Ever since I started running an Urban Arcana campaign, I’ve been wishing that some developer would adapt it into a video game. I just love its setting. It’s where shotgun-wielding Dwarves and wizards hurling digitized fireballs from smartphones are commonplace. But none has set their sights on this campaign book, and I believe no one will. That’s fine. Because The Secret World has done a good job at giving us a contemporary fantasy game.
There are no Dwarves in The Secret World. In fact, almost all traces of regular fantasy are not present in this game. Which is for the better. Instead, its director, Ragnar Tornquist, used its own vision to create a unique world. As a result, The Secret World is more like a child of Arcadia and Stark –parallel worlds of magic and science in Tornquist’s adventure game, The Longest Journey– sprinkled with the supernatural, conspiracy theories and Lovecraftian horror.
I’ve only scratched the surface of this game. But I’m loving every bit of it. Especially, its classless mechanic. I was a bit skeptical when Funcom threw this word around. Now that I see it, I believe it. The game gives you an ability wheel that is divided into three disciplines: Ranged, Magic and Melee. You can go around this wheel and pick whatever ability you like from each discipline. You can even pick every single ability in this wheel. Providing you have the points.
With this kind of freedom, I can create my character the way I want: fighting with shotgun & sorcery. Of course, since I just started this game, I don’t know much about the ability wheel mechanic, yet. So, right now, I’m just sticking with my shotgun and grabbed a couple of healing abilities from the magic wheel. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can also equip a Deck –which are the closest thing to a class in this game– and follow its ability progression.