The Secret World

 

Learning(i)

Violent MMO has drugs, sex, and cursing; for mature players.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In this game, players join secret societies and vie against each other while also banding together to rid the world of evil, albeit in a violent manner.

Positive role models

The leaders of the secret societies that form the factions in the game are really not what you'd want kids to emulate.

Ease of play

Game controls and movement mechanics are simple and intuitive. However, the game has no levels or classes and building up skills that will support each other will require much thought. There are also quests that require investigative reasoning and ingenuity to solve.

Violence

To advance in this game characters have to kill. They use weapons such as sledge hammers, swords, guns, knives, and magic on monsters and humanoids alike. Although the blood/gore can be turned off in the options, the default has blood spraying even from practice dummies. Players will also see mutilated corpses in some settings.

Sex

There is partial nudity in that both male and female characters can be dressed sexily and references to sex and sexual acts are strongly hinted at both in action and in voice-over content.

Language

The game contains quite an amount of voice-over content that can make the game immersive, but casual cursing is frequent. In the Illuminati secret society starting sequence, the player is verbally assaulted with "f--k."

Consumerism

This is a purchased game with a monthly subscription fee. There are no products or advertisements embedded in the game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Except for Notibly -- the leader of the Dragon secret society -- all characters are adult and may be depicted drinking, smoking, or using drugs. There are bars and drug dens in the world as well as quests which may have players participating in rituals, some with the use of hallucinogenics.

Privacy & safety

Creates privacy and safety concerns: This mature online game has open chat and fosters cooperation as some encounters require players to band together. Features in the game assist players in forming player groups called cabals. In cabals, players are often also provided with the option of open voice chat and some amount of information exchange is expected. Players can easily be exposed to unwanted conversations.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Secret World is a Mature-rated MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). The game has to be purchased and a monthly subscription is required to play beyond the first month. Bloody violence, sexual encounters, smoking, drinking, drug use, religious cults, and casual cursing in voiced content are all found in this game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • solving puzzles
  • applying information

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

What Kids Can Learn

Although elements of The Secret World focus on investigative skills and deductive reasoning, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • solving puzzles
  • applying information

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Although elements of The Secret World focus on investigative skills and deductive reasoning, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

This Learning Rating review was written by Carolyn Koh

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What's it about?

In an alternate universe, three secret societies rule THE SECRET WORLD and players join one to vie against the others (player vs. player) in world domination; but then all three societies band together to save the world from evil. Magic is very much part of this universe and the ancient myths are alive. Zombies, vampires, and werewolves need to be cleansed from the earth, and cults that are calling upon the ancient gods need to be stopped from bringing forth more evil into the world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For the mature player, The Secret World can be a fascinating game. The modern day setting is rare in an MMO and the modified sandbox style of gameplay and character development can be attractive. The game is a "thinking players" dream as character development is via various active and passive skills that can support each other. Templates are provided to help guide players but as skills can be combined and switched out, the building of skillsets is complicated and could be a game in itself.

The investigative quests are also riveting as these require players to solve riddles and puzzles, using the in-game browser to search the internet for clues. There are several websites built by the company for in-game locations such as Kingsmouth.com that can provide clues and answers.

Families can talk about...

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$49.99 + $14.99 monthly
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:July 3, 2012
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
Topics:Adventures
ESRB rating:M for Blood, partial nudity, sexual content, strong language, use of drugs, violence (Windows)

This review of The Secret World was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 9 year old Written byCorey1986 July 16, 2013
age 11+
 

The Secret World

This is and okay game for 10 and up but in general it is a tiny bit creepy and in my mind the enemies are twisted and vile. But it is okay just watch out and maybe for the first time watch your kid play it
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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