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Chaos Theory: Ten compelling Secret World missions

MJ Guthrie
09.11.14
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One thing that The Secret World does extremely well is story. Few would argue that point: It's compelling, surprising, even chill-inducing, packing enough emotional punches to leave you stunned on occasion but always eager for more, which is what makes doing missions in TSW so much more enjoyable than many other MMOs. And it isn't just the overarching main story line, either. All the missions spread throughout the zones, from investigation to sabotage to even the piddliest of little side missions, tie into the story in some fashion. So missing a mission means you might miss some tantalizing tidbit. Fortunately, you needn't be a completionist to have a drive to seek out and experience every single mission. Instead of being faced with the usual desire to just move on ahead once you've "out-leveled" a zone, you literally scour to make sure you don't leave any task undone lest you miss out on any of the story.

Now that said, there are some missions that are just jaw-dropping for one reason or another, ones that stop your heart or tear at it. All missions have merit, but some are just so amazing you wish you could do them for the first time over and over. There's even a grieving period when you know you can never relive that initial rush! Here are just a few of the missions that I'd personally recommend that all players experience (with as few spoilers as possible).


Into Darkness -- Dragon faction mission, Rank 2

Although I have spoken about this one at length already in a different Chaos Theory, there's just no getting around the fact that this is mission I'd relive over and over and over again. And over again. This was possibly the first time I literally jumped out of my seat with my heart skipping a beat during a mission. For the full effect, it's best done alone in a completely dark room! I feel sorry for all the folks who chose a different faction first and lived through an altered rendition of this mission.

Virgula Divina -- Templar storyline to get into Transylvania

Dragon's don't have a monopoly on amazing faction missions. This Templar story that moves players between Valley of the Sun God and Transylvania is right at the top of my list of best of the best. If you've never played a Templar, I'd say it is worth making yourself one just to get here and experience this for yourself. Like many of my favorite missions, this one had a palpable eeriness that intensified the feeling of foreboding to the point that even when you knew something would happen, you still weren't prepared for it. Hint: Be sure to look at all the camera control panels. You don't want to miss this! And be wary of dolls.

Issue #5 The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn

While this isn't an individual mission, I'd be totally remiss if I did not add this entry to the list. Because it's not one mission that makes this one such a must do: It's the entire chain. And it culminates in the most surreal place you'll ever visit in-game. Everyone should be required to do this DLC!

Issue #7 A Dream to Kill

Likewise, this DLC also gets an honorable mention here because it is the entirety of it that builds up the story in such an amazing way (not to mention changes your view on dolls forever). However, it is one specific moment in the final mission I Walk Into Empty that leaves you with quite the "whoa" feeling. And gets a creepy little jingle stuck in your head permanently.

There's also another entry related to this DLC...

general missions
Red Snow

Though only a side mission, this one gives you your first experience on a vehicle in TSW. Sure, it may be controlled, but zipping around on the snowmobile is pretty exhilarating. This mission, at least, is one you can do again and again and still relive that free feeling without dealing much with diminishing returns. Now if only we could get other vehicles in-game.

The Black House -- Savage Coast

The only reason this didn't make it on my first five favorite moments list is because it happened a bit further in the game than those initial experiences. The Black House is still one of my all-time favorite missions in the game, and I revel in those moments I can redo it with friends who are trying it for the first time (especially if I have them in voice with me at the time!). When you can expect the unexpected yet still are completely taken by surprise, you know it's a winner!

The Meowling -- Halloween event

This mission hits this list because of how it pulls at my heart strings, especially if you have already listened to Deputy Andy's dialogue in Kingsmouth. How can you not have feels for the kittens?

Dead Air -- Kingsmouth

It's hard not to have some of the most revelatory moments happen in the first zone of the game because that's where these aha moments happen for the first time. Although I could include many of the investigation missions on this list, this earned a spot for two reasons. One, it's the first that made me go wide-eyed and think, "You want me to know what?!" Before, I was able to draw on my hitherto collected real-world knowledge to solve the puzzles. This time, however, I literally had to learn something new if I didn't want to cheat and use a guide. This happened more in as I continued my adventures (I even learned how to read bar codes elsewhere!), but this was the first instance when the game drove me to literally learn something new. It emphasized that the missions would draw on a variety of skill sets, not just things like literature or music.

The second reason is a spoiler only if you've never walked in the Kingsmouth airport. In many games you can see tons of little details in the environment, but that's always all it is -- just environment. I will never forget my surprise and delight at the experience of seeing a bear trap on the ground and thinking to myself, "Wouldn't it be really cool if this actually worked?" and then promptly jumping on said trap... only to have it snap closed around my ankle! I was startled enough it took me a moments to realize I was bleeding and needed to remove the trap.

Dawning of Endless Night, Tier 18 -- main story mission

A part of the main story line, this Dreaming Prison sequence start with a "What the... just happened? feeling and then leads you on a walk of wonder that delves into the lore. The atmosphere throughout this sequence is something I still treasure.

Men in Black Vans -- Kingsmouth

While not necessarily jaw dropping in content, this mission gets a mention because of its method. This was the first time it truly sunk in how much Funcom interwove the game with our own world. It seriously blurred the lines between realities, and that's a totally awesome feeling, if slightly unnerving. Minor spoiler: Now you understand why devs made it so easy to access the internet in game!

Oh, there's so many more to list! Obviously this is not an all-inclusive list of the coolest TSW missions, but there is only so much room each week. I haven't even touched on the Sidestories and have completely neglected some zones. It can be hard to choose when there are hundreds, each one good in some way. So what missions are your favorites? Share in the comments below (but please, try to warn if you are giving away spoilers).

Conspiracies, paranoia, secrets, and chaos -- the breakfast of champions! Feast on a bowlful with MJ on Thursdays as she infiltrates The Secret World to bring you the latest word on the streets of Gaia in Chaos Theory. Heard some juicy whispers or have a few leads you want followed? Send them to mj@massively.com and she'll jump on the case!

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