in a way that MMORPGs can’t traditionally portray. Voice actors for their amazing cutscenes include the delightful Jeffery Combs, Tim Russ, Tara Strong, and many other talented artists. The streets of London are portrayed in such a way that you can almost smell the street food.
At the center of the world (quite literally) is Agartha, the hub for all things related to the secret world you live in. Here you can shop, team up with others to tackle dungeons and raids, or just enjoy a night out on the town…tree. If you found the zones in which you can do combat a little bit lonely then Agartha is the place for you, this hub will be abuzz with activity. Though sadly it was empty during the press preview.
If you’re a roleplayer then you may have just stumbled into paradise. Secret World Legends caters to their roleplayers by giving them everything they could want; places to dance, drink, sit, and emotes galore. Oh and have I mentioned the clothes? There are thousands of options for you to customize your character with. Some of them earned in game, some of them purchased with real world money.
Like other Funcom titles, Secret World Legends is not for the kiddos. It is an intense game that is known to freak out even the most grown up of players. They also aren’t afraid to show blood or nipples. Gore happens to be one of their favorite things. This isn’t a game for the whole family, rather a game you play after the kids have gone to bed.
Secret World Legends is everything The Secret World wanted to be. The changes made to the game have only made it better, though it will take veterans some time to adjust. I encourage you to give it a try though. With the game now being free to play you have nothing to lose. If you’re looking for a grown up game that makes you think and take your time then Secret World Legends is the game for you.
+ Amazing Story Telling
+ Unique Setting
+ More Than Just Fighting
+ Accessible For All Types of Gamers
– Combat Takes Getting Used To
– Slow Start
– May Not Run on Older PCs