Tokyo has been tiresome almost since the moment I stepped foot in the zone. There’s something about the metropolitan atmosphere that kind of killed my enthusiasm for The Secret World and I haven’t been able to establish any momentum in the game since stepping foot in the city, despite having set the goal of completing Issues 9-11 in March. All the grey-blue tones, the depressing atmosphere of a dead city, and the exhausting threat of filth creatures and their AEGIS shields all combine to make Tokyo one of my least favorite areas in TSW.
That isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed moments here and there; the Fear Nothing building was an excellent story chain albeit a little too similar to the Orochi’s facility in Transylvania. And I just met Harumi and her brother, two colorful characters I really liked and I’m glad Issue 13 will have me interacting with them a little more. Nevertheless, right now I see Tokyo as a zone to get through rather than one to enjoy like I did with all the others. I wish there had been a bit more variety, with perhaps an overarching story in Japan, not just Tokyo, that would have included rural areas and people affected by the filth bomb but not as directly as everyone in Tokyo.
There be spoilers ahead… ye’ve been warned.
Because my progress has been going slowly, I’m having a hard time keeping all of the story elements together, having played through the missions over a longer period of time than usual. What I remember though is that I will be searching for the White Rabbit now (the start of Issue 10), an individual who has been killing people on a list of assassination targets before the hired demon assassins have been able to do the job themselves. This White Rabbit is probably related to the Fear Nothing group, likely one of the few members to escape the mass suicide committed by the cult. But whose behind Fear Nothing? Are they related to the Orochi and their experiments on children? And who is John?
One thing The Secret World does really well is telling stories without filling in every last little detail. Some of these questions I have may be answered over the next few Issues but others may remain vague and uncertain. Rarely are loose ends neatly tied together in this game and I think that’s intentional. It nurtures the air of mystery and conspiracy that makes The Secret World such a unique MMO and it allows for speculation by the players which may not be conclusive, but it is a lot of fun to think about. If there’s one thing that might draw me back in to Tokyo, it will be the story.
However since I’m not as excited about this zone as a whole so far, my plan is to spend 2-3 nights a week playing through two main or part of a story mission and however many side missions I come across. This way I can make progress slowly even if I’m not as eager to play as I once was. To be clear, it’s not the game I don’t enjoy— I still love the combat and suspenseful horror of the stories being told, it’s the environment that just doesn’t work for me.
I may also queue for a dungeon or for PvP each time I play as well but for the most part I want to make progress through Tokyo without getting burned out on The Secret World. Because I’m slowing down a bit, I’m not as concerned about upgrading my gear even though it will happen passively regardless so on my list of goals, I will make some progress but it is unlikely to be completed this month. Doing things this way ought to get me through the Tokyo issues I have left in a couple of months and then I can check out the new Issue that Funcom just released.
For those of you who have played through Tokyo, what did you think of the zone? Where would you rank the environment among the others in TSW? What about the story?