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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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38. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 16:14 Nucas
 
Zadig wrote on Jul 4, 2012, 09:26:
The stories and writing are very good. This makes the voice acting much better since the actors are speaking naturally rather than trying to read comic book dialogue for 14 year olds (a la Bioware). I was very happy to see they've removed leveling like EVE, and adopted the Guild Wars deck system. The tactical choices of 7 active & 7 passive skills is much more interesting than the drudgery of managing 82 skill bars.

that's actually what surprised me the most, i wasn't expecting the quality of writing to be so high, and there are quests everywhere.

as it turns out they've been holding Ragnar Tornquist hostage as a lead writer for a few years. maybe now he can start working on a new Dreamfall game.
 
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37. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 09:45 Zadig
 
Fion wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 14:09:
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.

They remind me of Troika, since they both (with the exception of doomed WoWclone Conan) made interesting games that never worked properly. It's sad that the people trying to make games I'd like to play can't make those games actually playable.
 
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36. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 09:26 Zadig
 
The stories and writing are very good. This makes the voice acting much better since the actors are speaking naturally rather than trying to read comic book dialogue for 14 year olds (a la Bioware). I was very happy to see they've removed leveling like EVE, and adopted the Guild Wars deck system. The tactical choices of 7 active & 7 passive skills is much more interesting than the drudgery of managing 82 skill bars.

The bad parts were the glitched quests and a surprising amount of collision problems. I thought it was "lag" at first but I'd frequently get stuck on invisible objects in the middle of a hallway. I can't see all the bugs being fixed soon.

While I wish the game well, I think the pricing model guarantees failure. Either free to play like Guild Wars, or monthly with nearly free client like EVE would've been much better. I'm not going to pay $100 to help them beta test for the next 3 months.
 
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35. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 09:01 Jonjonz
 
Funcom's games are riddled with bugs. The company is notorious for a complete lack of follow through.

Go read Anarcy Online's current official forums is you want a taste of discouraged and disillusioned players. Upgrades promised years ago and never delivered.

Funcom's solution to bugs and lack of follow through on content is to drop the ball and start a completely new project, only to abandon that once the flaws of that become obvious.

 
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34. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 08:37 Smooth Gravy
 
Well, I've been having a lot of fun with the game. Here sre some really cool things about this game.

  • It's a mature game. There are a lot of cut scenes and visuals that are definitely not intended for those under 18.

  • The skill point system is very cool. It's been mentioned before but I just have to reiterate how great it is. It's a theory crafters wet dream. There are so many combinations that it is a tad overwhelming at first.

  • Progression is done very well. I am currently questing in the 3rd zone and I am getting ability/skill points to spend at a pretty fast rate with the XP I'm getting. The way the system is, it costs more and more points to buy the higher level abilities/skills. What is really cool is that if you have a buddy start the game and you want to go quest with him without face rolling everything, you just pick two weapons that you haven't started spending points on and go quest with him. Since gaining points doesn't get any harder and the quests reset after 24ish hours, you can do all the same stuff with them while leveling new skills/abilites at the same rate as them.

  • The dungeons so far are really good. Our group is running the 3rd one now in Egypt and there is very little trash and a lot of boss fights. The mechanics are solid and it definitely takes a little while to learn them.
  •  
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    33. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 07:34 Glykon
     
    The only thing I can wish to Funcom is BANKRUPTCY !

    After AoC and idiots like Gaute Godager I just wish they will never make games again
     
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    32. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 05:48 Jerykk
     
    NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 14:39:
    Funcom is one of those studios that I think would do a lot better if they had more money. They have fantastic game design ideas, but their stuff always feels incomplete and unpolished, even after a long time in development. This makes me think they are just operating on a shoestring budget, at least in MMO terms.

    Meanwhile you have companies like Bioware who get unlimited money thrown at them and they still can't come up with something other than "Let's copy WoW."

    I think Funcom would do better if they stuck to what they do best: adventure games. I'm still waiting for Longest Journey 3. MMOs are very expensive to make and have very long dev cycles. The MMO market is also completely saturated. Trying to compete in the MMO market is just plain retarded for 99% of developers, including Funcom. When TSW inevitably fails, like Age of Conan did, hopefully Funcom will reassess their focus.
     
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    31. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 4, 2012, 01:58 Squirmer
     
    Trevellian wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 12:11:
    I beta tested this game and thought it was one of the most uninteresting, boring MMOs I had played in years. How anyone could think this game was important to the MMO genre is beyond me. It wasn't even impressive graphically, the character models alone looked amateur and had clunky unlifelike animations. I can usually find something redeeming in most MMOs after a few weeks, but with this one the most redeeming moment was uninstalling the beta and playing something else.

    I felt the same way. I don't know what people are seeing in it, except maybe the setting, which won't be enough to justify the business model. The MMO part of this game is very poor, so it has no staying power.
     
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    30. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 23:59 Asmo
     
    Had fun in beta, having fun now. Combat is positional (not dissimilar to AoC) but mostly consists of circle strafing. Builds can be complex but the system is quite intuitive once you start recognising attacks that will dovetail nicely (synergise is the word of the day apparently).

    The game can be difficult if you min/max (I see a lot of dead glass cannon types who didn't bother to buff up their survival), some of the riddles/investigations are incredibly hard (try decoding high speed morse code manually... /shudder) and yet rewarding when you solve them. The game oozes (literally in some cases) atmosphere, has plenty of good quality comic and literary references, and most importantly it's pitched at adults.

    Questing is pretty fluid and the pause system is interesting (eg. you only get limited quest slots so you have to pause a major quest to take another major quest), but generally if you get sent to an area you'll find 2-3 things to do on top of your main quest.

    PvP is fun (although as usual a few min maxers are on top of things and getting pickups to work together can be...interesting..=) but nothing out of the ordinary.

    Dungeons are pretty quick, not trash laden and have a good loot turn around, and require a reasonable level of skill. Population seems fine atm and the fact you can group with anyone on any one of the dimensions (diff servers) and play together makes server rationalisation a bit redundant.

    Downsides, plenty of bugged quests, memory leaks for 32 bit Dx11 users, vert - vid means no surround/eyefinity gaming /sadface. Your nickname is unique across ALL servers so the more popular nicks will be pretty much gone now. Unsure of the longevity or endgame of the title at this point but I'll see how it goes.
     
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    29. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 17:33 Stolk
     
    Steele Johnson wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 12:29:
    All you have to do is watch the youtube gameplay videos, and it will convince you not to play it. Same boring story-driven, repetative combat crap that you've all played before. Sorry, A different theme and voice acting isn't enough (see kotr) to win over gamers who want a player-driven dynamic experience that next gen mmos are leaning towards. Funcom fails again, so don't be fooled by the early reviews.

    Skip ahead to 5:48
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE5MGysyfJM

    Well fortunately for me I didn't watch any Youtube videos of it, so I'm having a great time with it.
     
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    28. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 17:21 PropheT
     
    I didn't enjoy the beta at all, but due the dearth of game releases right now I grabbed this to try it out anyway.

    I'm having fun, mixed with bugs and frustration, but fun all the same.
     
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    27. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 16:58 Viranth
     
    I bought it on sunday, much to support Funcom (since I'm norwegian) and because I was reading forums all over the net about how great it was.

    Turns out, it's actually quite fun. It's still a MMO, so you run around doing quests and crap. But some of the quests are HARD, and this is in the starting area. I won't spoil anything, but it makes you investigate and not just "run there, grab that, run back". And the atmosphere is GREAT, just stunning.

    I really like it, and I had no real thoughts about what kind of game this was before I tried it. I'll continue to play because it has potentional to become something amazing.

    Lets hope the end content and everything is good enough to keep players. I played AO for a while, and I had a blast in that game, the fun that game is in TSW as well, so I think they really hit the jackpot here.
     
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    26. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 16:38 MadBoris
     
    No comment.  
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    25. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 16:08 Fion
     
    Ah good ol' CoX. I still consider it by far the best superhero MMOG, even if it's design is very old compared to most modern MMOGs. I played many many hours of that game with my nephew over the years.  
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    24. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 16:02 KS
     
    Using UO's 8 months as the "major" standard, these are what I consider major:

    - UO 8 months
    - Eve Online 1 year x 2-box
    - World of Warcraft 2 years
    - Star Wars: Galaxies 2 years -- NGE KILLED IT. My master (mistress?) dancer one day found she could no longer shoot her sliced Naboobian pew-pew. Sayonara my own Cantina >:-(
    - EverQuest 4 years x 2-box
    - City of Heroes and Villains 6 years x 2 active p2p accounts and counting

    God damn that Naboobian hand blaster was a gorgeous, old-fashioned 1950s-style science fiction ray gun >-:(

    This comment was edited on Jul 3, 2012, 16:33.
     
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    23. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 15:49 KS
     
    deqer wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 13:00:
    The market for MMOs is becoming saturated. We now have--what--20 MMOs now? ...

    I have subscribed and paid for 13 MMOs now, including the latest, Tera Online, which is pretty, sexy, silly (Elin and Popori), and, unlike this game, does indeed introduce new game fight mechanics. I have also stuck with it longer than Star Wars: The Old Republic, and have no feeling I'm going to abandon it any time soon.

    It has some months to go before it exceeds potential also-ran status, but it has exceeded such flops I have paid for like SW, DC Universe Online, and Champions Online.

    If it passes Ultima Online at the 8 month mark, I will crown it a major MMO.
     
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    22. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 15:18 Will W
     
    I just can't trust Funcom after Age of Conan.  
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    21. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 14:55 Agent.X7
     
    AoC was a dirty trick too. The first 20 levels were amazing. Then you got to the real game, which was far less amazing.  
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    20. Re: The Secret World Launches Jul 3, 2012, 14:39 NKD
     
    Funcom is one of those studios that I think would do a lot better if they had more money. They have fantastic game design ideas, but their stuff always feels incomplete and unpolished, even after a long time in development. This makes me think they are just operating on a shoestring budget, at least in MMO terms.

    Meanwhile you have companies like Bioware who get unlimited money thrown at them and they still can't come up with something other than "Let's copy WoW."
     
    Avatar 43041
     
    If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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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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