I did actually preorder this game so I got it on launch day and spent a few hours with it. I guess Funcom can’t be accused of misrepresentation - the second sentence of the description on the game’s Steam page states it clearly enough: “The Park is a one to two hour long… experience”. I played it straight once and then a couple more times to get all the achievements.
So was it any good? Well, I can’t say I had expectations either way. I already play The Secret World, the same universe this game is set in, and I was curious to see how well Funcom could do a single-player game.
Maybe not as well as they do a MMO.
Of course the MMO does have a significant multiplayer aspect to it, to be worthy of that middle M but huge part of the game is about exploring and enjoying the story - which some might argue is something best enjoyed solo. Indeed you can quite legitimately enjoy The Secret World as a single-player experience and some reviewers have previously jokingly referred to it as a single-player MMO.
One discount code later and I ended up paying just over £5 for the game. Whether or not it’s worth that much is really down to what you’re looking for in this game.
You should buy this game if:
- You want a QL 10.9 talisman - given the rarity of high end gear, this alone might justify a £5 spend if you feel it's something you could use
- You play *The Secret World* and want to see/learn more of the story behind the Atlantic Island Park
- You like dressing up in TSW and you want that Chipmunk costume
Story and exploration was one of the main reasons I bought The Park. Having said that, I’ve got to point out that the gameplay ruins the premise somewhat: a mother searches for lost son in a creepy amusement park but while doing so, somehow finds the time to go on at least one ride. I mean, really? Seriously?
Jarring plot chasm aside, it plays like an extended Investigation Mission from the main game. There were a few references to The Secret World in The Park, referencing a character involved in one of the main quests from TSW and one of the groups you learn about when you’re in Kingsmouth. Several other notable TSW characters get mentioned in documents you can pick up and read in The Park.
So if none of that sounded interesting to you, you can probably safely overlook The Park. Some have criticised The Park as being nothing more than a vehicle to sell a piece of in-game high end gear - the in-game Item Store doesn’t sell high-end gear.
I’m hoping that The Park is just the tip of an iceberg. That maybe playing it grants some special insight or TSW in-game benefits further down the line.
On its own merits, The Park isn’t much of a game and it’s debatable if it’s worth the price of admission. I would rate The Park perhaps 3/10, or 6/10 if you’re keen on the perks.