What ever happened to The Secret World, I would sometimes wonder. Well, the fate of the supernatural MMO has now been revealed by Funcom, and it doesn't involve being shut down.
The game is relaunching this spring with the title of Secret World Legends, and is ditching the moniker of MMO for the term "shared-world action RPG". Combat and progression will receive revamps and a new design respectively, while visuals will be prettied up. The game's missions seem likely to remain as they are, but with the new free-to-play model we'll be able to experience them without any paywalls.
It's uncertain whether "shared-world action RPG" means that the experience will differ from that of a typical MMO or if the differences end with the term, but the revamped combat is welcome news, since I remember that aspect of the game being criticized in its reviews.
“Over the course of five years, The Secret World has created a truly memorable RPG universe that stands out to this day for the uniqueness of its dark setting and tone, the depth of its quest design, and the high quality of its voice acting throughout,” said Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “Secret World Legends uses that foundation to mark a new era for the game, offering a fresh start for newcomers and long-time fans alike, delivering a captivating journey that can be enjoyed entirely on your own or with friends.”
Executive producer Scott Junior shed more light on the game's return and new direction: “One of our biggest goals in relaunching the game has been to reimagine the core gameplay experience in a way befitting a modern-day action RPG,” he said. “Secret World Legends features combat that feels more natural, deep systems that are more intuitive, better structuring of the early game for new players, and improved mission flow to strengthen the pace of progression for players.
Secret World Legends sounds like it'll retain the original concept, plunging "into a shadowy war against the supernatural in an adventure that crosses our world with the realms of ancient myth and legend". Globe trotting, investigations and action form the gameplay experience, with players also getting special powers of their own. There's over 100 hours of story on offer, and players can soak it all in alone if they wish.
If you're filled with curiosity about the announcement of Secret World Legends and its differences from The Secret World, this FAQ shall reveal all. At the same time, you can also head over here to sign up for the closed beta if you'd like an early experience of the changes.