The Secret World Wraps Up Season 1 In Latest Expansion

I suppose one doesn’t hear much about The Secret World [official site] nowadays. The idea of a supernatural RPG where our modern-day world is filled with all sorts of ghosts, ghouls, cryptozoological oddities, and unspeakable horrors from beyond the stars is fantastic, but it’s a shame it’s an MMORPG.

Still, Funcom have steadily expanded the story with mini expansions called ‘Issues’ and brought it all to a head with the launch of Issue 11. ‘Reaping the Whirlwind’ wraps up season 1 (a mixed metaphor, there), showing consequences to decisions throughout the game. It visits a fine setting: the headquarters of a sinister megacorp whose supernatural experiments went awry.

Issue 11 ventures into the headquarters of the Orochi Group, a sinister lot you meet all through the game – often after they’ve tried to control something supernatural but had it turn them into oozing puppets. It’s set across 21 floors, each filled with different odd things. “See what sort of bizarre virtual world Anansi Technologies employees have created,” say Funcom, “or what Zagan is trying to create a new type of meat from.” Oh, I’m sure it’s unpleasant.

Funcom also explain that this’ll shed a little light on everything you’ve done so far, and net you a new ‘Ultimate Ability’ based on your decisions in the main plot:

“Since launch you have visited three important locations, New England, Egypt and Transylvania and have made three important choices. This story is continued in Tokyo, and at the end of Issue #11 you learn some of the consequences of your choices. Many secrets are finally revealed and you get to understand the true power struggle which is happening behind the scenes. You also get a taste of the ultimate power, and a realize the cost of crossing someone who is eternal.”

Ayup, that sounds pretty good to me. As a latecomer to The Secret World I’ve been hesitant to start buying the expansions, hoping they’d all be bundled up cheap at some point. As such, I balk a bit at seeing it costs £24.99 for a bundle of issues 9-11 (you need all three to play 11). Still, TSW dropped subscription fees long ago, and evidently this model (plus optional subs and selling pretty clothes with microtransactions) keeps the lights on, so good-o.

Actually, while I’m writing about The Secret World, did you see Richard Cobbett recently revisited it for his RPG column?

11 Comments

  1. shitflap says:

    Psst, it was Cobbett..

  2. Philomelle says:

    They kinda did bundle up the expansions already. The Secret World: Massive Edition goes on Steam sale constantly and it contains Issues 1-7. Fall of Tokyo is another bundle that contains Issues 9-11, which are all the Tokyo stuff.

    So really, Issue 8 is the only one you have to buy separately from the rest. Fall of Tokyo does deserve to be bundled separately from the rest because it adds a fourth major location to the game and is the only one worth calling a full-scale expansion.

    • aepervius says:

      Are all those bundle adding quest you can solo after reaching QL10 (and by that i mean “normal” solo – not requiring a very tight build “solo”) ? Or is it group content only ?

      • Philomelle says:

        The vast majority of Issues are simply additional missions from already established NPCs, with some of them encountered as early as on Solomon Island.

      • malkav11 says:

        Apart from access to Tokyo and the rather rubbishy Venetian simulations of issue 8 I’m not actually sure you need issues for any group content. Might be wrong. In general though it’s virtually all solo content.

  3. plugav says:

    Damn them with their inability to commit to a single metaphor!

    That said, I love [i]The Secret World[/i] (the feeling doesn’t always seem mutual) and might be motivated to pick it back up knowing that there’s a proper ending to the Tokyo storyline.

  4. Solidstate89 says:

    It is a crying shame it’s a memorpiguh and not a massive open world, single player, RPG.

    • AngoraFish says:

      It’s a shame that the game sets itself up with a premise of gigantic, complex global conspiracies with near unlimited power and influence, and thereafter sticks you for hours upon hours in remote rural locations jam packed with near-identical kill and fetch quests. The premise would have worked much better if you were flitting around the world in private jets to Paris, Istanbul and Washington DC, or perhaps even Atlantis or a private space station.

  5. ephesus64 says:

    By mixed metaphor were you talking about “reaping the whirlwind” or something else? “Sow to the wind, reap the whirlwind” is from Hosea, and that may make a little more sense in the context of a chapter which is “showing consequences to decisions throughout the game”. Is this what you meant?

  6. Snargelfargen says:

    This is the catalyst for finally reassembling my pc again. There’s some excellent story and world-building in the game, and while it’s mmorpg trappings do water down the gameplay a bit, it’s also easier on the brain and reflexes. Perfect for those nights when I want to escape, but am too burnt out from work to tackle stuff like Pillars of Eternity or The Witcher.