Ready at Dawn’s The Order: 1886 has been bashed from several directions for being a monotonous game, offering constricted locations and not enough variety. Yet, yesterday Sony Computer Entertainment released a trailer that was supposed to show off the pre-order bonuses and hype the game up with a few reactions from players at events, but ended up being one of the most revealing on the actual gameplay.
Most of the (often unfair) criticism moved to The Order: 1886 was due to the fact that Sony Computer Entertainment showcased exactly the same demo from E3 to December. Considering that the game is strongly story-driven it’s easy to understand why, as you can easily incur into spoilers, but nowadays the press is used to be spoon-fed content at a steady rate.
When they’re not provided an endless stream of assets and behind closed doors presentations, journalists tend to turn into negative nancies quite quickly, and thus articles full of “concerns” and rather frown-worthy invitations not to pre-order were born.
Yesterday’s trailer shown a lot more of the game, and it didn’t do so in a behind closed doors presentation for the few, but nicely delivered to everyone, unexpectedly hidden into something that was supposed to be something else entirely. Before I clicked on the trailer myself, after reading its “Player Reactions & Pre-Order DLC” title, my reaction was “meh, who cares about this stuff.”
As the foootage started to roll, I went “wait a minute here…”
The video showcased a nice variety locations. Here’s a visual guide. Unfortunately the pictures aren’t great in quality, as Sony didn’t provide a higher bitrate version, so all we can do is taking screenshots from Youtube:
We already saw this at PlayStation Experience, but we get to see a few more glimpses of its opulent halls and utilitarian crew quarters.
London Back Streets (Whitechapel?)
The trailer showcased a lot more of what seems to be the same Whitechapel level showcased in the very first demo, even if we can’t really be sure that all the “back streets” location belong to it. The architectural style seems similar, but parts of what we’ve seen could belong to different levels. Some could be part of Mayfair, which was shown in the game’s concept art.
London’s Open Areas
A couple shots in the trailer showcased more open areas compared to Whitechapel. They look very detailed, even if we can’t be sure if we’ll be able to roam freely within them or they are scripted set pieces.
This location seems to be a long romp across a bridge. While we can’t see the Thames, the lack of buildings on both sides seems to indicate the nature of the location. It could be something else, of course, but that’s the most probable interpretation.
A level (or two?) set in an underground passage or cellar. Could this be the first close encounter with the lycans?
It looks like a store of sorts, but it’s hard to be sure.
An opulent mansion with pool tables. It could also be one of those clubs the British aristocracy was so fond of.
This was without a doubt one of the most interesting parts of the trailer. Galahad seems to be infiltrating a mansion at night, also making use of ziplines.
We get another glimpse on a few of the weapons included in the game. The arc gun, the combo rifle, the crossbow, the sniper rifle and the machinepistole. Interestingly, we also get to see the pre-order weapons part of the Knight’s Arsenal DLC. The pre-order bonus arc gun fires red electricity instead of blue.
Ultimately, what we saw yesterday indicates that there’s more to The Order: 1886 than what we’ve seen so far.
Since inFAMOUS: Second Son, Sony seems to have taken an approach of showing as little as possible of its games to avoid spoilers. While this might definitely ruffle some feathers, I don’t think restoring a degree of surprise is that much of a bad thing, especially in today’s market, since we’re often shown most of a game even before we get our hands on it to finally play.