Tackle a huge beast under Times Square in latest Secret World Legends raid

Secret World manhattan

Funcom have been slowly building up Secret World Legends [official site] – the revamped version of their conspiracy-laden 2012 MMO The Secret World – by taking bits of the old game, polishing them up and plonking them down in the free-to-play title, which launched in June. Now it’s the turn of the Manhattan Exclusion Zone, a 10-person raid that happens directly under Times Square.

Any level 50 character can plunge under New York’s tarmac in search of the 100-foot long Unutterable Lurker, the raid’s big bad. There’s multiple difficulty levels and lots of rewards for success, including new weapons.

Here’s a trailer:

The update also adds a new mechanic by which up to 40 players can summon extra powerful bosses throughout the world and defeat them for individual rewards. To summon the ‘Megabosses’, you’ll have to defeat regional lair bosses to get the right summoning items. More detail on the exact mechanism can be found here.

I haven’t tried either the original or the revamped version, but John’s impressions from back in July certainly make it seem like an MMO worth playing. The main concern he had was the micro-transactions: the game begs for your money at every opportunity, even reserving fast travel for those who have opened their wallets. But the characters and writing were a hit.

“It’s still packed with exactly the same lovely characters, story missions, and real-world puzzles, and now you can play all of those for free. If that’s what you’re after, then absolutely you should be diving head-first into this. A big, free story-led action game with some strong writing, now much more accessible.”


  1. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Easy now, don’t all you avid Secret World players storm in here and comment all at once.
    Form an orderly queue and articulate your witticisms properly.

    It’s quiet in here.


    Is there anybody there?

    Look at all this space!
    An entire comment section just for me to roll around in.
    No need to get dressed, just rock out with my cock out!

    It’s a helicopter!

  2. malkav11 says:

    Of course both of these things were in the original release and are being re-added to the Legends version of the game. But hopefully they’re tweaked and/or more accessible. I had zero chance of ever doing the raid in the original game, having no friends playing the game, much less at the appropriate level.

    Also, the F2P model is pretty aggressive and I’m not a big fan (even as a lifetime subscriber who has some benefits, they no longer include bonus real-money currency and so I get bitten by a lot of the same stuff). But it doesn’t seem like it’s likely to interfere with gradually exploring the story content, at least through the original launch zones (Solomon Island, Egypt, Transylvania) and they’re well worth experiencing.

    The fast travel thing isn’t really that big a deal, though. The zones aren’t that large so it’s mainly a convenience and if you have to pay (subscribers don’t), it’s only a few anima shards, which you get by the hundreds or thousands with every mission you do and whose only other purpose that I’ve seen is paying to feed drops you don’t want to the weapons you’re upgrading or buying potions. And I keep forgetting potions even exist.

    Smart thing to do is invest your Marks of Fortune into sprint upgrades til you hit tier IV and then you can sprint anywhere you want to go pretty quickly and outdistance enemies without much trouble.

    • Einsammler says:

      There is indeed a Story Mode version of the raid, which is designed for people with whatever they have lying around at level 50. Previously the Nameless Stare would instantly kill a tank after a while so you had to swap off with the second tank. Now it just almost kills the tank and applies an Education effect.

  3. Moonracer says:

    I played about 12 hours recently. The writing and cut-scenes remind me of Vampire Masquerade (which is good) the gameplay however was the typical MMO grind. It quickly felt like more work than fun, which is a shame.

  4. Keasar says:

    Holy crap, that fight was featured in their CG trailer over 5 years ago and NOW it’s actually in the game? :P

    • poliovaccine says:

      Haha yyyeah, see, this kind of thing is why No Man’s Sky didnt see itself coming.

    • malkav11 says:

      It went in the original game years ago. Legends didn’t launch with all the content that was in the previous version of the game. But to be fair, they’ve been catching up much faster than I was originally expecting.

  5. poliovaccine says:

    I’m sort of blurry on this – what exactly makes a game an MMO vs. being identified by some other genres? Like, is Ark considered an MMO? Or is DayZ considered one? I genuinely do not know, these arent rhetorical questions. I could see them fitting by the purest interpretation of the title, massively multiplayer online, buuut I dont know if either of those games for example violate unspoken conventions of, say, persistent characters, or RPG-style leveling and economies, or dev-run safe zones/hubs, or having quests, or schedules of the whole raids/dailies/etc-runs thing I see people mention but which I dont understand myself and would like to have explained to me one day haha. I dont know if Ark or DayZ in fact do have any of that stuff either, I’m just giving them as two easy examples of games I wouldnt know whether to call some type of MMO or not. Are they, like, survival MMOs? Is PUBG some variety of MMO?

    Apologies that all isnt about Secret Worlds in specific, but regarding that, this is one of these awesome MMO concepts that will make me want to finally properly break into the genre, I am always interested in more sci-fi type settings over fantasy ones, or at least in general if not always. And I mean damn that looks cool. But when people describe the gameplay as “the typical MMO grind,” what do they mean by that..?

    • DFX2KX says:

      A game fits into the ‘MMO’ genre when a large portion of the game’s playerbase can be in the same area interacting with each other, and those players may wander about the game doing things on their own or in groups at will.

      It’s a somewhat muddy genre, so don’t feel bad about being confused: Plenty of folks who make them aren’t really sure. Heck, it confuses me, too.

      ARK has lots of players, but as each Island only holds 60 of them at once, it doesn’t have the ‘Massive’ part, DayZ is in a slightly similar boat if I understand it correctly.

      Tom Clancy’s The Division is an MMO, whereas Seige is not, the main difference: lots of people wandering around an open world.

      Often, there’s lots of repeated killing of the same critter until you hit a new level and can kill a slightly bigger thing (surrounded by other players suffering the same as you). It can be downright soul-crushing in some of the worst offenders. Also, the “Typical” MMO has a very common interface/control scheme most associated with World of Warcraft, but it isn’t required. Some of them look so similar to each other that it’s uncanny. Look at a few WoW screenshots, then look at some Mabinogi screenshots, and you’ll get the idea.

      Some games make an MMO based on action-RPG or shooter elements, and there are a few MMO sandbox games people are trying to build (and what No Man’s Sky was sold as but never was).

      • poliovaccine says:

        Thanks for that, that all makes sense. And it sounds like “the grind” is pretty much the same grind as in a lot of singleplayer RPGs, I donno why I thought it would be any more complicated than that, haha.

        As far as the genre thing, I guess that it’s really the same as a lot of other genres, in that it somewhat comes down to something ineffable, like what makes an RPG different from any other game in which you play a role, or what makes a game not just detailed but an “immersive sim,” or etc, etc.

      • Cederic says:

        MMOs invariably also have persistent progression – not basic unlocks (e.g. later Battlefield incarnations) but lengthy character development (often supported by class/profession/faction specific story arcs).

        Another differentiator is less the open world and more that it’s the default locale for the player. World of Tanks and Rocket League both have a large online player base but a player logs into a private UI from which they can launch a time limited game. In an MMO your avatar exists within the open world (although many MMOs let you queue for and join time limited arenas for various reasons – but you always return to the open world).