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The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

Galahad's Tinder profile just got better, because The Order just got a photo mode


Prepare to right swipe
Apr 13
// Brett Makedonski
Left swipe, left swipe, left swipe. That's what scores of Victorian-era London ladies did when they saw Galahad on Tinder. His profile was so boring -- just a bunch of pictures of the back of his head. Also, his bio said he ...
The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 won't find safety in the London Underground


But, I found The Postal Service
Mar 12
// Brett Makedonski
I was waiting for a cross-town train in the London Underground when it struck me. I've been waiting since February to find a game that would look and sound like a movie. So, I changed my plans; I rented a PS4 and a TV, and t...
The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886's launch trailer sure looks nifty


Cinematic as all get up
Feb 19
// Brett Makedonski
Well, I don't know what to believe anymore. This trailer has explosions, lycanthropes, and action up the wazoo. Everything looks so pretty, and the mustaches look real enough that I'm trying to pet them through my computer s...

Review: The Order: 1886

Feb 19 // Chris Carter
The Order: 1886 (PS4)Developer: Ready at Dawn, SCE Santa Monica StudioPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentReleased: February 20, 2015MSRP: $59.99 The Order reeks of style and sucks you in immediately. With a grand backstory involving an alternate history set to a backdrop of an ancient order's lengthy war with stronger half-breed humans, you can tell a lot of thought when into the concept. The writers went the extra mile to tie in familiar territory like the Arthurian legend, and there are a lot of cool nods like the feud between Tesla and Edison. But despite the source material, The Order feels like its own creation and not a summation of existing ideas. It also has the visual panache to back this up in-game. The lighting and environments are fantastically detailed, and the finely crafted character models make this feel like a true current-generation prospect. Picking up newspapers and reading them in-game doesn't just present bland text on the screen -- you actually get to read the paper itself. Items in the world can often be inspected by rotating them around and turning them over, further showing off the sheer amount of detail within. It feels organic like the built-in user interface in Dead Space. It's sharp and well done throughout, and the first time I was able to see the township from high-up was legitimately a "wow" moment. [embed]287624:57354:0[/embed] As a third-person shooter The Order can safely be compared to Gears of War, with a simplistic snap cover system, over-the-shoulder aiming, a chapter-based story, and a basic melee attack that can be used when up close. 1886 delivers the latter with more flair than most titles, with cool contextual attacks like slamming an enemy head into a wall or sliding them across a table. You'll have access to grenades, and a two-gun setup (sidearm and main weapon), with your usual sniper, shotgun, and rifle fare. There are a few mixed-in fictional pieces of weaponry as well, like the Tesla raygun and a weapon that shoots a gassy material into the sky by way of alt fire, allowing you ignite it with your primary shot. That's about it, though. Beyond the literal smoke and mirrors it's a very standard shooter. Well built, but standard. There's also a good amount of quick-time events, which don't bother me personally -- bring them on, I say, as long as there's gameplay to match. Where The Order ceases to be great isn't the excessive time spent on QTEs, it's the self-indulgent camera angles and need to focus so much on turning the game into a walking simulator. 1886 does have a good amount of extra paths and collectibles to explore, but man is it linear. There's tons of unskippable cutscenes, and even when you're playing, it can still technically be considered a living cutscene at times -- you just have the ability to walk slightly forward without taking any other action. Maybe the developers at Ready at Dawn felt this was atmospheric, maybe they didn't have enough development time, but either way it feels like padding. So do the standard videogame lockpick and stealth sequences. The story doesn't really have room to grow as a result of said padding because so much time is spent getting from place to place. Although the premise is interesting, the narrative is fairly predictable, and characters don't have any real chance to make their mark; you'll likely forget a lot of their names before the credits roll. And leading up to right before they do roll, just like Shadows of Mordor, I was pissed that the final boss had to be a QTE -- and a retread fight at that. As you may have heard, The Order is also short. How short? Well, on normal or hard difficulty it should take the average gamer roughly seven hours to complete it -- a little less if you rush through and don't explore any other hallways, a little more if you check every inch. While the length doesn't bother me on principle, keep in mind that there's very little in the way of replay value, and there's no multiplayer -- not even co-op -- to speak of. Outside of the sleek presentation and interesting world building, there's nothing truly special about The Order: 1886. It's a shame in many ways, because I'd love to see a more tactical style of gameplay in line with Valkyria Chronicles, or a more in-depth game in general using the same engine and lore. I sincerely hope this isn't the last we've seen of this universe, but for now, it's only worth visiting once, briefly. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
The Order: 1886 review photo
Not enough chaos
The Order: 1886 opens up in a fairly gritty fashion -- a first-person sequence involving a near drowning, by way of water torture. It begins with a bang, thrusting you into this unknown, and frankly frightening world whe...


The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 collector's edition is unboxed, under fire


Take cover, Galahad!
Feb 04
// Brett Makedonski
Third-person shooter protagonists spend a bulk of their time glued to chest-high walls, so it's fitting that the highlight of The Order: 1886's collector's edition depicts this very action. In this unboxing video that P...
1886, 1887, 1888, 1889 photo
1886, 1887, 1888, 1889

Expect The Order: 1886 to be a series, not a one-off


'We build a world purely for the purpose of making more than one game'
Jan 13
// Steven Hansen
As a single-player only, narrative-driven game, The Order: 1886 feels a tad quaint (in a good way), as even the most classically cinematic, narrative-driven things of recent years (Last of Us, Uncharted, Mass Effect) aff...
The Order photo
The Order

The Order teaser ditches 'cinematic' for creepy singing children


Lil Bobby Paige, innit guv'nuh!
Jan 13
// Steven Hansen
I'm still a bit wary of the PS4-exclusive The Order, but if they've last minute reimagined the game as a collection of Scary Stories to the Tell in the Dark sung by disgusting children, they might have a good 2D horror game on their hands. 
The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 trailer tries taking cues from a Gears of War classic


What a horrible night to have a curse
Dec 26
// Brett Makedonski
This feels vaguely familiar, doesn't it? A somber trailer punctuated by an eerily haunting, soft-spoken song. Gears of War struck gold with this approach many years back with the "Mad World" trailer. The Order: 1886's a...
The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

Maybe just steer clear of The Order: 1886's police station


I don't think you'll like what's in there
Dec 15
// Brett Makedonski
Ready at Dawn released a new trailer this morning imploring prospective The Order: 1886 players to "join the London police." Before you rush into things headfirst, take one minute to watch what happens to those law...

The Order: 1886 sure is, uh, cinematic

Oct 28 // Steven Hansen
[embed]279471:55243:0[/embed] There's also a strange bit of inaction in the room when cutscenes finally end and you're asked to find a way out. I was drawn first to a paper at the bar, which had a numbered map, and, if you press to flip to the backside, names, some of them crossed out. It didn't prompt anything, like a quest, or a cutscene. Context-less, maybe it's just a piece of environmental story-telling referring to early events. Maybe it's a clue, though, an important piece of info that an interactive, attentive player can use somewhere down the line. That'd be nice, at least. Then I walked around the small room, over the dead body, several times trying to figure out how to get out before a button prompt started a cutscene wherein we thermite burn through a giant metal stove or something that was (kind of) blocking the door (but probably could've just been moved by four people?). Maybe something this cinematic and story-driven just needs is to be played in full. And only once. Maybe vertical slices aren't helpful. I liked the weapon you're given. It shoots out clouds of thermite which you then fire flares at to ignite. It was fun to watch the fire come to life in an instant and spread, though never out of control, because this is a tailored experience. Sometimes judging the distance of these clouds was tough, though it didn't matter. I don't know if the cover-based shooting gallery was easy because it's a public demo meant for people to have a good time with or because it is typical and easy, serving to get you to the next set piece. Quickly I changed my tactics and fired flare first, then thermite cloud. I tried to brain people with flares and then ignite their friends. Towards the end of the short demo I gave up on the shooting gallery, left cover, and just danced circles in the courtyard spitting fire indeterminately. That isn't what the game wants, no doubt, but I still didn't come close to dying, and it was a bit more amusing.
The Order: 1886 photo
Not saying we should 86 this order, but, hoping there's more to it
I finally played The Order: 1886, Ready at Dawn's upcoming PS4, monster-filled, alternate-London-history third-person shooter here at Paris Games Week. I still really want to like it. I like a lot of things about it. Well, ma...

The Order photo
The Order

Creating The Order: 1886's Half-Breeds


Ready At Dawn talks making believable monsters
Jun 26
// Jordan Devore
Here's Ready At Dawn discussing its thought process behind the beasts of The Order: 1886. The scariest thing about the Half-Breeds? "They are smart," says game director Dana Jan. "To me, I think that's actually the scariest ...
Order The Order photo
Order The Order

Order The Order's two collector's editions


Pre-order The Order in order to ensure it comes out
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
I think we missed these during E3, but Amazon has The Order: 1886 up for sale (listed to come out February 20) with its two distinct  "Collector's" ($80) and "Premium" ($150) editions. So you true, true fans are going to need to double up and knock your mother's ashes off the mantle to make room for two statues. 
The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

Sony gives us a peek at PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886


Spooky!
Jun 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Sony gave us another look at The Order: 1886 tonight during its E3 media briefing. Check out the foreboding new trailer for the recently delayed title above. Looks creepy as hell. I love it.
The Order: 1886 delay photo
The Order: 1886 delay

The Order: 1886 has been pushed back to 'early 2015'


Originally targeted for quarter 4 of 2014
May 27
// Brett Makedonski
At a recent preview event for The Order: 1886, Sony revealed that Ready at Dawn is now targeting an early 2015 release date for its game. Previously, it had been aiming for a quarter 4 release in 2014. Contributing factors to...

The Order: 1886 looks great from what little Sony will show us

May 27 // Brett Makedonski
The primary intent is to give the player an alternative to the long-ago exhausted experience of gameplay devolving into a pop-up shooting gallery. Being able to circumvent cover facilitates action and adds a unique spark to the affair. Oh yeah, it's also a ton of fun to shoot semi-wildly and light groups of enemies on fire. During the slice that we were shown, that will almost certainly have to be the player's course of action. The Order: 1886 borderline demands it. The sidearm pistol was almost hilariously under-powered, and the iron pellets by themselves were mostly useless, also. In fact, it even took a couple fire showers to dispatch most enemies, as if being lit aflame once wouldn't be enough to make most people pack it in and call it a day. The reason for inordinate enemy toughness might have to do with the game's unusual plot device. In this alternate reality of expedited innovation and technological advances, a mysterious liquid called Black Water was discovered. Black Water is notable for its healing properties, and its ability to significantly extend lifespans. However, it's a limited resource and doesn't make its imbiber immortal, just able to live potentially hundreds of years. After clearing the first combat area, we were treated to a cutscene that featured Black Water. As the short cinematic played out, it was almost impossible to not be impressed by the visual fidelity on display. The ante was upped when it seamlessly segued back into gameplay, and it was starkly apparent that both cutscenes and gameplay were visually on-par with one another. It was obvious that the first section looked good, but given an area to explore with no distractions, this became incredibly apparent. Although there wasn't much to get into in the small safehold (apart from looking at a note and turning it over), the action quickly resumed again, as we were tasked with dragging a fallen comrade to safety. With one of the character's hands tied up pulling a body, the demo forced us to use the pistol to fend off attackers. It was strange that in this segment, the pistol worked just fine and would drop enemies with one headshot, where mere minutes earlier it was almost like a toy gun. This is when the demo of The Order: 1886 ended -- approximately five minutes after it began. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed -- not in what I saw, that was mostly great, but in that I couldn't spend more time with it. The cinematic approach to visuals looked fantastic in practice, and it seems as if the technology-driven weaponry will be a real treat to use. However, five minutes is a tiny sample size, especially for a game with this kind of potential. Hopefully next time we see The Order: 1886, it's more than just an appetizer.
The Order: 1886 preview photo
But we still don't have much to go on
Sony seems reluctant to let us see too much of The Order: 1886 at once. In February, Dale had a chance to check it out in a hands-off demo, and his biggest takeaway was that it looked absolutely stunning. After finally h...

The Order: 1886 photo
The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886: Handsome men with guns & nice coats


Say "chowder"
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
I may have been expecting something else out of The Order: 1886, for whatever reason, but I'm settling in to its identity as another cinematic (maybe the most cinematic) cover-based third-person shooter. I think it's all the fancy dress and mustaches that are convincing me. It looks like you beat up Hitler in this gameplay trailer, too. You don't, but it looks like.

The Order: 1886: Gritty, cinematic eye candy

Feb 18 // Dale North
The Order: 1886  (PS4) Developer: Ready at DawnPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: TBA They had me at fancy suits and super-ornate gun mashups from the game's earliest showing. I was pretty much already all-in on The Order: 1886, mostly because its Neo-Victorian London setting is so different from anything else out there. But a nifty setting is nothing without gameplay, and Ready at Dawn knows this. They brought the first playable build to a Sony press event last week to give us a look at where The Order: 1886 is headed for that very reason. The demo started with a walk through an early section of the game, located in a London enclave called Whitechapel. This is a slummy area that harbors the city's underworld, and from its rooftops looks pretty much what I'd imagine old London would look like, save for the airships that dot the skyline. Ready at Dawn says that while they strived for authenticity, they did stretch things a bit with these airships as they weren't around in the 1880s. They pulled them back from the early 1900s and made them believable enough to fit in nicely. [embed]270708:52628:0[/embed] Even in this early state, The Order: 1886 is stunning with its filmic look. The PS4 is providing enough muscle for realistic visuals, but it's the dust and grit that bring a realistic authenticity to its visuals. Ready at Dawn says that they used virtual lenses differently than you'd normally use in a game, and it definitely shows. Pans and cuts work to help to tell the story, much like they would in a film. The look is quite different than a typical third-person adventure, where the shots are always wide and everything is always in focus. I did notice some strange artistic choices along these lines in the demo. Early on, a shot from behind cover had the player and his surroundings in focus, but his target blurred out, simulating a shallow depth of field. It certainly looked neat, but keeping the target out of focus doesn't make sense beyond visual effect.  Ready at Dawn set out to show what they called moment-to-moment gameplay with their demo. They say they're working to create a seamless experience, allowing the player to flow continuously through cinematics, traversal, navigation, gunplay, melee, walk and talk bits, and more. This short hands-off demo seemed to hit all of these marks perfectly. We'll have to get our own hands on The Order: 1886 to make a real call on how successful they were at this. Protagonist Galahad and new recruit Lafayette survey the surrounding buildings from a rooftop using a monocular that manages to be both old and mechanical, but also slick and futuristic. They soon spot their target, a hospital some two miles to the west. Before setting out to "join the soiree," they order up air support. Here, the player will enter a Morse code message using the DualShock 4's touch pad, tapping out the message "Attention."  Jumping down in the middle of some old buildings, the game transitions from cinematic to gameplay seamlessly, keeping the filmic look and direction from the cinematics. No swapping takes place, which means that the models you see in the cinematics are the same you'll see in gameplay. Characters faces are highly detailed and brilliantly animated, the lighting is impossibly realistic, and the movie-like camera work tops the package off, making it so that watching The Order: 1886 in action is a lot like watching a Hollywood movie.  The first showing of gunplay had a character ducking behind cover to avoid fire, in a move not unlike what you'd see in Epic Games' Gears of War. The low, tight following camera also reminded me of Gears of War a bit, though the camera's movement seemed to be a bit more cinematic. The weapon being used, the Automatische M85, looked to be pretty powerful as it made quick work of the attackers that hid further down a corridor, and had a hefty recoil. Progressing further in, a one-on-one struggle impressed. It was presented in a way that it looked like it could have been a scene in any action movie with its uncommon camera angles and quick cuts. But it was hard to tell just how much control the player had during this scene. I saw a couple of button prompts during the fight, but it didn't seem like much more was going on beyond those. Ready at Dawn later explained that the quick-time events of The Order: 1886 are branching. Passing or failing prompts take players on different paths, leading to different kills and other results. During these events, the camera can move, as can the player. It's possible to pick up items or weapons in these scenes as well.  Near the end of the demo, the group finds a bunker full of firearms that could support a small army. In opening one of the boxes in this bunker, a sleek semi-automatic rifle was uncovered. Ready at Dawn seems to have aimed for uncommon weapon mashups for The Order: 1886, taking pieces of weapons you might have been able to find back in the late 1800s and mixing them with different elements to make for some interesting yet believable combinations.  There's no question that The Order: 1886 is a visual stunner, and the setting and weaponry are certainly interesting, but this vertical slice we were shown doesn't really give us a lot to go on beyond that. Being a hands-off session, we can only assume that the gunplay falls right in line with other current third-person shooters with its cover system and over-the-shoulder perspective. The QTEs are a treat for the eyes, but again we have no idea if they'll amount to more than a few timed button taps. But what else can we gather from this short showing? There's atmosphere and style for days, and the visual effects and direction are outstanding, but nothing about the gameplay has its hooks in me yet. For as nicely packaged as this showing was, it left me craving variety. And if you've had your fill of third-person shooters, none of the mechanics shown are going to have you hungry again. But this was only a slice of The Order: 1886, and it's still early. If this game ends up playing as good as it looks, the PS4 is going to have a killer new IP on its hands.
The Order: 1886 photo
Impressions from the first gameplay showing
Sony and Ready at Dawn have been tight-lipped about upcoming PS4 game The Order: 1886 up until now, and even with what they showed us last week, it seems that they're still just barely scratching the surface. But it's not lik...


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