Funcom’s modern day horror themed MMORPG where secret societies and conspiracy theories live just continues to surpass expectations. The game has recently launched it’s first story expansion, Dawn of the Morninglight, since relaunching in June last year. The small but impactfull update adds new stories in a new zone South Africa, and the free expansion adds six action and sabotage missions, in addition to twelve new side missions.
The Morninglight Infiltrated
Once you’ve completed the climax to season one’s Tokyo storyline, you should receive a text message from a mysterious source, and that’s your ticket into South Africa to begin season 2. But even before that, your first log-in post update brings up a new screen, which promotes the Collector’s Edition for Dawn of the Morninglight, which costs 19.99 Euros and can be purchased on both Steam and via In-game. The CE comes with a new outfit, pet and Agent Dossier, which is completely optional and not needed to play the expansion content.
Back to South Africa, and that mysterious source isn’t as mysterious as you may think. You have been given a golden opportunity to infiltrate The Morninglight’s operations in the region, to uncover what exactly is going on here, and what the head of the cult, Phillipe Marquard, is up to. It’s not going to be a simple knock on the door and get what you want kinda gig however, and you must blend in and indoctrinate yourself to the ways of the Morninglight in order to gain ranks and get closer to Marquard’s inner circle. On top of that, it’s important to note that you went on this once-in-a-lifetime joyride without the consent of your faction and handler.
A High Stakes Undercover Main Mission
The entirety of the new map takes place within New Dawn, a three tiered compound that’s isolated from the outside world, and it is here, where The Morninglight sends its recruits to get radicalized in the ways of the cult. Since communications are not available, players won’t be able to communicate with their faction handlers and must work with an inside source to climb up the ladder. You start as a Foundling, the lowest of the low in the New Dawn community, with crappy accommodations and even crappier tasks. You’ll need to complete missions and side missions during the day to earn Ascension Points, as you progress the main story of Season 2.
As a Foundling, you’ll be doing cleaning, farming and office boy tasks, which is new for the game. Once you hit a certain threshold of points, you can then move on to the next tier of the New Dawn map, which also means you’ve been promoted to Anointed, which comes with a new colored jumpsuit and slightly better quality of life. This is pretty much how the progression works here for some achievements, and it’s quite a slow journey to make the highest rank through earning points.
It’s going to take a lot of repeatable daily side missions and action missions, which helps with immersion I guess. But to progress the main story, you won’t need to slog through the points grind, and there will be a shortcut to get to Anointed to progress the story. After which, you can continue doing the daily point content to gain ranks the legitimate way.
A Story Full Of Twists And Turns
The biggest compliment I can give Funcom with DoM is that the quality of the storytelling is still top notch. One might think that with all that the game’s gone through; the relaunch, the remolding of the dev team etc etc, the quality would suffer as a result. I’m glad to be proven wrong on this occasion. Those that have stuck with the game through vanilla and Tokyo that are familiar with the story will be rewarded. There are plenty of “payoff” plots that ties up narrative loose ends involving key characters, in addition to revealing the next play zone.
While the adventure is somewhat short-lived, the game will be adding more content to flesh out the New Dawn map in the near future. We haven’t seen investigation missions yet, and it’s likely that they will be added in the next month or so as these are some of the best quests in the game. Overall, for a free story expansion, Dawn of the Morninglight offers a bunch of narrative driven fun that rewards players who’ve stuck to this quirky adventure since 2012.