March 10, 2011 by Paul Curtin
The first MMORPG I ever played was Funcom’s “Anarchy Online” back in 2002 and since then, there has yet to be another good futuristic science fiction-based MMO. The fantasy MMO World of Warcraft has dominated the market, which is fine because it’s easily the best MMO, but some of us prefer sci-fi over fantasy and there hasn’t been a game for us. That is until now, with Anarchy Online‘s developer Funcom introducing The Secret World, an MMO all about the mysteries of life, the secret groups that run things behind the scenes, and of course… zombies!
Besides the sci-fi aspect, there was always one thing I loved about Anarchy Online that no other big MMO has been able to offer. The unique class customization. Anarchy Online allowed players to put points into skills and mix and match classes rather than having to follow a basic cookie cutter class build that everyone else was doing. Say you wanted to be a tank, but you also wanted to heal because the healers you keep getting stuck with always let you die. In AO you could take points that you earned from leveling up and instead of going all out into the tanking class, you could distribute some of those points into a healing spec that would allow you to have the power to heal yourself if you needed it.
That idea is the same idea that Funcom is incorporating into The Secret World, however, they’re taking it one step further and doing away with classes and levels and instead allowing players to earn points after gaining enough experience and spend those points towards creating their own unique classes with over 500 options, and even allowing players to respec as many times as they want. And for those who might be overwhelmed with so many options, Funcom has said that there will also be templates which will help inform players which skills they need and guide them towards the type of character they want to build.
Another great new feature is the way that The Secret World will do missions. Star Wars: The Old Republic is getting most the recognition for trying to shake things up and improve upon the boring style of quests that games like World of Warcraft have, but The Secret World looks to be doing the same if not taking things one step further with investigation quests. Players can not only follow clues like flocks of birds leading to a secret boss, but harder quests will require actual research on real life subjects via sites like Google and Wikipedia in order to piece together clues and solve mysteries within quests. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still really excited for The Old Republic, but after watching the latest trailers for The Secret World, Funcom might have stolen a lot of its hype. Check out the latest trailer below, and check out a complete demonstration of the game via G4tv.com. Be sure to turn on 720p or 1080p if your computer can handle it, because the game looks absolutely beautiful, especially for an MMO.