So is this game any fun at all? Its on sale today and I've held remote interest in it since the concept of all of these mythological entities being real and wrapping that in a MMO sounds interesting but... is it fun?
$14.99 today on steam...worth it?
The way the game handles skills and builds is really interesting if you're willing to invest the time. Gameplay is relatively MMO-standard but the sense of authorship over your character can make combat feel more compelling. Otherwise it's a lot of interesting but flawed ideas in terms of quest structure.
If you enjoy MMO combat, you'll definitely get $14.99 worth if you play most of the single-player content.
Disclosure: I'm a big fanboy of this game, but I'll try to break things down as best I can, all while gushing about it!
I really like this game. The quests are very unique in that some function like a mini ARG (I've had to decrypt text, morse code, do research, etc). A lot of the story and lore in the game is well done and just hits that spot for me (Mythology and legends). That all said, the combat can be described as a little clunky. The best way to describe it is that it plays like Rift's combat, but with a builder/finisher system (use one ability x times so you can use y ability one time that does more damage). You'll get 7 active and 7 passive abilities to load onto your character, so builds are quite unique (although some weapons are predisposed to certain roles, like AR to leech healing etc).
The whole no sub thing was a plus, as I had subbed to the game, but found myself taking a break from it every so often, as it can feel repetitious. The real question for you is do you favor combat over the quests? If so, it may not be for you. Otherwise, I have found these quests to be the best I've seen in a game so far. You'll find that the combat is "harder" than other MMOs since the game doesn't do levels per se - enemies may be stronger, and are lined up against how many Skill points you've invested in your character (so many enemies will look very hard to kill when you're starting out). But, expect a little bit of challenge and taking it slow between mobs than other games. Grouping is a definite help here.
The quests are presented in cutscene format (like in SWTOR), but are written to almost be somewhat snarky/current (references to Google, Youtube, etc). But, your character will not speak (NPC does all the talking, and does often joke about that). But, I have found the writing to be really good (as I've liked the stories from Ragnar Tornquist - the guy behing the Longest Journey and Dreamfall).
Overall, this is one of those games that tries to be a little different, and therefore is a decisive game. If you're curious, I may be able to hook you up with a trial code (I have to look to see if I have any), but then that's going to negate the whole $15 thing.
Personally, I'd say for $15 yes, but MMOs tend to be such a "Different Strokes" thing that I'd rather say try it out before buying it.
EDIT: To answer sub questions: They took off the sub for the game in favor of a DC Universe model where additional content will be released in DLC packs. Everything that was in the game before their 5th issue is included in the purchase price (so buy to play like GW2), and the DLC packs are buyable, and just get plugged into your game via an in-game item (you find a pamphlet, etc).
$14.99? What's that in pounds? £11, £12? I bought this a few months ago for £24.99 so that is a good price for what I found to be a fun game. I liked the freedom of choice for your character's development, I liked the world and the story behind it and I found the dialogue more interesting and less wooden and stilted than it was on Star Wars the Old Republic (which was odd because that was one if its biggest selling points). It fell into the same problems I have with all mmo's, a lot of the content I cannot do because I can rarely find groups at the times I play. After Age of Conan I was so negative toward Funcom that it took city of heroes shutting down and my apathy toward doing anything on Eve online to try the Secret World, but I was glad I did and managed to get a few other people into it. I go back and play it for a few days every now and then and I encourage anyone who wants to try something different to give the Secret World a go.
For that price I would highly recommend it. heck I would recommend it for twice that price. It may not be the best MMO ever made when it comes to combat mechanics, but the puzzles are some of the best I've seen in years. They are tough as hell, but in a good way. Reminded me a lot of the great puzzles in the adventure games heyday in the 80s and 90s: not the Sierra logic kind but the ones where you were expected to either be somewhat erudite on a lot of matters or be able to do your own research.
I still remember a few of them: one was a puzzle where you found a radio signal that was in morse code. After failing to write it down longhand (morse code blips in audio can be really hard to get right because they are fast as hell and you have to separate where one series begins and the other ends to get the letters right) I solved it by downloading a morse translator to my smartphone and holding it up to the speakers. It worked perfectly and I got the coordinates I needed. Awesome.
Another one was a complicated series of codes in different locations that had to be deciphered using an incomplete key which you added to after solving each instance, since the next one would add new signs that you could only get the meaning from through context if you manually wrote down the once you figured out in the previous instance. Deciphered the code by writing it down longhand, figured out the riddles that pointed out the next locations and felt proud as a goddamn peacock when I solved the quest without Googling or using a guide even once.
TSW is an MMO that seems designed around you always being able to do the quests solo. So what you get for those $15 is an RPG with tons of content and with excellent puzzles.
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