Posts Tagged ‘The Secret World’

Funcom Unveil The Secret World: Part Two

Even the bright parts of The Secret World have monsters in them

In the first part of this in-depth conversation about The Secret World, the talk focused on the game’s fiction and mythology. As the discussion continues, we explore how different the game will be to other MMOs as well as talking about the importance of lore. After covering connections to Indiana Jones and Tintin, the questions turn to other matters as we wonder aloud how long we may have to wait for more Dreamfall. The interview followed a full day hands-on session with the game and those present were: Marten Bruusgaard, lead designer of The Secret World, lead content designer Joel Bylos and the game’s writer/director, Ragnar Tørnquist. We were also joined by Norwegian journalist Knut Gaute Vardenær.

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Funcom Unveil The Secret World: Part One

Our conversation took place in a distant land, but thankfully it was Oslo and not a splintered realm between two realities

Playing The Secret World was enlightening but the only way to explore its most secret parts was to sit down with some of the myth-makers who are conspiring together to create this story-led MMO. So I did what was necessary, gathering together three of the minds behind the game and forcing them to talk at me and each other for many an hour. In the first part of this two-part conversation, you will DISCOVER the reason the game is set in the modern day, THRILL to the origins of the secret societies, CONSIDER the difficulty of inserting narrative into an MMO, and PONDER religion and mythology at great length.

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Hands On: The Secret World

I died in this town. I died a lot. That is my secret.

I’ve had mixed feelings about The Secret World for a while now. As more details have emerged, I’ve found it hard to hide my excitement about the real world setting and mad mix of mythology, but I’ve been struggling to shake the suspicion that stitching them to an MMO framework could squander the potential of the scenario. The promise of classless builds and a strong narrative were intriguing, but they were only promises. That is, until last week when I spent a day playing the game and saw just how convincing it was.

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The Secret World’s Templar Beginnings

Absolute filth.

I was recently sat down to watch one of the opening sections for Funcom’s MMO, The Secret World. A game that promised much, and so far seems to be confusing everyone by delivering on those promises. Is that still the case? I consider such things below.

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Opening Up: The Secret World

Marble Madness, Grimdark Edition

Lots of footage from The Secret World reaches us via a new developer diary, showing factions, monsters and huge player versus player battlegrounds. At times, it’s in danger of looking like every other MMORPG video out there, with flames and bullets flying back and forth, giant beasties roaring aggressively, and groups of oddly clothed gents and ladies flailing at each other in a determined but ineffectual fashion. That aside, I’m more interested in the setting and factions than just about any other upcoming RPG, and having real and mythical places existing alongside each other is fun stuff. Watch the video below and see what you think.

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The Secret World Beta Sign Ups Actually Up


The delayed beta sign-ups for The Secret World are now open. You can sign up here. But wow, who put the beta sign-up behind a trailer? Obviously if I have clicked “sign up for the beta” I already decided I am interested! Anyway, you should be interested, not because of the trailer, but because of this RPS preview of the game. The game is out in April, so either the beta itself isn’t going to kick off for a while, or it’s going to be a very long beta.

The Secret World’s Strange Lack Of Levels


“Situational Analysis”. That’s what Funcom are calling the crackling radio reports that reach characters in their upcoming MMO The Secret World, as they make their way through instances like the one unveiled (the first so far) at EA’s recent summer showcase at their Redwood studio. Warning of “aberrant psychic signals” in the wreck of the container ship Polaris and “a highly volatile biological mass” (though I could have sworn I cleaned that up), the transmissions seemed to serve more as glaring signposts reading “Boss fight this way!” than any kind of actionable tactical intelligence.

A missed opportunity?
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Ragnar Tørnquist On The Secret World: Part 2

Seriously, he pops up everywhere.

Yesterday we spoke to The Secret World‘s project lead, Ragnar Tørnquist about the game’s factions, mythologies and more peculiar ideas. Today we get a bit deeper, and dig into the motivations behind it all. Why the recurring themes in Tørnquist’s work? Does he have an agenda? And why does most of gaming not? We have a good argument about the nature of truth, and ask where games are falling short. And then somehow again return to the topic of Ragnar’s death.

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The Secret World’s Wee-Based Cinematic

I'm sure he shouldn't be smoking.

Later on today we have the second part of our massive interview with The Secret World lead, Ragnar Tørnquist (first part here). In that one Ragnar and I end up having a bit of a “discussion” about the nature of truth and authorship, as well as ambiguous endings and where gaming needs to go next. In the meantime you can enjoy the latest CGI (cinematic) trailer for The Secret World, which is below. This one is mostly about wee.

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Ragnar Tørnquist On The Secret World: Part 1

Honestly, it's so vain the way he appears in his games like this.

After spending some time at Funcom’s Oslo HQ to see The Secret World, I sat down with project lead Ragnar Tørnquist to chat about the game, the process that led up to it, and how it fits in with his philosophy of gaming. In part one of our chat we talk about the game’s origins, find out why we should care about each of the three factions, how Funcom is able to make games that don’t match the trends, some of the more peculiar and esoteric plans for blurring our realities, and finally how the game is going to inevitably lead to Tørnquist’s brutal murder.

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Hit Or Myth: The Secret World Preview

But where are the corner pieces?!

Funcom’s The Secret World is five years deep into development, and still some way off. But having spent a couple of days in their Norwegian HQ, I’m reasonably convinced it exists. I mean, it could just be one heck of an elaborate conspiracy. Below is my report on where things are just now, which I’m pleased to report is somewhere genuinely exciting. We also have four exclusive new screenshots, which you’ll only have to click on to enjoy.

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Interesting Things About The Secret World


Last week I got to see Funcom’s supernatural conspiracy MMO The Secret World in action, and I went from being interested to being excited. Maybe I was already excited, but anyway, there is now some state of arousal associated with it. For an MMO to be set in a modern-world scenario is intriguing enough, but some of the elements that Funcom showed off demonstrated genuine ambition. They want to do story, and they want to do bold new game ideas. The most interesting of these are the “investigation” quests. A few words on those, and other interesting things, below.
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EA Partners To Publish The Secret World


So you remember how we keep saying that Funcom’s next MMO, The Secret World, will probably be a bit of a big deal? Well, it seems that Electronic Arts agree, because they’ve signed up “to co-publish” the game. The Secret World, which is based around the machinations of secret societies and supernatural beasties in the modern world, is being directed by Ragnar “The Longest Journey” Tørnquist, and certainly raised Quintin’s eyebrows when he saw it at GamesCom. It’s due in 2011, probably, but might just slip into 2012.

We’ll have a closer look at the game for you pretty soon, we hope.

The Secret World: Preview & Footage

It features a player wardrobe! A WARDROBE!

The The Secret World reveal at GamesCom began with a video that rapidly confirmed a heaving mass of conspiracy theories. “Stonehenge is a portal!” flashed the text. “The Dead walk the Earth! Noah’s was not the only ark! The Merovingian bloodline is pure!” After 30 seconds of these, I was laughing. After a minute and a half, I realised Funcom’s point. In making a setting where absolutely everything is true, you immediately get a world as rich and fantastical as any fantasy setting, but one that everybody’s already familiar with.

With this over, Ragnar Tornquist and Lead Designer Martin Bruusgaard cheerily talked me about The Secret World, and explained everything they’re doing with combat, character progression and the contemporary setting. This game’s been thrown wide open. Squeeze yourself down the rabbit hole of the jump for our preview and a video of the first 30 minutes of the Templar faction.
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The Secret World: Tørnquist Discusses Trailer

Road, you're not meant to do that. Lie down.

The scenes shown at GDC of Funcom’s forthcoming MMO, The Secret World, are finally online for non-attendees to stare at. This is the first time we haven’t been seeing rendered cutscenes, so what will it be like? Well, like lots of combat. Against big things. And story. It’s about those two elements that we lassoed project lead Ragnar Tørnquist to one side to find out more.

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The Year Ahead, Part Three


Once we get past early summer things get a little hazy. We enter a nether-realm of shifting dates and unclear prophecies. By then we’ll also have a whole bunch of games I haven’t previously mentioned show up in the intervening months, stuff that we didn’t have release dates for to place them in our line-up. This final post in our preview attempts to survey them all. To the future! (And check out part one and two if you haven’t seen them already.)
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