Good afternoon internet. For close to three days, Funcom had its third Beta event “Hell Raised” for The Secret World. This went from which ended last night. The game will no longer be available until June 29th for early access players, or July 3rd for the main release. I happened to be one of the lucky people invited to this beta weekend event, and now I will relay the many things I have seen to you, dear readers. Keep a note, this will not be spoiler free.
First, I may as well point out that installing the game went relatively smoothly. While I did have some difficulties with the installer stopping abruptly, this was caused by external sources rather than the program itself. However, while the patcher works adequately, its still slow compared to the other MMOs I have worked with. Each time I tried to boot up the game after having downloaded the necessary patches, it still insisted on analyzing my computer for 10-20 seconds and then going through a 10 megabyte download (each time) before telling me I was ready. I assume it’s just overwriting the same memory file repeatedly, but in the off-chance that is not the case, I will consider myself both distressed and disappointed.
Even then, once I try to start up the game it takes a while, going from 40 seconds to a little over a minute. Hopefully the patcher will be optimized in the last beta weekend or the launch date That said, the wait wasn’t terrible, but it was long enough for me to wonder, “Is this thing working?”
After that the game booted up in Fullscreen, and ran through the usual promotional trailers and branding. One odd thing I noted though is that after that, every other time I tried to start the game it would begin in windowed mode until I went into the video settings to change it back. Again, this was an oddity that wasn’t especially bad, just a minor inconvenience. If only I could say the same about the character creation…
It’s a neat little thing, giving you what I would call a “moderate” amount of customization. There is no height changes to make but with the full assortment of skin colors along with sliders for various facial features like “eyebrow”, “jaw” etc. There are a decent number of features to make sure you have a character that manages to look different from the next guy. This would be okay, if the character creator didn’t seem to hate me. Although we were allotted three character slots, I made four characters after deleting one, and each time I managed to fight with the character creator. While clicking on skin colors and articles of clothing worked fine, the sliders worked more like rusted levers as I tried to drag it from one choice to another, and god forbid I try to click over to a different part of the slider. No, it was quite determined that I struggle to go through each choice on the way to the one I wanted to see. Perhaps it was trying to encourage me to be more open minded about the other choices, but I certainly wasn’t convinced. This was the first time I just stopped adjusting my characters appearance because it simply wasn’t worth the effort. That definitely needs to be fixed before release.
But, where the character creator really shines is in having a massive wardrobe to go through, giving you dozens of outfits to put together. The ability to dress like a pimp, a business man, a member of the trenchcoat mafia, a homeless man, a golfer, or a homeless man that looked like he found some dress shoes are all at your finger tips. Really, it’s an excellent number of choices, and there are plenty more outfits for your character to buy when you get out in the real world.
Because I have less time than I would like to write this, I will be detailing the in-game experience in part 2.
Riknas, signing off!