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The Secret World Launches

Funcom announces the launch of The Secret World, focusing on the critical reaction meeting the conspiratorial MMORPG:

Funcom is thrilled to announce that the hugely anticipated modern-day massively multiplayer online game ‘The Secret World’ officially launched worldwide today. What many are calling one of the smoothest launches in MMO history actually started Friday last week when Early Access began, opening the doors to the online world of myths, legends and conspiracies for all pre-order customers to enjoy during the weekend. Launch happened smoothly and hordes of gamers have so far enjoyed ‘The Secret World’ and its fresh take on the MMO genre.

The first press reviews are starting to surface, and so far the reviews are very positive. Hyper Magazine has given the game a 9/10 score, saying “… this could be the most important MMO since ‘World of Warcraft’”. NowGamer awarded the game a 8.3 out of 10 score, praising the game’s excellent graphics saying the “… DirectX 11 visuals challenge the limits of what we’d credit an MMO as capable of achieving.” Other reviews hitting today include 5/6 from both VG and Dagbladet, two of the biggest mainstream newspapers in Scandinavia, as well as a 9/10 from PC Powerplay. Looking at the incredible number of comments on forums and social media channels, feedback from players has also been overwhelmingly positive so far. The game is receiving praise for breaking new grounds for the MMO genre, combining technical and gameplay innovation with superior high quality production values.

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19. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 14:09 Fion
I was in the beta and while the game was somewhat clunky, it also has it's bright spots. It oozes atmosphere and the story-driven questing is well done with snappy writing and VO. The animations are sloppy (which is odd considering how good they were in AoC, and it's the same engine) and the combat isn't very cohesive, but it's still solid.

But I agree, Funcom does have a reputation. They used to be my favorite MMOG house, mostly because of Anarchy Online (which is noted for having one of the worst launches in the industry and the most bugs in it's first six months than you could ever foreseeable count), it also had an amazing setting and very innovative features that are considered not only common but necessary in modern MMOGs (instancing, link-items-to-chat, dynamic spawning, 360' flight, just to name a few).

One has to wonder though why Funcom has had several years to fix fundamental (as Mac put it) features of their latest game AoC such as the sieges when you have other companies like Arenanet with not only working sieges, but extremely fun, polished, deep and strategic server vs. server (vs. server) PvP months before the game even launches. PvP so good it not only rivals DAoC's RvR, but surpasses it in many ways.. and the game isn't even out yet!

It makes me think many of the great folks at Funcom somehow don't know what they are doing, or the leadership doesn't have an even remotely defined structure or list of goals. It's just.. baffling. That said I wish them all the luck in the world. I've been interacting with many of the great folks there for ages (since early beta of Anarchy Online) and most are dedicated, intelligent and very creative.
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