E3 2014 Preview: The Order: 1866

June 25, 2014

Sony has so far proven to possess the superior tech in the PlayStation 4, and one game striving to deliver astonishing visual quality is Ready at Dawn’s The Order: 1866. From every screenshot and video seen so far, the game is virtually on par with what you might expect from a computer-generation movie. I was able to go hands-on and test a very small chunk of the game at Sony’s E3 booth, and I can testify to The Order‘s visual brilliance. What is unclear, however, is whether there is gameplay to match.

In The Order, players join a highly structured hierarchy of Knights, set in an alternate reality London. In the middle of a years-old war with a race of half-breed humans and animals, a rebellion stirs among the population. The Knights suddenly have two fronts of war, and despite advances in technology, grating such inventions as Zeppelins and heavy projectile weapons, the battle looks dire. Another advancement in science, a mysterious liquid that grants remarkable healing abilities – as we have seen in the game’s trailers – does not mean the Knights can win.


My small time with The Order allowed me to go hands-on with the section that Sony has recently been airing in trailers. The gameplay I tested essentially mirrors other cover shooter’s like Gears of War, except that instead of having to toggle when to take cover all the time, it is partly contextual. We used a nifty weapon that shot gas in the direction of the rebels we were engaging. We could then ignited the gas with a grenade-like charge, engulfing the whole area into flames, including anyone unlucky enough to be standing in the middle of it.

After a few minutes of cover-shooting gameplay, one of out companions suddenly became immobilised in the heat of battle, without any cover to hide behind. The game shifted into a half drag-your-friend-away and whack-a-mole scenario. Slowly moving the injured knight to safety, we had with nothing but our secondary pistol to ward off hostiles. Situations such as this one look to be scattered about The Order with the hope of changing the pace somewhat from standard shooting gameplay. It was here that our time with the game abruptly ended.


While The Order has the most impressive visuals I have seen of this generation, I hope that the developers can offer more than generic cover shootinggameplay. Not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, but I hope that the graphics aren’t the only memorable thing about this PlayStation 4 exclusive. Ready at Dawn have said they hope to deliver even more with both an engaging story and gameplay experience, and indeed, they still have plenty of development time to fulfil that promise. The Order: 1866 is scheduled for release in February 2015.