Straight off the heels of PlayStation Experience, we were lucky to enough to be sent preview code of The Order: 1886. This was the exact demo that was shown at the PlayStation Experience. Before PlayStation Experience, Sony had only shown the same demo throughout the year. This new demo shows off a lot of new game mechanics. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s every chance that The Order: 1886 could end up being an average game. However, I have to applaud Ready at Dawn for taking a chance on their first console game.
The thing that shocked me most about this lengthy demo is just how much gameplay variety there is in the game. There are many moments of stealth which require a combination of cover mechanics as well as incredible timing in order to make the kill. There are also little events which you need to undertake in order to unlock doors or access secret armoury’s. An example of this is the electrical circuit minigame which requires you to lock two sparks in a certain area by using the L3 and R3 buttons in perfect timing.
There are also segments within cut scenes that required you to undertake a series of Quick Time Events. These ranged anywhere from pressing a button to lining up your reticle in quick succession in order to pull off a deadly combination. Obviously there is also a lot of gunplay in this game but what surprised me most was the change up in locations. The game changes from being a corridor shooter to an finding yourself in an open area quite quickly.
The reason why I was positively surprised about just how many different gameplay mechanics there are in The Order: 1886 is because this game had the potential to become incredibly repetitive based on previous Preview codes. it looked like the game was going to make you kill waves up waves of enemies without any substance, relying on the visuals to get the wow factor. I’m glad to report that if the latest preview code is anything to go by, this won’t be the case at all.
Since it’s announcement trailer, the one thing that has been impressive is The Order 1886’s stunning visuals. Since I saw the first trailer and even still when I booked up the demo, instantly I was put off by the widescreen letter boxing. As I played through the demo I realised that it was an incredibly smart decision by the developer. Ready at Dawn are trying to do something special with this game. It’s immediately apparent in the fact that cinema tics and gameplay are also impossible to differentiate. I was caught off guard many times sitting back through a cutscene without realising that it had now turned to gameplay.
The art style in The Order 1886 is absolutely fantastic. The enemy design as well as the locations immediately give you a heavy dose of atmosphere. My jaw dropped once I threw a smoke grenade and saw just how the thick smoke filled a closed room. Also, the particle effects when firing a shotgun are beyond anything that i’ve ever seen in a video game.
As mentioned above, the particle effects when firing a gun are incredible and alone are enough to make the gunplay feel satisfying. Fortunately, this is just the start. Throughout the demo, I had the pleasure of finding about 6-7 different guns throughout the missions. These ranged anywhere from a machine gun to a magnum.
Every gun feels immediately different and the strategy required for each will vary. From what I could tell, some guns have a secondary fire however it isn’t apparent to me whether this will require levelling up or come as a stock standard for some guns.
It has been incredibly apparent since the game was announced that the story is going to be a huge part of The Order: 1886’s success. Ready at Dawn had a very clear vision in mind when creating this game and in order for their cinematic story-telling to pay off, it’s going to need an extremely grabbing story.
The Order: 1886 is set in an alternate history London. We know that the game will feature half-breed monsters. These are humans who have taken on bestial traits. They’re a lot stronger than humans which is why the war broke out. It’s now up to a squad of four to regain peace for the humans.
Within this demo, not a lot of story elements were shown. I have great faith in the team at Ready at Dawn to tell a story that gamers will remember however I think it’s definitely obvious that the story will most likely make or break this game.
What immediately surprised me within stealth moments was just how much gore there is within the game. Close encounters where you’ll stab enemies through the neck, or kick in their knee caps before putting your knife through their chest are extremely gruesome. Sure, this is common in games these days, but not in a full-frontal, cinematic experience like The Order: 1886 is doing. I guess I was surprised by the fact that The Order: 1886 is set in such an old universe with not a whole lot of colour, but watching vibrant red blood drip down somebodies front really pops in such a universe.
I hope that this is taken even further later in the game. It’s apparent that we’re going to see some pretty insane enemy types later in the game and I just hope that Ready at Dawn take advantage of this and provide some really gruesome cinematic moments.
Ready at Dawn have a great track record when it comes games. A lot of gamers have probably never heard of them but their portfolio are among the best release to release on PSP and include Daxter, God of War: Chains of Oylmpus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta. The Order: 1886 marks their first console release which provides a lot of reasons to get excited. Daxter/GOW on PSP were among the best looking games on the console and pushed the system in every possible way.
I believe that Ready at Dawn will rise to the occasion and produce a memorable game. Sony have the ability to get the best out of their studios as seen with Naughty Dog, Insomniac and many others over the year. In today’s gaming landscape, you only get one chance. First impressions mean everything to the larger success.