To play Secret World, you have to buy the retail product, sign up for a recurring subscription fee, and subject yourself to the temptation of micropaying real world money for cool outfits. Fortunately, the last bit gets easier as you play.
After the jump, is it wise to wield a sharp weapon while wearing a hazmat suit?
Secret World’s customization is limited in some very disappointing ways. There’s only a single body type. Svelte, of course. All characters are in the typical young adult age bracket. Even then, the default faces and hairstyles are pretty limited. I frequently run into my doppleganger, and sometimes we’re even wearing the same thing.
Can you believe she showed up at the same quest I was doing and she wore that? I never. And if you think that’s bad, wait until you jump into the player vs. player.
You can spend your ingame money to buy a few additional clothes bits at the clothes store in your hub city. Don’t get your hopes up, though. Here you’ll find only the most basic variations of wanly colored slacks and jackets. What’s a girl gotta do to get a decent skirt and matching heels? Besides paying $1.99, I mean.
Fortunately, it turns out that Secret World knows its costume bits are limited. It takes advantage of this rarity to gradually dole out new bits and pieces as you play, which you might not care about if you were able to freely dress like the guys who obviously spent money in the real world money store. You can always tell those guys when you see them.
You get faction specific uniforms as you level up. Some achievements give you costume bits. For instance, my Innsmouth Academy hoodie is among my prized possessions, right next to my QL10 sword. Some quests give you appropriate costumes, like the hazmat suit I got after putting out a fire, or this bit of regional garb.
Which looks wonderfully absurd at the end of one quest, when you have to step into a CDC portable decontamination shower.
When you find something new in your “dressing room”, as it calls the screen where you pick what you’re wearing, it’s a minor cause for celebration. This wouldn’t be the case if new clothes were easier to come by. So while I don’t approve of a game microselling baubles when it’s also charging me a subscription fee, I’m glad to see Funcom also built caring about clothes into the gameplay.