|Dev: Ready at Dawn|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
The Order: 1886 was one of the PS4’s first big hyped exclusives, but we haven’t heard much about the game. We know it’s a steam punk Victorian shooter where people are up against ghosts and ghouls and monsters and other things that go bump in the night. However, we haven’t seen a lot of gameplay, heard a lot of story details, or really had anything about the game explained to us. So that’s why its appearance at this year’s E3 was so important. Were we finally going to figure out what makes this game so awesome?
The demo shown at E3 2014 built upon the trailer that placed the player in a dark and claustrophobic alleyway coming up one some sickening crunching and slurping sounds. I bet on zombie, but I was wrong. We happened upon a werewolf chowing down on a human meal. It wasn’t long before the werewolf gave chase and then the hunt was on.
Much of the game is going to be like this. Your prey isn’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter. Instead, you will have to actually put forth effort to hunt the beasts of the night. You’ll have to listen for their sounds, follow their tracks and trace the lines of murder back to their normal haunts. Then, when you find them, you will have to hope to God you won’t die.
The difficulty of The Order is absolutely punishing, and not just when it comes to monsters. You’ll have to fight other humans too, and they are some amazing shots. Cover mechanics take center stage here, and you will need to make good use of them or you will die the second you stick your head up. You’ll feel like a rain of bullet fire comes down on you if you move at anything except the exact right time, which is unfortunate. This is going to end up frustrating a lot of cover based shooter newbies.
Perhaps The Order’s coolest features are its weapons. You won’t be given simple pistols and shotguns here. Instead you will be given feats of science and pseudo-science that almost seem magical… or at the very least really cool. We already got to see electric bullets, silver bullets, immolation grenades, flame throwers and more, but the newest and coolest new weapon is the thermite rifle, which is about as cool as it sounds.
The swanky gun works like this: when you aim the gun, pressing one trigger will throw out a cloud of unignited thermite at the enemy. This cloud of powder is hard to breathe in and see through, so if you just want to keep the enemy at bay, this will give you a great bit of cover to get away as the enemy hacks his lungs out. However, the real treat happens when you pull the other trigger. This ignites a flare that, when it comes in contact with the thermite powder, ignites the whole cloud into a massive fuel air explosion! It’s a great bit of design that incorporates both aoe and debuffs, but just be certain you are out of the cloud before you light it.
Unfortunately, I hate to say that there isn’t a whole lot more to The Order. In the end it’s really just another cover based shooter. As I have said in many of my other previews the age of the military shooter is at an end. All the big shooting franchises have ditched their cover and started to play with new conventions like super tech, vehicles, super meters, high speed maneuverability and giant robots. Even though you are fighting monsters in The Order, its cover based mechanics still make it feel like a military shooter. You get to a point, take cover, shoot some enemies like a shooting gallery, then get to another point and do the same, and this continues throughout basically the whole game until you meet a monster that you just have to run from.
Luckily, the trailer and demo for the game are very short, and the game probably isn’t done yet. So it’s entirely possible that all of this will be fixed before release. The reps at the booth promised that we would have a lot of other interesting guns, traps and gadgets to play with and that could go a long way into making The Order the next big shooter on the market.
The Order: 1886 is slated to come out on the PS4 next February.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: July 2, 2014