I think it is largely down to the game's attempts to create an atmosphere. The beginning is quite interesting, playing as a Templar (there are 3 factions, Templars, Illuminati and Dragons) it puts you in a reasonably attractive and stylised version of London. It is here that you get to choose your skillset. Essentially you pick a weapon or magic type, and the more you use it, the more skills you unlock. This is essentially the levelling in the game. From what I could see there was no reason why you couldn't level up multiple different skill sets. Up to this point everything seemed ok, if unspectacular, even the voice acting (of which there is a decent amount, but not everything is voiced) was pretty good.
We are given our first mission, to go and investigate a mysterious outbreak in a town called Kingsmouth in New England. We take the secret magical passageway (OK that was pretty cool) there, and we discover a small fishing town besieged by zombies and similar monsters. It was at this point that any hope I had that Secret Worlds would be different shrivelled up and started crying in the corner. We fought to the centre of the town (groups of zombies attacked us and we clicked on the zombie and pressed number keys until it was dead), and found the sheriff (quest giver) and her men hold up in the police station (quest hub). So we picked up the quests which were little more than go to a place and find something or kill something.
We continued on and found that we had different quests to each other. We discovered that you can only have 4 quests (despite plenty being on offer) at a time and if you pick up a new one it abandons an old one. In fact the whole interface was a little cumbersome, though I assume there is time to fix things. We persisted for another hour until we admitted to each other that we were bored. It seemed such a shame, as clearly a lot of attention had gone into creating this town. It looked great and had a wonderfully creepy vibe to it, one that was largely ruined by zombies running up to you every minute. Maybe I am being harsh but yet again I have hoped for something a bit different and here I am, with that same disappointed/slightly sad feeling.