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The Order 1886: New details on characters, exotic weapons and gameplay

Further information on Ready At Dawn's PS4 exclusive revealed

New details have emerged regarding The Order: 1886, a PS4 exclusive developed by both Sony Santa Monica and Ready at Dawn.

Additional information on the game has been released by way of Game Informer's November issue, which features a 12-page exclusive preview on the game.

According information previously divulged by Sony, The Order: 1886 takes place in an alternate history that mixes Victorian-era London with modern technologies, mythological monsters and real world historical characters and scenarios are recreated and then spun with a new twist.

New details follow:

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General

  • The Order is Ready At Dawn's "most ambitious project" to date
  • The studio began work on its own new engine in 2009, which "takes full advantage of the new capabilities of the PlayStation 4"
  • GI states The Order: 1886 has "the most stunning in-game visuals we've ever seen"
  • All of the visuals shown in the reveal trailer represent The Order's in-game visual fidelity. The characters seen in the trailer are in-game models, as are the weapon effects and other visual effects
  • Ready At Dawn showed the same trailer but dynamically altered the light sources on the fly and moved the camera to new angles
  • "Filmic presentation" is a central focus for the studio, so the player's view is very much like it would be in a third-person shooter, but it's closer to something used in a big-budget movie
  • The studio is aiming to capture a more "organic" feel using the camera style to better represent the setting
  • Everything in The Order is modelled with soft-body physics, which means it reacts authentically to external forces
  • Soft body makes effects such as "bending and morphing a metal beam in reaction to a powerful magnetic force, or making boards of a ramshackle wall buckle before splintering when pressure is applied" possible
  • The Order's script is written by the studio boss Ru Weerasriya and Kirk Ellis, script writer of John Adams

The E3 trailer

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Story

  • The narritive is a mixture of history, fantasy, sci-fi and mythology and particular emphasis has been placed on creating a rich world
  • Hundreds of years ago humanity splits and a small group of people become "genetically different", taking on bestial traits and being dubbed "half-breeds"
  • The half-breeds are given names after mythological creatures and folk-tale characters, but are actually a new species of sentient Earth creatures
  • The differing breeds engage in conflicts which eventually spark a war changing the course of history
  • Centuries later, a man name Arthur brings together a group of individuals to serve as an Knights of the Round Table for the otherworld
  • The group seeks to save humanity by fighting the half-breeds
  • The Order discovers a substance called "Black Water" which can be used to give themselves longer lives and the ability to recover from injuries
  • Black Water also slows ageing, allowing them to wage war across multiple centuries, but these effects are also somewhat of a curse since they come at the cost of humanity
  • By the 19th century half-breeds are winning the war, but in the industrial revolution humanity develops technology such as airships, wireless communication and thermal imaging, changing the tide of battles
  • New weapons are also developed, allowing users to "spit out clouds of thermite" and "shafts of lightning"
  • When the game begins the half-breeds are trying to find a different way to survive, but the knights have suffered many losses
  • The round table and the knights are at the centre of the House of Lords and protect the realm under orders of the Lord's Chancellor
  • Sir Galahad, the protagonist, is the most renowned of the knights, but his long life has taken its toll and he has begun to question his role

Setting

  • London is described as being "rife with conflict"
  • A rebellion from humans is stirring, fuelled by inequalities present in the different layers of society
  • The knights support the rich, but the poor struggle to survive
  • The rebels are very much aware of the war against the half-breeds, but won't allow themselves to be oppressed by the government
  • An demo shown takes place in Whitechapel, a "seedy and gritty district"

Gameplay

  • Familiar gadgets are featured in the game; Galahad is shown speaking into a "bulky but functional" communicator
  • Combat follows the third-person shooter formula
  • Galahad moves from cover to cover, firing shots from his semi-automatic pistol
  • Galahad pistol whips an enemy, showing off a simple close-quarters melee attack
  • When a surprise enemy attacks, a more complicated melee system described as a "unique variation on the familiar quick-time event" is shown
  • Galahad's experience allows him to predict how different actions play out, so players can move the camera to different objects and interaction points to dictate how the character engages his enemy
  • Weapons are "unusual and surprising"
  • The feature mentions a "multi-purpose combo gun" and a "lightning-spewing arc gun"
  • Many of the weapons are prototypes, so feel a bit of "wild and dangerous"
  • The Thermite Rifle fires condensed aluminium iron oxide that scatters into shards, making enemies cough. After several shots a super-hot flare is fired into the clouds igniting them
  • During an escape sequence, Galahad and Percival come across an injured man and drags him into a building, the camera zooms in close and the player is still fighting off rebels while the sequence of saving the man continues to play out, this is one of the game's "interactive cinematic moments"
  • During battles Black Water is used when the odds are stacked against them, although it can be used to regenerate health, "anything that would mortally wound and kill a person" will still kill one of the knights
  • Ready At Dawn wasn't willing to speak about multiplayer, or if the game will feature it. It said: "We love multiplayer games, and when we took on this project it's definitely something we kept in mind... We want to do right by the IP first; build this right"

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