I played The Secret World, again, this weekend. This time, Funcom promised an improved character designer and combat system.
They did add more character design options, mostly clothing, but this was the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. For instance, this weekend, you could play the Dragon, the mysterious Asian faction (Btw, Russians and Indians are Asian, so when you think about it this term is really lame.). So you might think there would be more options and presets for creating a character who looked Japanese, Chinese or Korean. You might think that, but you’d be wrong. None of the “improved” character design features make your character look much different than most of the other characters in the game.
Most characters in The Secret World end up looking sort of brutish, something you especially don’t want if you’re trying to design a female character. Plus, speaking of lipstick on a pig, it’s clear the underlying animations for female characters are the same as the male animations. FYI, just in case you male game designers have never noticed, women move differently from men. There’s no excuse for this and, frankly, it’s sexist. Just once I’d like to see a game use female animations for all the male characters. Maybe then male game designers would stop cutting corners: It’s just them being cheap and not mocking up a different set of animations.
Combat has been improved, but it still is lacking. When you compare the combat to recently released MMOs, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and Tera, or the Guild Wars 2 beta, it’s pretty bland. Worse yet, it feels really dated, like combat I’d expect from a game released 10 years ago. World of Warcraft, which was released nearly a decade ago, has more dynamic combat.
So not much has changed here. The variety of questing options and the dark atmosphere are the strong points of this game. If you can stomach the horrendous character design and the lackluster combat, you might enjoy The Secret World. That’s a big if.