The Secret World: my favourite game I’m not playing
Posted by Berath
It’s always been that I’ve got far too many games than I can actually play. Most of the time, I’m happy just having them; one day I’ll play them, I will. However, some I really really want to get seriously into. The Secret World is one of these.
I’ve posted about it before. It’s a modern-day based horror investigative mmo from Funcom. It came out using a subscription model but now it’s gone buy2play, you buy it and then can play for free, paying for extra content and downloads with offers and free points for subscribers.
Anyhow, with my love of horror, Lovecraft and the slipstream, getting the game was a bit of a no-brainer.
But am I playing it as much as I’d. No. I’m still fighting zombies in the first zone and experimenting with my character build. I like the way it’s done in TSM, you can slot different skills and become healer, dps, tank or a mix according to taste or necessity on what’s called a skill wheel.
It’s frustrating. Not only is there the game content itself, but Funcom seem to be experimenting with different sorts of metagaming. In December there was an alternate reality game ( ARG) that was set in and around the Secret World called the End of Days, focussing on the predicted end of the World on December 21st. If you opted in you could visit strange websites, receive unsettling phones calls and be sent obscure e-mails. Players got together to decipher the meanings of all these on the official forum.
Now Funcom is experimenting with Twitter, the Twitterverse Experiment. Various NPCs have their own twitter feeds which interact with players, sparking new missions and mysteries within the game in partnership with gamers themselves. It sounds closer to actual roleplaying than any other mmorpg has managed since the likes of Ultima Online and the original Star Wars Galaxies.
It reminds me of an obscure Lovecraftian roleplaying game: De Profundis that I have but haven’t run yet run (do you see a theme here). Here, two or more people communicate purely through letter-writing or other form of communication. You can be yourself, you can be anybody, you can choose your time period. Together, you build up an atmosphere and a story and shape a game world between you all. Interesting.
But anyhow, it doesn’t get me playing TSW. I’m reading the forums, I’m looking at character builds, I’m watching fanmade videos, I’ve thought about which cabals to join. It’s totally my favourite game. When I play it.