Do you know the world behind the world? The fairy tales of yore, the myths of the ancients, the far-off stories children hear to ensure their good behavior? They aren’t just stories. They are real, and they are here to ensure you, along with the rest of the world, never forget the day that the secret world is revealed.
No, I’m not talking about the Matrix (though it sounds just like it), I’m talking about The Secret World, a new MMO from Funcom that gives players the chance to enter this new unknown world with every tale and story you’ve heard, be it a hollow Earth, Vampires and Werewolves, or whatever your childhood can muster.
Players can join one of three factions: The Templars, the now famous and not-so-secret European group who are not the same as the Knights Templar from Assassin’s Creed; the Illuminati, the Templar’s sworn enemy and much more ruthless, extreme westerners; and Dragon, the far easterners who have risen up through honor and glory in battle.
Each faction is remarkably different, both in its structure and design. Templars, for instance, are more old fashioned higher-up Europeans, looking for duels and thinking low of the Illuminati. Their sworn enemy, the Illuminati, will climb over each other to get to the top, and to succeed, you’ll need no regard for friend or foe. Dragon, as always, remains a mystery, but we expect an equal dislike of both the Templars and Illuminati from them.
Beyond each faction are user-created Cabals, guilds for players to work together in. The whole faction will be huge, and as mentioned with the Illuminati, members of other Cabals may not see you as allies if you stand in their way, or even if you look at them wrong. Funcom has managed to keep The Secret World simple for years now, and this is the first reveal of it. It’s surprising too, considering what the game is attempting to accomplish.
Tapping into an almost bottomless pit of wives tales and spookery, The Secret World promises to not only allow players from different factions to vie for the top, and to be number one, but to enter a new realm, battling essentially everything you’ve had nightmares of. Speaking of combat, from the fair 20 seconds I witnessed, this isn’t your standard MMO. Combat appears to be more similar to RPG’s, more about personal combat skills than weapons damage ratings. We’ll know more about how combat is done in The Secret World soon.
Not only are there RPG elements, but Funcom has picked the ranking system up a notch by allowing many different rankings. Not only are the factions, cabals and individuals ranked, but so are player types and attributes. Have the most money? You’re at the top of a list. Killed the most enemies or friendlies? There’s a list for you too.
When asked about how three factions will work compared to two, the developers told us that players need the ability to team up with a weaker faction, to take on a stronger one. While none of the factions “mingle” per se, they can have common goals and can work to any goals they so choose. There aren’t many limitations to what players can do.
The missions we’ll be seeing, however, remains a mystery. When asked about attacking various faction headquarters (which are meant to be secret, save for the Templars), we were told it’s a possibility, but an unlikely one. We do know that magic use will be widely employed, and that this present-day MMO may feel old, but it is very much new, even if missions include facing ancient enemies, long forgotten.
Read up on lore, get your grandma around a campfire, and look into old, dusty books. The more you know about the coming darkness, the better. And the more you know about each faction…well, you can figure that out.
The Secret World does not currently have a release date, but we’re expecting it to ship early to mid-next year on the PC.