Amidst the flurry of E3 and the excitement of the Sony press conference, you may have missed the announcement of Ready At Dawn‘s PlayStation 4-exclusive third person shooter The Order: 1886 (not to be confused with Patrice Désilets’ current project, 1666: Amsterdam). As the trailer above shows, the latest game from the creators of the God of War series looks intriguing: a nineteenth century London setting where the characters carry walkie-talkies and electric weapons.

The protagonists of the game appear to be knights, presumably belonging to the titular ‘Order’; the trailer opens with a quote from “Le Morte d’Arthur” (concerning King Arthur and his knights of the round table) and one character can be heard referring to another as Galahad. In all the mist, it’s difficult to tell exactly what kind of monsters are attacking them, but they appear to be some kind of variant on werewolves. Whatever they are, they’re probably not the sort of thing you’d want a very close look at.

Though the trailer was built in-engine, it doesn’t appear to contain any actual gameplay, and as such it’s hard pin down the exact nature of the game. To flesh out the story a little, PlayStation Blog caught up with Ready At Dawn’s studio co-founder Ru Weerasuriya and asked him to explain, in a nutshell, what is to be expected from The Order:

“The Order is a third person action adventure with shooting mechanics. It’s very much story-based — it’s a linear story-based game. We’re trying to tell a story. It’s what we call a filmic experience.”

Galahad in 'The Order 1886'

The description of the game as “filmic” might be more than a little off-putting to some gamers, since an attempt to make a game more like a movie can often just end up with the player watching impotently as the plot plays out in front of their eyes in cut scenes. Since the central aspect of the medium is interactivity, it can be a little frustrating to watch your character take part in breathtaking action sequences while you’re left twiddling your thumbs.

Hopefully this won’t be the case with The Order: 1886, and on a more positive note it sounds like Weerasuriya is referring to aesthetics rather than gameplay:

“The overall feel — that filmic experience… the one thing we brought to this is something people are accustomed to but usually can’t tell. When you watch a movie you don’t question what lens is being used. You don’t question why there is grain on the film or why there’s a certain lighting. Those are things we’ve been accustomed to seeing for 30 years. So when it’s missing we usually go ‘Wait, something is wrong with this image.’

“With this game we replicated a lot of physical attributes. We have true lens distortion. We built physical lenses into our engine so we could get something where people will look it and not be totally disconnected. Games have a tendency sometimes to be too clean and crisp. We thrive in the dirt. We just love the fact that it feels dirty. It’s filmed in a very realistic way.”

The London skyline in 'The Order 1886'

To go with the “dirty” look of the game, Ready At Dawn has also set the story in one of the dirtiest places possible: Victorian London. Since the Assassin’s Creed games haven’t yet spent more than a few minutes of gameplay in London and the Grand Theft Auto series hasn’t returned to it in many years, playing a game set in a version of the city is an exciting prospect for many gamers, whether they be residents of London or just interested in the location.

The Order: 1886 might not allow players to freely roam through the streets sandbox-style, but Weerasuriya is nonetheless proud of their attention to detail:

“I don’t think we’ll be able to do a 1:1 mapping of London. We tried! We started out by mapping the full city of London. But we’re going to try and stay as true as possible to it. You’ll recognize a lot of things.

“There are obviously some things we’re going to put in there that don’t exist, and we’ve moved certain locations a bit, but as you can see from the trailer, when you pass in front of the Thames, Parliament is where it’s supposed to be and London Bridge is where it’s supposed to be.”

Hopefully this means that we’ll get to experience shoot-outs in some very interesting locations: through the narrow streets of Soho, perhaps, or in an open space like Hyde Park. It appears, however, that the game is set in a version of Victorian London that’s been informed by a number of sci-fi elements, as well as a bit of magic and monsters.

The fact that Weerasuriya refers to the game as an “action adventure with shooting mechanics,” suggests that not all of the gameplay will be dedicated to the noble art of pulling the trigger, and this is later reinforced when he teases that, “the moment-to-moment gameplay is really not what you might expect.” A mix of different gameplay elements does sound intriguing – let’s hope that he’s referring to more than just QTEs.

Do you think that The Order: 1886 will be one of the PS4 exclusives to tip the next-gen scales in Sony’s favor? If you’ve already decided to buy a PS4, will this be one of the games that graces your shelves? Let us know what you expect to see from The Order: 1886 in the comments.

The Order: 1886 will be released on the PS4, but the game doesn’t have a release date yet.

Source: PlayStation Blog