The Secret World - PC

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The Secret World (PC)
Requires: Mouse, Internet Connection, Keyboard
Also for: Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Funcom Soft. Co.: Funcom
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Funcom (US)
Released: Mar 2012 (US)
19 Jun 2012 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+


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Where do you turn to if you want an MMO experience without the colourful fantasy of leading title World of Warcraft, or the great expanse of the (somewhat uncontrolled) space of EVE Online? Funcom and Electronic Arts aim for The Secret World to be the answer to that question.

At its core, it plays and acts a lot like a traditional Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game should. You create a character, join a particular class, find some friends, form a team and gad about completing missions for money and fantastic virtual prizes.

As with most new entries in the MMO space, style and presentation has a big part to play when it comes to the differentiation game. That’s where The Secret World could have a hold on a large number of subscribers - Funcom has gone down the dark fantasy route in focusing on a world overrun by various urban monsters and undead horrors.

What’s somewhat worse than the creatures that roam the cities at night (and day), are the equally shady syndicates that pull the strings of politicians - who are supposed to be looking after the general populace.

There are no classes or levels to speak of in The Secret World - your only real choice beyond character customisation is the allegiance you swear to one of the three factions - Dragons, Templars and the Illuminati. Instead, you build up points and resources, which can then be used to spend on various equipment and abilities.

And some of these abilities are sure to give you a kick - combat is based on dark magic and gunplay, with equipment ranging from shotguns to assault rifles and snipers. You may pine for a sword at first, but you realise that these weapons pretty much act in the same way. Shotguns are naturally for close-range fire, snipers can take out baddies from further away, and so on.

The Secret World is, at its heart, exactly the kind of MMO that fans of the genre know and love, but it comes with a style all of its own.