Secret World At One Month

On Thursday evening after a little bit of soul searching I decided to create a free Secret World account and join Funcom and the other inhabitants of The Secret World for a couple of days of one month celebratory gaming. I downloaded the game and patched up nearly 15GB of game data overnight and Friday morning. (I ended up needing to buy another few gig of data since this got me to within a gigabyte of my data plan cap.)

Rather than just add a few pets to the game for subscribed players, Funcom in their wisdom decided to open up the game to anyone with an account, and provided everyone with the opportunity to make an account for free. In an age of free to play, I reckon this is a great way for a upfront-salesubscription game to attract players who may just be on the fence about the game.

After just a few hours in The Secret World I can hardly review it, but I can say at this point I am having fun with it. There are a few problems though.

  1. It requires a fair bit of computer power. I started the game at my usual 1900×1200 resolution (I have a 27 inch monitor) and the game performed badly. The cut scenes were stuttered, and movement and control of my character were poor. Dropping down to 1024×768 made the game playable and the cutscenes viewable, but obviously didn’t look as good. To be fair my PC is a 4.5 year old device with a quad core and 4GB RAM, so it is not exactly cutting edge (and I do need a new one) but on the other hand it played the SWTOR beta at max resolution. Funcom do have a habit of pushing computer capabilities.
  2. Playing in low rez is okay. But it would be nice if there was a low res setting for widescreen. All the low res aspect ratios are 1.3, my monitor is 1.6. A 1280×800 setting would be good.
  3. The user interface is a little flaky. It barely worked at high res, especially button clicks and scrollbars. At low res it is much better, but even then it can take a couple of clicks and careful mouse positioning to register a click and close a window.
  4. I can figure out how to drag some windows. It’s not a bit deal, but I’d like to make my UI layout a bit more like I’m used to.

Having said that, and I think those issues may all be PC performance issues, I do like the game.

I went out to a friends house last night and when I got back at 11:30 I decided to spend a few minutes more playing. At 2:30am I finally got to bed. At least it’s Sunday today and I could sleep in!

The game is addictive, it’s fun. I love the setting and the imagination behind the Secret World. Because it is set in the modern day world it can add humorous pop culture references without seeming out of place (which I know a lot of players hate… Haris Pilton anyone?)

The missions are imaginative and not just the KTR variety. I did get a couple of missions to kill x number of zombies but those were for testing explosives, and made sense in context.

The graphics are excellent, if you’re playing in high rez. However the game still looks decent at 1024×768.

Anyway it Sunday morning and I want to play some more. I’ll write more up later.