Cover Based Shooting Makes The Order 1886 Feel Just Right
The Order: 1886 is a new third person shooter coming from Ready At Dawn and published by Sony’s own Santa Monica Studios slated for early next year. The game revolves around the story of Sir Galahad, a member of an elite group of Knights who has an arsenal of advanced weaponry to fight against some mysterious enemies. Set in a Victorian Era London, the game is as beautiful as it is oddly enchanting. I got some hands on time with this game at PAX Prime and I am very excited for what the final copy brings come February.
The game delivers action to you in a third person perspective, but it’s not your typical run and gun shooter. The combat and weapon systems that we demoed at PAX Prime put you in a precarious situation where utilizing the cover system in the game is a must. The weapon I had in the demo was a thermite rifle, which at first glance just shoots a dust cloud of thermite at an enemy. You then fire a flare from the same rifle which ignites the thermite and effectively burns the enemies to death. It’s pretty awesome and the visual effects on the fire as it ignites and extinguishes looks incredible. This particular weapon lacks a fast fire rate and due to the two-part firing system using both trigger and bumper buttons (thermite mist/flare) you’ll quickly take advantage of the cover system. But this is where things get interesting; The cover system is designed in such a non-obtrusive way you won’t even notice how fluidly you traverse in and out of cover between firing your thermite and flares while engaging enemies. Though not all weapons will require a primary and secondary firing system, the cover system will be an integral part in progressing forward through enemies in a good way.
This subtle dance between “duck and cover” and firing wasn’t challenging at all, and the way the controls are set-up makes it feel almost natural for a player to jump in and get to work. I found that depending on enemy placement and where cover was available, swapping between firing the flare first and then thermite versus firing the thermite dust and then igniting with the flare resulted in some really awesome ways to “smoke out” enemies or simply catch them on the run while they came out of cover. One really cool way to take on enemies is to hit the ground with thermite and then flare to light the ground on fire beneath the enemies. That’ll teach’em!
Keep this in mind: just because you’ve got a cover system that’s very fluid doesn’t mean you’ll want to stay there during a heavy firefight. In one part of the demo swapping between two cover locations was critical because it allowed for just enough time to lay down a mist of fire to prevent enemies from moving forward and taking out enemies who were rushing my position. The AI seemed very aggressive and my first “run through” without using cover got me in trouble fast. The start of the demo blends seamlessly between the cinematic and gameplay, which threw me off because similarly to the way PT starts, I didn’t realize it was time to grab the controls and get going.
As far as visuals, the game has them. Smooth game play paired inside a gorgeous historic London makes you wish you had time to admire the scenery but duty calls and you’ll need to work quickly to dispatch enemies before they stack up on your location and force you out into the open to fight. The demo at PAX provided a nice variety of environments to use for cover, and also enemy placement from multiple vantage points. Though it was short, I got a very solid feel for how the game is going to play, and I really want to see what other types of weapon systems we’ll get to use along the way. The game is still in development, but from what I got to play I think this will be an instant hit.
Release Date: February 20th, 2015. Price: $59.99
Check out the developer Ready At Dawn.
Follow The Order:1886 on Twitter and keep up to date on the game.