Screampark: Secret World Spin-Off The Park Released

Funcom’s latest adventure into the spooky world of The Secret World isn’t the single-player version I’ve wished for, but they are revisiting a memorable location from the supernatural MMORPG.

The Park [official site] is a spin-off horror walk-o-story set inside Atlantic Island Park, a haunted fairground where now a mother has lost her young son. Don’t get your hopes up, lady. But you, dear reader, perhaps cock an eyebrow at its spooking potential, as The Park opened its gates this afternoon.

Funcom’s first single-player game in yonks, The Park is a short horror game. It’l take an hour or two, they say. Lorraine will be wandering around Atlantic Island Park, having a go on some of its spooky rides, poking at things, and yelling “Callum!” a whole lot (yelling is a thing you can do). Personally, if I were searching for a child lost in a spooky theme park, I’d yell something more practical and reassuring like “I’M NOT A GHOST, NOT LIKE THOSE OTHERS” or “I’M YOUR REAL MOTHER” or “COME OUT, COME OUT WHEREVER YOU ARE!” and maybe warble nursery rhymes and cackle a lot. I understand children need constant reassurement and enjoy laughter.

Here’s how well I know children: visiting someone in hospital recently with my niece, I told the monkey that hospitals cut off misbehaving children’s fingers. When the little pickle persisted in trying to climb out a fifth-floor window, I asked a passing nurse for “a pair of those special scissors you have to cut off naughty children’s fingers” and, after a brief flash of shock, she – bless her beautiful heart – deadpanned “Yes, absolutely, I’ll fetch some now.” Once my niece had cried all the tears out her wee body, she settled down wonderfully. So yes, I know all about children. Aunt of the year, me.

Anyway! The Park is £7.69 on Steam at the moment. It also gives you an outfit and a few items to wear in The Secret World, if you’re into it. Here’s The Park’s launch trailer:

20 Comments

  1. plugav says:

    If I had kids, I’d definitely trust you with them, Alice.

    As for the game itself… Might give it a try. But I think I’d rather see some review first. For now, I’m more looking forward to the Halloween event in The Secret World.

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      Don Reba says:

      Oh, hey, I’m new to The Secret World. What should I expect?

      • Max Planck says:

        I wish I could tell you, but…

      • plugav says:

        In terms of Halloween?
        – “The Cat God” is a multi-zone questline culminating in a mini-dungeon;
        – “Spooky Stories of Solomon Island” are a bunch of sidequests accompanied by creepy short stories, plus a free-for-all battle with Jack O’Lantern;
        – “The Broadcast” sends you to collect old radio shows and ends in a boss battle in Transylvania;
        – “The Seven Silences” is this year’s event, something about a suicide in London.
        Also expect Halloween-themed drops and store items and people running around in weird new costumes.

  2. Shazbut says:

    Soon to be £9.99. For an hour or two?

    Hmmmmm.

  3. Jalan says:

    I’d be more inclined to buy this if it weren’t so shackled into lore for The Secret World. If the intention of this was to get me to begin playing The Secret World then it’s not doing a very compelling job.

    • Philomelle says:

      What the hell are you even talking about?

      Atlantic Island Park is one of the most self-contained areas of the game. It has one single small reference to the overarching narrative about secret societies, but even that is only mentioned in passing within the story that explains how the park’s blueprints came to pass; it bears no relation to what actually happened (and is still happening) within the park.

      Even The Park’s page only mentions The Secret World in the last two sentences, in the context of “Oh and yeah, this is set in the setting of The Secret World and comes with a piece of cosmetic swag for people who play that”.

      That’s like saying Xena the Warrior Princess is shackled into the lore for Hercules and you absolutely need to watch one to understand the other.

      • Jalan says:

        You seemed to get really salty over that for really no justifiable reason. I mean, what gave you the impression that I was otherwise belittling The Secret World that you’d need to defend it in such a fashion?

        • Jalan says:

          Also, Hercules and Xena? Why not The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen instead?

        • Philomelle says:

          Nothing gave me an impression that you were belittling The Secret World, neither was I defending it, neither did I get particularly salty. I simply said that your statement is completely incoherent and provided an explanation for what makes it incoherent. When the connection between two games boils down to “set in the same world and the same area can be visited in both games,” that’s hardly one of them being shackled into the other’s lore.

          Your examples of X-Files and The Lone Gunmen is bad because you do need to watch X-Files to understand the backstory to The Lone Gunmen. You don’t need to play The Secret World to understand the story of The Park at all or vice versa.

          If you want to use X-Files as the base, a better comparison would be X-Files and the Millennium. If we’re going to use other horror, good comparisons would be books by Stephen King and H.P.Lovecraft. All of those share settings and sometimes reuse specific characters and locales, but you don’t need to read every single King book in order to understand the plot of individual ones, neither do you need to watch X-Files in order to understand the Millennium.

        • KreissV says:

          I think it’s just a common reaction to people talking about the Secret World. It’s a bit of a niche MMO as many people find it weird and because it’s not one of the ‘big’ MMOs out there like WoW, Rift, GW2 (the list goes on) a lot of people outside of the game belittle it.

          But it really is a wonderful game with amazingly integrated lore and story. The park itself is actually a tiny and non-important area in the MMO, and so it doesn’t really encourage anyone to play it. It IS however, one of the creepier areas in the game that my friends and I rushed through in order to get it over with.

  4. lowprices says:

    This looks an awful lot like one of those horror games that have been designed to be played by a handsome young man shrieking into a camera on Youtube. Are my first impressions correct, or is there more to it? I’ve previously wished for a single-player game in the Secret World universe, but a Running-Away-From-The-Scary-Things-Simulator isn’t really my cup of tea.

    • Sonntam says:

      I’m about half an hour into the game and it’s pretty nice. Only seen one jumpscare, otherwise it’s just lots of wonderfully creepy moments, interspersed with angst of a single mother. No monsters chasing you, just walking around and taking in the scenery.

    • KreissV says:

      Not really, if you play The Secret World, they’re very big on creating a terrifying atmosphere and that in itself would be the scare. I remember the park in the MMO and it was terrifying without any jumpscares.

      Also Pewdiepie ruins everything.

    • plugav says:

      I don’t know how it plays, but it’s terribly dull to watch (here it is played by Jim Sterling: link to youtu.be ), so no – it’s not YouTube fodder.

      • plugav says:

        (I sound harsher than I meant to. I actually like walking simulators, but they are not fun for me to watch.)

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Lol, Running-Away-From-The-Scary-Things-Simulator is quite a fitting description for the latest horror wave in games. Amnesia and the like might have many fans and it certainly gets attention, but it’s like there is no other type of horror game around. It’s like some sort of Amnesia!

      I’m especially reminded of this since it’s soon Halloween and the mandatory “Scary Games for Halloween” articles show up. I play(ed) and still have Clive Barker’s Undying installed and have been waiting in vain for another game like it. Why can’t games be scary, but still allow you to fight the monsters or even run away? The dread coming from a lack of power can be handled differently than it being game over if you so much as glance at the monster?

      I don’t like the short span of this Park game, but I usually double any number that is mentioned. Also, it’s hard to maintain a sense of dread for a long time (though Undying did a great job with that), so this might increase the horror feeling, making it a better experience.

  5. racccoon says:

    I think I might watch someone play it. The only problem with watching videos is I want to turn left when they go a right, so frustrating..especially when you see something in the game and they just ignore it and carry on. that’s one of reasons I go and buy it..lol

  6. Spacewalk says:

    Oh I don’t wanna walk can’t we just get a cab instead?