Looking under the bed

When I was young there weren’t any monsters under the bed.  Contrary to the insistence of Monster Inc. there weren’t any in my closet either. Ironically, now that I am an adult there are plenty of monsters – and they are just over my left shoulder when ever my back is turned.  It all goes back to the time some one kidnapped me; as a result I have spent the rest of my life looking over my shoulder.  So it may be that I am somewhat impressionable where that sort of thing is concerned.  In the end that probably makes me the perfect audience for games like The Secret World.

I started playing this last weekend.  Like others I had a great deal of trepidation at first.  As the old expression goes, fool me once shame on you , fool me twice shame on me. After the Age of Conan I was worried of a repeat…but that never happened.

After the Age of Conan I was worried of a repeat…but that never happened

Most noticeable is the way the game runs; as smooth as a bunnies butt. (Having raised 1,200 rabbits at one time I KNOW my bunnies).  It could be simply that game developers build their product for the next generation of computers and affordable technology finally caught up with Funcoms game engine.  No matter what the reason, the end of result is a smooth running game.  Age of Conan originally ran like pushing an elephant across the rug on it’s nose for just about everyone I talked to – but not The Secret World.

Big Changes – The Secret World has plenty of them.  Fans of MMOs are used to quest hubs.  For those of our listeners who console gamers these are places where NPCs mysteriously gather in one place to hand out quests/missions.  This is done far differently in The Secret World.  A mission may begin by a message in a bottle on a deserted beach.  Sometimes it is in the hand of a villager who was the victims of zombies.  Other times it may be someone you come up who was caught in a trap.  Best of all these missions are not just hack and slash.  There are some of those, but many of the missions require you to actually think; and believe me that is refreshing to say the least.   The clues don’t always come in the game either.  Funcom has even gone to the trouble to create web sites that proffer clues to the solving puzzles.

What’s that over your shoulder? What it is my friend, is an atmosphere that is about as dark an mysterious as they come.  From the first I felt like I was in a mystery or horror movie.  Perhaps it is the music. Maybe it is the special effects. What ever it is, once again I find myself looking over my virtual shoulder to see what is behind me.  And what that is, at least at one point, is what is depicted above. Once again, I find myself looking under the bed.

See you online (in The Secret World)

Julie Whitefeather.

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