Perfect Ten: The Secret World moments that freaked me out


I wouldn’t say that The Secret World is a scary game. It’s a game that has scares in it, to be sure, but you’re also an immortal superpowered being with an arsenal at your beck and call and a community to team up with, so sometimes the bad stuff isn’t as terrifying as it would be if you were a weakling in a single-player setting.

Even so, there are certainly moments that have freaked me out, from cheap jump scares to deeply unnerving sights and sounds. Every long-term TSW player has his or her own list of the same, I’m sure. From a literal boogeyman to a house that’s out for revenge, here are my 10 creepiest moments and missions in the game.

[Warning: Spoilers and scares ahead!]

1. The parking garages (all of them)

The Secret World seems to delight in sending players into various underground parking garages and then messing with them in just so many ways. If you’re afraid of the dark and are claustrophobic, these missions will drive you crazy. I’ll point to when the cars’ headlights started coming on one at a time in the pitch black as one of several moments that made me jump out of my seat and go find something to do in the other room for a while.

2. The Filth infected’s comments

The Filth — that inky, oily substance that is turning everything in the world against you — has infected a lot of stuff over the course of the game. But it’s the people who get a dose of the black goo that really freak me out because they will sometimes talk to you even as they’re trying to gut you. And sometimes that talk is hateful, but many times it is a sobbing plea to be killed or nonsense gibberish or even apologies. All of it raises goosebumps for me.

3. The hanging bridge

This was a genius touch on behalf of the devs. There’s this large covered bridge in Kingsmouth that you end up crossing a number of times, and while it’s empty you hear noises and get unnerved by it. Well, eventually a mission sends you there in your ghost (anima) form, at which point you see the hanging corpses of the past and a grinning spectre gunning for you. Ughhhh…

4. Virgula Divina

Take a deserted lab that used to experiment upon children (yes, TSW gets very dark at times) and force a player to methodically explore it. There’s a whole lot of nothing here except noises and isolation, which made me so jumpy that when I encountered a girl who unhinges her jaw, I was like nononono NO NO NO NO NO.

5. The rollercoaster at the amusement park

The Atlantic Amusement Park is a disturbing, otherwordly locale in and of itself, especially with its weird, wavy visual filter and rides that operate themselves. But the part that got to me the most was when I took a rollercoaster ride (this game is awesome) only to be assailed by the Boogeyman and his cronies. I actually got through it mostly fine, but as the train car is slowly pulling back into the station, there’s one brutal jump scare that caught me unaware and made me spill my drink.

6. The Black House

OK, I was terrified to ever go to the Black House because I had been hearing for weeks from other players about how scary this place was. By the time I got to it, my imagination had been going on overdrive, and so I had to do that thing where I just go in running and yelling like a maniac, daring all of the bad stuff to come get me. It ended up being freaky, to be sure (especially the bathroom bit), but nothing as bad as what I was expecting from friends’ testimonials.

7. The Broadcast

The new 2014 Halloween mission is so incredibly good that it really should have gotten an award for something. While other MMOs are dabbling with headless horsemen and pumpkin piñatas, TSW pieced together a tale that used shortwave radios, old time radio plays, and a haunted Russian military bunker. The bunker was a “best of” TSW scares, using all sorts of past tricks and critters, but it was still great. And by great, I mean pants-poopingly petrifying.

black58. The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn

Issue 5’s multi-mision arc concerned a Solomon Island resident who was filming and doing research on the fog phenomenon. The culmination of these events has us — for the first time, really — going into the fog itself and trying to do something or the other. I don’t remember the narrative so much as going into a bizarro Kingsmouth, getting lost, and getting killed by Andy’s “kitties.” Our group, which had been doing this questline together, became dismayed that we all had to do this final part solo. The screams and the frustrated cries over Vent haunt me even to this day…

9. The Nursery

Because the devs love topping themselves, they took Virgula Divina and decided to make something even nastier (but in the same vein) as a follow-up. So yet another mission in a chilling scientific lab after Something’s Gone Wrong™. This time there is blood and corpses and so many dolls everywhere, not to mention nannybots singing a lullaby that I now hear when I try to go to sleep at night. I’ve never been so scared of a kid’s playroom before.

10. Fear Nothing Foundation

Tokyo has plenty of moments that gave me the willies, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our extended trip inside the Fear Nothing Foundation’s headquarters. From the ground floor we looked up and saw human-shaped specks littering a glass floor far above us — and then we had to make it our task to get there. In the dark. While an invincible ghost that could one-shot us roamed the halls and made stuff go haywire. I am still glad to this day that I did this with friends, because I don’t think I could have handled it alone.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”

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The first time i had to be in ghost form to solve the ravens riddle.


Sad this turned you down. There is so much in this game, that it can’t be all described by words.
was one point, when I persuaded a friend of mine to try it out. He was a
min/maxer and loved grinding, he almost didn’t cared about story or
immersion. He asked me for help in Kingsmouth, just so that he can grind
trough the content faster. I decided to help him, so there I was
standing in Agartha, coming from Tokyo, going to the first zone and
wondering why I’ll be wasting game time to help someone “grind”and
whether I shouldn’t just refuse him and make him play trough it

Then I went in the portal, minutes later we
were on the beach and I was helping him killing stuff. The first minute I
was there with the idea I’m helping him. The more we continued though, I
noticed I was starting to run more and more ahead of him, going like a
hot knife trough the monsters as I severely overpowered them. It didn’t
mattered for me that I’m not getting any experience, or that the loot is
simply inadequate for me, I was just releasing my fury on the creatures
that haunted this town, this people, and my early hours.
After some
time, I suddenly snapped back to reality and heard his voice over the
Skype “Bro, is everything all right? You haven’t said a word in the last
hour or so…”


I really tried with TSW, but I went into it blind, with no friends already in there, and I picked the Dragon without knowing anything. I’m into spooky atmospheric and I’m really into storytelling… and I just couldn’t get past the Dragon initiation scene. It stayed in the back of my mind, niggling at me. I played through Kingsmouth and I just kept thinking about it. I looked for other players who had expressed concern about it and they were so, so, so in the minority and had been so, so, so shouted down on forums, etc. I tried to play kind of solo, just enjoy the storylines for myself… Nope. Couldn’t do it. My avatar was sexually assaulted at the very beginning of my gameplay and I just couldn’t feel like I was supporting that narrative choice by continuing to associate with TSW in any way.

(I post this fully aware I might get a pile of “SJW” sneering at me. I don’t mean it as any kind of moral judgement of anyone who didn’t have the same issue as me – just, well, that was truly the “moment” in TSW that freaked me into quitting it.)


scariest moment for me in TSW.

Probably when you get sent to find the missing faculty at the university, and get introduced to the chainsaw toting hulking monsters and lots of corpses.


TSW is an amazing MMO, one of the best that I’ve ever played yet it is always resting somewhere on my back burner and is rarely if ever my #1 game to play. As has been mentioned time and again, the combat is indeed horrible, but for me a bigger part of my reluctance to play is in my recognition of the game being awesome contrasted with my pretty serious aversion to horror.  While on one hand you are playing a super-powered semi-immortal demi-god type character, on the other hand the setting of TSW and the atmosphere are absolutely terrifying for me.  Much of what makes horror generally difficult for me is atmosphere and setting, TSW does these both amazingly well.

Ekphrasis makes a very good point regarding the way the different areas come off as different episodes or stories, and their settings are hugely different.  Frankly I don’t find Egypt all that scary, a nice change of pace from Kingsmouth for sure!  TSW is a game that I’ve always wanted to love and play more than I actually do, I recommend it to folks constantly and it is easily near top billing as far as storytelling is concerned.  Perhaps I’ll give it another try some time and get into a guild or something, playing with others might at least be less unsettling.


TSW really is a gem of a game.

It would be my main MMO if it weren’t for my extreme distaste for the combat (sorry, I probably sound like a broken record but I little inside because if they re-jig that it’d be an almost perfect game for me).

I kind of treat the different areas of Kingsmouth, Egypt, Transylvania and Tokyo as completely separate ‘episodes’ with their own unique flavour. As much as Kingsmouth is a great area, 10+ zones of that would get so monotonous.

The (dragon) asylum certainly creeped me out the most out of all my experiences I think. The only other one that I felt an almost palpable sense of dread was the the Fear Nothing Foundation when I got to the top level. I ran around that floor several times before finally steeling myself to open the door and deal with whatever was in there.

I really do love immersing myself in the experiences they’ve created. 
Sound, zone design, visuals, story, NPC scripting and voice overs come together like no other MMO. Plus, the design team really do their research to steep the world in relatable/familiar mythologies to make them naturally fit the game world. Just look at Christmas with the Krampus & Tomb of St. Nicholas events.

There’s a chilling pace to the quests as well – I’ve never felt like I was in a rush to get through it to ‘level up’ like I do in other games (and that’s not a result of the so called horizontal progression and lack of verticality).

I think I need to make time to play an MMO for a sanity/real world escape this weekend – and this article makes TSW a clear winner.



Apart from a couple of things that drag down the experience, it’s a beautifully crafted game – especially if you enjoy story & atmosphere.

I hope you have a great experience this time.


#1 freakiest for me – in the franklin mansion in solomon island, after exploring the haunted house (which was scary in itself just cuz of the noises, thank god there were so many cats), going back in time and seeing how many times freakish tragedies had taken place over and over, you see several copies of a little boy running around outside that all turn into monsters aside from one, then a zombie hippie communal, etc etc, -after all of that-, you have to go back to the mansion while dead to complete some other quest, i looked around the place and spotted the dead version of that boy that was running around and, not lying, it actually kept me up at night for a while..


Ravven well christ.. now im going to have to try that sigh. never thought about going into that house in dead form >.>


Personally, my favorite zone is The Shadowy Forest. You really should at least make it past Egypt so you could experience it (there are some enjoyable missions in Egypt, though).