For video games set in the past, it’s odd how disappointing it is to hear that they’ve been moved to a future release date. Sony delivered just such a blow recently by announcing that PS4 Exclusive The Order: 1886 has been delayed, releasing in early 2015.
Sony attempted to dull the impact by releasing a five minute behind-the-scenes video on the conception and inspiration of 1886. The video gives insight into a game that has been rather shrouded in mystery.
As a cornerstone to Sony’s PS4 announcement, there have been no secrets as to the general shape of The Order: 1886. It takes place in an alternate history that contains advanced technologies, wherein a group of protectors fight a rebel uprising. While the new video doesn’t reveal that the antagonist is a conflicted Sith Lord named Darth Vader (that would have been a great twist!) it does make the game seem much less like Dishonored meets Star Wars.
As GEEK told you before, The Order is a group of protectors, formerly the Knights of the Round Table. Surviving on a healing substance called Blackwater, they live to defend the Commonwealth. A rebellion predictably arises, and the knights are forced to fight their protectorate.
The setting is in a familiar 1886, despite the alternate history. The creative team at Ready at Dawn Studios made a conscious effort to keep the game believable. In the video, Ru Weerasuriya, the Creative Director and CEO said, “We didn’t want to recreate history, we wanted to twist it…. Once you’ve basically broken that suspension of disbelief, there is no buying it back from the player.”
Instead of drastically altering history like in Dishonored, they chose to keep it mostly intact, bringing in elements from the early 1900s, rather than introducing science fiction-esque gadgetry and transportation devices. Most of the historical retelling comes from different mythologies rather than different technologies. The Knights of the Round Table have their roots in the Celtic legends, though not much of those legends survive today. In 1886, the creators strove to highlight these forgotten parts of the myths, giving the scenery a more “King Arthur goes to Rivendell” look.
The team took a very novel approach, drawing their inspiration for the alternate history through the inherent mistruths in accepted literature. Ru Weerasuriya explains,
Regardless of all the fiction we write, I don’t think it’s ever as mysterious as history has been. You can go back and read books about events that have happened in the past and yet be never 100% sure, there’s always something that’s actually slightly off. That gave us so much ammunition.
Citing the expansive storyline, Sony decided to push the release date. “As we look to bring this experience to the players, we have decided to spend some extra time to deliver on the promise we made when we first introduced the game. As such, you can expect The Order: 1886 to come exclusively to the PlayStation 4 in early 2015.”
This isn’t the first time 1886 has come under fire. After streaming gameplay on Twitch, excited fans were enraged at an apparent quality degradation compared to the originally released excerpts. Ready At Dawn’s founder explained that the streaming service was to blame and if anything, the details have gotten better over the past year. “Can’t compare a ruined image to full res. Level of detail has not changed, if anything, it is up.”
As a result of this fandom scandal, there are plenty of images floating around the internet featuring side-by-side comparisons of the footage released in 2013 compared to that released more recently. It appears that the team has spared no expense with the detail work, and has made efforts to keep the costuming more historically accurate.
Perhaps this also explains Sony’s delay. With E3 just days away, we’ll hopefully hear more about what we can expect from The Order: 1886 and other new PS4 exclusives. Are you excited? Or dreading more delayed releases? Tell us what you’re looking forward to on the GEEK Facebook page or in the comments section below.