An MMO or RPG?
First and foremost, Secret World Legends (hereafter referred to as SWL) is a “shared-world action RPG” with MMO elements set in a creepy, supernatural modern world. It is essentially a relaunch of The Secret World, the original title, which is a completely separate game. For SWL, Norwegian-based developer Funcom improved the graphics, action combat, and flow of the game to attract – and hopefully maintain – a larger audience. Time will tell if their efforts have been worth it in the long run.
You may be asking yourself, “self, why would I want to play this game over an actual MMO, RPG, or horror game?” Perhaps you’re not into all the gloomy landscapes and often depressing (but intriguing) stories told throughout the game. Or, like me, you typically enjoy smashing past all the story in favor of end game content and domination. But when you stop and look at the content, it has what most people look for in games…especially MMOs. The story is unparalleled, the zones (whilst spooky) are beautiful and extremely immersive. If you don’t think you can solo through them without having nightmares at night, bring some friends! SWL is extremely fun to run through with a buddy, and this is coming from someone who usually prefers to level solo. Which brings me to our next point…
Quests in SWL
Apart from the great storytelling, SWL really spices up quests. Not only are they tiered, but there are several different types to run through:
- Story Missions – Self explanatory; involves the main storyline. These can be action, sabotage, or investigation-type missions.
- Action Missions – Usually a straightforward quest of kill x number of enemies, deliver thing to x person, etc
- Sabotage Missions – These are your sneaky and or/strategic quests. You won’t be able to spam your skills, drool, or watch TV through these suckers. This type of approach will either get you one shot or kick you back to the start of the mission.
- Investigation Missions – Be warned, investigation missions can come as quite a shock to the typical MMO player who is used to rolling their face across the keyboard to win, as you will need to use actual brainpower to solve them. And really this is another area where SWL really shines when compared to other games. The devs really put a lot of thought into these, and like most puzzles, the sense of achievement you’ll get from completing them will be euphoric. Ooooor you could just Google the answer…but who would do that???
- Side Missions – usually shorter, more straightforward quests to pick up along the way.
Is the Game Pay to Win?
Yes and no. In PVP, since everyone is scaled to the same stats, there aren’t really any p2w options. Someone who paid hundreds of dollars to upgrade their gear to Legendary but doesn’t know their class and has no strategy is going to lose to someone with subpar gear that knows their class and is playing smart. PVE is a different story. It’s possible for someone to buy in-game currency with real money, acquire the best gear off the auction house, then upgrade it to max on day one; whereas it could have taken someone else months to get their gear to that level who hasn’t paid a cent. However, seeing as this isn’t a new game and no one is going after world firsts, this isn’t going to affect anyone except people who like to epeen. It’s also worth mentioning that there are virtually zero gold sellers in SWL due to the strict limitations on AH selling. This is something I’m a little conflicted about myself, because I could be a lot wealthier and possibly even more geared if the option to sell more items per day were available. But at the very least, it’s a proven method of eliminating gold sellers in games, and that’s a major selling point, too.
Is SWL the Best Game Ever?
While SWL is an extremely unique and entertaining game, it also has some glaring problems. For a relaunch, the game crashes quite often, even for people with top of the line specs. Additionally, the sheer amount of bugs is downright shocking. Many persistent bugs that were present in The Secret World have yet to be fixed. Considering it’s been around since 2012, the fact that they haven’t been fixed even in the relaunch is a disappointing sign of laziness. Grind is a thing, as it is in most games, but isn’t anywhere near the level of most Eastern MMOs. You also won’t need to constantly pray to RNGesus, as upgrading is straightforward, so the only place it rears its ugly head is in drops.
Seeing as the game is completely free to play, and nothing is really hidden behind paywalls, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a try. The new region of Tokyo, and nightmare-difficulty dungeons, are set to be released very soon. Take a little break from all the wizards, dragons, and weebs. Join a good cabal (*cough*Ascendum*cough*), chill out in Discord, find a leveling buddy and immerse yourself in a truly unique game.