The Secret World is a frightening place. I say that with a smile on my lips, but its true. There isn’t a single MMO I’ve ever played that gives off the sense of danger as well as Funcoms' third MMO does. You are never safe, and that feeling of danger permeates every facet of the game. From word ‘Go’ you are going to get killed in The Secret World. Maybe you aggroed too many monsters, or a big named monster snuck up behind you, maybe you just got a little cocky after grabbing that shiny new piece of gear; the moment you think you’re safe, that’s when you’re not.
I started playing TSW when it launched in the middle of last year and recently began playing once again. It was a game that had big intentions but was already being eclipsed by the juggernaut that was Guild Wars 2. It didn’t help that TSW was never very flashy. Its combat wasn’t going to win a popularity contest, and it’s achingly steep difficultly curve, meant that most gamers left before getting out of Solomon Island. In the solo-friendly environment that has become the norm, The Secret World is clearly easier with a friend. It’s punishing difficulty and deep combat system meant that it was difficult for new gamers to get their ship righted if they made ‘mistakes’ in carving out the skills for their builds. Even the premade builds that Funcom laid out didn’t stop the hemorrhaging.