The Secret World
The Secret World early access went live today.
Lets discuss Funcom before jumping into the game itself.
Funcom has a tendency to shoot for the stars, and then run out of money. They are the makers of game titles such as Anarchy Online and Age of Conan. Their latest game, Age of Conan, was simultaneously a great game and the worst fuckup of a game I've ever played. It was as if half the development team was God's gift to game making and the other half was drunk. The quickest example is that all the bosses dealt Crushing Damage. Tanks could stake Crushing Resistance and simply become invincible.
Age of Conan bit off about 7 bites more then it could chew and it suffered pretty seriously because of it. It was released 6 months before it was ready. They got buried in bugs that were so deeply embedded in the game design that they simply couldn't fix it. At one point someone figured out that the female models were attacking slower then the male models. A week or so later Funcom came out saying they simply couldn't afford to fix it because the attack speed was attached to the attack animations and they'd have to redo the entire attack animation for the female models to correct it.
The reason I bring up Age of Conan is because as soon as I started playing The Secret World I got flashbacks to Age of Conan. The is every indication that they have again bitten off far more then they can fit in their mouths, or that they can afford. There are tons of little mechanics that are rushed and feel half asses (Looking at you Active Dodge). There are things that aren't really bugs, but they also don't work, example: The character screen (Where you view your gear and stats and such) takes 3 seconds to load and freezes the entire game. So if you accidentally hit C while in combat you just feeeze for a few seconds.
The questing is decent, pretty standard though slightly advanced through the use of solo instances and voice actors and lots of cutscenes. The cutscenes and voice actors aren't outstanding but they aren't bad either. Some of the writing is really good and I have laughed out loud at some of the quest givers so that is a plus.
The biggest draw of the game for me so far is that the story has pulled me in and I am genuinely excited about it. The skills system is massive. So massive that I simply don't know if its good or bad yet. I can't wait to play with different builds and see what over powered combinations can be created.
Overall this game isn't in the same league as Rift or SWTOR or WoW. However, despite its shortcomings I am having fun playing it and have gotten my money's worth out of it. At the very least it is passing the time until Storm Legion comes out.