A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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?
- Platforms: Windows
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: FunCom
- Release date: June 26, 2017
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Fairy Tales, History, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.