Play The Secret World's Secret War for potential beta access, in-game rewards, mild intrusion

Owen Hill at

Funcom have just opened up The Secret World's Secret War. Signing up will put you on the registration list for the upcoming beta.

It's a web-based game that plays out like a basic version of Risk. You'll be deploying your real life Facebook friends instead of little plastic men, They earn points to level you up and unlock in-game items. Annoyingly, it means you'll need to get a lot of friends involved to make a dent on the world. Convenient then, that you'll get XP for recruiting players and unlocking achievements, as detailed in the FAQ.

The Secret World pre-orders come with beta access, available now

Tom Senior at

The Secret World site is now taking pre-orders. If you get hold of it now you'll get automatic access to all beta weekends between May 11 and The Secret World's launch on June 19. Your character's progress will be saved between weekends, which means they should be pretty powerful by the time the early access period starts, up to four days before The Secret World launches properly.

The Secret World trailer has spiky dogs, evil swamps, haunted houses

Tom Senior at

There's a lesson in this trailer somewhere, I can feel it. Something to do with not digging up ancient Indian burial grounds? Perhaps. Maybe it's more to do with not building giant creepy houses and leaving them unattended for decades near an swamps full of tentacle monsters? No, I've got it. The lesson is: don't go to Blue Mountain under ANY circumstances. Even if a man with a giant floating "!" mark over his head asks you to because it's full of ghosts and spiky dogs.

The Secret World's mix of mad monsters and modern guns is a pretty appealing and genuinely different place to set an MMO. There will also be lots of proper puzzles in it, some of which will require players to do some research outside of the game. Owen found it intriguing, but a little frustrating when he got his hands on it for our Secret World preview. We'll have more on The Secret World soon.

The Secret World trailer spills the beans on the Illuminati

Tom Senior at

In an bold move, the worlds most secret society has released a trailer revealing itself to the world. In the latest trailer for The Secret World, spotted on Evil Avatar, the washed up, whisky swilling narrator describes the Illuminati with a nihilism and lust for secrets shared only by high level conspiracy members and ex News of the World journalists. That lust for knowledge will lead them into confrontations with The Secret World's army of otherworldly foes, like concrete golems and knife wielding maniacs who explode into a storm of ravens on death.

Beyond The Secret World's weirdness and hyper-paranoid premise, there promises to be some intriguing ARG style puzzles, which will tie in with real world clues. You can hear more in our interview with The Secret World developer Ragnar Tørnquist, and sign up for the beta via The Secret World site.

The Secret World's Scorched Desert location mapped out

Henry Winchester at

We’ve just hacked into Funcom’s servers and got a top-secret trailer and screenshots for their upcoming MMO, The Secret World. OK, we totally made that bit about hacking into their servers up for the purposes of trying to do a joke about fact that The Secret World has the word “Secret” in the title. It’s not like you believed it for one minute, anyway.

The new trailer showcases the Scorched Desert location, and unlike many game trailers, it’s actually pretty good. There’s a certain Exorcist-like vibe to the location, with giant locusts and possessed people running around willy-nilly. Only The Exorcist didn’t feature people with shotguns executing all manner of hideous beasts.

The Secret World is set for release next April, and you can read our preview here. Read it now!

Interview: The Secret World’s Bylos and Bruusgaard, Pt 2

Nathan Grayson at

Want to know everything ever about Funcom's conspiracy loving MMO, The Secret World? Because - between our preview and the first part of this interview - I feel like we may be ruining the whole "secret" part. Then again, when you're deciding where your precious, precious subscription money is gonna go, I feel like secrets are a bit overrated. So then, continue into the southern reaches of this post for lead content designer Joel Bylos and lead designer Martin Bruusgaard's thoughts on the viability of leveling solely through investigation missions, endgame content, what they learned from Age of Conan, and tons more.

Interview: The Secret World's Bylos and Bruusgaard, Pt 1

Nathan Grayson at

We've got a giant blowout of Funcom's excellent-looking MMO The Secret World (with exclusive first looks at special missions, dungeons, and PVP) headed your way in an upcoming issue of PC Gamer, but magazines are made of paper. Fickle, fickle paper. Sadly, there are only so many trees in the world, and apparently "but it's for a really great videogame article" isn't an acceptable excuse for widespread deforestation.

However, I spent upwards of an hour quizzing lead content designer Joel Bylos and lead designer Martin Bruusgaard over nearly everything imaginable, and I figured you fine folks might be just a teensy bit interested. So, after the break, you'll find many of the best bits - including balance concerns, how the game's like Lost, lamentations about the lack of difficulty in MMOs, and more - broken up into handy categories.

The Secret World trailer introduces the Templars

Henry Winchester at

Here’s a true fact: if the Knights Templar got royalties for each time their cabal was used in a book, film or computer game, they’d have at least £100. According to some conspiracy theories, the Knights Templar already have that £100 in their underground lair, and they’re planning to spend it on some Henri Wintermans and a bottle of Bells to celebrate the fact that they actually control the world.

ANYWAY, VG24/7 have pointed us in the direction of a new trailer for FunCom’s upcoming MMO The Secret World, and it features one of the Knights Templar’s new recruits - Rose. She likes: “Long walks in the dark, Spilling the blood of evil and Fuzzy sweaters.” She shoots a monster with a shotgun. That hardly seems fair.

The Secret World will be out in April next year.

Age of Conan tried by 600,000 players since going F2P, celebrates with more free stuff

Nathan Grayson at

Since it's currently all the rage for developers to offer everyone a peek behind the curtain of their F2P-funded MMO sky mansions, Funcom's gone ahead and followed suit. After going free-to-play (or, in Conan-ese, "Unchained") in July, the barbaric MMO has seen an influx of more than 600,000 players. Bonus milestone: I think we can safely say that this is the first time in human history that a 600,000-barbarian invasion has been counted as a "good thing."

The best part? To say thanks for trying out its free stuff, Funcom's rewarding players with more free stuff. If you log in before November 21 you'll snag the King's Reward pack, which is basically a congratulatory cookie basket, but with a mix of potent potions instead of cookies. Because barbarians only eat nails and fear.

The Secret World open beta coming before Christmas? Nuh-uh, says Funcom

Nathan Grayson at

When you're constantly buried in a world of multi-tendriled conspiracies, smooth-talking secret societies, and all of history's greatest boogiemen, I have to imagine that it's easy to let tidbits of a less apocalyptic nature slip out. Such was thought to be the case when recent reports of an alleged pre-Christmas Secret World open beta date surfaced. Funcom, however, has finally set the record straight.

Public Service Announcement: free-to-play Bloodline Champions now on Steam

Lucas Sullivan at

If there was ever a free-to-play game on Steam, other than TF2, that you needed to play, this is it. Funcom's fast-paced arena combat game, Bloodline Champions, is now available to one and all on Steam, and we couldn't be happier—the twitch-based, skill-shot focused arena fighter is a perfect fit for Counter-Strike and League of Legends fans alike. Weighing in at less than 1GB, it's easy to pull down and jump in to see how its tribal theme and intense teamfights strike your fancy. We'll have some Steam events in the near future to see who can take down the "amazing" team of my Alchemist and Josh's Ravener.

Exclusive first details and trailer for the next Age of Conan expansion

Gavin Townsley at

Earlier in the week we talked with Game Director Craig Morrison to get some details on Funcom's new Age of Conan expansion: The Savage Coast of Turan. The six minute dev trailer also walks us through some of the vast environments and intriguing stories that will be included in the expansion. You may want to dust off your broadsword and grab a new loin cloth because this expansion is shaping up to be a nice addition to AoC's barbaric adventure.

The Secret World opens for beta registration

Richard Cobbett at

Funcom's please-oh-please-let-it-be-good conspiracy MMO The Secret World isn't open for business yet, but you can sign up to be in the first wave (no relation to the rubbish Nostradamus vs. Aliens rubbish from 1998) of beta. So far, so standard. There's a neat twist to this one though in that signing up isn't just a case of putting your e-mail address into a form. First, you have to choose which of the three major secret societies to join - the shadowy Dragon, shadowier Templars or shadowiest Illuminati - either by clicking on one like a boring person, or taking a quick personality test to assign your allegiance.

Secret World trailer unites toilet wizard and milkshake girl

Tom Hatfield at

[bcvideo id="1113947983001"]
Funcom announced The Secret World release date yesterday, and to celebrate they've released another of their lovely CGI trailers. This one sees several of the characters from the previous videos, including milkshake katana girl and pub toilet wizard, team up against an enormous tentacled monstrosity in a gorgeous ruined city.

The Secret World will be released in April 2012. Beta registrations start next week on the 26th of August.

The Secret World release date set for April 2012

Tom Senior at

Funcom lead designer, Ragnar Tornquist has taken the stage at Gamescom to announce that classless, conspiratorial MMO The Secret World will be released in April next year. Beta registration will open next week on Friday August 26. A new trailer for the game was also shown. We'll have that for you as soon as it appears. Funcom are set to show The Secret World's player vs. player portion for the first time at Gamescom this week.

The Secret World trailer features whisky drinking wizards

Tom Hatfield at

While recent offerings told us all conspiracies are real and introduced the savage coast this one is closer in style to the first trailer. It's all CGI. It tells us very little about the game. And it's absolutely brilliant.

In this trailer a wizard who reminds us very much of John Constantine is relieving himself at a pub urinal when he's ambushed by some kind of horrific demon. He then battles it using his own reflected image so that he doesn't have to stop peeing. Bad. Ass.

The Secret World trailer shows The Savage Coast

Tom Senior at

Previously, in The Secret World. Every horror you've ever heard about is real. Every madcap conspiracy theory is true. That bump in the night really is a monster. You have been eaten by a level ten Grue.

Funcom's upcoming MMO uses its incredibly paranoid premise as an excuse to let players wear shades, carry shotguns and hunt demons. The new trailer above showcases The Savage Coast, a premiere holiday destination for hellbeasts. Come for the haunted theme parks, stay for the vampires. Find out more on The Secret World site.

Age of Conan's free-to-play overhaul hits live servers tomorrow [Giveaway]

Josh Augustine at

UPDATE: The winners have been chosen, and will be contacted shortly. Thanks to everyone who entered! Even if you didn't win a Premium Membership, you can still get the full experience of this "sexy, savage, and brutal world."

Only a month after its announcement, Age of Conan's free-to-play incarnation, dubbed Age of Conan Unchained, is to be released tomorrow, and we've got the exclusive look at the official launch trailer to celebrate it. We're excited: we previously discussed the details of how the business model works, and now it's time to try it out for ourselves.

First up, I think I'll pick out a new companion to accompany me on my journeys from the store. Funcom gave us the exclusive scoop on new "tempress" pets being added to the game's cash shop that'll replace your silly non-sexy pet that currently follows you around with a seductive lady of the night. There are several different varieties, and while interaction is limited, Funcom stressed that this was a change they could only do because they're now free of any rating restrictions in the new free-to-play mode. Of course, the usual lineup of weapons, armor, potions, and all that jazz will also be available in the cash shop.

Read on to learn more about the new content and characters as we talk with Executive Producer Craig Morrison to hear what he's doing on launch day and get his tips for those jumping into AoC for the first time. We're also giving away 11 60-day Premium Membership subscriptions—details inside.

Stay on the cutting edge of Bloodline Champions with our in-depth guide to Grimrog

Lucas Sullivan at

Tutorial videos are the best way to learn the ropes of a new character when stepping into the arena of any MOBA. You can forget the stress of trial-by-fire and just sit back and enjoy a step-by-step manual on how to own face. That's why we've begun recruiting some of the top shoutcasters and video guide-makers to bring you guides to new MOBA champions as they come out. Up first, we've got an in-depth guide to Grimrog, the newest bloodline to join the roster of Bloodline Champions, who just went live yesterday. BLC shoutcasting all-star Kast (with a K!) is on the mic, and if you haven't heard of him yet, let us assure you that this guy knows his stuff! Want to learn how to make your enemies kneel before your burst damaging, debuff-and-heal blasting self? All you have to do is press play.

Age of Conan is going free to play!

Josh Augustine at

Funcom just announced that their gritty MMO, Age of Conan, will be adopting a hybrid free-to-play business model (meaning there will be an optional subscription and cash shop available, much like LOTRO and DDO). The upcoming update will also add a lot of new content at the same time, including new areas, items, and storylines. We sat down with Age of Conan's Executive Producer, Craig Morrison to talk about how their hybrid business model will work, what they'll be charging for, and why AoC's mature content and siege-focused combat systems still has a lot to offer MMO players!