The Secret World

Developer: FunCom
Release date: June 19, 2012

The Secret World MMO 2012 beta

The Secret World is Anarchy Online and Age of Conan developer Funcom’s next big thing. As illustrated in the excellent computer-generated trailers (here, here, and here), the game immediately sets itself apart from virtually every MMO ever made with its modern-day setting. Glass armor and broad spells are traded in for hoodies and designer jeans, and now players can fire magic spells alongside Uzis and rocket launchers.

Players will join one of three warring secret societies — the Illuminati, Dragon, and Templar — and progress through an intricate story with fully voiced cut-scenes. Missions will take players all across the world — New York, London, Seoul, New England, Egypt, and Transylvania — but with the added twist that these locations now overrun by myths, legends, and nightmares.

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The Secret World will feature in-game mysteries that require real-world Matlocking to solve, such as Googling the name of a sunken cruiseliner from the 1940s and using the result to open a chest containing rare items. I’m not sure I’m sold on doing homework for a video game just yet, but I’m definitely intrigued.

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What’s unique?
“[A] crucial aspect of The Secret World is that there are no classes or levels,” says Ragnar Tørnquist, creative director and senior producer on The Secret World. “You choose from over 500 different abilities, you mix and match them, you find synergies, and you build the character that you want to play. If you put enough time into it, you can have all these abilities on one character. The result is an MMO that doesn’t lock you in a box; you’re free to play the game and tackle its challenges exactly how you want.”

Preorder bonuses:

  • Access to beta weekends (starting May 11)
  • Guaranteed early access to the game up to four days prior to the game’s official launch
  • An exclusive in-game item providing an experience boost to progression
  • An exclusive in-game T-shirt featuring a unique monster design
  • A powerful pet (Ferocious Wolf, Egyptian Cat or Loyal Hound) to support the player in combat
  • A head start on character naming before the game launches
 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASSUwluKoUc]