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Feature: Four Facts You Need to Know About PS4 Exclusive The Order: 1886

Posted by Sammy Barker

London's burning

In perhaps the most hotly anticipated unveiling of the year so far, Sony has fanned away the fog surrounding PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 for the first time since its official announcement at E3 last summer. In addition to a brand new cinematic trailer – which you can observe in all of its filmic glory through here – select members of the press were also treated to a whopping 20 minute demo of the alternate history adventure in action. With more videos, images, and impressions than a London library, though, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to act all Samuel Johnson and compile the key information for your perusal. Here are the key things that you need to know about Ready at Dawn’s greatest undertaking yet.

There’s more to this war than half-breeds

While the developer has managed to keep them under wraps since the release’s initial reveal, we already know that The Order: 1886 will feature some form of ancient opponent known as half-breeds. The latest trailer gives us a brief glimpse of one of these enemies, as a hairy hand twitches in its closing scene. Speculation suggests that these will resemble werewolves, but creative director and company co-founder Ru Weerasuriya prefers to describe them as the “devolution of man”.

However, it’s worth stressing that these foes are not a new threat. For centuries, humans have fought against the feral faction, hence why its noblest warriors – of Arthurian influence – formed the titular Order, which has successfully suppressed the enemy for hundreds of years. The advent of the Industrial Revolution has changed the tides of battle, though, allowing the Knights to not only impede its antagonists, but also bring the fight to them.

Alas, the hairy adversaries are not the only opponents that protagonist Galahad and his band of meticulously moustachioed accomplices will have to fight. Technological progression has brought about civil unrest in the underbelly of England, and a rival uprising known as the Rebellion has sworn to shut both the monarchy and its servants down. As such, you’ll not only be tussling with mysterious monsters, but also the people that you’re supposed to be protecting.

The firearms are actually feasible

Without the support of the state, the revolutionaries lack the equipment to truly take on the Knights. However, it’s suggested that they intend to steal weapons from the Order in, er, order to aid their cause. As already alluded, the Industrial Revolution has allowed the faction to manufacture firearms far more advanced than those actually available at the time. However, these are all based on real world parts and materials that actually existed in the late 19th century.

The title’s very first trailer included a glimpse at an arc rifle capable of shooting electricity, but there’s also a very brief look at a shotgun that blasts enemies with non-lethal, wind-based force in the latest gameplay footage. Other artillery available in the game includes a thermite rifle capable of spreading fire. What’s crucial about all of these items, though, is that they are all somewhat plausible – well, assuming that you squint a little.

“We're building weapons that were not only cool and technologically advanced but believable at the time,” Weerasuriya told Polygon. “These weapons did not exist, but every piece of it... the research [is pulled] from things that existed at the time.” That includes the metals, capacitors, wooden stocks, and more. Clearly, they’re influenced by more modern-day attack options to create something a little more outlandish, but the studio insists that they belong in the title’s so-called Neo-Victorian setting.

It’s a cinematic third-person shooter

Ready at Dawn has spent the past six months or so avoiding the topic of The Order: 1886’s actual gameplay, but the new footage shows that it’s a third-person cover-based shooter similar in style to Gears of War or Uncharted. However, while this has disappointed legions of outspoken online observers, the outfit implores that it’s hoping to enhance the familiar formula.

One way that it intends to do that is through so-called soft cover, which means that the knee-high walls that you take refuge behind can be crushed by your adversaries. It’s also aiming to strike a balance between gunplay, interactive cut-scenes, and, yes, ‘branching’ QTEs. Much like a Quantic Dream title, the latter will mean that should you fail to hit a button prompt, the game will simply author a different sequence of events for you. You’ll also have autonomy over your actions in some circumstances, such as the opportunity to use different objects to execute alternative finishing moves.

And all of this will expand to the cut-scenes, which have been designed in a way to keep you engaged. For example, when you pick up a new weapon, you’ll be able to rotate it in your hands, while you’ll be able to move around the camera whenever Galahad looks down the eyeglass – a kind of nifty telescope that allows the protagonist to inspect London’s skyline. These additional interactions are enabled by the title’s engine, which employs the same technology during both cinematics and gameplay.

The title’s been in production for a while

The Order: 1886 may have only been announced a year ago, but the release’s origins date much further back than that. According to Weerasuriya, the concept first came up in late 2006, when the company had just finished work on popular PlayStation Portable spin-off Daxter. While it went on to produce two handheld God of War titles in the interim, it kept the intellectual property alive – and the game was eventually signed by Sony in 2011.

"In the beginning, The Order was a project – that’s all it was," the creative director told Eurogamer.net. “It was on PC. We didn't know what platform it was going to be on, but we knew the core mechanics. Rumours were going around because we were working on stuff. When we were ready to talk about it, we showed it to Sony – we said, ‘This is what our future's going to look like, and we hope that it aligns with yours.’”

However, despite a lengthy gestation period and three years of active development, the studio still hasn’t attached a firm deploy date to the title. Earlier speculation suggested that it was aiming to get the game out this year, which Weerasuriya has since acknowledged in several interviews. Alas, some previews have suggested that the developer’s reluctance to reveal too much about the title may see it delayed into 2015.


Are you still eagerly anticipating Ready at Dawn’s alternate history affair, or has today’s big blowout dampened your excitement somewhat? Were you hoping for something a little more than a third-person shooter, or do you think that the gameplay looks great? Have the visuals lived up to your expectations, or are you a little disappointed by the title’s cinematic approach? Flaunt your outrageous firearms in the comments section below.

[via blog.us.playstation.com, eurogamer.net, polygon.com, gamespot.com, uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (26)

irken004

#1

irken004 said:

Is the whole game going to run at that cinematic widescreen aspect ratio? Might take some getting used to :o

BornOfEvil

#3

BornOfEvil said:

Aside from no multiplayer or co-op, I've yet to hear a single negative thing about this game. I think it's really cool how R@D made the weapons technologically plausible, it makes me wonder why these guns don't actually exist.

banacheck

#4

banacheck said:

This game looks excellent from the footage I've seen, really looking forwards to it.

Thrash13

#6

Thrash13 said:

This game looks really good, but I'm definitely ready to see it in motion a little more. Today's trailer definitely showed us a little more insight into what the game will be about. Nice write-up too!

N711

#7

N711 said:

'However, while this has disappointed legions of outspoken online observers,' I wonder what they were expecting if not a third person shooter then, and it seems a lot more immersive than the usual gameplay.
Im pissed off about the negativity I read specially in IGN because everything doesnt match their 'expectations'. RaD probably could have done a better trailer and demo but its clear this game s got great potential and I find it awesome anyway.

get2sammybAdmin

#8

get2sammyb said:

@N711 Yeah, I'm not sure what some people were expecting either? Perhaps the gameplay that Sony released is the problem - I feel like they're being too secretive at the minute, and it's hurting their games. The same can be said for inFAMOUS, which has only got a couple of very bland gameplay trailers, too.

Not quite sure what the strategy is there. I agree that the game looks brilliant, though, and I'm excited to see more.

Thrash13

#9

Thrash13 said:

@N711 That's why I stay away from places like IGN and Gamespot. The comment sections at those places gets too crazy for my liking. I like to stay at the smaller, but many times more professional, sites like this one.

Axel210

#10

Axel210 said:

@Thrash13 I agree on that front. I don't get the desire to chat or comment on those kinds of websites as it usually ends in my opinion being berated, Here, people stay calm and have civilized discussion, not argue mindlessly.

Shellybird27

#11

Shellybird27 said:

I don't even know why people need to see gameplay anyway, from the first trailer knew this game was going to be something special. IT looks so atmospheric and i LOVE that!

AeroZeppelin

#12

AeroZeppelin said:

@get2sammyb @N711 I feel the same and i agree with both of you but i for one thought the second trailer for 86 was awesome could it have been better maybe still thought it was awesome tho Anyway yeah i don't understand all the negativity either

JaxonH

#13

JaxonH said:

Though I will admit this title has my interest, I need to see gameplay. Almost every game nowadays has pretty visuals and cutscenes, but more times than not the gameplay ruins it. I've learned not to judge a book by it's cut scene cover. Having said that, I'm very optimistic this will be good. Guess we'll find out sooner or later, whenever they decide to show the interactive portions of the game.

Tasuki

#15

Tasuki said:

I am excited for this game, have been for awhile actually. It has a spot on my must play list for sure.

RaymanFan2

#16

RaymanFan2 said:

I get this weird feeling that the game is going to be a lot like The Last of Us if you placed a greater emphasis on shooting.

Wonlee

#17

Wonlee said:

After watching the video yesterday all I can say is "Take my Money!" it looks amazing just the sort thing I like, so bring it on...

Dodoo

#19

Dodoo said:

@Wonlee - Same here. I wasn't that interested before but now I'm quite hyped. All we need now is a release date!

SimonAdebisi

#20

SimonAdebisi said:

The machine gun apparently was invented in a 1883 so no, these ain't inapplausable. Game sound good so far but I'm gonna wait for proper reviews I think. My favourite kind of weapon in any game always has to be a big ol' axe thrown at someone's face, so satisfying.

Carl-G

#21

Carl-G said:

I think it looks AMAZING :P + i LOVE the setting of it to i.e Victorian London :P

JaxonH

#22

JaxonH said:

@Dodoo
No, thank you for that.

Pretty short though isn't it? Hardly enough took get a feel for the pace of the game... I mean it looked good, is just really short. I like watching a nice little 3-5 minute segment.

SimonAdebisi

#23

SimonAdebisi said:

I've not been particularly impressed with the gameplay I've seen so far. It probably needs some polishing up. I think a lot of people are going to be underwhelmed.

Dodoo

#24

Dodoo said:

@JaxonH - Yeah it's also too short for my liking! I'm like you and prefer extended gameplay vids but it's better than nothing I suppose!

Kind of reminds me of a Resident Evil 4/Gears of War hybrid with a different setting and better graphics!

FullbringIchigo

#26

FullbringIchigo said:

@Thrash13 true Gamespot especially has gone down hill a lot a tend to bash every system but the xbox and pc but then again it only started when they moved full controll to the american site instead of having independent sites for each region

that's why I love coming here or to Nintendo Life or Pure Xbox because they don't throw bull at you all the time and I can see console specific news and more UK news plus the people here are so much nicer

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