As nearly everyone knows by now, The Order: 1886 is arguably the best-looking console game currently under development. To check out the gameplay, I grabbed the controller and played through the section of gameplay that has been shown off in the most recent trailers. In the game, you play as a member of The Order, a Victorian-era gathering of the Knights Templar. Though they serve the aristocracy, they are truly meant to fight off and protect humanity from the unnatural elements of the world.
In the game's setting, The Order is caught between two worlds. On the one hand, they are still sworn to protect humanity, but on the other, the aristocracy is under attack from those who seek its downfall. In the gameplay segment I played, those people are assaulting you at every turn and doing their best to pour Victorian-era lead on you from every street corner and balcony. Thankfully, you are also more than equipped to deal with their threats.
At its core, The Order: 1886 is a third-person, cover-based shooter, but you are a lot more vulnerable when out of cover than you are in other games of this type. This puts a greater emphasis on moving from cover to cover and not spending too much time peeking out from it. Your primary weapon shoots thermite bullets, which do minimal damage and are wildly inaccurate. However, when they impact a person or object, they fragment into thermite dust and create a cloud of the substance in the air. The dust causes enemies to choke — until you use the weapon's alternate fire to launch a flare to ignite the whole mass.
The player character is also equipped with a sidearm, which can be used normally or when you use the slow-motion mechanic. In this mode, aiming is essentially taken care of for you, and as the world moves in slow-motion, all you have to do is flick the stick to the enemy you want to dispatch and pull the trigger. As you do so, your character generally looks like a bad ass, coolly dispatching opponents as though he were shooting targets at a range.
Ultimately, the segment I played ended pretty quickly, but it was enough to get a taste of the gameplay in The Order: 1886. It wasn't enough to speak for the game as a whole, but it was certainly an entertaining foray into the game's mechanics and a glimpse at its plot. Its biggest strengths are in its presentation, but it remains to be seen how well the gameplay fares in the final game.
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