We recently had the opportunity to sit down with The Secret World game director Joel Bylos for a personal tour of TSW’s latest game update, Issue #7: A Dream to Kill. With Issue #7, Funcom is laying it on heavy with both James Bond themes and a story meant to set up Tokyo, where the game’s plot is to continue next. Spoilers ahead!
We began our adventures in Transylvania, where things start out typically enough for the location. There’s a monster in the forest – and we’re tasked with finding out more about it. Let’s just say that things are quite a bit more complicated than a simple monster story in A Dream to Kill. Of course, I knew we were in for something far more significant than this. After all, we were both dressed sharply in a pair of tuxedos. Oh, and I was equipped with a flamethrower, which I used quite liberally in our adventures. The Flamethrower is a new auxiliary weapon available in Issue #7, by the way, and I can tell you that roasting all manner of monsters over the course of our adventure never got old.
In any case, after fighting off a couple of werewolves and other creatures typical to Transylvania, we eventually faced down our lumbering forest monster. Once dispatched, we learned that the Orochi, a Japanese faction familiar to TSW players, may have been involved.
We eventually discover that the Orochi have been kidnapping children from the area and bringing them to the (now abandoned) Hatchet Falls facility in order to conduct experiments. It is this facility that the monster we encountered earlier escaped from. Unfortunately, our entry was blocked by the base’s hand and retinal scanners. Luckily enough for us, however, there were two corpses nearby. You can see where this is going, I’m sure. Just a simple pluck of an eyeball and a hand and voila!
Not long after we enter the base we meet one of the story-arc’s principal characters, a female Council of Venice agent with a heavy Russian accent. It’s very James Bond. She offers to help us figure out what’s going on with the mystery surrounding the children, but first things first we need to get the lights on. This brings us to one of the update’s first puzzles. It’s a simple puzzle involving a circuit breaker and after fiddling around with it a bit we were able to get the lights on.
This particular mission leaned a bit more on the stealthy side of things. We made our way through the base by actions such as disabling electricity fields, using EMP grenades to shut off circuit breakers, and jumping over laser fields.
Once we made it out of the facility we skipped ahead through the story, bringing us to the section that leads us to the main ‘Nursery’ compound. Having alerted the Orochi to our presence, they begin a lockdown procedure which kicks off probably the most ‘Bond-esque moment of the entire experience so far: a snowmobile chase!
Aside from a little wonkiness with the controls, the snowmobile section was a pretty fun set piece and it definitely served as a change of pace from all the sneaking around we’d done up to this point. The snowmobile essentially functions as a mount, though your hotbar is replaced with four skills once you get on. You can toss mines behind you, fire the snowmobile’s machine gun, turbo boost, or even shoot lock-on rockets at enemy snowmobiles.
The Orochi eventually block us off on a bridge and in true ‘James Bond’ fashion we dove out of the way of the explosions and right off the bridge, parachuting to safety and ultimately making it to our destination. Once inside, we made our way towards a creepy nursery where the Orochi kept the children. The lullaby heard in the game update trailer could be heard throughout and turning off the radio piping the music apparently alerted some “nanny bots” that weren’t all too happy with our presence in the facility
I don’t want to spoil much more than this other than to say that Emma, a familiar TSW character, plays a central role to the story and that players will indeed learn who the villains of the upcoming Tokyo arc are by the time they finish A Dream to Kill.
As someone who hasn’t really played much of The Secret World since it launched last year, I have to say I was really impressed with the story, puzzles, and set pieces of Issue #7: A Dream to Kill. I’ve wanted to get back into the game for some time, and it may just be my experience with Funcom’s latest update that finally pushes me over the fence.
Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB