Funcom are probably best known for making online games. Some of their biggest hits include Age of Conan and Anarchy Online, but today we’re going to be looking into The Secret World, a techno-modern massively multiplayer online role-playing game that exists entirely without character classes or experience levels, to allow players to build up their skills and perks however they please. Despite its modern setting it’s a world dripping with lore, as all good MMORPGs should be, as the fabled Illuminati and the Templars clash with monsters of myths and legend – vampires, werewolves, zombies et al – and also another faction, called Dragon, for some reason.
It seems like an odd departure then, that Funcom have been building a first-person, combat-free psychological horror called The Park which will be released on October 27 this year (just in time for Halloween, obviously).
While The Park is a definite change of pace from Funcom’s usual online fare, there is a definite link: It’s set in The Secret World. Specifically, in an area of the game known as Atlantic Park, a spooky abandoned theme park that has been beset with tragedy and death at every turn.
Visiting The Park
In The Park, you play a young mother (Lorraine) who’s son (Callum) has strayed inside looking for fun and adventure. Clearly her son can’t be very bright, because you can tell just by looking at the place that you really don’t want to go in there. The Park isn’t even a fun theme park that goes bad a third of the way into the movie; it’s just out and out horrifying from the off.
Here’s a short video from Funcom, explaining a little more about the dynamics of The Park:
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt5egXaSxYE” autoplay=”no”]
Lorraine has the ability to shout Callum’s name using the right mouse button, in the Heavy Rain (“Jason!”) sense, and that looks to be her only move against the oppressive dread of The Park.
The more she shouts for Callum the more concerned she sounds, which is an intriguingly subtle way of organically growing the tension – the harder you try to find him the more desperate the situation becomes, and much like recent hits Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture or SOMA you’ll find yourself twisting in the wind, powerless to defend yourself as you’re caught in the flow of the story’s current.