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The Secret World

COMMENT | Why now is the time to experience The Secret World

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
DLC, EA, funcom, Horror games, MMORPGs, PC games, Puzzle games, The Secret World

COMMENT | Why now is the time to experience The Secret World

Last week I finally revisited The Secret World. After reviewing it at launch, calling it “a brave new world worth spending time in,” I gradually had less and less time to play it. This was despite former colleague Jon falling head over heels for it, proclaiming his love it again, and again, and again. I could only watch from the sidelines as the intrigue and mystery of its storyline evolved, new systems added to its class-free combat, and new dungeons opened, filled with brutal bosses to beat.

Last week, Funcom released Issue #12: To The Dark Tower Below. The new patch not only added in a new dungeon and open world content, but included new social features, a revamped currency system and daily rewards program. It’s not ground-breaking for the genre, but it’s an important step for The Secret World. You see, it not only gives former players a reason to return, but provides newcomers with the more accessible way to experience the game, as well as catch up with the rest of the community.

Basically, with Issue #12 live on the servers, now is the time to experience one of the most unique MMO properties on the market, and I’m going to explain why.

Click here to read more...

Funcom release teaser for single-player horror experience The Park

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
funcom, Horror games, PC games, Teaser, The Park, The Secret World

Funcom release teaser for single-player horror experience The Park

'The Secret World' themed title coming this October

Funcom are primarily known for their online experiences such as Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, and The Secret World, but today they have released a teaser trailer for a brand new single player experience. The Park, which according to Red Thread Games' Ragnar Tornquist is planted in The Secret World universe, looks to feature a character named Lorraine and "the most terrifying nightmare of her life" at a theme park. The images shown in the teaser should look rather familiar to players of The Secret World, especially for visitors of The Savage Coast. You can judge for yourself by hitting the jump.

Click here to read more...

Happy birthday, The Secret World! Get online for huge bonuses, party bags & gigantic golems

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

Happy birthday, The Secret World! Get online for huge bonuses, party bags & gigantic golems

The Secret World is celebrating another year of being the best MMORPG on the market. In my opinion. My correct, objectively flawless opinion.

To mark the event, they're rolling out a huge suite of bonuses, extra events and massive golems to hunt down. It's a bit like a party bag, only somewhat more macabre and Lovecraftian.

Click here to read more...

The Secret World: Ultimate Edition is the best way to get into this extraordinary MMORPG

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

The Secret World: Ultimate Edition is the best way to get into this extraordinary MMORPG

The Secret World is my favourite MMORPG of all time. Last April I wrote a call to arms entitled The Secret World Is The Secret MMORPG Revolution, explaining how it's the most unique and forward-thinking example of the genre we've seen in years, followed by a gushing article about the superb new gameplay tweaks designed to make it more enjoyable for new players.

You've never had it so good, because Funcom have now unleashed the Ultimate Edition.

This huge new edition includes the base game and every single expansion, all of which are superbly-written, unique and utterly excellent. As you can see in our Issue #9 review and Issue #11 guided tour. We're talking about £103 worth of content... and better yet, it's now 30% off on the official store and Steam.

Click here to read more...

PREVIEW | The Secret World Issue #11 Guided Tour: an extraordinary finale for an extraordinary MMORPG

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
DLC, funcom, Games previews, MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

PREVIEW | The Secret World Issue #11 Guided Tour: an extraordinary finale for an extraordinary MMORPG

The time has come.

Every decision we've made, every sanity-shredding revelation we've uncovered, every terrifying monster we've slain and augmented reality puzzle we've solved over over the last two years has led to this. The Orochi Tower is open, chuck, and promises to bring the first season of The Secret World's story arc to a breathtaking conclusion.

There's a lot riding on Issue #11, then, and I'm delighted to report that it's potentially one of the most astonishing pieces of content to have ever graced an MMORPG.

PREVIEW | The Secret World Issue #11 Guided Tour: an extraordinary finale for an extraordinary MMORPG

I don't say that lightly. Armed with questions and concerns, I delved into the newly-released content pack (available today for subscribers and those who bought the Fall Of Tokyo bundle) with The Secret World's lead designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen, who were kind enough to lead me on a guided tour of a huge swathe of the Orochi Tower on a test server. Not only does Issue #11 represent a completely unique venture for an MMO, 21 different stories assembled into a staggeringly replayable tower, but it's also set to bring back our previous decisions in an awe-inspiring if unexpected way. Plus a hint at what's to come in The Secret World's future.

All the screenshots you see here were captured directly from the guided tour. Click to enlarge.

PREVIEW | The Secret World Issue #11 Guided Tour: an extraordinary finale for an extraordinary MMORPG

My wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see >>

The Secret World is now £8.49 on Steam - so it's probably time you joined me

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

The Secret World is now £8.49 on Steam - so it's probably time you joined me

The Secret World is currently £8.49 on Steam, a 66% saving, and I'd wholeheartedly recommend getting involved. In fact, I constantly recommend it to anyone who'll listen.

Last April I wrote a call to arms entitled The Secret World Is The Secret MMORPG Revolution, explaining how it's the most unique and forward-thinking example of the genre we've seen in years.

Click here to read more...

Delve into The Secret World this weekend for bonuses & boosts

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
funcom, MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

Delve into The Secret World this weekend for bonuses & boosts

The Secret World is still the most unique MMORPG on the market, and in my personal opinion, the best. Thanks to a massive recent update that makes early-game progression smoother, there's never been a better time to get involved in this atmospheric, dark, Lovecraftian and richly evocative experience that prioritises brainpower, teamwork and exploration.

If you've already chosen your faction and are exploring the darkest recesses of The Secret World, or have been waiting for an opportunity to return, this weekend might be a good start. A promotional Power Weekend is now running until Monday the 20th of April, which confers some boosts and bonuses that late-game players will find absolutely essential. You'll find me in Tokyo.

Click here to read more...

The Secret World is better than ever - and it's time to get involved

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
funcom, MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

The Secret World is better than ever - and it's time to get involved

The Secret World is my favourite MMORPG of all time and I make no secret of it. Last April I wrote a call to arms entitled The Secret World Is The Secret MMORPG Revolution, explaining how it's the most unique and forward-thinking example of the genre we've seen in years.

Breaking from World Of Warcraft's template, it's an experience that puts the focus on storytelling, on detective work, on brainpower and fourth-wall breaking alternate reality, a classless and peerless adventure that takes you from New York to Egypt and dark dimensions beyond. A game that slows down to let you engage with its lore, to find the macabre and the terrible behind modern life, where every myth, legend and Lovecraft short story has a basis in fact and is probably hiding down the next dark alley. Its atmosphere is palpable, its pacing perfect. Also, Tuvok and The Reanimator are in it, so there's that.

However, there's also no denying that The Secret World had a few flaws; a handful of gripes holding veterans back from returning and newcomers from finding their feet.

The Secret World is better than ever - and it's time to get involved

Bugbears that have now been either fixed, removed or mitigated by one of the most important updates that The Secret World has ever received: the Enhanced Player Experience.

Meaning that it's time you finally got involved... or returned to take on the fantastic Toyko content.

Click here to read more...

The Secret World is only £8.49 on Steam

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
funcom, MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

The Secret World is only £8.49 on Steam

The Secret World | Steam | £8.49 (no subs required)
Price ComparisonThe Secret World Review

The Secret World is my favourite MMORPG of all time. It's revolutionary, unique and focused on storytelling, deploying peerless writing, fourth wall-breaking alternate reality puzzles, atmosphere and exploration where other MMOs use trash mobs. It's groundbreaking, slightly broken and absolutely magnificent.

Better yet, you can buy once and play forever, no subscription required, and grab it for only £8.49 on Steam. The Massive Edition is also on sale for £16.49, if you want to try out the (brilliant) issues 5-7.

VIDEO | Sexy Demons & Tokyo Terror: The Secret World Issue #9 Brings The Horror!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
funcom, Gameplay footage, MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

VIDEO | Sexy Demons & Tokyo Terror: The Secret World Issue #9 Brings The Horror!

The Secret World is still the most atmospheric MMORPG ever made. Or, to put it another way, it's bloody terrifying when it wants to be.

I'm currently polishing off our review of The Secret World's long-awaited Tokyo story arc, which has now begun courtesy of Issue #9: The Black Signal, so figured that I'd share some of my misadventures with you in video format. Having recently run through Outlast on Xbox One, I was confident that a quick jaunt through an abandoned parking garage would be a piece of cake, only the cake has already been eaten by murderous ghostly children-that-aren't-any-more oh god no THEY'RE FOLLOWING ME DON'T BLINK

Apologies. Beware major spoilers and disturbingly sexy demon overlords, since this is a story mission. Stay tuned for our full review -- and perhaps some videos narrated in coolly-assured confidence as opposed to nervy adrenaline-soaked rambling -- later this week.

Click here to watch Jon get terrorised by demons, ghosts and haunted shutters >>

The Secret World Is The Secret MMORPG Revolution

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
funcom, MMOs, The Secret World

The Secret World Is The Secret MMORPG Revolution

(That You Probably Should Be Playing... Shhh!)

Massively multiplayer online games are all the rage these days, but MMORPGs are in a very interesting place. There are countless options to choose from and many are fantastic, but even some of the biggest guns are content to recycle the same old settings, levels and classes; afraid to break step with that Blizzard game. You know the one. The one with the Kung Fu Pandas. So it's probably time for an MMORPG to kick down the door, grab the genre by the lapels and shake it up.

All eyes are currently on The Elder Scrolls Online (erm... good luck with that) and Wildstar (now we're talking) to be the next big thing, but it turns out that one of the biggest and most disruptive MMORPG events already happened back in 2012. I'm talking about The Secret World.

The Secret World Is The Secret MMORPG Revolution

Funcom laughed at high fantasy, elves and castles, setting the action in our world... or at least a hyper-realised underground version of it where everything is true. Every conspiracy theory, every fairytale, every Lovecraft novella, every demon, angel, urban myth and bible story actually happened in some capacity - only we don't know the details. It's fiercely different, defiantly unique and challenges traditional notions of what MMORPGs are supposed to be at every turn - and that actually feels more relevant a couple of years on.

This is a game in which Nyarlathotep and Sasquatch could be hiding in the next menacing cavern or back alley, and in all likelihood probably are.

Click here to read more...

The Secret World | £12.49 | Funcom | PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
EA, funcom, MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

The Secret World | £12.49 | Funcom | PC

The Secret World | Funcom | £12.49 (save £7)
Price ComparisonThe Secret World Review

Just in case you didn't get the memo, The Secret World doesn't have subscriptions any more. It's buy once, play forever (or until the servers shut down, you know).

Get Double XP & Freebies In The Secret World This Weekend

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
EA, funcom, MMORPG, PC games, The Secret World

Get Double XP & Freebies In The Secret World This Weekend

The Secret World will be celebrating 'Black Weekend' from Friday June 14th (tomorrow) until next Monday, offering double XP potions and some free gear to those who log into the Lovecraftian MMO. Its new buy once, play without subscription model is paying dividends for the player base, which has significantly increased since the ropey launch. Carl heaped praises on the project in our 8/10 The Secret World review.

We've got the Black Weekend details below.

Click here to read more...

The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Derrick The Deathfin, Dragon's Dogma, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Hybrid, The Secret World, Underdogs, Vessel

The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

2012 has brought us some massive games and shattered sales records with merry abandon, but the fact is that plenty of deserving titles managed to slip under our gaming radar into pitiful ignominy. It's time that we championed the underdogs: the games you probably didn't buy - or even notice - throughout the last twelve months.

Before we begin, you need to understand that this list is not an objective measure of raw quality. Instead, we passed these games though a hungover discussion on New Year's Day totally amazing top-secret algorithm that also takes sales figures and how little a splash they made in the mainstream gaming consciousness into account.

10: Hybrid

The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

Confused art direction aside, 5th Cell's multiplayer shooter had a lot going for it. Jetpacks. Boomsticks. A persistent war fought through multiple seasons. What's not to like?

Sadly, Hybrid spectacularly failed to light up the Summer Of Arcade... perhaps because it came out scant weeks before Counter-Strike: GO. Whoops.

9: Dragon's Dogma

The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

Dragon's Dogma gave us everything we've been missing from JRPGs: meaningful customisation that lets us truly become the main character. Then it added responsive combat mechanics, the deep Pawn NPC system and mythical creatures to stab up like nobody's business.

It charted well enough in Japan to warrant a sequel, but we feel that Dragon's Dogma deserved more recognition and sales over here.

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Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best MMO

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Best MMO 2012, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Guild Wars 2, Planetside 2, Star Wars The Old Republic, The Secret World, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best MMO

The last twelve months has seen some rather bold attempts to mix up the Massively Multiplayer Online genre after years of titles attempting to emulate the success of a certain Blizzard juggernaut. Some have seen more success than others in terms of sales, but each one has brought something different to the table, giving gamers the most varied choice in how to enter a virtual world than we've had in some time, and each of them (mostly) enjoyable games in their own right. However, only one can be crowned the best MMO of the year, and we've got the big hitters all lined up for the big occasion.

All that's left to say is "GL+HF".

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.

Title

Description

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best MMO

Guild Wars 2

It touted a rather bold MMO manifesto in the run up to its release, and while it didn’t quite match all the claims they were hoping for, what they did deliver provided the biggest shake-up to the genre in years. With a huge world that was an explorers paradise, personal stories that went in the direction the player wished, a scaling system that meant no content ever got out-levelled, and more PvP options than you could shake a Quaggan at, it gave players a complete MMO experience, all without an subscription.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best MMO

PlanetSide 2

Proving that Free To Play could provide Triple-A gameplay, Sony Online Entertainment unleashed an online battlefield like no other with PlanetSide 2. With hundreds of players split into three factions fighting against each other, the online skirmishes not only never stop, but are some of the most intense in the FPS genre. Although the game does somewhat encourage players to spend a little on the microtransaction store, you can play for free if you wish to and still participate cinematic battles filled with soldiers, tanks and aircraft.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best MMO

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Although technically released last year, 2012 has seen almost all of SWTOR’s life span. The enjoyable storylines and solid base game were not enough to cover the broken PvP, poor initial optimization, and horribly slow content updates, culminating in a free-to-play option emerging at the end of the year. With it not living up to the potential it clearly could have achieved, its initial year hasn’t ended the way BioWare would have hoped.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best MMO

The Secret World

It’s a bold move to go with a niche concept in a niche market (niche-ception, if you will) but Funcom absolutely delivered the goods with The Secret World. Although its deck system provided the freedom to build a character with the powers they wanted, the grind to keep up with the content was still there. However, exciting combat and the need to think whilst doing missions was a refreshing change for the genre, and now that the game has removed the need for subscriptions things are looking up (despite the end of the world.)

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best MMO

World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria

The latest expansion unleashed the new continent of Pandaria, providing the most varied and colourful addition to Azeroth yet. Story took a huge focus this time around, demonstrating just how entertaining the Warcraft series can be … but it came at the cost of some rather questionable changes to some of the mechanics. Still, Pet Battles gave us the Pokemon MMO we’ll never see, and it was one of the better expansions Blizzard have released for its behemoth online game.

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Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Best New IP 2012, Binary Domain, Dishonored, Dragon's Dogma, Endless Space, FTL: Faster Than Light, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Journey, Sleeping Dogs, The Secret World, Vessel

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

We saw a number of franchises return this year, some older than others, with many taking risks to refresh and revitalise their good names. With the middle ground dissipating, and the current console cycle slowly entering its twilight years, it might have perhaps been understandable to worry a little over new IPs. Thankfully, once again, an indie sector blessed with even more ways of getting games in front of an audience delivered wholeheartedly.

And they weren't the only ones.

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.

Title

Description

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Binary Domain

Like the very best mad scientists, Binary Domain proved incredibly entertaining, stuffed with smart ideas, and occasionally got things wrong. But the very fact that it tried to innovate in such a relatively lazy genre was worthy of applause. Boasting some incredible boss battles, slick gunplay, and a cracking story, Binary Domain threw off any Gears-clone tag it might have attracted and became a barnstorming title that married the best East and West had to offer.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Dishonored

Dishonored did better than simply revive the stealth genre, it made us wonder why the hell it went away in the first place. Arkane delivered a blank canvas in Corvo Attano, with a commendably mature approach to player freedom that asked much of you, and delivered ultimate gameplay satisfaction in return. In Dunwall, we had one of the finest video game worlds of this generation. Nothing short of astonishing.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Dragon's Dogma

It was broken in places, and Gransys was one of the more forgettable worlds we've seen from an RPG, but Dragon's Dogma was one hell of an endearing game. Breathtaking combat, an innovative Pawn mechanic, and deep customisation options made it a firm favourite in spite of its flaws. Plus, the opportunity to take down a hole bunch of mythical beasts made it all the sweeter. Refreshingly mature.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Endless Space

A sensational 4X title, Endless Space was absolutely epic in scope, but packed with dense, enjoyable features and boasted an intuitive, palatable GUI. Its infinitely customisable sandbox gave us plenty of toys and things to occupy your time, providing profound choice and variety at every gameplay level. As Douglas Adams said: "you just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is."

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

FTL: Faster Than Light

A bona fide Kickstarter success, FTL allowed us to take control of our own ship and live out our fantasies of become Captain Kirk/Picard/Reynolds/Hunt. In fact, the mod tools meant you could pilot the Enterprise, or Serenity if you really wanted. A little repetitive, and frequently punishing, FTL was nonetheless genuinely thrilling, hugely rewarding, and deeply satisfying.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Journey

Gloriously life-affirming, utterly transcendental, Journey was one of those few games that not only provided a thoroughly unique experience, but also deeply personal one too. It didn't matter whether or not you considered it art, or even if you defined it as a "game", one thing was for sure: it was absolutely unmissable.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs was this year's little-big game that could. Dropped by Activision whilst it was still True Crime: Hong Kong, Square Enix snapped it up after a year in the wilderness and dropped it over the summer. Wei Shen's adventures provided the perfect antidote to the traditional sunny lull. Perfectly sized, utterly OTT, United Front Games refused to take themselves too seriously, instead providing an immaculately balanced open world game, stuffed with things to do, and supported with a near endless stream of cracking DLC.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

The Secret World

Funcom's loyalty to an archaic subscription model might have proven unwise, but that shouldn't take away from the fact that The Secret World was an outstanding game. Smart scripting, hugely imaginative world-building, cracking combat, and compelling content made TSW an attractive prospect...until you factored in the system requirements and the monthly payments, and a little game called Guild Wars 2.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best New IP

Vessel

Vessel was a truly superior puzzler and one of 2012's biggest indie hitters. Boasting quality, quantity, innovation, and impressive competence abound, as StrangeLoop provided one of the finest puzzlers we've seen since the original Portal emerged from Valve's vaults.

Click here to read more...

The Secret World: Subscription No Longer Required

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
EA, funcom, MMORPG, PC games, Subscriptions, The Secret World

The Secret World: Subscription No Longer Required

Funcom have abandoned mandatory subscription fees for The Secret World, allowing players to buy the game in its entirety for a one-off fee (£24.99 RRP, less if you find a deal). Money will be recouped from DLC, micro-transactions and an optional premium subscription that includes bonuses and accelerators.

If you buy the game before the end of December, you'll receive the first few DLC packs for free.

Click here to read more...

The Secret World Issue 4 Trailer: Big Trouble In The Big Apple

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
EA, funcom, MMO, The Secret World, trailer, Update

The Secret World Issue 4 Trailer: Big Trouble In The Big Apple

Funcom's latest update for The Secret World includes a New York raid event, some London-based theatrics and great big chainsaws. Oh my. Issue 4 will roll out later this month, as evidenced by this new trailer.

A rockey release window and controversial subscription pricing model lead to a seriously slow start for Funcom's MMO despite its impressive quality. More details are available in Carl's epic The Secret World review.

Click here to read more...

The Secret World Offers Another Free Three Day Trial

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
EA, Free trial, funcom, MMORPG, The Secret World

The Secret World Offers Another Free Three Day Trial

Funcom has announced another three day trial initiative for brilliant-yet-floundering MMORPG The Secret World. You can register and play the three free days at your convenience rather than being tethered to a specific weekend, and even unlock two extra days by completing thirty missions.

Get involved here.

Carl described Funcom's MMO as a "brave new world" in our 8/10 Secret World Review, but subscription fees and stiff competition (not to mention an Origin-only launch) has led to a slow uptake. Perhaps this trial will convince people to stick around and p(l)ay?

Funcom: "A Growing Number of Gamers Expect MMOs To Be F2P"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
F2P, funcom, MMOs, Ole Schreiner, The Secret World

Funcom: "A Growing Number of Gamers Expect MMOs To Be F2P"

Funcom CEO Ole Schreiner has suggested that the team certainly "have the tools to turn The Secret World into a free-to-play game", but insisting that there's still money to be made from a subscription-based business model, even if the expectations of the gaming audience are shifting as F2P becomes more and more prevalent.

Click here to read more...