A giant display in the middle of the convention room floor advertised a game, The Secret World. There was a barely noticeable black curtain that allowed convention goers inside to three rows of seats and a giant screen. In there were two Australian men, developers of the game, talking about making and playing the game. Here is what I learned.
The Secret World is an MMORPG. Its based in real time but has a lot of "old world" elements. Characters have modern clothes and use current language and diction. The game has secret government agencies and exploring buildings and sewers. They also implied that there may be some abilities to use or interact with helicopters at some point in the game. But they wouldn't say more, they just smiled and said "no spoilers" over and over. All of us in the audience could tell they were dying to tell us something but they managed to restrain.
The "old world" elements refer to some of the other skills that players have. There are varying levels of magic and skills that are obviously not conducive to modern times. They fall more in line with that sort of alternate reality medieval time that is seen in Oblivion. Spells like fireballs and electricity are available but will naturally upgrade as the player upgrades.
The developers repeated several times that "there are no classes or ranks". Players will not be locked into or out of special abilites based on classes. However, they didn't explain the factions. There was a huge display of computers where convention attendees could take a quiz. The answers of the quizzes determined if the player will be in the Templars, the Illuminati, or the Dragons. I answered questions in a way that leaned towards knowledge and peaceful advancement which resulted in me being a Dragon. The characters are not actual dragons, its supposed to be modern times, and they claim there are no classes. So these factions and their significance in the game remains unexplained.
They were also really excited about the system they established for teaching players the games. Each skill is taught and utilized through an area. Mini bosses must be beaten before players can move on in the game and learn the next skill. They focused on not only learning spells or skills, but making sure that players are able to combine them effectively as the progress.
The game looks like a lot of fun. The style is not particularly new but the story line sounds intriguing and complex. Even with the convention center's crappy WiFi, the gameplay still looked smooth as they tapped into their servers. This game will definitely be one to check out in the future.
Also, are you following us on Twitter ? I have a ton of swag to bring back and give away. Plus you don't want to miss out on any PAX tidbits and info. @achievos