GamingPreview: The Order 1886

Preview: The Order 1886

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There are some games that have so much anticipation and hype around them that it seems impossible for them to fully live up to expectation. It turns out that when you saw it looking so shiny it was running on a PC with a Terabyte of RAM and 16 graphics cards running side by side. I’m very glad to say that The Order doesn’t rely on such trickery.

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Starting up the preview code for The Order starts with a cutscene of some daring antics on the top of an airship. The last time I was this shocked with how good a game looked was probably The Last of Us back on the PS3. I actually sat there waiting for the cutscene to end only to find out that it already had. I really couldn’t tell that it was waiting for me to move my character. Although it didn’t help that for some reason I had to move the left thumbstick up to move down the side of the ship.

The characters’ hair reacts to the light and has a real look of ‘depth’ and layering to it. Character animations are subtle and gestures are accurate. The physics of the fabrics are a real step above the standard. Small flaps flutter in the wind, the rope used for rappelling drapes and falls over your shoulder and even the material of the airship buckles under your feet as you make your way around it.

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Once onboard you stealth your way, rather brutally, to your objective. Dynamic cover and a close third person camera make the whole thing incredibly cinematic. Flitting from cover to cover and tracking guards manually without any radar gives a certain realism to The Order. It really sells the alternate history and pre 19th century science fiction technology.

When you move into an action sequence the cover become less dynamic and instead gives you manual control over if you’re in cover or not. Considering the way enemies can flank you and pin you down it’s actually a good thing not to be shuffling into a waist high object futilely trying to get your character to crouch; pressing a button is the simple solution.

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The gun play has a cinematic feel to it too. There’s more than enough ammo to fire a few misses and damage some cover. Enemies are even willing to poke only their guns out from cover and take shots at you without exposing themselves. It doesn’t feel particularly precise but the guns feel distinctive and fire fights are satisfyingly chaotic. There seems to be plenty on offer too as even in the hour or so on offer there are two SMG/assault rifles, a suppressed sniper, a bolt rifle, a burst pistol, a classic pistol, a sawed off shotgun and grenades. There’s already enough to get me through most, if not all, of the main game anyway.

The Order 1886 is shaping up incredibly well. It’s already the best looking thing I’ve seen on PS4. The transitions between cutscene and gameplay are seamless to the point were you have to keep checking if you can move with the thumbstick, visually you literally can’t tell. The AI is clever and the low-tech steam punk technology keeps stealthing pure and open combat cinematic. So far The Order 1886 is at least living up to its own expectations, if not quietly working to exceed them. The Order is due out February 20th exclusively to PS4.

 

phillvine
phillvine
Phill has been the director of a small IT repair business since 2011 which he runs alongside studying for his degree in Information and Communication Technologies at the Open University. Video games are his real passion and they take up more of his time than he'd like to admit.

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