Funcom has committed to adding new content to
style="font-style: italic;">The Secret World monthly,
and with Issue #1 they delivered two new dungeons and a new
marketplace. For the game's Issue #2, players will get barber shops and
plastic surgeons to customize hair and appearance, along with a spate
of new hairstyle options. But, in addition to the allowance of an 8th
active and passive ability, the capstone feature is the introduction of
Issue #2 and Auxiliary Weapons
Auxiliary weapons are a third weapon that can remain equipped
at all times - swapping in these weapons appears instantaneous, just
like the primary and secondary weapons. Aux weapons have their own
ability wheel and Funcom will add up to six auxiliary weapons over
time. But the first (and only one they're revealing at gamescom) is the
rocket launcher. Described by Martin Bruusgaard as a weapon viable
for all builds, we were able to see three new active abilities for the
rocket launcher: the Big Red Button (an area of effect damage ability
with an amazing mini-nuke visual), the Cluster Bomb (which fires into
the air like a Javelin and explodes at its zenith, raining exploding
death onto enemies), and Rocket Jump (a charge-like ability where the
player points the weapon downward and blitzes toward an enemy). It
seems clear that the rocket launcher is at its best when dealing with
large groups, which should make it a welcome option for dealing with
the rampant mob spawns advanced players encounter when moving across
Martin explained that the rocket launcher must be earned, not
bought, via an elder game faction quest that has the player recover a
prototype. Perhaps the coolest thing about the rocket launcher (other
than the Big Red Button) is that players will earn skins that customize
the appearance of the weapon by completing dungeons on the nightmare
difficulty setting. We were able to glimpse the Transylvania skin (a
Soviet style RPG) and the Hell skin (a twisted, fiery, infernal look)
and both looked extremely cool - look for pics soon here at Ten Ton
Hammer and elsewhere.
Issue #2 will arrive in a couple of weeks, according to
Funcom's Joel Bylos.
Players will return to Tokyo for the game's first entirely new
play field. "I like to talk about the play fields in terms of the
theme," Joel Bylos explained. "On Solomon Island, we have the Lovecraft
/ Stephen King kind of thing. Egypt is like Indiana Jones meets King
Solomon's Mines. Then you have Transylvania, which is kind of like
Dracula meets Frankenstein. So, with Ground Zero, it's more like Escape
from New York meets Outbreak."
Your experiences in the tutorial - a massive occult event and
the first sighting of the filth - will add extra significance to Ground
Zero."You'll get to play through the same instance in reverse, from a
completely different perspective. [Ground Zero will offer] new gameplay
experiences - investigation missions, sabotage missions, action
missions. We're talking about doing some events in Tokyo as well."
Joel explained that Funcom thinks of content more
episodically, more like a television series than a traditional game
story, with Ground Zero wrapping up Act I and kicking off Act II.
Diving deeper into Tokyo allows Funcom to tap the breadth and variety
of Japanese myth and pop culture, which seems to disproportionately
revolve around demonically possessed little girls... we only report
what we see, folks - and some pretty awesome new monsters.
The Orochi corporation, which players might have run into at
the Kingsmouth Municipal Airpor, is headquarted in a huge, black,
monolithic skyscraper in Tokyo and figures prominently in Ground Zero's
storyline. As you might expect, robots figure prominently in Orochi's
arsenal, and Funcom was especially happy to show off concepts of white
drones lit up with a blue happy face (if they're friendly) or a sad and
angry face (if they're not). Expect Ground Zero in early 2013.
The New York Raid
For their final content reveal. Funcom demoed a bit of the
"New York Raid" (a working title, obviously) scheduled to arrive in
October. This content marks TSW's first raid, of course, and has a
limit of 10 players - Funcom believes that more than that throws off
group dynamics. Getting back to Joel's movie themes, he noted that this
one channels Cloverfield, in that it centers on Times Square and the
Secret War seems to be going public in a big way.
Climbing upward from the subway running beneath QBL - Orochi's
puppet news network - attack helicopters swirl and fire at massive
alien looking flyers. Tanks roll past with infantry in tight formation,
and Joel explained that the army, navy, and air force have been called
out to deal with the invaders. Joel noted that they really want players
to feel the tension of what's going on here - that all your efforts
that have heretofore been behind the scenes or underground or deep in
quarantined or backwater areas - seems to be going public fast. As with
TSW's other dungeons, this one contains next to no trash mobs.
The final scene featured us interrupting a QBL reporter in a
decidedly unfashionable red velvet suit as his newscast was apparently
cut off. In the background, the largest boss we'd ever seen in The
Secret World (and that's saying something) appeared in the background,
covering the length of a full city block. It should make a fitting
conclusion to The Secret World's toughest content yet.
Expect the New York Raid to arrive in October, and our thanks
to Funcom for sharing the future of The Secret World with us at
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