The Order: 1886 Hands-On Preview

15 Dec 14

The Order: 1886 is an upcoming third-person shooter developed by Ready at Dawn Studios and Sony Santa Monica.  The PS4 exclusive wowed audiences several months with its amazing visuals. How is the game shaping up to be like in terms of gameplay though?

I had a chance to sit down and play a preview code for The Order: 1886 and it introduced me a lot to the game’s controls, mechanics and atmosphere. The unique 19th Century London setting sets the game apart from other shooters out there; however the gameplay will feel familiar to most gamers.

The preview introduces us to the Knights who are trying to infiltrate an airship. The first scene is quite exhilarating to watch as the Knights are abseiling down this airship trying not to fall to their deaths. They are there to try and prevent the Rebels from assassinating an important leader.

Graphically, The Order: 1886 is by far the most realistic looking game I have ever seen on the PS4. My brother was watching me play the game and thought he was looking at a pre-rendered cutscene. Much to his surprise, he was actually watching the in-game graphics in all its glory. It truly looks like you are watching a movie at times.

Speaking of movies, the widescreen presentation of The Order: 1886 might deter some gamers who are used to seeing a fullscreen. Playing this game is like watching a widescreen letterbox movie on DVD or Blu-ray. We’re used to this kind of presentation when watching a movie, but it does look a little weird playing in widescreen all the time in a game.

In terms of gameplay, The Order: 1886 is a game that takes heavy inspiration from other action games out there. It looks like your average third-person shooter with a cover mechanic, but there are some elements added in to spice up the gameplay somewhat.

During the first half of the preview, I had to use stealth to take out the enemies. Using stealth is very cool as the main character can kill enemies in brutal fashion. All you have to do is approach from behind and watch the violence unfold. The one thing that made the stealth portion difficult is that you can never be seen. Once a guard sees you, you are automatically shot in the head...

Quick Time Events are also common in The Order: 1886. Whether it’s you trying to open a lock on a door or you find yourself engaged in a fight, you will have to press a lot of buttons to get yourself out of sticky situations in this game. Personally, I don’t mind QTEs but others may find that this game uses far too many of them. If you hate QTEs, there’s a chance you may not like this game.

Combat in The Order: 1886 is very straightforward and nothing you haven’t seen before. It plays like any other corridor third-person shooter. There is a cover mechanic and your enemies love to hide behind cover as well. Shooting enemies is quite cool though as the game is responsive and has good hit detection. Melee attacks are probably even better as all you need to press is the Triangle button and the main character beats enemies to death in brutal fashion again.

The preview code for The Order: 1886 only took me 45 minutes to complete, but it did show a good portion of what this game is going to be like. The gameplay is solid and it’s full of action. If you love the third-person shooter genre, you will love what this game has to offer. I’m glad the game got delayed until 2015 as there are some glitches that need to be ironed out. Hopefully the game launches well and doesn’t end up being like Assassin’s Creed Unity...

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