Today Sony Computer Entertainment released a lovely new video of The Order: 1886, and it included a couple very small that were quite easy to miss.
We knew that Ready at Dawn wanted to give a degree of interactivity to cutscenes, and in an older gameplay video we saw that the player had the ability to move a thermite rifle in the hands of galahad during a cinematic sequence, but apparently there will be full fledged quick time events during cutscenes.
It’s fast and small enough that many probably didn’t notice, but as Galahad fires on an ammo drum in order to ignite an obstacle, the player is actually prompted to press R1 to fire the shot, as you can see below.
But that’s not all. The video includes the same scene shown in the E3 2013 announcement trailer, and that version and this one are basically identical, short of a quite relevant detail, as you can see below.
The old version is above, the new version is below. Keep in mind that the new version is more compressed, because the video comes from YouTube and a high quality version hasn’t been made available by Sony, so it’ll be slightly blurrier due to a much lower bitrate and higher compression.
The difference is in the strong limb darkening effect you can see in the lower picture. Limb darkening is an effect that naturally darkens the edges (also called “limbs”) of the screen to give a scene a more cinematic feel. It seemed to be present in a much weaker form in the older version too, and only to the left and right sides of the screen, while in the new version it’s much stronger and on all four edges.
The scene has also been given a bluish tint, as opposed to the greenish one it originally had. The rest is basically the same, short of the slight blur caused by the compression of the video.
Considering that Ready at Dawn vowed to create an experience as similar as possible to what we’d see in a move, the use of a strong limb darkening filter is not surprising, and it definitely helps the eye to focus towards the center of the screen, with a very pleasant effect.