Bring back the scary!

One thing I miss from earlier content is the scary vibe it had, I think some of the best stories and quests in the game are the scary ones.
It’s part of what made Solomon Island one of the best zones, and why egypt is probably considered some of the weakest ones. Solomon Island was something fresh and new, very different from other MMO games, while egypt seemed a bit more generic, and because it was mostly in ancient ruins, it didn’t felt much like a modern setting game either. It was more of an adventure setting like Indiana Jones.
Trasylvania was again, maybe not as scary as SI, but it was still a good setting with various classic horror monsters and stories, ghouls, werewolves, vampires, etc… and the undead farms were awesome.
Tokyo was again really nice and scary place, with some of the best quests in the game too, the fear nothing foundation, and others.
South Africa was nice, loved the story (albeit it was a bit too short) but again, feels much more like Egypt, an adventure game, than a more horror and mystery themed game (IMO of course)
I hope the game keeps developping and we get more new stories and maps, and it stays a bit more oriented to the horror side, because that’s one of the things that make this game great and different from other more generic MMOs.
What do you think about it?


I don’t want to sound too judgemental, but I think the tone never shifted as greatly as some are saying.
There was always a balance between scary and not scary, especially if you roll Illuminati.
Unless Geary going ‘I love old-school hip hop don’t you?!’ was supposed to be horrifying.
There’s always been moments of non-scariness througout. The Secret World isn’t supposed to be all scares all the time.

That said, horror, just like humor, can be very subjective and what is scary for one person is not scary for the other. Some parts I hear people say are not scary are terrifying to me and vice versa.

On the point of subjectivity, I think part of this boils down to the fact that certain bits of the supernatural are simply perceived as scarier than others, due to cultural proliferation. I for one find Lovecraftian monstrosities and incorporeal undead far, far scarier than, say, pterodactyl people. Or vampires so muffled up that they look less like dreaded blood-drinking monsters, and more like the generic expendable mooks that they are.

But SWL was never supposed to be scary all the time. In particular, Egypt and Transylvania have mission chains specifically designed as homages to the Indiana Jones and James Bond franchises. It’s a pastiche of horror, adventure, mystery and others, and that’s a good thing.


Exactly. To prove that point, I find this game’s vampires to be really scary since, while they still look fairly human, the fact that you can’t see any of what’s underneath it (Heck, for most you don’t even hear their voices clearly.) it gives them a sort of uncanney-valley vibe that just unnerves me.

I think South Africa had its moments. But compared to Tokyo, which had some utterly terrifying missions (I am NEVER going back in that parking garage), it’s a little less scary for me. But I can see how SA features a fair bit of scary stuff - a secretive cult where monsters come out at night, human experimentation, sneaking through places you’re not supposed to be… it can all give you some fear, depending on what you find scary

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OMG spooky stories zone (Kaidan). The suddenly stacked chairs. The hungry little ghosts in the garage. I am typically not a “jumper” and laugh through most horror movies but Kaidan got me a few times. Especially the gaki. I may never advance to the new zone because I do not want to do that mission again.

They have always been good at sticking to scary that belongs to the zones. I could see New Dawn being less scary to some. The scary part for me is the zone as a whole. Not how it looks or its monsters and mission, but the implications of how the cult work. I like the occational jump scare and the like, but the best parts to me, have often been the things implied but never directly said.

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Not my proudest moment… that Golem in SA made me jump from my chair when it spawned. ._.


That damn thing scare me a few times xD… Once directly and again when i just got back from brb on discord. Barely had the headset on when a cabal mate screamed her lungs out xD. Not sure which jump scared me more.

This. Otherworldly Eldritch Horror that man is not meant to comprehend? Shotgun being pumped sound effect, Duke Nukem theme starts up background Clowns? OHGODKILLITKILLITWITHFIRE.

I honestly adore the vibe of Solomon Island, and even though it is the most mission-dense region of the game and takes FOREVER to get through, I like the setting there more than almost anywhere else. Partly, I think, this is due to the fact that certain facets of the terrain remind me eerily of home. Solomon Island feels familiar to me, and that’s what scares me so much about it. I know what small coastal towns ‘feel’ like, smell like, sound like. I know what wet autumn leaves, cold beaches, salt air, and empty fields look like, smell like, how they feel under foot.

Secret World nails it for me. It’s visceral to the point of being downright unsettling. There’s a farm near my work that, on a dim, foggy October morning/evening, I almost EXPECT to see roaming scarecrows in. The vibe is… accurate. And accuracy, kneading in reality, is what makes it so freaking scary to me.

There are parts of the Shadowy Forest in Transylvania that remind me acutely of forests I camped in as a child. I can practically smell that memory, the dry branches and pine needles, hear them crunch under foot, feel their texture in my hands.

I shudder a little when I see certain Tokyo streets or buildings or railways on the news or in other media, because ‘oh god it’s real’.

And when the eclipse happened last summer? I was completely unprepared to realize that the light in the City of the Sun God?

… is exactly the same as the strange, dim, desaturated light that occurs during 99% totality. I watched the world around me slowly get bathed in that same, eerie un-light, and felt the temperature drop. It made me look at the zone in a totally different way… and realize how CLOSE it was to destruction.

Secret World brings horror into MY world, into my daily life and my memories. It changed the way I look at fog at the beach, empty fields, pine forests, eclipses, and any and every strange gooey black substance forever.

It’s blurred the line of reality a little bit. That’s why I find it scary.


This also shows how much of it is based off your own experiences.
I’m from Europe and for some reason, Solomon Island never stuck to me as some people. Probably because that’s not the type of horror what I grew up with. The horror I grew up with was a lot more based around folklore and medieval history. Not to mention your classic werewolves and vampires.
Y’know, kinda like Transylvania. Which, up until Kaidan, was my favorite zone in terms of creepiness.

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Vali’s cyborg program, gave me the chills and made my blood boil. … but since we’re at the topic of the car park, if it was the setting, demons or ghaki’s that got you creeped out… well, their cleaner, brighter looks compared to tsw’s… made them less intimidating according to a friend of mine, as we went through that section more than once. :thinking: … I don’t know, the lack of the grotesc and vile nature being stripped away, from their visual design… changed our views at the time. - subjective speaking, of course :slight_smile: each to their own.

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I love that the cyborgs are in because I found them so abhorrent. Very Ghost In The Shell, but minus the consent and with their humanity programmed over.

Back on the original topic, I actually found S. Africa pretty creepy. The brainwashing cult, the summoned creations, the human hybrids - the lore is really well written and gives a decent understanding of what we’re dealing with and how wrong it actually is.

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I think each of the zones has its own creep factor, and personally I’m all about each of them when it doesn’t get choked out by annoyance. Like for instance, the pointlessly winding paths in City of the Sun God–there’s a reason it was the most hated zone by most people I ever talked to.

Visually, CotSG is also one of the least appealing zones because of its smoky grey lack of color. It’s like the least colorful zone… until we got to the first area of South Africa. And that is my main disappointment with that area. I know it makes sense and all, and cults are even my creep spot because I was forced to be in one in childhood–but I wish we’d found a better and more interesting way to evoke that. I wish it’d been either scarier, or less… beige. Preferably both.

By the time we hit One Flew Over, I was excited. I liked the look of the place at night. I loved the spooky sense of seeing through the universe. The Nuclear Family was incredibly disturbing. But this chapter just didn’t get to me the way that the best parts of Tokyo did. I love a pervasive sense of personal horror, and I wish there’d been more, because when SW really does horror, it does it so right.

For me, SW horror is very VtM. It’s not just the conspiracy or the masquerade. It’s the poignance of sensing a person’s last thoughts in their filthy screams, of knowing children were forced to be monsters by immoral scientists, and of seeing the bodies of young adults who were going to hold hands having lost all sense of identity. You look for them, but they’re not there anymore. Even that small comfort was denied… or worse, the human need for it forgotten.

While I feel there’s a lot to recommend this chapter, and I actually enjoyed the mortars and rockets and such, I would really like more of that sort of thing and less maize-gathering. Too bad there aren’t conversation options in this game; I’d have enjoyed talking my way out of suspicion so much more.

But thank god there’s no spelunking. Ugh. I’ve had enough of that to last a lifetime. Why is it I can’t just make light with my hands again? The first cutscene in this game is literally me destroying my apartment with glowing magic and you’re telling me I can’t light up a room? Kiss my anima shards. (I say that with love and affection, I really do, it’s just a huge logic-hole pet peeve of mine.)

Man, Vali. All of Kaidan is creeping existential horror, Chuck.


I find it slightly irksome that in all cutscenes, I’m an elementalist. Sometimes I use Elementalism, but almost invariably not when watching the story cutscenes. The reason I bring this up in particular is because we’re shown manifesting fire and lightning, both of which are luminescent, whether we’re using them or not, so you’d think we could do minor prestidigitation effects from all the schools sans focus, on that logic.