Since its unveiling at E3 last year, The Order: 1886 has been a major target on Sony fans' radar. That initial demo, while a bit confusing at first, piqued our interest, and since then the game's profile has only continued to grow.
Now, a full year later, we were finally given the chance to play The Order: 1886 at E3 2014, and the game did not disappoint. Granted, the demo was not as substantial as we hoped, but it still left a lasting impression. In fact, had The Order's vertical slice featured a more comprehensive look at the gameplay and the story, it would have been a surefire Game of the Show contender. As it stands, though, The Order 1886 is easily a 2015 release (console exclusive or otherwise) worth following closely.
First and foremost, it's important to say that, yes, The Order does look as gorgeous up close as it does in trailers and Press Conference presentations. Ready at Dawn has given the game a cinematic feel that, rather than focus on realism, makes The Order look like a playable cutscene. With so many visually impressive games on display at this year's event it was hard to single just one out, but The Order's stunning aesthetic - a gothic riff on Victorian-era architecture combined with a gritty, almost textural presentation - is up there.
As far as the demo itself, we were treated to a playable version of the same footage Sony streamed about a month ago. In the sequence, Galahad and his troop are ambushed by enemies and must fight their way through the London streets using their advanced weaponry.
All told, the demo ran no more than 15 minutes from beginning to end, and that's with several story bits peppered throughout. The sequence focused on a single weapon, Galahad's thermite rifle that first shoots out clouds of flammable gas and then launches an igniting shot, and only human enemies. There were no supernatural enemies to speak of.
Unique weaponry aside, The Order's combat is straight third person shooter, with players attaching to cover, popping up at opportune moments, and then firing on enemies. There is also a Blacklight ability that, when triggered, functions a lot like Red Dead Redemption's Dead Eye.
The gameplay showed flashes of creativity with its thermite rifle and that Blacklight ability, but we hope there is more to The Order than jumping between cover and taking down groups of enemies. Similarly, we'd like to know how much freedom there is to levels, as this particular sequence was extremely limited. It's pretty common for game demos to feature linear portions, but this was an extremely restrictive sequence meant to briefly touch on some of the game's unique qualities. That being said, we know from previous footage that the game does open up, but it's hard to evaluate those sections without playing them.
While our time with The Order: 1886 may have been brief, the game still managed to leave an impression, which says a lot about its potential. Gorgeous visuals and the promise of unique weaponry were strong enough indicators that this game will be something special, even if its level design might be straightforward. There's no question that The Order: 1886 will be a major showpiece for the PS4 come next year, and if done right it a potential Game of the Year candidate.
What do you think of The Order: 1886 so far? What has impressed you most about the game?
The Order: 1886 will release in 2015 exclusively for PS4.
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