Have you guys seen Cabin in the Woods? The movie? If you haven’t, you really really should — it’s absolutely awesome, a Joss Whedon twist on all horror movies ever. Without spoiling too much, by the end pretty much every horror movie is unleashed all at once as the plucky heroes try to navigate through the chaos. I mean, we were used to seeing these horror villains separately, but crammed together it changes the whole dynamic. It becomes ridiculous to the point where you just throw up your hands and go along with it.
That’s how I feel about Solomon Island in The Secret World. I know that Funcom wanted to make a strong first impression for players and come up with an engaging first third of the game. Taken piece by piece, even, it’s not too hard to swallow as you go through a chain of disturbing enemies, revelations, and places. But when you step back and look at the whole, you realize that this island is a jumbled asylum of loads of horror tropes — and that’s even before the fog and sea monsters rolled in.
I mean, we got
- A witch hunt that resulted in a woman and her house set aflame
- A doorway to hell in a motel
- Mass graves and human sacrifice
- A mine accident and many dead Native Americans
- Monsters that prey on kids and the adults seem to not care
- A Jack O’Lantern who also preys on kids
- A cult
- A secret society that tunneled everywhere on the island and hid its secrets
- An academy that’s full of semi-untrained kids dealing with the occult and supernatural
- An amusement park that killed people and is the home to the boogeyman
- A burned down mental asylum
- A gen-u-ine haunted mansion
- Oh yeah, lots of sasquatches because WHY NOT
Really, all the people have to do is hang back and let the bad guys go at each other. Unless, of course, the monsters all form a sort of monster U.N. where they send representatives and try to live in peace with each other, forming treaties regarding who may eat who and who may terrorize who.
So more horror per square inch than any other point in New England, and I’m probably going to include Stephen King’s Derry in with that. One has to imagine that property value on the island isn’t at an all-time high.