Join the Illuminati

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Funcom is making this the “Week of the Illuminati” as they continue gearing up for the release of their MMO, “The Secret World“, expected in April. There’s also a Q&A with the developers coming up on Facebook on January 15th, though Funcom has started taking questions so be sure to check it out.

We’ve touched on Secret World before in the past, but in case you’ve missed some of our coverage, it’s not your usual MMORPG.
Taking place in a version of our modern world where conspiracies are all too real and secret rituals steeped in the arcane are as tangible, the Secret World is set to challenge the usual trappings of its genre. It boasts “no levels” in developing your character allowing you to push them in whatever direction you want with a greater emphasis on storytelling not often seen in other titles.
But if the Illuminati’s “civil” exterior is too pedestrian for you, there are two other factions to throw the dice with. You call roll with either the crusading Templars, or sow chaos with those of the Dragon. 
Each faction also has their own starting area based on real-world locales such as New York where the corporate-minded Illuminati call home. Or take the initiation test to help make your decision.
A batch of nifty screenshots have also been released showing off the Illuminati’s digs and a few of the people that secretly hang with them. Check these out right after the jump or visit the main site for a deeper sampling of its secrets.

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The Secret World reveals…more secrets

Funcom has released a new trailer that delves into the shadowy stories and conspiracies making up its backdrop.

Everything from the Tower of Babel to the Ark of the Covenant are being used as potential jumping off points for this new MMORPG. In it, players will take part in a secret war for the fate of the world as three factions will vie for supremacy using magic, technology, and mythology. Sounds like it could be a winning combination.

New trailer for “The Secret World” spells out what you can expect

Funcom has released a new trailer for their upcoming MMORPG, “The Secret World”. If you’re wondering whether it’s something you want to play other than World of Warcraft, that depends on whether you want to fight for the fate of the modern day world as a member of one of three secret societies who know the truth of what goes bump in the night. From New York City to Seoul, South Korea, players will get to shoot it out or use the kind of magic Harry Potter can only dream about to fight this secret war.

I’ve been keeping an eye on this one for awhile and it’s been shrouded in, well, “secrecy” since the start, but it looks like Funcom is getting ready to show off more than just a few fancy trailers with a little taste of the gameplay.

For more info, check out the press release right after the jump below.


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There are…creatures…here…

As Funcom’s MMOG, The Secret World, creeps closer to release by inches, the mystery surrounding the sleepy Maine town of Kingsport reaches another level with the discovery of a blog written by one of its characters.

There’s some weirdness bubbling up from its streets, and here’s the proof:

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The author says it “might” be the Toad-Woman…or it might not. There are a few other ‘photos’ on the site that try to shed light on just what it going on down there, but if you happen to be driving along a lonely stretch of coastal road running through the New England States and have the itch for lobster, you might want to think twice about dropping by Kingsport. Unless you happen to belong to one of the secret societies that’s trained for this kind of thing.

Manipulator? Purveyor? Warrior?

Funcom has updated its site promoting their new PC MMO-in-the-works, “The Secret World”, with a test to see which of the three secret societies you might be best suited for. It also gives you a chance to be a part of the upcoming beta which should be more than enough of an incentive for fans familiar with writer Ragnar Tornquist’s work with “The Longest Journey” and its sequel, “Dreamfall”.

If you don’t know what it is about, “The Secret World” takes place in real world locations such as New York and London as it pits players in a secret war against the forces of darkness. Those myths that go bump in the night? The Boogey Man? Atlantis? Cthulhu? They could be real. The question is, will you fight to keep these secrets buried? Use them towards your own ends? Or sell them to the highest bidder as part of a secret agenda? That’s about what this sounds like. It sounds pretty intriguing, especially when they say that the gameplay is classless without leveling.

Think about that one: no leveling, no classes. My RPG sensibilities had to chew on that for awhile. It sounds almost as welcome as when 4ed D&D rid itself of Vancian magic memorization, but I need to see how it could work first before I get too excited.

Anyways, I took the test which was a mix of unique visuals and odd questions making it feel as if I were being grilled in the backroom of a fortune teller’s shop in Chinatown…the kind that Eddie Murphy in the Golden Child might have visited.

As for the faction it picked out for me, well, I’ll be keeping that as my own secret, but it’s not fixed. At the end of the test, would-be beta testers can opt to pick from the three societies offered: the Templar, the Illuminati, or the Dragon. Once you do, you’ll get an e-mail and a kit that you can download to show off your affiliation. The layers are finally peeling away from Funcom’s latest game, adding a bit more detail to what was teased in the trailer below.

Update 9.4.09: The second trailer has been added below. It looks like the trailers are covering each of the societies in turn. The first looks like it’s showing off the Dragon. The second one, I’m guessing, is for the Templars.