What would you do, if you had to live in an alternative, steam punk world of London, where your life is threatened all the time by horrible half-breeds? War has shown its ugly face for centuries, as an elite order of Knights of the ancient world attempted to keep the increasing danger form harming the population, but it’s becoming clear to both the Knights of the Round that takes order from the upper-class and the lower-class civilians that live in constant terror fear that they are losing this battle badly. All this produced a massive rebellion and civil war that the Knights must handle in addition to the danger of the ever attacking half-breeds.
War, and with it the need of victory, has spawned a new kind of technology with advanced inventions far ahead of their time which takes its roots from the industrial revolution. This is why you see giant Zeppelins roaming the sky, or mechanical weaponry spewing electrical shockwaves or clouds of molten metal.
What if I told you…?
I know, I know, it’s not what you have learned in history books, or from novels of the era. If you think about the real 1880 technology it’s of course different from reality but the alternate history is a good excuse for Ready at Dawn to craft weaponry, vehicles, and situations that weren’t real, but that theoretically could have been existed if we take in account given what was historically available for technology and industry in the 1800’s.
In this universe four knights forms a strong-minded and expert team: Grayson, who is the main protagonist, Sebastian, his mentor, Lafayette and Isabeau to bring back order to London.
The Order: 1886 is third person, cover based shooter. Some may call it a Gears of War clone on the PS4, with the steam punk milieu in addition. In fact much more variation is added to its gameplay: some light platforming action and quick time events, during which we must beat the living shit out of our enemies to prove, that our reflexes weren’t rusted while playing a PS4 game either. This variety is golden for The Order’s strongest selling point: the technology in which gameplay and cinematics are seamlessly interwoven.
Of course the QTE elements are string here: in one scene, where have a strong struggle we have to reach quickly for the knife to deal the final lethal blow. The outcome can be different according to our reflexes which means that if we cannot deal the fatale knife blow in time we can still fight on. Every parts of this struggle are shown trough different cinematics and experiences which we can see for ourself during several playtroughs. It’s a bit like the cinematic action-adventure titles for the PS3: Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls.
Where the streets has no name
While hoping that the whole experience will be as polished as innovative, we can see for ourselves that 1886’s graphics are absolutely gorgeous. The characters animation are extremely lifelike and seamless, even if we are talking about stiff, austere and stuck up knights who never forgets their ranks even in the middle of the fiercest action.
The war riddled London is a perfect place for this extraordinary steam punk world. Since central heating wasn’t yet invented, the smoke billowing from darkened chimneys fills the air veiling Zeppelins which are floating gloomily on the horizon. The streets of London are filled with old, ruined houses and our brave team is walking on centuries old cobblestones.
PlayStation 4’s game of the year aspirant?
What we could see so far about The Order 1886 is an incredibly ambitious title, it may even be game of the year 2014. I still remember the gigantic surprise hit what Gears of War was on the Xbox 360 and I expect none the less from Ready at Dawn.
We gave also noticed that even by being a new IP, Ready at Dawn clearly learned tricks from it’ worthy ancestors, borrowing aspects of the Uncharted series and blending them with weaponry similar to that of the Resistance franchise, over an epic score akin to that of God of War. However, I am strongly convinced that The Order: 1886 will pave its own way among these great best sellers.
+ Steam punk world
+ Looks gorgeous
+ Tactical gameplay
+ Cinematic events
Not sure about:
– Maybe a bit too much GoW-like
– QTE parts are not for everyone
– Main story is still unclear…
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