The Secret World – Hands-On Preview With EA’s Upcoming MMO
The Secret World has been in the pipeline for what seems an eternity but with a launch date finally in sight, is the gaming going to live up to all its lofty ideas and premise? We got hands on with the game at last week’s EA showcase and are happy to report back on this unique MMO.
The Secret World is an upcoming MMO from FunCom, the guys that brought us Age of Conan. The game is set in the modern day real world where you must battle vampires, werewolves and zombies with an array of modern weapons and magic.
So the question is; is The Secret World ready to take on the giants of the MMO universe?
As we sat down to preview The Secret World, the first decision we had to make was which of the 3 fractions or secret societies to become a member of:-
The Dragons – An Asian group, which is the most secretive of societies. With no fixed territory or structure, the Dragon have dissolved and reformed throughout history. They believe that a closed, controlled society is a sick society. Only through collapse and rebuilding, the natural chaos of life, can the world be in harmony. Recently, they have taken root in a nameless district of Seoul, Korea.
The Illuminati – This society are the invisible puppet-masters and corporate manipulators, they crave power and wealth by any means necessary.
And finally the Templars – The Templars are the old guard of Europe; suave and sophisticated, but fiercely brutal and uncompromising in their crusade against darkness.
The game is built using FunCom’s own “Dreamworld” engine and does lead to a very impressive shiny-looking game. The games environments are on par with any other MMO out there.
The preview saw us exploring a haunted carnival called “the Haunted Atlantic Island Amusement Park” and we were soon approached by the caretaker who spun a tale via a nicely voice-acted CGI cut-scene that the place has been possessed by mischievous spirits. My mission is to slash my way through the carnival, drive away the spirits, and carve through legions of zombies, which are running wild through the park.
Gameplay is very similar to that of other MMO’s and is instantly recognisable to MMO players. One nice and new element is the way you level up and choose classes. Your character develops via a large skill tree, and you dictate their speciality manually. So you can still create healers, tanks, and so on, but in a much more organic way. You aren’t driven down a single path like in most modern online RPGs but instead can create distinctive hybrids of all classes.
Missions in the game are very similar to other MMO’s as you grind from set piece to set piece and receive a massive XP dump at the end for all your troubles.
All in all, the storyline is what sets The Secret World apart from its competitors and it’s what will ultimately sell you on whether to but the game. FunCom have created a solid, impressive, well polished and what hopes to be a “deep” online role-player.
Earlier this month at EA’s April Showcase, we chatted to Erling Ellingsen, Director of Communications at FunCom, about their upcoming massively multiplayer online (MMO) game The Secret World.Check it out below…
The Secret World launches in June later this year and the beta testing begins on the 11th of May and you can sign up now at The Secret World website or be guaranteed a place by pre-ordering the game.