Speaking at a recent Sony event in New York, J Goldberg, community manager at Ready at Dawn, said the studio came up with the idea for The Order: 1886 while still making games for the PSP. However, the game's main conceit--an experience that feels like a movie but plays like a game--required a console with the right technical specifications. "We couldn’t have achieved this graphical fidelity with any other console," Goldberg said.
The studio used full performance capture for all characters in the game, as well as the same character model for gameplay sequences and cutscenes, making the transition from one to the other almost seamless. "We're moving the camera in space, we're not loading in a video."
"We're moving the camera in space, we're not loading in a video." -- Goldberg
First announced at E3 2013, The Order: 1886 takes place in Victorian London, where a faster, stronger Industrial Revolution has created new technologies and gadgetry. But some Dickensian misery remains--the lower classes, unsatisfied with their lot in life, threaten the social order. Keeping order is a group of knights descended from King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, a group of morally just peacekeepers who protect the upper classes. Adding to the threat are packs of half-breed monsters--part-human, part-animal--who've been at war with the human race since the seventh century.
The Knights have an advantage--a supernatural element called Black Water, which allows them to move faster and heal more quickly, as well as a diverse range of sophisticated steampunk weapons. A few examples include a thermite rifle that shoots clouds of aluminium oxide pellets and an Arc Gun, which fires bolts of lightning.
"There hasn't really been a game set in this period," Goldberg said. "There were a lot of incredibly cool things that happened, with the government, with inventions, and so on--folks love that stuff. We knew we could have a lot of fun with it if we took that rich history and put our own spin on it."
The Order: 1886 launches exclusively on PS4 on February 20, 2015, and you can read more about our hands-on experience with the game at E3 right here.