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The Order: 1886 E3 2014 Hands-on Preview

Developed by Ready at Dawn (my favorite independent studio), The Order: 1886 is a single player, third-person shooter set in an alternate, Victorian-era London where an old band of knights try to protect humanity from monsters.

The demo began with Galahad (the character I was playing as), and the other knights tagging along with him, who are desperately trying to save a wounded man. My jaw dropped shortly after the opening cutscene, because I couldn’t actually tell if it had ended. I just stood there for around fifteen seconds or so, waiting for my jaw to go back up, but that didn’t happen so I pushed forward on the left stick, and further into the demo.

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As Galahad, I was equipped with a weapon called the Thermite Rifle, which sprays thermite powder in a cloud in whichever direction you aim. The fun part comes after you’ve sprayed it at enemies, as they tend to cough and become disoriented, making them easy targets for the rifle’s follow-up attack. If you’re feeling sadistic, a burning flare will ignite the thermite dust, burning anything the powder and flare hit to a crisp.

It was an awesome weapon, and I quickly found interesting new ways to use it, such as hitting an enemy with a flare before the thermite powder, which would stun them, and then spraying the powder on them and towards anything or anyone else to burn them all in a controlled arc.

There was also a point in the demo where there were more than a few guys in front of me to take out, so instead of hiding behind cover, I sprayed thermite in a line across the street we were fighting on, and then hit it with a flare to force the men we were fighting to move out of harm’s way, or to another area to get a better bead on me, allowing me to pull out my pistol to take them out.

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The graphics in the game are amazing.  Galahad looks virtually real, with his pores clearly visible on his neatly groomed face when the camera zooms in on him, and his clothing realistically moving and flowing dynamically with his actions.

The demo was an absolute blast to play, although I wish I could’ve used more of the weapons Ready at Dawn has shown for it, but it is hands down my game of E3 2014.

The Order: 1886 will be available February 20, 2015, and you can bet I’ll be first in line to get it.

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.