Dark Days Are Upon Us.

The Secret World Post Launch First Impressions Part 1 – Presentation

The Secret World has dawned upon us, hailed as one of the most unique and genre breaking MMO’s of our time. I have been following this game closely since being introduced to it late last year by Doc Holiday. Back then I was immediately sucked in to what the game promised to offer. And now that we’ve had a solid week in the game since early access, has it lived up to my own expectations that I had set for it? We’ll see. But for starters, here’s an overview of The Secret World for those who don’t already know.

Set in a modern day world where the buzzing atmosphere of NYC can be felt, the subtle historical influences of London can be seen and the mysterious aurora that the suburbs of Seoul can be experienced, The Secret World ‘s theme is unique in ways that defines it’s own MMO genre. In this world, every conspiracy theory,myth and urban legend is true. Added to that fact are the existence of three secret societies : The notorious Illuminati, the righteous Templars and the chaos theorists Dragons, who are hostile towards each other, but are fighting together against a common enemy. Players select a faction to quest under as each faction offers a different background story and faction rewards. And that was pretty much all I needed to know before pre-purchasing the game. I am a huge sucker for themes such as this (queue Lovecraft, Stephen King etc.) plus an avid fan of the Illuminati, reasons undisclosed.  It was a perfect match.

So without further a due, here’s what I think of The Secret World. To begin with, the presentation of the game is absolutely superb. Even way before open/closed beta, we were given glimpses of the artwork, snippets of the main theme and various other teasers that made hardcore enthusiasts salivate. Just by watching Funcom’s teaser videos on Youtube was enough to make me crave the game week in week out.

Take for example, the Youtube video below. Have you watched it yet? If you haven’t, go on, give it a play.

Now, did it give you goosebumps? It did for me, every single time I’ve watched it, and god only knows how many times that is. The thing that impressed me the most about the presentation in this trailer is, in terms of The Secret World gameplay, you literally see what you get and vice versa. Most of the footage in that video is from in-game, be it cut scenes ( Ur-Draug attacks ‘Copter) or the fighting scenes. Again, impressive. I can recall tons of other MMO trailers that looked bombastic but played like crap. Thankfully, TSW isn’t at all like that as the next part should reiterate.

Gameplay presentation and graphics in TSW is phenomenal, provided you have the machine to run it in it’s full glory. Albeit there are some players having issues with the game on DX11 settings and nVidia drivers, it looks beautiful I tell you. From Kingsmouth all the way to Transylvania, the atmosphere, surroundings, and all the little details ranging from NPC appearances to artwork on walls are mind blowing. The benefits of this at least for me is it makes me feel enveloped in the world and story that Funcom has created. I feel like I belong in that zone specifically completing the appropriate quests, and I can only name one other game that has accomplished this, and it’s a game from Turbine.

Egypt. Just exploring the region puts you in the ‘Cliffhanger’ vibe. Locked, Loaded, and ready for an adventure. It’s beautiful.

Huge kudos to the Art Department at Funcom. I have been persuaded that this is the best looking MMORPG to date. In closing, I’d like to see them address some minor glitches regarding some of the terrain detail. It’s not that big of an issue to be considered game-breaking, but it’s an improvement at the least. These include twitching when scaling rocks, rough edges when traversing through Agartha and the visibility of entrances into instances just to name a few. But with or without, I’m still loving the game for how it looks and the presentation of this game pre and post launch will keep me coming back for more, definitely.

Presentation : 9/10


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