TSW takes a different route from most MMOs by not taking us some medieval fantasy world or the far-flung future but instead keeps us right here at home in the modern era (with some serious occult enhancements of course). I am still not sure at this point if TSW is taking content directly from Lovcraft's stories or just drawing HEAVILY on them. Regardless, the early parts of the game feel like they would be right at home between the pages of his book. The enemies in the game are pretty different from what you would find in other mmos, at least visually. They aren't repeated so much as to feel stale, but they share enough common themes that you can look at a mob and know roughly what you'll be up against.
Now for the meat of the game; Do you like class systems? Do you crave adhering to a set of archetypes; playing a sword and board fighter or a swift rogue? Well tooo bad, this game abandons the class system, instead allowing you to specialize in certain weapons, from the hard hitting shotgun to the protective embrace of blood magic's barriers, this game has a little something for pretty much any playstlye (Don't worry meatheads, you can still hit things with sticks). Just because there's no class system doesn't mean that you can't play as a tank, or dps or whatever. In fact, where most MMOs or RPGs would restrict you to choosing one, TSW allows you to mix and match 7 abilities, 7 passives, and 2 weapons. Like the passive from the fist tree that ups your crit chance by 15% but don't wanna get your hands dirty in melee combat? Feel free to use it with your fancy assualt rifle. There are a total of 9 weapon types. Each weapon has 2 'inner' paths that must be maxxed out to access the 6 outer paths. Each path has a mix of 7 abilities and passives. I don't think I need to do the math to tell you that there are a ton of options for kitting out your character. All in all the skill system in this game is easy to use and let's you make a character that is uniquely yours.
The only real problems with this game are as follows:
It suffers from the same problems as most MMOs:
- Quests can get repetitive (Kill 10 of enemy x) although there are plenty of interesting quests availible.
- Because it's an MMO, story doesn't feel as important or persona.
- Group play is required for a full experience, which I guess is par for the course for mmos.
There aren't a whole ton of people playing. I don't know if that is because I chose a low population server? Or if it is just because the game is less than popular, but it can get a bit lonely, and a bit difficult to find friends to raid with if you didn't bring your own.
Some random good stuff about the game:
- Dungeons/Raids don't just have a stupid amount of enemies followed by a boss, instead they have a ton of bosses followed by a super boss. This means you don't have to wade through slightly stronger versions of the enemies you've already been fighting! It also means more drops!
- All main quests are fully voice acted apart from your character, some of the people are interesting, I particularly liked the native american guy and his disinterested teen niece playing chess and mangling metaphors while hordes of Ak'Ab and Draug overran the Town.
- Enemies are interesting. Sure you start out fighting zombies, which I guess are pretty common, but pretty soon you'll be fighting things like wendigos, fish people, and weird giant bug things!
- The game is fun. I am normally not a person who enjoys the bland washed out feeling of mmos. But this game did it for me.
- There are mission types which require no combat, and mission types that require honest to god problem sovling, critical thinking, and an awareness of lore! Note that Funcom has set up websites that you need to visit and explore to solve certain quests. Holy ♥♥♥♥! That took me for goddammed ever to figure out.
- Instead of armor deciding your look, you get to choose what your character wears. Defensive stats are derived from occult talismans and lucky chamrs instead of pieces of metal or cloth.
Sorry for the rambly-ness of this review, but I hope I get my point accross. Game is gut, it's only 30 bucks, it's worth the money.