The Order: 1886 PlayStation 4 Previews 1

Your insatiable appetite for exclusives led to dismay at the tail end of last year. While the first half of 2014 promised plenty between inFAMOUS: Second Son and MLB 14: The Show, there's no denying that Sony's first-party software roster seemed to fizzle out around Christmas, with DriveClub and LittleBigPlanet 3 being the only SCE published PlayStation 4 projects worthy of mention – and pedants will be keen to remind us that the latter also released on the PlayStation 3.

Of course, those of you that have followed the Japanese giant for some time will be well aware that it works in cycles, and 2015 is looking like an on year for internal titles. During the next few weeks we'll be looking at all of the exclusive games set to grace your next-gen system over the course of the coming months, starting with Ready at Dawn's stunning moustache-'em-up, The Order: 1886. The question is: will the historical plight plot a perfect transition to home consoles for the ex-PlayStation Portable developer?

The Order: 1886 PlayStation 4 Previews 2

One thing that sceptics can't deny is the brilliance of the release's premise. Based upon Arthurian legend, the title centres on four Knights, who are tasked with protecting humanity from an ancient race of hairy superhumans, known as half-breeds. The existence of these werewolf-esque adversaries has prompted the industrial revolution to advance at a rapid rate, resulting in a twisted Victorian setting, whereby zeppelins are stationed over the traditional cobbled paving – and a select few have access to projectile-based weapons.

These firearms comprise the core gameplay loop of the century-old adventure, as this is a third-person shooter at heart. You'll be tearing into enemies using everything from the Thermite Rifle, a submachine gun that trades in ignitable gas, all the way through to the Arc Gun, which is a high voltage cannon crafted by the one and only Nikola Tesla. From the various snippets that we've played, the gunplay is raw, with the cover system adopting a claustrophobic camera angle keeping you close to every skirmish.

You won't just be fighting lycans, of course, as there's a little more political depth to this story-driven affair. The rebellion represent the everyday people of Britain, who are getting increasingly frustrated at the monarchy and their protectors, leading to an uprising that stands to unsettle the upper-hand that the Order currently holds over the half-breeds. Playing as Galahad, it'll be down to you to both restore the peace between the people of London, and also to stave off the mounting threat from mankind's most fearsome foe.

The Order: 1886 PlayStation 4 Previews 3

Fortunately, you won't be forced to go it alone, as you'll be accompanied by three other accomplices, including a feisty French trainee named Marquis de Lafayette. You'll also have access to a strange substance known as Black Water, which you'll be able to use to heal your wounds – and temporarily slow down time. It's clear that the developer's trying to keep things varied, as a mid-game mission that we played included stealth, reconnaissance, and more on top of the core shooting, while a recent trailer hinted at platforming, too.

Of course, the jury's still out on whether the developer can pull it all together, but we remain hopeful right now. Blunders have been made in the build-up to the title's 20th February release, but that appears to have been a symptom of the studio wanting to keep details close to its chest. Now that we're starting to see more of the package, though, anticipation is being amped up. And, let's be honest, even if it does fall short in the gameplay stakes, at least it'll be a looker, huh?

Has The Order: 1886 got your Victorian tailcoat in a tangle, or do you think that this historical adventure looks stuck in the past? Turn back time in the comments section below.

Will you be picking up The Order: 1886 at launch? (73 votes)

  1. Yes, I’ve already put my pre-order in40%
  2. Maybe, but I’m waiting for reviews45%
  3. No, this doesn’t interest me right now15%

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