The Secret World early access started yesterday. I didn’t get in-game until late last night but I really enjoyed the couple of hours I managed to be in-world. Note I didn’t say “play” because so far I haven’t really played TSW. I’ve opted instead to poke around, exploring and talking to NPCs.
For some reason Funcom and The Secret World seems to attract more than their fair share of haters, so before I go any farther I want to emphasize that I was doing what I was doing by my own choice. I could’ve blasted through the intro stuff, headed to New England and started accumulating quests and leveling up my skills, just as I would in any other MMO. If this seems boring to you, don’t go using it in your flame wars; no one HAS to talk to these flavor NPCs. I just chose to.
Because what I love about TSW is the flavor. I’m also apparently much more patient than most gamers and I’m happy to sit back and enjoy some exposition if it’s well done. I feel like the exposition in TSW is very well done. NPC dialog isn’t really dialog…it’s just clicking on menu items to prompt the NPC to keep talking to you. And yet I’m enjoying it. When I stop enjoying it I’ll go chase quests, but I’m in no hurry here. I opted into the game for the ambiance as much as for the gameplay, after all.
So enough dissembling, here’s my example video. These two women have taken old Gladstone under their wing, trying to rehabilitate him and make him more presentable (to little effect, thus far). I suspect Gladstone (who has a lot to say about his long life of seeking knowledge and good drugs) will figure more prominently in the storyline later but the two ladies are just extras. Still, they had information to share and knowledge is power, after all. On the other hand, what they have to say contains no spoiler-y stuff, which is why I’m using them as my example.
I should also point out that you have to be careful about waiting for them to finish one chunk of dialog before you click on another option. At the end of this clip you see what happens when you click too soon. The NPC starts talking over herself. The voice actors do pause for dramatic effect at times, so be sure they’re done talking before you move on.