Secret World PC Technical Review



Product: The Secret World
Company: Funcom
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: July 3rd, 2012

UI, extra features, conclusion

UI

The PC is in full form, here. As mentioned, you can scale the GUI as you like (though you can't fiddle with the chat window much, so there's a limit before it looks crap), but by default it's already very well optimized for high resolutions, as well as the mouse and keyboard. There are countless tabs to click on, the scroll wheel works when you'd expect, and menus are uniquely styled, such that it's easy to see this would be an awful, useless mess on console.

The Character Skills menu -- which employs a circular menu broken up into chunks is unintuitive, however. It's interesting, but grossly inefficient, and the alternate sidebar menu -- while also pleasant to look at -- is equally tedious to navigate. Apart from that, you couldn't ask for much more.

Extra features

The Secret World hosts a variety of neat extra features like a built-in browser, framerate counter, UI toggle, screenshot taking, video recording, and Facebook connectivity. Unfortunately, only some of them work as they should.

The browser is slick, fast, and doesn't hurt performance unlike Steam's, but it doesn't support Flash (at least not without some fairly extensive hacking), so you won't be able to check YouTube for walkthroughs or whatever else, and it crashes quite often.

Video recording is also busted. I tried both the .MOV and Quicktime formats offered, but both resulted in empty video files that wouldn't play.

The rest of it works just dandy, so you'll be able to monitor performance easily, turn off the UI for screenshots or machinima purposes, take said screenshots (in JPG or PNG format), and get your Facebook on, if you so please.

Conclusion

Funcom's latest is not far off from all you could ask for in a PC MMO: solid graphics, heaps of options, optimizations all over the place, reliable connectivity, and some neat extras. On the downside, performance, while respectable, isn't ideal, and minor annoyances which could be patched out come in the form of a few lacking options, busted features, and confusing menus. Beyond these, it comes highly recommended. It launches today.