Secret World Legends

Game review by
Franklin Rinaldi, Common Sense Media
Secret World Legends Game Poster Image
Mature actioner uses myths in gripping, bloody stories.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

As members of one of three secret societies possessing enhanced abilities, you work against evils of the world, showing people can persevere against anything when banded together. 

Positive role models & representations

Many strong characters that provide hints at doing what's right for the right reasons, but message isn't always clear.

Ease of play

Easy to understand, not necessarily easy to master. Depth, number of choices, unlimited variability can be quite complex. Quests require great thought, investigative reasoning to solve; you'll need to use resources outside game to solve them.

Violence

Combat uses variety of weapons to kill monsters, humanoids alike. Blood, gore is present, though there are options to tone down, eliminate blood splatter. Mutilated corpses, representations of torture, destruction can be seen.

Sex

Partial nudity seen in both genders; dialogue, cut-scenes hint at sex, sexual acts.

Language

Frequent use of every kind of profanity imagined.

Consumerism

Completely free to play, but optional subscription available. Real money, trade currency can be used to purchase items through in-game store. These features, while present, aren't pushed, but are readily available.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Characters seen frequently drinking, smoking, using drugs. Some quests even have players doing these activities as part of rituals, visiting bars, drug dens.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Secret World Legends is the relaunch of The Secret World as a completely free-to-play downloadable action role-playing game (RPG). Combat is a large focus in the game, with players using hand-to-hand combat, firearms, and magic to destroy enemies. Blood and gore is frequently seen in fights, as well as part of background scenes. Partial nudity can be seen for characters of both sexes, and there's lots of dialogue regarding sex acts. Profanity of all kinds is used constantly in dialogue, and players will be seen drinking, smoking, and using drugs in bars or other locations in the game. These substances are also used in rituals to complete quests. While there are some items that can be purchased, and a subscription can provide additional extras, the game doesn't heavily promote these options.

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What's it about?

Set in a modern-world setting, SECRET WORLD LEGENDS is about the supernatural forces threatening to overrun the world. As a member of one of three secret societies that have been waging a war between good and evil in the shadows, it's now important that you step into the light. Using a wide range of weapons and supernatural abilities, you must investigate and destroy the sinister threats before all of humanity is in peril. All the fairytales, horrors, cults, and mysteries have shown themselves. Prepare yourself to meet and defeat ancient gods, zombies, werewolves, vampires, and so much more that are now stalking the world in the open.

Is it any good?

This relaunched action role-playing game is a phenomenal experience that takes storytelling to the extreme in describing battles between good and evil. Not only do you get the opportunity to come face to face with the numerous legends of the world (like vampires, werewolves, zombies, and more), you'll also discover their origins and why they exist. The game world is a gritty modern-day representation of locations such as London, Seoul, and New York. Along with its fast-paced action, Secret World Legends will frequently make you think, to solve the riddles and puzzles that secret societies have attempted to keep hidden from the public all this time. The puzzles really set Secret World Legends apart from other games like it. For example, simple discovery missions like finding a cell phone will give hints at numbers on a wall that opens a secret safe that must be found. Moderately complex ones will have you decipher Morse code or music notes, requiring you to use the in-game web browser to look up obscure references or sheet music. It's amazing how a game can take real-world legends and history, and then make it fun by wrapping it into a mystery or putting a twist on it with a riddle or puzzle to solve.  

What's also impressive is that relaunching The Secret World into Secret World Legends (changing it from a massively multiplayer online game to an action RPG) is exactly the breath of fresh air it needed. Now, the combat system is more action oriented, making you feel more connected and immersed in the action. The updated combat abilities give each weapon a unique identity in battle, with amazing animations to highlight what you're doing. Plus, streamlining character progression and skills makes it easier to understand and focus on how you want to play. The development of quests makes everything feel more natural and intuitive. Also, because it's completely free to play, a larger number of players have an opportunity to explore the secrets that were previously hidden behind a pay wall. While comparisons could be made between the original and the remake, since the content is based on the same story and setting, there are so many improvements, this isn't even really the same game. Veterans will still get the play they're used to with many great enhancements, while new players will be able to dive into a fully fleshed-out and expanded universe. This experience can't be recommended more for fantasy fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How are problems dealt with in this fantasy world, and how should they be approached in the real world? Would some of these actions be acceptable if the threats faced in the game occurred in real life?

  • Discuss balancing screen time with a game like this. Does the necessity of using external searches and problem solving strike a balance between playing and the real world? Is there a better way of taking a break from this engrossing action?

Game details

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