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The Order: 1886 - First Screens and Story Details

This game has become my most anticipated next-gen title practically overnight. Game Informer’s feature in their November issue made sure of that.

Revealed at E3, Ready At Dawn’s trailer for their third-person shooter debuted devoid of info. Only two things permeated in the public’s mind: “It looks like Victorian Gears of War" and "Those can’t really be in-game graphics.”

Well, they are in-game graphics; brought to you by the stunning horsepower beneath the PS4’s hood. And, yeah, “Victorian Gears of War" is a tough comparison to shake, but The Order's concept is wickedly cool and fresh on its own merits. While the game's history closely mirrors our own, the key division revolves around the genetic split between us, humanity, and the “half-breeds,” a new sub-species of human beings that have taken on more animal-like traits.

Though we share the same gene family, the difference is enough to put both factions at bloody odds for centuries. Jump to The Order, or more famously, the fabled Knights of the Round Table. Instead of crusading for the Holy Grail, however, the Knights of this alternate history seek to protect humanity from the half-breeds.

Part of their calling requires these holy agents to imbibe a rare substance; “black water.” Drinking black water is just south of gaining immortality, allowing knights to serve for years beyond an average human’s lifespan. The result is highly tested guardians shaped and hardened by centuries of experience. Your character, Grayson, is one such veteran — the third man in history to bear the moniker Sir Galahad.

Galahad and his team’s fight is aided by a pivotal point in human achievement: the industrial revolution.  But with the war against half-breeds nearly won yet still in play, technology blossoms in volatile ways, meaning this version of 1886 sees you equipped with gatling guns, thermite tossing launchers, and electric arc guns that can cut an enemy down before they’re afforded a chance to blink.

RaD’s imaginative, gritty, and strangely captivating mix of real world history and grim fantasy are the right ingredients for a head-turning, new IP. An in-house engine capable of astonishing feats of real-time physics — like bending metal and wood that splinters and cracks before breaking — also make for some strong arguments in favor of next-gen tech. I can’t wait to see more. Really, though. I can’t wait. It verges on painful.

The Order is scheduled to hit in 2014, exclusively for the PlayStation 4.

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