If you have been following me the last few weeks at The Grimcanuck, you would know I have been playing The Elder Scrolls Online. This where we take a detour to something a bit different. The Secret World is Funcom’s sci-fi, action, and may I say investigative MMORPG. Set in modern times with modern problems in which you are tasked to solve with extreme prejudice. This may come in the form of blades, balls of elemental hatred, guns, and well pretty much everything shy of the kitchen sink. You initially are tasked to choose one of three factions, The Templars, The Illuminati, or The Dragons. The character creation is satisfactory but is nothing special and certain races seem to be faction locked. After creation of my character I was thrust intro a quick tutorial where I picked my starting weapons and learned the basics of getting around in The Secret World.
As for classes, TSW does it a bit different. It was a bit confusing off the hop but after a bit of staring at the screen and putting the system to work I was able to get a slight handle on it all. Essentially you pick a couple of different weapons or magic types and as you level you gain AP which can be spent on skills and passives within that skill set. I chose swords and elemental magic because who doesn’t like to slice and then burn your foes into oblivion. Now I am one of those people who like to make calculated decisions and well I had to throw that out the window. I know there is probably a right and wrong way to build a character but I have to let the game show for itself how it handles my vision of what I want. Too often we are left scouring forums for hours on end searching for that most efficient build, all the while we are not playing the game. Personally I am getting away from this approach. Only time will tell if I am forced back into my old form but for now this is how its going to be damn it.
Combat is downright clunky. It may be that I have not mastered the art of war in TSW yet so this may change with time. TSW uses a telegraph, stay out of the red stuff system much like Wildstar but not as slick. It is either the animations of the skills and/or the movement of my character that seem to snap me out of this amazing setting. It is truly a pretty game aside from the combat. The one thing I do enjoy about the combat is creating synergy between my two skills sets. For example building action points with my sword only to use them with a fireball blast. Its nice and adds a needed bit of depth at the begining of the game to hold my attention.
This brings me to the one thing TSW does amazingly right and like no one else. Questing, it is more focused and I dont have that overwhelming feeling of needing to knock off every quest along the way. Having to pay attention to the quests and solving them and not just completing them was refreshing. Yes I said solving. TSW tasks you to complete investigations which take you from one place to the next collecting clues to put the puzzle pieces together. I had that feeling of playing one of those puzzle books your parents gave you on long road trips. It is probably not for everyone but it was unexpected and welcome in my case.
TSW draws you in with beautiful set pieces and holds you with story and mystery. Where it lacks in my opinion is combat. I hope that the combat becomes more engaging as I move forward. I have I feeling though that what Funcom is banking on is its story and that may not be a bad bet. Its an odd cat in a every aging ally. I may jump back in. I may not. I am undecieded and I feel like it may seem like work to get to that point of where I need TSW to be to satisfy what I want it too. Join me again next week for MMO: Monday at The Grimcanuck and check back for other gaming and tech stuff.