By now, most of the games advertised in the lead-up to the launch of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have had their chance to change, release, and for the most part, bring gamers back down to Earth. But one game that quickly became one of the most anticipated and promising console exclusives – The Order: 1886 – has remained in-development.
The first console title from Ready at Dawn, makers of the PSP God of War games, has an intriguing enough premise to warrant attention all on its own. But once the actual gameplay started rolling out, PS4 owners knew they had one visually impressive experience to look forward to. No surprise, then, that the latest trailer puts the graphics – and the game engine powering them – front and center.
The game’s setting of Victorian-era London seemed a moody enough backdrop for a sci-fi/horror shooter when the first announcement trailer debuted, but the developers soon clarified that the time and place were chosen for more than just mood (or historical figures to weave into their alternate history). In keeping with the Industrial Revolution the story is set within, The Order will be a dirty, dusty, and grimy experience.
That might lend itself to feeling like a more “cinematic” experience for those playing the game, but as the video shows, it also means a whole lot of work on the developers’ end.
As the arrival of more and more next-gen games has made the claim of a “brand new game engine”, or having to rebuild one “from the ground up” a common occurrence, it’s surprising to hear how Ready at Dawn has approached the problem. Having previously developed their own engine for PSP titles, the only challenge for the PS4 was taking that basic framework, and blowing it out to make the most of the new console. Beyond the many particle effects required in both the game’s environment and weapon effects, that apparently also includes scanning period fabrics to keep the textures of their alternate history faithful.
That accuracy may be pushed to the background when the mutant/werewolf/lycan enemies start tearing said fabrics to shreds, but credit where it’s due. And given the inherent risks of launching one’s very first console title – let alone a highly-anticipated exclusive – any familiarity with the engine is a bonus. If nothing else, it could ensure a less glitch-filled launch from a technical side.
What is your interest in playing through The Order when it releases? Does it have more to do with the gameplay, the visuals, or the story? Sound off in the comments.
The Order: 1886 releases February 20, 2015 exclusively for the PS4.