The Secret World Legends gets free-to-play relaunch on June 26 | PCGamesN

The Secret World Legends gets free-to-play relaunch on June 26

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Update May 9, 2017: we now have a release date for the free-to-play relaunch of The Secret World Legends.

Back in March, Funcom announced some fundamental revisions to their MMORPG, The Secret World. They’ve been in beta testing for a while now, pending a live release “this spring”. That release date has now been announced: the rather more summer-flavoured June 26.

The Secret World made our list of the best MMOs on PC - here's hoping the relaunch is as strong.

Anyway, the announcement is accompanied by a new video laying out the changes and introducing new players to the revamped game. Combat, progression, graphics and the business model have all been overhauled - see our original story below for more details.

It all amounts to a pretty radical set of changes, which appear to have split the community. Though beta testers are theoretically under an NDA (according to MasivelyOP, as of a month ago), the Secret World Legends subreddit is nonetheless full of threads discussing the overhaul quite openly, all preserved via an Imgur gallery.

Original story March 29, 2017: The Secret World, Funcom’s MMORPG that blends occult threats with a modern setting, is getting a pretty drastic revamp. The Conan Exiles developers have announced that the game is to be relaunched as The Secret World Legends, a free-to-play shared-world RPG.

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That’s a drastic departure from the Secret World’s current business model, which requires only an initial purchase to play. A monthly subscription that unlocks further benefits is also offered, but is optional.

“Over the course of five years, The Secret World has created a truly memorable RPG universe that stands out to this day for the uniqueness of its dark setting and tone, the depth of its quest design, and the high quality of its voice acting throughout,” says Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “Secret World Legends uses that foundation to mark a new era for the game, offering a fresh start for newcomers and long-time fans alike, delivering a captivating journey that can be enjoyed entirely on your own or with friends.”

The relaunch will come later "this spring" and alter the game’s systems at a fundamental level. Combat and progression are redesigned from scratch, and visuals will be updated. Funcom say all the game’s missions will be free-to-play, promising “over 100 hours of mature storytelling and surprises.”

The Secret World Legends

In The Secret World, ancient myths bled into contemporary society, similarly to any number of modern-fantasy TV shows like Buffy, Supernatural, Grimm, Once Upon A Time, and I could go on. The relaunch will retain this premise, with players travelling the globe, chasing clues and using their wits, as well as your characters’ abilities. Funcom promise an extensive and customisable arsenal of firearms, weapons, gear and otherworldly powers to take it to the forces of darkness. You can play solo, or team up with others.

According to, the new free-to-play model will be supported by microtransactions for additional characters, vanity items, extra inventory space "and more", and there will be a premium currency called Aurum. Existing players of The Secret World will be able to claim some Aurum by linking their account to Legends, and vanity items will also roll over.

You can sign up for a closed beta at this website.  

Reaction on Reddit has been mixed to negative, with some players agreeing that systems such as the combat needed a revamp, but many more either worried or furious at the prospect of having to start fresh.

Here's the announcement, and the game's Steam page.

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Lolssi avatarAever avatarFalconloft avatar
Falconloft Avatar
10 Months ago

(I'm posting this here, because reviews aren't available to be posted for the game itself yet))

“One of our biggest goals in relaunching the game has been to reimagine the core gameplay experience in a way befitting a modern-day action RPG,” said Scott Junior, Executive Producer. “Secret World Legends features combat that feels more natural, deep systems that are more intuitive, better structuring of the early game for new players, and improved mission flow to strengthen the pace of progression for players.”

Would that any of that were true. It's not. All of the feedback that's been received on the beta forums is complaining about the dumbing down of the game, the restrictive locking of missions, and the non-intuitiveness of the new powers. When their design choices are questioned, they try to gloss it over with 'our research tells us that people like this'. They won't show this research that disagrees with all of the feedback they're getting, of course, because it doesn't exist. On the beta forums, threads and posts that are negative mysteriously disappear, and users are suddenly banned or silenced if they don't toe the company line.

This endemic dishonesty shouldn't be surprising. Funcom as a company is growing more and more dishonest. They promised new content right up until they announced the relaunch, which has been in the works for over a year, meaning that while they were promising new content, they knew that there wouldn't be any. On Steam, instead of listing the game as a new game, which it is, they reused the listing from the previous game, making the average review stay positive for longer so that there won't be an accurate representation of the game.

If you're coming from TSW and didn't like the combat, reticle combat might seem like a good fix. And it would have been if anyone but Funcom had done it. Unfortunately, the result is a combat structure for the player that's been changed, but with no actual changes to the mobs. Did you like your ranged classes? Sorry, you can't range anymore, other than for a couple seconds right at the beginning of a fight. Oh, you used to run and gun, shooting at an angle? Nope. You're going to be surrounded while you slowly backpedal, shooting things in melee. Did you like the synergy, or the ability to mix and match powers to find the best build for your playstyle? That's gone too. None of the new powers have synergy at all, and every weapon plays exactly the same. They've all got their own 'unique' mechanic of course, but that uniqueness is mostly limited to the name. The mechanics are all sadly identical.

In other areas, the character creation is even worse than it was before, and it was only barely useful to begin with. A far cry from AoC, another game built on an older version of the same engine, TSW always lacked the sliders that let you create a character that didn't look slightly bored (or worse, like the face belonged on the head of someone who'd just been mauled by a mother school bus protecting her cubs). But now, even what little customisation there was is gone, replaced by presets because it's easier to revamp the entire system than it is to fix a couple meshes for hats and sunglasses so they don't clip. They could have paid a someone who designed clothes in Second Life back in 2007 a hundred dollars to fix that problem for them.

The worst part is, it didn't have to be this way. Funcom has known for five years what the biggest problems were with the game: The bugs. The badly optimised graphics. The stale-feeling combat where your hits didn't seem to register. They've refused to fix those real problems, and instead have opted to invent new ones to 'fix', giving us a game that has slow, repetitive combat, and Unless you're dead set on this specific niche genre, and are willing to overlook massive problems that they still pretend don't exist, then you might enjoy the investigative missions. They're pretty fun, usually. If you don't like the sound of that, you can always go and play Continent of the Ninth, or Runes of Magic, or some other third-string Korean MMO. You'll be playing a better game.

Aever Avatar
11 Months ago

OK, if you haven't played this game, do it now. I wonder how much of the combat have they redesigned, because the combat was the weakest point of the game. Everything else was ... good or amazing.

The world, the atmosphere and the quests were among the best I've ever found in an MMO. Really, really, well put together and immersive. Some quests are MMO standard disguised in the narrative, others are really unique.

Dungeons were plenty and quite fun. The problems start when you're trying to get into the heroic versions, where the barrier to entry is set very high. Good groups will not take you, poor groups will wipe for hours to kill a couple of bosses.

The combat was repetitive and kind of boring. You spam a resource builder, the unload a finisher. Rinse and repeat.

Anyway, try this game. I'll be surprised if it doesn't grab you in the first few hours.

Lolssi Avatar
11 Months ago

I gave it a try back in the day. Missions and story were near the top of MMO spectrum. Maybe I just built so broken character that every fight felt like endurance test. Will definately give it a go again.