The general reception to Ready at Dawn’s The Order 1886 was rather positive when it was first shown. That managed a rather sharp turn when the game became playable at E3 this year, with most who’ve previewed it saying that though it looks gorgeous, when it comes to gameplay, it’s dull and uninspired; playing like a second–rate Gears of War. I’m still excited for it.
I got to see a presentation on the game at Gamescom , led by Ready at Dawn’s head honcho, Ru Weerasuriya. It wasn’t, frankly, all that enlightening – but it did highlight just how passionate Ready at Dawn is about the things they make. There’s just so much research and knowledge going in to every facet of the game, that it’s difficult to imagine the team would slip when it comes to the most important bit; the gameplay.
The focus of the presentation at Gamescom was on two things; the inclusion of Nikola Tesla in the game, and the unbelievable attention to detail that’s gone in to the game’s plethora of weapons. Tesla functions as The Order’s chief scientist, and works much the same way that Leonardo Da Vinci helped Ezio in Assassin’s Creed. Like with that game, they’ve had to play about with history a bit, but Ready at Dawn has largely kept the timing true to Tesla’s actual biography, and will feature things the genius actually invented.
They’re all realistically grounded weapons, with the majority of them being not only based on real-life guns, but intricately modelled after them. Well, at least most of them. There are guns from Britain; like the Essex M82 carbine; the sort that British infantrymen would have used. You’ll get guns from Germany, like the Feederle Machinepistole – all lovingly digitally recreated, with time appropriate nicks and scuffs, scratches and markings.
While there’s a large number number of real-life gunpowder-based weapons, there are also a fair few that Ready at Dawn have created, like a triple barrelled shotgun. Other use Tesla’s technology – but these too are all based on realistic, era appropriate technologies.
That same level of detail carries through to the frankly incredible recreation of a Victorian London, with real-life places like Mayfair, White Chapel, Westminster and Blackwall Yard recreated as closely accurate to history as possible – anachronistically peppered with Steampunk elements, of course. In levels like the one set in Whitechapel’s London Hospital (now the Royal London Hospital) even the rust on the doors is textured to be accurate.
The level of detail is frankly insane – and it’s because of this that I’m still excited for The Order. As somebody who’s drawn to history, I know I’ll be spending hours looking at everything, absorbing every detail
We then got a live gameplay demo, which was unfortunately the same bit from E3; Knights from The Order going up against a Lycan threat within. It features that same seamless transition from gameplay, to cut-scene, to…ugh…quick time event that we’ve seen. From the bits we’ve seen, and the bits that people have played, the game itself does seem a little tepid. I, however, am going to give Ready at Dawn the benefit of the doubt. With their attention to detail and obvious passion, I just can’t see this being a bad game.
Last Updated: August 21, 2014