Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thoughts on The Secret World

I've put about 3 hours into The Secret World free weekend now and I think that's about all I need to invest. When I asked some other developers what they thought of The Secret World I got back an answer that I've heard before in regards to other games: "well, it has some interesting systems." For game developers this is roughly the equivalent of "well, she has a nice personality" in dating. You want to be nice, because there are redeeming qualities, but it's just not the total package.

My take on The Secret World is that I can see what they're trying to do, but ultimately I don't find much of what's going on compelling. I dig the idea of the horror angle and I want to become engrossed in it, but (at least early on) those aspects of The Secret World are just too thin for me to grab onto. There may be later areas of the game that better sell the otherwordly aspects I'm looking for, but there's little early on that sells the "secret" angle of The Secret World and that Lovecraftian idea of strange things being just on the periphery at all times is what I came here for. When it comes to MMO's I'm an admittedly tough audience. I think the genre is stagnating by following expectations of WoW-like subscription numbers and fear or misunderstanding of new business models and lack of innovation is the price we're paying. When push comes to shove, The Secret World just doesn't innovate in a way that gets me excited to play and while that's my take, I do have to admit that it's a solid game and I'm sure there's an audience out there for it, just not me.

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