Funcom’s The Secret World is one of those games you can’t help but admire. It’s truly trying something different, and brings a fresh perspective to a genre which sorely needs it. However, despite numerous attempts, I’ve always struggled to get into the game for the long-term.
Unusually for me, most of the reasons for that are pretty superficial. It doesn’t run fantastically well on my computer for a start, and is prone to the odd crash every now again, which is compounded by the fact that it takes an age to load. I also find the animations to be a bit wonky, which I don’t find a problem on a aesthetic level so much, but it does bother me because it can contribute to a feeling of unresponsiveness at times. Also, I don’t have a tremendously large hard drive, and for someone who seems to compulsively love buying games almost more than actually playing them, 40gb is a lot of hard disk space to sacrifice unless you’re really going to be playing the game a lot. I’m not in love with the combat either, which is pretty slow paced and drawn out, but that’s not a deal breaker for me at all if I enjoy the core experience enough.
But, having said all this, I really do understand the appeal of the game. The stories are great stories, and I don’t just mean in MMO terms where the bar is generally set pretty low. The world Funcom have created really appeals to me, and it feels very much like a smart, witty, and occasionally dark game, which always appeals to me.
The dilemma I have now is, do I stick with my first character who is part of the way through Solomon Island, or start fresh with a new character. I am generally the sort of gamer who prefers to start again rather than try and pick something up half way through, but I’m in that difficult position with TSW where I only have some recollection of the story, but perhaps remember too much to play the first 15-20 hours through again. I haven’t decided yet, but I suspect I’ll start again from scratch and keep my old character just in case I change my mind.
Anyway, I’m hoping this time the game finally sticks, and I get to fully appreciate all that’s good about it, because I really want to love this one.