By Jeremy Selkow
You’re asleep in your apartment, and over the radio they talk about a mysterious terrorist attack in Tokyo. You have an alarming dream that startles you awake, you reach for your jacket, and it combusts with blue flame. After a week of isolation in your apartment, a stranger knocks on your door and claims they represent a certain organization. They give you an envelope with the symbol of the cross, the eye, and the pyramid or the dragon. That is the beginning of your journey through secret societies occult horrors and primordial evils.
This is the online RPG (Role Playing Game) The Secret World Legends, a redesigned version of the first game, which debut in 2012 and in April 2018 received a major update in the form of Dawn of The Morning Light. It begins simply enough, where the player chooses a faction that they find the most appealing: The Templars, The Illuminati, or The Dragon. The player can watch a small video on each group to see which one would be the best to work with. Afterwards, players choose a class that all have a primary and secondary weapon. In its previous iteration, there were no classes, and you could choose any primary and secondary weapon once you visited the training area of your respected factions’ headquarters.
Once you choose your faction and class, players go through the dream sequence, which the game uses as a tutorial for the combat and puzzle solving elements that make up the game. The combat uses action targeting instead of tap targeting, which can be difficult to learn, but once you get the hang of it, playing is very enjoyable.
The thing that The Secret World Legends truly does right is the story. It has a strong Lovcraftian (a reference to H.P Lovecraft the famous horror writer) feel throughout the game. When you are out in the world, certain nooks and out of the way areas hide small snippets of lore for the world, creatures, and groups in the game. You also get a small but welcome amount of experience points for each one you collect, and there are plenty of these.
The game offers four kinds of quests: main story, investigation, side, and dungeon. All except for side quests are given a small cut scene that provides insights on the person that gives you the quest and their agendas. In this game, you cannot just play the main story and expect to get ahead. Each player must do the side quests in order to level up and get currency at a reasonable rate. If you choose not to do this, the game is next to impossible unless you grind through enemies for several more hours than necessary.
Each quest has multiple stages and are genuinely enjoyable to play. There are the simple gathering quests, but even they are interesting in how the quest explains why you need them. The only quests that I have issue with are the investigation quests. These actually require a player to look up various quotes, languages, and situations, even to the extent where it would be simpler to look up a walkthrough of the mission.
A new addition to the game that I find fun is the agent system. Once a player reaches a certain level, they are given a profile and an agent of their own to send on missions to gather currency for you and experience for them. When doing missions, players have an opportunity to get another agent to add to the roster as a reward. You can furnish these agents with equipment such as a crystal ball to a drone designed to break down doors. These can be purchased at the auction house for one of the game’s currencies, which there are several, but the two main ones are called “Anima Shards and Marks of Favor.”
If you play World of Warcraft and enjoy its good story, faction, class and race selection, then The Secret World Legends will appeal to you. Over all, The Secret World Legends has an amazing story, colorful characters, and a good leveling system. The combat, though fun, can be repetitive, and you can’t choose any weapon combination like you could in the previous iteration. The designers may want to bring back some best elements they exorcised and reduce all the excess currencies. Nevertheless, I give this amazing game a grade of A-.