'The Secret World' Hopes to Reinvent the MMO
There is a world beneath our own, a hidden world where secret societies pull the strings of world leaders, and where myths, legends, and conspiracies are all true. In April of 2012, you’ll get to explore this Secret World yourself, in an MMO that breaks all the rules.
The Secret World ditches character classes, levels, grinding, and other classic MMO/RPG tropes in favor of exploring real-world locations colored by peeled-back layers of secret societies, and an engrossing, original storyline that will unfold over time. Written by Ragnar Tørnquist, creator of the acclaimed adventure The Longest Journey, the game’s story will have you battling legendary monsters while working alongside your fellow secret society members to fight for control of mythologically important locations all over the world, which will be found in familiar modern-day settings like Egypt, New England, London, New York, Seoul, Transylvania, and many more.
After signing on with one of three secret societies — the Illuminati, the Dragon, or the Templars — you’ll be completely free to create and progress your character however you choose. You’ll have access to hundreds of character options like clothing, weapons, and even powers of magic. A number of clothing options will be available when you start out, but you’ll find more during missions, and you can buy more in in-game shops. Powers are available across a huge assortment of specialties that factor in both firearms and magic, which can be mixed and matched any way you like. Unlike traditional MMOs, none of these choices will ever put you at an unfair advantage or disadvantage.
There will be a master plot that finds all three secret societies fighting against some sort of rising darkness, but the three societies will never work together. Separated by differing ideologies, the three will fight for ever more control and power over the world. You’ll interact with hundreds of voiced characters, too.
The Secret World is set to arrive for PC in April of next year. No word yet on whether Funcom hopes to port it to consoles. Check out screens from the game below.