Game Reviews Gaming

Secret World Legends: Funcom’s MMO That Speaks To Your Worst Nightmares

For those of you who grew up on MMORPGs like myself, the mechanics and overarching story almost always revolves around the same premise — you are the savior of your race, you have to do menial repetitive quests, grind monsters, save the world in your endgame etcetera, etcetera — this would be a breath of fresh air (or a sharp intake of breath in some of the more questionable scenes in this game).  Secret World Legends is a free-to-play game that takes all the best parts of superstition, horror, and lore from around the world to meld it into an MMORPG that is unlike most of the MMORPGs today.

The premise is that you’re someone who swallowed a magical bee and now gained powers hence giving you access to the “Secret World”.  Before all that, you start out as a normal, human character, which for me is a refreshing tidbit in a niche predominantly ruled by different races with bland lores.  Instead, you are given a choice to join either the Illuminati; the tycoons of wealth and power, nestled in the heart of New York, the Templars; protector of ancient secrets and champions of order with your Headquarters based in London, or the Dragon; the faction ruled by “Chaos Theory”, spinsters of fate and manipulation hailing from Seoul.  

Whichever faction you choose, you will be met with gripping quests, challenging puzzles and mechanics that you wouldn’t have dreamed of existing in any MMO until this game.  

Let’s jump right in to the details!

Character Customization:

Secret World Legends offers an array of races and funky hairstyles to choose from.  I lament the lack of really long hairs and their choice of style usually revolves around punk-ish for some reason but it’s not really a deal-breaker for me.  You can choose to be Caucasian, Asian, Black, or any other race in between to be honest; it’s a real break away from the anime types mostMMOss try to go for today. In this customization page, you can also choose from an array of clothing that would suit your fancy; from refined to seductive: your character, your rules.

You can still change your hairstyle, eyebrows, and other face markings in the barbershop in London if you want to but it’ll cost you some in-game currency.

Classes:
Image from tswdatabase

9 classes are introduced to you as soon as you finish your customization (took me just 2 hours to get the perfect look, but I trust most of you aren’t as OCD as I am).  When creating your character, you choose a starting class that grants you two specific weapons. However, you will eventually be able to purchase all weapons and unlock every single ability in the game if you so wish. Before we go to each class, you have to first understand the weapon types since they make the classes you choose.  There are three weapon classes in this game: Tank, DPS, and Healer.

Tank Weapons: Hammer, Chaos Magic Focus, and Shotgun are weapons commonly used for tanking as they usually get the most of the aggro (or hate, as this game calls it) of mobs you’re fighting. They are used as primary for the tank class since you need to keep the monsters from attacking your other party members.  They can still be used for offense as long as you stay away from the skills that generate the most hate.

DPS Weapons: Blade, Pistols, and Elementalism Focus are the weapons that usually do the most damage in party raids.  These are the weapons that glass canons usually use. You’ll find out more about them later.

Healing Weapons: Blood Magic Focus, Fist Weapon, and Assault Rifle are healing weapons, but like everything else, you can use them for damage.  I myself run a Warlock (which has both Blood Magic Focus and Assault Rifle as its primary weapon set) but can solo the game pretty easily.  In fact, being able to heal yourself is a pretty convenient skill when you play solo.

Now that you have an idea on which weapons take on which role, here are the combinations for each of the classes!

  • Assassin: Blade + Elementalism Focus
  • Warlock: Blood Magic Focus + Assault Rifle
  • Trickster: Chaos Magic Focus + Pistols
  • Punisher: Shotgun + Hammer
  • Magus: Elementalism Focus + Chaos Magic Focus
  • Gunslinger: Pistols + Shotgun
  • Demolisher: Hammer + Blade
  • Mercenary: Assault Rifle + Fist Weapon
  • Ravager: Fist Weapon + Blood Magic Focus

Since you can purchase all the weapons in the game and level them all up after endgame, the classes stand for the “mastery” titles you get as you go along.

Story:

It borrows stories from H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, and other famous horror novelists along with lore from superstitious beliefs around the world. The main pull of this MMO is the story: you wouldn’t want to miss a cutscene when playing this game. A world full of supernatural ongoings from Cthulu to Ancient Egypt up to Transylvania and beyond, you won’t get bored of even doing the side quests since they have branching arcs and cutscenes of their own.  Aside from the main and side quests, you can also participate in sabotage and investigation missions, raids, pick up lore combs along the way and engage in roleplay with the friendly player base if you so wish. The main quest also will affect your story for season 2 so choose which side you’re on wisely.  You’ll know what I’m talking about once you get there.

Combat:

I could compare the mechanics of the skills in this game to that of Guild Wars 2 and Dragon Nest wherein you are given an almost over-the-shoulder FPS sort of style (you can adjust the camera distance to your character manually).  There is a crosshair in the middle which you control by moving your mouse to move your screen until the monster is targeted. You can assign skills in your hotbar wherein the numbers 5 and 6 corresponds to your left and right mouse button.  I would have liked the hotbar to be bigger to accommodate more skills but I find it challenging that you have to mix and match the skills to suit your gameplay better. While the game is PVE centric, the PVP is also something to enjoy although not much people queue up for it since the rewards are better when doing the usual grind.  It’s a 10-man-per-team deathmatch where the team with the last man standing wins. If you played this game for PVP, sadly, it might not be for you.

Graphics:

It’s a pretty old game so expect the graphics to be reminiscent of the old Dragon Age-esque type. Though it is still a beautiful game which should run on most setups. The graphics weren’t deal-breaking for me because what it lacks in aesthetics, it delivers in content. I played almost 3 days straight of this game and I still am far from putting it down. To give you a brief idea, here are the recommended and minimum specs for this game:

MINIMUM:

OS: Windows 10 / Windows XP (SP 1) / Vista (SP 1) / Windows 7 (SP 1)

Processor: 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent AMD CPU

Memory: At least 2GB RAM for Windows XP / 3GB Ram for Windows Vista and Windows 7

Hard Disk Space: 6.4GB Download (13.7 on Disk)

Video Card: Nvidia 8800 series 512 VRAM or better/Radeon HD3850 512MB or better

DirectX®: 9.0c

Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

 

RECOMMENDED:

OS: Windows 10 64 bit is highly-recommended

Processor: Intel Core i5 3.0Ghz or equivalent

Memory: 6GB

Hard Disk Space: 6.4GB Download (13.7 on Disk)

Video Card: Nvidia GTX 560 Ti 1Gb

DirectX®: 11.0

Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

Verdict:

If you like point-and-click, auto-route games, and have no interest in games that have gripping storylines, quests that actually are important to advance, and puzzles that would make you scratch your head, this game is not for you. If you are tired of the usual MMOs and want something different and you have a love for the macabre, head on to play this game, you won’t be sorry.  Secret World Legends brings something different to the table, something far away from the usual “YOU ARE THE HERO” Niche of most MMOs.  In here, you can feel mortal yet supernatural at the same time, and it’s horror done right. It’s available on Steam or on their Website — Either platform is fine, you just have the option of using your Steam Wallet for in-game purchases if you choose to play it on Steam. They don’t have different servers so everyone can play and see each other in the same instance.

I rate this game an 8/10 for sheer hours of fun on your own or even with friends.  It does have some drawbacks when it comes to the complicated skill system, but you can get the hang of it as you play longer. It’s definitely an experience every gamer should have at least once in their lives.

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