Friday, 13 July 2012

Blogger's guide to The Secret World

Here is the scenario, you have around 3 hours to play ‘The Secret World’ and you want to form an opinion to tell your friends and write about the game. It is easy to get lost in the world and find your time fly out the window. Only to return with school boy comments about clunky combat and kill ten rat issues. So here is where this blog fits, advice on where to visit in a short amount of time.

The start is cut scene heavy, but they set the tone of the game so I would not recommend skipping them. The first area you find yourself in depends on your faction. These areas are not massive but you can waste a lot of time in them, soaking in the atmosphere. I would recommend for our 3 hours you move through this area quickly.

No matter what faction you select everyone goes through the Tokyo flash back. This will give your character some background on the world you inhabit, but can be left for a future character, as you don’t gain experience and it is quite standard as regards to linear story driven scenes. Once in Tokyo you can skip the area by going up the staircase.

At some point you will come across a training area. The idea is to play with the weapons and select your starting one. This too can take a lot of time, so to fast track I would recommend pressing ‘N’ then on the right hand side select the decks tab. Scroll through the decks and read each summary and pick a weapon from a deck you like. You will leave the room with a builder and finisher ability as well as a weapon. Playing around, you will quickly realise you build up points with one and do large amounts of damage with the other.

You should now be able to leave your home city and head to Kingsmouth, the meat of the starting game. The first character you meet is Jack, once you finish the first cut scene don’t forget to pickup his quest ‘A fist full of Zombies’.

At this point you might inwardly sigh (10 years of MMO’s and I am still killing 10 things). Do the short series of quests and think about what just happened. Yes you had to kill groups of zombies, but the real lesson here is what you had to do to complete the tasks. Jump on cars, drag them through fire and fight the miniature zombie boss with an area of attack ability which gave you chalk lined clues. This is a small taster of how the environment can alter missions and combat, as the game progresses this gets even more diverse and important.

Also don’t spend your AP or SP points yet, wait till you reach the sheriff’s office. By this time you should have enough spare points to purchase a builder and finisher for your second weapon. Also select your second weapon from the list of weapons you get given from completing the quests once you reach the office. This means very early on you will have 4 active abilities, 2 from each weapon you carry. Also notice as you activate any of your two weapons, points build on both finisher abilities, this will increases your DPS.

To keep things moving quickly I recommend selecting 'Supply Run' from sheriff Bannerman. This is a combat quest and will introduce you to the area and is needed to unlock 'Horror Show'.

Once back at the sheriff’s office the sabotage mission should be unlocked. Sabotage missions usually consist of sneaking around and this one is no different and takes about 15 minutes.

Our last stop is an investigation quest indicated by a green laptop icon. You have two possible choices which are close by. ‘Something Wicked’ situated here or ‘Kingsmouth Code’ at the church. I have left these till last, as they could possible take the most time. Personally I found ‘Something Wicked’ the easier out of the two.

After the investigation mission if you have some spare time I would do 'Draugnet' from deputy Andy on the roof of the sheriff’s office. This takes you to the beach and shows off how creatures in the game can be linked in a miniature mob life cycle. I also found it fun to complete this area as part of a group.

Another quick quest is from Sandy and he gives you a brief introduction to crafting.

Finally if you have flown through the content and now feel like a puzzle god you should be able to take a look at the main quest line called 'Dawning of an Endless Night'. Interestingly this series is an amalgamation of all types of quests and will have you solving puzzles, sneaking and fighting in one glorious series of dark tasks.

There you have it ‘The Secret World’ in a few hours. You can clap your hands together in the safe knowledge you have gotten at least a glimpse of what the game has to offer.

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