The Secret World: Dream therapy

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A bee has done the unthinkable — committed suicide. And no one knows why… or how.

Bees, in The Secret World parlance, are the anima-infused humans who not only have special abilities but cannot die for good. All “bees,” including players, infinitely resurrect upon death. But one such person has figured out how to off herself, which sets the stage for TSW’s newest Halloween mission.

Man, it has been a long, long time since I’ve played through a new TSW quest. I gladly dropped my gaming plans yesterday to go through it as soon as the patch went live. The mission reminded me of how much I love this game for its dark brilliance — and how rage-inducing and frustrating it can be even so.

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The Seven Silences is an investigation mission, which means little hand-holding and a lot more deduction. It’s fortunately not TOO hard, although there were a couple of spots that proved troublesome. Took me about two hours to go through.

The mission had me following the trail of the recently deceased, who apparently was trying to use certain locations in the world to activate dreams that weakened her bee power. So the mission kept going back and forth between finding whatever spot she slept in next — which meant a tour of TSW’s hotels and inns — and then going through a thematic dream sequence.

Some of the dreams were very creative and pretty disturbing, making good use of the various set pieces around the game. In fact, for someone who hadn’t played in a while, it was quite the nostalgic ride, from the Savage Coast to Transylvania.

Probably the two most notable dreams included one where you woke up stark naked (save for cheeky leaves hovering over your privates) and had to chase your clothes while everyone laughed at you, and another one where you had your legs amputated from Lilith and had to drag yourself down a hallway while bleeding out.

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There’s a bit of a tie-in with Funcom’s new game The Park (which exists in the TSW universe). It was pretty interesting, overall. Certainly ended up feeling pretty bad for the dream lady, and marveled a little about how TSW once again tackled a sensitive subject — suicide — without flinching.

So. The Park. Have I gotten it yet? Nope. To be honest, I’m a little squeamish to do so. I mean, I love The Secret World and am dying to know what’s in that game, but I hate, hate being scared by games… and I’m hearing that this is one unnerving title. TSW isn’t as bad — while there are squirmy spots, for the most part it’s not too terrible since you’re a superhero who plays alongside others. But to be a helpless character all alone? That’s another can of worms.

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7 thoughts on “The Secret World: Dream therapy

  1. Gamera977 October 28, 2015 / 9:18 am

    Sounds very cool! I only started the game about two weeks ago and am still working my way though the Savage Coast quests right now. Haven’t seen Transylvania yet. Would I be over my head in combat and/or reveal spoilers if I went ahead and did these missions?
    Btw: Whoever decided to hire Jeffery Combs to do the voice acting for the headmaster at the academy deserves a raise!

  2. Wolfsong October 28, 2015 / 9:34 am

    I got a chance to play some of The Park yesterday evening, during a very windy rainstorm, with the lights off, so probably about at the pinnacle of how scary it might be. And honestly, though there were a couple of jump scare type moments, I’m finding it overall to be more about creating a disturbing and just slightly “off” atmosphere than trying for heart stopping moments of fright. As you walk and run through the park, everything is just slightly off kilter and the more you explore and find out the background of the park, the more you question what is going on.

    Of course, I didn’t get a chance to play all the way through, so things might take a turn in the latter half of the game. I’m also a HUGE fan of the version of the park and its quests in TSW, so it’s been awesome to see just how creepy the place was back when it was open and functioning (sort of).

    So, if it was a dislike for jump scare frightfest type games that made you hesitate, I definitely recommend that you check it out anyway.

  3. Aywren October 28, 2015 / 9:47 am

    Finished The Park last night. There’s a very dark atmosphere (as you’d expect), and a few jump scares. But, overall, the game works on a sense of unease rather than fear. It ends up being more about getting into the character’s head than about the park itself.

    Disturbing, and quite dark, they handle some very dark subjects, just like you noted in TSW above. Your character can never really die or be harmed by things in the game, so that lessened the fear factor for me quite a bit.

    Just realize it’s a very short game (I beat it in 2 hours). IMHO, if you can play through TSW missions, you can handle the fear factor of The Park.

  4. ironweakness October 28, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    I bought The Park yesterday because I’ve never played the Secret World (and never will) but I wanted a taste of the atmosphere. I haven’t started playing it yet, but I hope to take a look at it Thursday or Friday night.

    So does TSW have a unique Halloween experience every year? If so, that’s unheard of in the industry from what I’ve seen. Kudos to them for keeping things fresh.

  5. Tyler F.M. Edwards October 28, 2015 / 1:13 pm

    The new Halloween mission this year was nice, though not as good as the last two, IMO. I was a bit frustrated by how long it took, especially since half of it was just running around.

    However, I’m not overly disappointed, as I consider The Park to be the real Halloween mission this year. It was absolutely brilliant — TSW’s storytelling at its very best.

    As others have said, it’s actually not that scary of a game — bar one or two intense jump scares — but it does deal with some very disturbing subject matter, particularly relating to parenthood and the dark side thereof. Since you have kids, Syp, it might hit hard for you. I’d still recommend it — personally I found it less disturbing than, say, Fear Nothing — but be aware.

    I’ve got a full review of The Park (no spoilers) on my blog, if you’re interested: http://superior-realities.com/2015/10/28/review-the-park-halloween-in-the-secret-world/

    @Gamera: The new event requires access to Tokyo to complete one stage, so it’s inaccessible to newer players. The others are tuned around endgame, but it’s usually pretty easy to find high level players willing to carry newbies through. Try asking in “/chat join event” or “/chat join Sanctuary”.

    @ironweakness: TSW’s holidays (Halloween and Christmas) get a new mission and new rewards every year, while also bringing back all the past content and rewards. It’s pretty awesome.

    And you should totally give TSW a try, especially if you like The Park. It’s very typical of the quality of TSW’s story and ambiance.

  6. Gamera977 October 28, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    Hey Tyler, thanks! No big rush for me, I’m still just fooling around and exploring the other quests right now. And I pre-ordered ‘The Park’ but haven’t had a chance to download it yet. So I’m got plenty of other stuff to keep me busy.

  7. Sylow October 30, 2015 / 6:00 am

    @Tyler F.M. Edwards and @Gamera:
    I have to refine what Tyler F.M. Edwards wrote here: “The new event requires access to Tokyo to complete one stage, so it’s inaccessible to newer players.”

    Tokyo is not locked off beind “buy this DLC to enter it” any more. (The Issues there “only” sell the great story and awesome missions. ) Even without ever buying anything but the base game, everybody can go there and the missions to get the first aegis controlers are accessible to all players. On the other hand there is some truth that you have some progress into the game to be able to do one task to get access to Tokyo, so if you just joined the game you indeed won’t be able to complete this years Halloween mission. Also i think you should be in QL10 gear for the new mission. While almost all of it is just running, exploring and looking at places, there are a few fights and all the dreams are solo instances, so nobody can help you in them. (And they are so for good reason. Their whole theme would be killed if you could steamroll them in group. )
    I found the fights not really challenging, but considering that i did have to use anima shot a few times while even my lowest talismans on my main are QL10.5.5 i fear that they can be painful for people in gear below QL10.

    On ‘The Park’, i hope to find the time for that this or next weekend. 🙂

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