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I have been playing TSW over the weekend and have been enjoying it for the most part. I choose this game as my "flavour of the month" since it had a fairly unique setting and skill progression. I have been wandering through various games (not always MMOS) for the last 6 months since I retired myself from EVE. For the most part these games have been poor but there are games out there that are worth playing and I think TSW is one of them.
The biggest strength of the secret world is the way it delivers quests. When you pick up a quest from a NPC you are taken into a cut scene where the scene is acted out, giving you the background of the quest and in indirectly way what you have to do to meet the objectives. The dialogue is funny, ironic and sprinkled with a bit of dark humour and full of references to popular culture. The characters themselves seem to come from straight from B movies. This along with the good music and sound direction gives the game its tone and fleshes out its unique feel.
The graphics are a bit hit and miss. Some objects such as cars are poorly done, yet some interiors and buildings are well done. Some of the lighting is poor and the view distance can be disappointing particularly when you climb to the top of a building and look out expecting a vista but are met with murky gray fog. The animations of the cut scenes are expressive and communicate exactly what the characters are try to portray. But the combat animations are not as smooth as they should be.
Combat itself has fairly generic so far. You are limited on the number of abilities you can have on your hotbar and how well they work largely depends on the 7 passive abilities you have picked to compliment them so a lot of thought will have to be taken in what you pick and choose. The system reminded me a lot of GW2 in that the number of skills were limited, and largely depended on what weapon you were using. I personally don't enjoy being limited to a small number of skills since it makes battles far too similar.
There are no levels in this game, just ability and skill points which you spend when you "level". Again, you have to choose fairly carefully what you spend these on as there is no way to reset your skills once you have spent them. I found this rather annoying as I would have liked to experiment a bit. However, you can quickly gain points to spend by doing missions if you feel you have messed up.
The biggest surprise for me was the lack of classes in the game. Although you can play as a healer or tank it's an optional build rather than your chosen class and if you you play long enough you can max out all the skills that exist in the game and change builds almost on the fly. This has obvious benefits since you are not restricted in any way and there is a lot of scope for experimentation. However, I feel that this system will hurt the replayability of the game. I don't feel the differences between the factions in the game will be enough to motivate me to create a new character which makes me question how long people are willing to sub for, particularly when it is $18USD a month, making it one of the most expensive subs out there.
That aside I feel this is an enjoyable game that is well worth a try if you like enjoy PVE games with an interesting storyline or if you feel you need to take a break from the dungeons and dragons settings. As a score I would give this an 8/10
Second weekend and I'm in the blue mountains, 3 bugged missions in a row and I'm furstrated that I can't add objects to the hotbar. In one mission I have to equip a chainsaw and a horde of zombies will come to attack and u have to kill them, It would of helped if I could just equip it to my hotbar along with potions or whatever. Instead I have to use my mouse to click it... which half the time it doesn't work. I died several times before giving up the second time I respawned where I died and the zombies kept spawning on top of me despite the fact I failed the mission. Another mission was a well known bug for months, still not fixed and the other one was was I had to equip an environmental suit, which I cant seem to do and activate a fire extinguisher and put out fires... which i can't seem to do. I've got fed up and logged out. Not much fun to be had here.