Ready at Dawn’s upcoming Victorian fantasy third person shooter has been gaining attention since E3 earlier this year. With prior successes with such settings by other developers such as Arkane’s Dishonoured, many have been anticipating a press release about The Order: 1886. Now we finally have something solid.
Having gotten hold of an early issue of next month’s GameInformer covering the title, Gamepur.com spilled the beans early. Everything from story to developer comments have been leaked and listed via bullet points, giving some considerable insight into the project.
The story follows a major conflict between humanity and a new species of “half-breed” humans, blending animal traits with those of men. Splitting off into various off-shoots and sub-species, naming themselves after mythical creatures, a war was eventually sparked between their kind. Amid this, a human named Arthur gathered like-minded individuals to save humanity by fighting the half-breeds. Finding ways to extend their lives, the knights who followed Arthur have fought across the centuries to the point where steel blades have been replaced by futuristic 19th century technology. Despite their successes, the number of knights has dwindled and Sir Galahad, the protagonist, has begun to grow weary of the ceaseless conflict.
The major setting is London, which is on the edge of facing revolution by the downtrodden underclasses. While well aware of the on-going war, they refuse to be lorded over by the rich knights and speak of equality.
Having only worked on a handful of titles, several of which were ports by other developers, Ready at Dawn have freely admitted this is their most ambitious project to date. Even ignoring that, 1886 is based entirely upon its own engine which has been in development since 2009 for the PS4’s use. Containing an “organic” camera system, enhanced graphical capability and dynamic lighting among other features. Despite the fantasy setting, a great deal of emphasis has been placed upon “soft-body physics” to have characters and environments react more realistically to outside effects. It was described as "bending and morphing a metal beam in reaction to a powerful magnetic force, or making boards of a ramshackle wall buckle before splintering when pressure is applied".
Gameplay, meanwhile, is what you would expect it to be for a third person shooter: cover based, with some limited melee capabilities and an emphasis upon weapon variety. The second point is above the likes of Mass Effect however, with a degree of complexity and quick-time events involved. As of yet however, there is no mention of multiplayer or co-op capability.
Full detail of these subjects can be read in GameInformer’s November issue along with areas not touched upon here.
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