Secret Sunday: Trials of the Cat Kind

Why hello to you too Kingsmouth long time no see, and may I say your looking particularly atmospheric today, and my how beautiful you are with my new lappy. Its funny as right now i think TSW beats GW2 in the aesthetic department, there is just something about the areas that creates the perfect atmosphere for the direction they were taking, just walking around for the morning I once again felt those little goosebumps popping up now and then. There was nothing inherently scary but it is the surroundings and audio that just couples together to get under your skin… I missed it and it was a nice change of pace coming from GW2’s happy go lucky and more cartoony feel to TSW’s grim Dark world.

Even the current halloween event in GW2 really doesn’t invoke that creepy and cooky vibe and is more cutesy than anything (but very wonderfully done).. but going by some of the games, aesthetic, and monsters (love the candy cane mobs) that was their attention so as to appeal to a younger demographic. TSW has a direction that just appeals to the mature gamer in a way as there is no attempt to hide any of the unpleasantries, Madame Roget’s scene regarding the Halloween event is proof of that with it’s gory detail of cat mutilation.

Aaaaaawwwwww

I think I might make my Forays into the secret world a little more regular now as I had honestly forgotten how enjoyable just tooling around was in the Secret World,  it just encourages a playstyle of slowly going at your own pace and discovering things as you go. It really is a great way to play a game as you stop and smell the roses and embrace the wonderful atmosphere, I think I spent most of the morning just doing 2 investigation quests and getting caught up in exploration and research.

Digging deeper was just amazing and the atmosphere they created for the small underground library was perfect, it was just that little bit claustrophobic with the damp dark tunnels but very well detailed in its multiple bookshelves packed with tombs and artifacts. I would have thought they would be slowing down with the puzzles now in a sense of recreating similar mechanics but these were very unique in there own way. They weren’t exactly hard but required some great research components that combined well together, the music puzzle was well thought out and I have to admit the little word one had me stumped for a while (I thought a score meant 10), and then at the end was a very clever use of the in game emotes. I think GW2 and a lot of games for that matter could learn a lot from TSW and its arg components… they just add something special and treat the user like a functioning competent adult rather than a mindless grinding drone.

Emoting to Victory

The first Halloween quest was excellent as well and some of the clues are very cryptic and I have to say that how they wound up to the event with clues such as the many packs of cats running around the major cities was a nice touch. Once again it all comes back to Solomon Island and Kingsmouth and it was rather amusing in a sick sick way hearing Andy talk about his little kittens again as that has to be one of the most shocking parts of TSW.. it always makes you feel a little choked up inside. It is another great dialogue scene between madame Roget and Deputy Andy and you can see that they are improving the way that the engine handles in terms of rendering, I also like how focused they are on the nuances of non verbal language and it makes these conversations feel more natural.. that slight little nod Andy gives at the beginning when he notices you adds a lot to the conversation as it is recognition of the things you have done and a thanks for coming… no text or long drawn out speech needed

The quests is rather decent as well (although not as great as the previous) and while the parts at the beginning are rather introductory once you get to the last tier the atmosphere really ramps up. Every time you walk near one of the cats you get this creepy little audio playing talking about the parts obviously needed to complete some dark spell that involves certain parts from our feline friends, it is chilling in a way. In fact just as the Cat King made his Debut inside the crypt I let out a little squeel. It was rather amusing as it startled me so much that during that little combat scene i was just madly scrabbling around and trying to gather some composure, I even forgot to take a picture I was that flustered.

What lies beneath

Even after I had finished this I just had to go around and explore a little more of the world, and it is a world I still find enthralling and probably will for a long time. I talked to a few of my old friends in the neighborhood and it was good to hear that commentary again. Their voices are always so well done and pervay a a very good picture of the character and their nuances, I just hope in future updates such as the new area they are talking about that they can keep up the quality as this is how you do story and characters in an mmo.. and any game for that matter.

A Shining star in the darkness

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