In the case of the Secret World, one thing that’s always impressed me is how much extra art goes into the quests. By this I mean all of the specially made art assets that appear in addition to the voiced dialogue and quest text. TSW throws tons of this stuff at you, from maps to photographs to diaries in foreign languages, and just about all of it is uniquely done. Different photos tend to have different borders, the fonts and backgrounds to all of these printed documents are across an entire spectrum, and even some of the actual art (as in paintings, wall markings, and so on) have far more detail than the quest requires.
Why I love this is that these fantastic details seriously aid in immersion. Maybe players don’t really notice them, but they go a long way to breaking out of the boring quest text and provide something with substance. It plays to the game’s adventure genre roots, particularly when an adventure game would let you take a close-up look at an essential clue or object.
When I think about how many of these specially made art assets I’ve encountered in TSW thus far, I’m kind of in awe of whoever at Funcom had to handle all of this. Particularly when it wasn’t a copy-and-paste scenario. But kudos to them because I, at least, really appreciate the extra effort. It’s the little details that can make a game fantastic, I think.