|Oi! You'll have that tree alight!|
|Vampire Fast Food|
The real-world setting sharpens up the emotional response as does the relative realism of the graphics. I've yet to see anything in The Secret World in essence more viscerally vile than the disjointed, dismembered dwarves hanging on meat-hooks in the Troll city of Grobb, nor a game concept more repulsive than the casual use of body parts of player races in the craft of Baking, but the difference is that the 1990s graphics and fantasy setting of Everquest dilute the force of the horror, rendering it whimsical and fey whereas in The Secret World it comes at you raw and undiluted.
|Gnomes on a roundabout! This is what we want!|
For me, far from being depressing traveling through this world has largely been a joy. The New England zones were fascinating. The towns and hamlets were charming and attractive, the sunlight through the trees and over the water beautiful, the coastline begging to be explored. It made me feel that Maine, on which I believe it's based, would be a very good place for a holiday. The endless dimming Fog and the constant zombie attacks were wearing, though, and those bloody moths really put a damper on the whole holiday vibe. I think it's my least favorite region.
|A CRT? When will these fey-folk join the modern world?|
About Egypt I have only good things to say. The sun shines all day and the stars come out at night. The gold of the sands and the blue of the sky lift the spirits. The ruins are fascinating, the locals and the visitors all have compelling stories to tell and the monsters have the grace to die quickly when you shoot them. I'm not done there and I'll be happy to go back.
And then we come to Transylvania. What must the Romanian Tourist Board be thinking? If we take it (and I think we must) that Funcom have done a lot of research and made a great effort to portray their locations as close analogs of their counterparts in our not-so-secret world, Transylvania does not look like much of a holiday destination.
|Visit Traditional Village!|
Further on the prospects improve a little. The Shadowy Forest looks, well, shadowy and forested. The Carpathian Teeth are snowy and open. I plan to explore those a little over the next couple of days, now that I'm strong enough to do more than just jog along the main roads. I have high hopes for Transylvania.
A grim world it may be, but it's an enthralling and compelling one, too. I want to see as much of it as I'm able.