Secret World Legends
Secret World Legends is an MMORPG set in a modern-day real world while adding in some mystical creatures and other fantasy elements. The game started initially in 2012 as The Secret World and was relaunched in 2017 as a free-to-play game.
The game unfolds in well-known cities all around the globe. When we start our adventure, we are safe and sound in our cosy bed. That’s at least what we think. But soon after, some pesky little fly comes by, and we accidentally swallow it. And here it is, where the shitshow of our new life begins. We immediately acquire some supernatural forces and dive into a strange dream. This dream acts as the tutorial of the game and shows us all the basic functions. At first, we don’t know what this is all about, but after the first encounter with one of those huge monsters, we are god damn sure we are not going to like this. After this encounter, we wake up just to see some strange person wandering into our apartment and talking about all kind of crap or just zip us and drop us out of the car somewhere on a random street. Well, let the show begin.
Conspiracy theories aren’t a thing of the past
First and foremost, the game has an original setting combining elements of the real world with magic, myths, conspiracy theories and a hint of dark horror. At the start, we have to decide between three different factions. They are the Templars, the Illuminati and the Dragon. We already know at least two of them from countless conspiracy theories from the real world. Many people believe in these secret societies that keep themselves hidden from us and pull all the strings in the background. The same happens in the game, and we have the “honour” to join one of those organisations. During his journey, we will carry out different missions for this organisation including finding hints, rescuing people and defeating evil creatures.
If it is really an honour to join them, you have to decide for yourself. You will be greeted as replaceable cannon fodder and have to prove that you are more than just that. But be aware. Your life will always be on the line.
On our journey, we visit London, Brooklyn and Seoul. Where we start, depends on the organisation we choose at the start. But sooner or later, we will also visit the other places. Afterwards, we continue our journey through Egypt and the Valley of the Sun God, Transylvania and Bacaş County, Italy and Venice, and end it with Japan and Tokyo. Everywhere we travel, we meet up with the filth and try to find the source of all this dark corruption.
Show me your dark and eerie side
The graphic in Secret World Legends is overall very dark and gloomy. The developers let themselves inspire by a lot of things from H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. At different places, you can find either creatures, like a little Cthulhu or Vampires and Werewolves, or places inspired by one of their many stories. Secret World Legends manages to capture the eerie atmosphere of those stories and transform them into a great gameplay experience. When you roam the land, you have this ominous feeling that something is watching you and that at anytime something will lurk out of the shadows near you.
All cities that we can visit have this typical flare they also have in the real world. Due to the buildings, we can immediately recognise each of them. But sadly, we can only travel through a small part and mostly can’t see the real iconic buildings. During our travels, we don’t see much more than those cities. The reason for this is our rather unusual way of travelling. We can use some convenient little portals to get from one place to another. But in between, we always visit the world tree which connects the portals. This tree is a fascinating view and gives great inspirations. We always wonder to which other places this tree leads when we see it.
At the heart of every legend, there is a grain of truth
In Secret World Legends, we can collect a lot of stories and legends that tell us more about the world. Collecting them gives us a little reward, and we get to know more about the world and everything in it. Most important are the ones about the secret societies. They help us understand them better and tells us a bit about their origin as well as their goals. To find them all, you have to spend a lot of time. While some are easily seen, others are very well hidden and need some strategies to acquire.
There are currently over 1100 Legends that we can collect. They are split up into bigger categories like each area we visit, the Bestiary and Events. Those categories are then divided into smaller ones like Factions, Ancient Mysteries and Local History. There is a lot to discover and learn.
But legends aren’t the only thing you can collect. There are also those nice, little achievements. With more than 600 achievements, we have a lot of work to do to get every single one of them. They range from discovering legends and locations, over killing monster all the way to special activities.
Fine feathers make fine birds
During our playthrough, we couldn’t complain about customisation possibilities. There are plenty of them. They range from changing the body, wearing new clothes up to choosing the class depending on the circumstances. You do choose a class at the very beginning of the game but is more like a starting class. Later on, you can unlock every ability and take on every class depending on the weapon you equip. It is recommended to get all classes to the maximum as they also provide boosts for the class you want to play.
In different places, you will be able to find plastic surgery and barbers. If you aren’t satisfied with the character you created at the beginning or want something new, seek them out. They provide a lot of different options surpassing the options at the character creation by far. To complete the look, there are also a lot of outfits in the game. With so many options, there should be something for everyone.
An additional customisation is the pet that accompanies you and the way you sprint through the game. There is a wide range of both of them. You can either find them somewhere in the game, get them as rewards or buy them in the in-game shops. For sprints, you can get even motorbikes and hoverboards which are pretty cool. As for the pet, I am excited to be accompanied by a tiny little Cthulhu. The only problem with him is that he constantly wants to eat all the other players and I have to always watch out for him. What a sweet, little devourer he is.
You can’t win a war without proper gear
In Secret World Legends, there is a high importance on the equipment. But unlike in other games, you can wear everything. This applies especially to the weapons as they decide which class you are. They can then further customised to fit the playstyle of the player.
With nine classes, there are a lot of different weapons as every class uses two different ones. They can be even combined to use abilities of two different classes. This helps especially with dealing more damage as every class has their own resources. If you use up one resource pool, you can just switch to the other while the first regenerates.
Apart from the two weapons, a player can wear up to seven different talismans. They replace the usual armour. We instead wear normal clothes which might be as effective as the female armour in a lot of games. So to say, the defense is only existing in form of stat-points.
To strengthen the equipment further in Secret World Legends, there are a lot of ways. First off, we can empower our equipment by feeding it other weapons or talismans. If the level reaches a specific level, we can fuse two pieces of equipment of the same type together to one of the next quality. With this, we can make a blue one out of two green, a purple one out of two blue and so on. This goes all the way up to red, legendary equipment.
Another method is to integrate glyphs and signet into the equipment. Glyph slots are available for blue gear and above, while signets can only be fused into purple gear and above.
- Revamped combat
- Classless system
- Great story
- Modern-day setting combined with mystical creatures
- Fully voiced missions
- Limited replayability
- Small playerbase
- Combat still not fluent enough
- Dated visuals
Overall, Secret World Legends has a lot to offer. We can customize our character completely to our liking. At every stage of the game, we can choose between all classes so that we only need to level up one character. On our journey, we learn a lot about secret societies and the dark stories of H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. It is all put into a fitting setting so that we can enjoy it to our fullest. The graphical part of the games is a bit outdated but in some way, it still works with this setting. We had a lot of fun and can only recommend to at least take a look at the game.