The world has been kept in the dark of the knowledge that monsters, demons, ghosts, vampires, etc. do exist. Secret societies have for centuries battled these creatures of myth to keep the world safe. The means at which they do so is by employing individuals with extraordinary powers. You happen to be one of those individuals. Not aware at first that you are to be a chosen defender of the world, this changes one night by a visit from a glowing bee that awakens your true potential. At first you are afraid of these new found powers, and have no clue what is going on, but eventually you learn to control, and accept them.
You are soon visited by a representative of an ancient secret society who informs you that your powers are meant for great things. An invitation is extended to you to join their society, and aide in the fight to keep the world safe from the things that go bump in the night. Turning down the invitation will cause others to seek you out, and they will not be so courteous as your recent visitor. In fact you are told you may end up dead within a week. Given your choices you accept the invite, and so begins your journey into the Secret World.(cue eerie music)
You start the game by choosing what secret society you wish to align yourself with. There are three main societies which maybe familiar to some, especially conspiracy theorists. They are the Illuminati, the Templars,and the Dragon. The latter may not be a society that has come up in conspiracy conversations often or at all, but nonetheless in the Secret World they are as much involved with shadowy dealings, and cloaked in secrecy as the Illuminati, and Templars.
If you wish to know more about each society the game provides you with videos located below each society’s icon. These videos give a synopsis of what each society is, how they operate, and what their goals are.
Choosing one society over another does not grant you any added bonuses, or perks. i.e. choosing Templars increases defensive stats, or going with the Dragon will increase DPS potential,etc. These factions are just allegiances, and not class options as there are no classes within the game. More on this later.
The aforementioned societies are not the only secret organizations present within the game. They are however the only factions you can choose to align yourself with. Throughout the course of the game you will become aware of these other societies, and how they may effect the other factions’ main goals.
You have the option of either creating a male, or female character, and there is only one race that can be played within the game which is human. If you are looking to play as an Elf, Elyos, Popori, etc. look elsewhere.
You can change aspects of your character raging from face, hairstyle, eyes, nose, lips, jaw line, skin tone etc. There is however no option to change the character’s height, or muscle tone. No altering breast sizes either. (We can hear the yells of pervs around the world going “Ah come on!”)
Facial paint, and facial tattoos are available as well as the option to have your character wear glasses for that geek chic look. At the time of the review the number of tattoos available in the game was not extensive, but there has been talk that this may change.
The clothing styles reflects the game’s modern day theme. You can have your character wear jeans, sneakers, tank tops, skirts, button up shirts, platform shoes, hoodies, blazers, dress pants, etc.
Of course the clothing in the creator does not representative all of clothing available in the game. You can acquire additional clothing via in game vendors (at the time of our review their was only one main clothing vendor within the world), or via the game’s store. Both of these options have a healthy assortment of clothing options which will satisfy a large number of people’s target styles for their characters.
We were a bit puzzled as to why Funcom chose to have your character change clothes in a clothing store out in the open instead of having a dressing room available. I mean you don’t see too many people these days going into a clothing store, and just start stripping to try on jeans, shirts, etc. where everyone can see them. But in all honesty it’s not a deal breaker.