5 reasons The Secret World is a fail: Reason 1

by manylaughs on July 7, 2012

The Secret World

Funcom’s The Secret World was officially released July 3. According to CVG, Funcom’s CEO, Trond Arne Aas, announced his resignation on the same day. He probably saw the torches of the villagers outside.

If you heard some of the pre-release buzz surrounding The Secret World you were probably excited. Three factions, a dark, eerie atmosphere and promises of a classless system made the game sound like it was going to be incredibly innovative.

But then you started playing the betas… And it became clear it wasn’t so innovative. And, now, the official product is here and it’s a mess. If you’ve played The Secret World, you know it has more than a few problems and it feels like once, again, gamers are being played for chumps. It feels like Funcom took a bunch of cool ideas for an MMO and jammed them into the same engine they used for Age of Conan. In fact, in some ways it’s not even as good.

Why is The Secret World a fail?

1. The character creator is horrendous.
The Secret World‘s character creator isn’t just inadequate or missing some features, it’s horrendous. It feels like the kinda work people do at the last minute, realizing all of a sudden – “Oh, yeah! We need a character creator. Damn, dude, better get to work.” Any recent graduate of Full Sail could’ve done a better job.

It lacks options for body types or height, for instance, so everyone in the game is exactly the same height and build – except they put boobs on the female characters – sorta detracting from the fantasy you’re in a real world and not some C student’s virtual reality project.

Almost all the faces end up looking sorta brutish, like everyone has a Jay Leno jaw. You’ll find yourself having to work really, really hard to come up with a face that looks decent. Your options for tweaking your face are very limited, though. You can do it, but it takes some work. And along the way, you’ll also discover Funcom has the worse hair in gaming. It doesn’t even look like hair. It’s stringy and wispy and too thin. In some cases, they kinda half-assed the bad hair they already have, because some of the hair doesn’t even look like it fits on your character’s head, kinda sitting to one side.

The Secret World‘s character creator not only doesn’t stack up against recent commercial MMO’s like Star Wars: The Old Republic or Tera, it’s not even as good as character creators from years ago.  There are certainly more color choices for hair and eyes than you would have gotten in an MMO a few years ago, but it misses the important things like being able to create a decent, relatively realistic looking character. The original character creators in games like Guild Wars and Champions: Online are better than the one Funcom has given its fans in TSW.

The character creator is an important aspect of your MMO. It defines what your world looks like and to a great extent helps you, the player, invest yourself in your character. Most of the people in TSW look pretty bad. That’s not their fault – it’s all on Funcom.


More reasons, tomorrow.

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