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PAX Prime 2011: Everything False is True Again: The Secret World

Bees are returning worldwide. Portals are reaching through time and space. A hollow world. The fountain of youth. The Tower of Babel never fell. Old Gods awaken from their sleep. Stonehenge is a beacon, Atlantis rises, the Ark of the Covenant awaits, the planets are aligning…and you must choose a side.

If you can imagine that everything that society told you was false, that every myth, legend and old wives’ tale you ever heard just held a bit of the sound of truth to you, The Secret World may catch your attention.

To be honest, I heard about this game from word of mouth. Chatting with other gamers while waiting in line for games during PAX can be incredibly tedious or rewarding (sometimes both, beware), but I lucked out this time. While everyone around me was bristling and waiting to make beelines to Skyrim, Borderlands 2, Gears of War 3 or Mass Effect 3, I’d met a lovely fellow who couldn’t wait to meet up with the design team from FunCom about The Secret World.

He was kind enough to fill me in quickly with the best details – every fantasy or myth is true, and three secret organizations rule the world behind the world as demons and all sorts of supernatural begin to seep into our reality. A modern day game with the wild setting of TV shows like The X-Files or Fringe, but with the tenacity and action of a Jack Bauer or Sam Fisher unchained by any sort of governmental laws.

This is awesome. I am excited. I ask him to tell me more about the gameplay, because the story and style have already piqued my interest. “It’s an MMO,” he responds.

Wait, what?

I am no stranger to MMO/MMORPG games. I can sit down and spend hours telling you all the things I learned in a three year period playing Final Fantasy XI and barely scratch the surface before you’d have run off. I like to pick up those cheap free-to-play Korean/Chinese made MMO games and create fancy, pretty characters that maybe make it to level 3 before their final spawn in my Recycle Bin. I even had a brief affair with World of Warcraft before I nearly filed a restraining order with Blizzard. So when I tell you that The Secret World is a MMO game and I am still highly interested in it, I hope you get part of my meaning.

What intrigues me most about The Secret World is that it is attempting to move away from everything defined and cliche about MMO: being stuck in a certain place/land, funneled down a set skill tree, and dividing you against whatever the other faction in the game is.

More on the next page!