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Feb 15, 2015
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Last February 4, 2015, Sony Philippines invited FHM to try out one of the PlayStation 4's blockbuster offerings for the year, The Order: 1886, a single-player action-adventure shooter with some of the best visuals today.

Developed via a partnership between Sony studios Ready At Dawn (which is made up of former Blizzard and Naughty Dog devs) and SCE Santa Monica Studios (the guys behind the God Of War games), The Order: 1886 sure has a lot of expectations to live up to. The fact that it's being developed by some of the most talented creatives in Sony's lab adds to the pressure being already delivered by the fact that it's Sony's first big salvo of the year.

Video via IGN

To be released on February 20, 2015 in the Philippines, we got to try out a portion of a final version of the game, and from what we've seen, it's looking and playing pretty spiffy. The current PS4 generation is hitting its second wave of big games and The Order: 1886 seems intent on delivering the console's full potential.

Here are some of our impressions:

1)   There's a bit of a revisionist history lesson going on around here.

The game is set in an alternate history London, where half breed monsters lurk in the night (sometimes, even at day) and murder people. Who's protecting the flock? An old order of knights established by literature's King Arthur himself. Through him and the discovery of something called Black Water, a life-prolonging liquid, they are able to protect humanity. 

Centuries pass, and you are put in the Victorian-era boots of Sir Galahad, who hails from The Order as well. With zeppelins and weapons invented by a fictionalized version of Nikola Tesla, they try to put a stop to the half-breed threat.

Sounds fancy? That's what revisionist history does. It takes historical figures, dips them in a bucket full of imagination, and makes them a hundred times more awesome.

2)   Real-time graphics that match the best cutscene graphics we've ever seen

In our time with the game, we were treated to an introduction where characters rappelled down an airship. We thought it was a pre-rendered cutscene. It wasn't. Instead, it was a scene being rendered in real-time with the fabric of the ship giving way to the weight of the characters, and the clothes and hair blowing wildly in the wind.

Games have done cutscenes in real-time before, but the scale in which The Order does it was something that made us say, "Now, that's what we imagined next-gen (new-gen?) can do!" We can't wait to see how the full game can offer more scenes like that.


Video via Game Trailer Screenshots

3)   Speaking of airships...

The presence of huge Zeppelin-type airships and tiny humans with ropes dangling from them reminded us of a few scenes from Bioshock: Infinite. The treatment is worlds apart (Infinite is bright and almost cartoony; The Order is dreary), but we had the same feeling of excitement towards it.

Somehow, we have a deeply embedded fascination for airships in videogames. You can blame Final Fantasy.

4)   Duck-and-shoot gameplay is back

One carry-over from the previous videogame generation is the return of duck-and-shoot gameplay. The Order doesn't have the same over-the-top blood and gore from something like Gears Of War and instead offers more of a strategic kind of action. Try to go Rambo mode like those brutes from GOW and the enemies (who were surprisingly accurate with the bullets) are going to mow you down.

Video via Playstation

As we've mentioned, the Black Water element comes into play in the actual gameplay. In emergency situations, there's a Black Water button that you can use for a quick health recharge. Careful though, because it's a one-time use kind of thing. It does speed up the overall pace of the game, though.

5)   There's also a slow-mo shooting mode

John Woo is going to be proud of The Order: 1886's "Black Light" mode, a button that triggers slow-mo action like Max Payne's Bullet-Time and Red Dead Redemption's Dead Eye modes. It's especially cool to bust out from a corner then put the whole room in slow motion, shoot everyone, and duck back into a corner.

Do it right, and you'll feel like Leonidas but with steampunk-inspired guns. Quite cool if you ask us.

The Order: 1886 will be available for P2,499 individually or packaged with a PS4 for P22,699!