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Is The Order:1886 Sony’s Next Knockout Exclusive?

A good deal of information was just released about Sony’s new exclusive title for the Playstation 4, The Order: 1886, including plot details as well as a brand new trailer. Being developed by Ready At Dawn Studios, best known for their exceptional work on the God of War titles for PSP, are looking to create a unique, dangerous world during the Industrial Revolution.

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The story is centered around an alternate Neo-Victorian London, battling for survival among the creatures only known as Half-Breeds. These creatures have been a plague for years, causing havoc and terror all around the city, thus the Order was born. Also known as Knights of the Order, these men and women were tasked with protecting the people from what lurks in the dark. The fight seemed to be an uphill battle, at least in the past. As London enters the Industrial Revolution, the fight becomes much more complicated, more aggressive. Featuring new experimental weaponry, the fight for survival seems to become the fight for extermination, pushing back against the monsters around the city. As you’d expect, this revolution doesn’t sit well with all, causing civil unrest and disorder, the knights of the order are tasked with not  just fighting the deadly half-breeds, but the people of London themselves.

Easily, the most striking thing is the setting and visual fidelity of it all. Ready at Dawn claims that there is no difference between the cut scene and in-game visuals, meaning what we see in the most recent trailer is what we get. The way London looks is really stunning, creating a dark, treacherous world that seems to stir a sense of dread around every corner. Steampunk isn’t exactly the most popular environment in games, but it is good to see somebody experimenting with the idea. It is really an unique atmosphere that seems to have been wonderfully captured by the artists but the question still remains, will this be Sony’s next big PS4 title?

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Known for its array of solid exclusives like God of War and Uncharted, will The Order: 1886 catch on as much as those titles and does it do enough to separate itself from the standard shooter? Gameplay footage has been sparse but reports from other websites coming in mention that there hasn’t been anything separating The Order: 1886 from other shooters like Gears of War. Sure, it looks absolutely gorgeous but that can only stand on its own for so long without a good mechanics to lean on. Not to say third person shooters are bad per say, I just believe most of us were expecting a bit more than just taking cover behind a wall and using blindfire. The issue still remains that we haven’t seen a whole lot of footage from the game, especially considering the title is supposed to hit sometime this year. There could be a cog in the machine we just haven’t seen yet and maybe Ready At Dawn is keeping it quiet so it isn’t spoiled early. We can only hope for now until we hear more about it.

When I first saw the announcement trailer for The Order there was little to know, but first reactions were good and the style looks phenomenal to me. It seems to slightly resemble something from the likes of Dishonored which also did its own thing with London around the same period of time. Style isn’t everything but it stands out when you compare it to the countless RPGs and shooters that look somewhat the same. As a new IP, it needs to stand out, it needs to catch the eye of consumers and is certainly caught mine. Perhaps most people will be surprised to hear that there is no online function whatsoever in the game, when you take on your mission to exterminate the halfbreeds, you will be doing it alone with your A.I counterparts. Games focused on story rather than competitive or cooperative multiplayer is not new, but the sticking point of The Order is almost all the footage released has you with some sort of partner which absolutely screams co-op to anyone who sees it. I don’t think the absence of competitive modes is the kicker here, but more than absence of sitting with three good friends and experiencing the story together.

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While no multiplayer seems a bit disappointing in some regard, this is a fresh new IP; we have no idea how the story is structured and there could be a very good reason not to include such modes. The hindrance of co-op is you always need to take the other players into account. For all we know, the characters we see near the beginning of the game die an hour in from the half breeds or maybe even your own hand. In a single player experience, developers seem to have a bit more wiggle room with how their story turns out, let me pick on Gears of War a bit more, specifically the second one. When you are playing a game based around co-op you are never going to be alone. Of course Dom isn’t going to die half way through to game to create some sort of emotional impact, he’s being controlled by a player they can’t do that, or at least we haven’t seen it yet. The Order looks not only to be an action game but considering the atmosphere being built up, evokes a sort of horror environment. With a friend you can have some sort of tension, but alone, facing the beasts of the night without a clue where they are, that is how you create tension. I can’t say the absence of co-op isn’t a bit disappointing but I think Ready At Dawn has done this for a reason and we simply haven’t seen why yet.

The ideas and creativity are there, you can seem them by simply watching the newly released trailer below. It is yet to be seen how gameplay will hold up in the long run, but at the very least we are interested in what Ready At Dawn has to offer. The Order 1886 has no set date yet but is scheduled to release sometime this year. Do you think Sony’s next exclusive will hit it big like the others even without things like co-op? Or will it falter under the pressure and be overshadowed by other exclusives such as next month’s Infamous: Second Son? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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