The Secret World's factions revealed

Also, a chance to win beta access.

Funcom has revealed the first details of how player factions - or rather, secret societies - will work in its forthcoming modern-day MMO, The Secret World.

Players will start as members of the ancient Dragon, Illuminati or Templar societies in the starting cities of Seoul, New York and London respectively. The Dragons are shadowy political manipulators; the Illuminati is a decadent, greedy organisation stuffed with celebrities and power-brokers; the Templars are military and religious zealots. GameSpot has the details.

Over at the official Secret World website, you can take a personality test that will tell you which secret society suits your temperament the best. Initiates will then get a chance to win beta access to the game at some point in the future - it has no release date as yet.

The Secret World is a class-free, level-free MMO with a contemporary real-world setting, themed around urban myths, conspiracy theories and the occult. It's being produced and directed by Longest Journey and Dreamfall auteur Ragnar Tornquist, and is in development for PC and Xbox 360.

Funcom will be talking more about it, and showing in-game footage to press for the first time, at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this weekend. We have an appointment to see it, so watch our for more coverage soon; in the meantime, you can watch the trailers and read the initial preview at the Secret World gamepage.

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