One of the main attractions at Sony’s E3 booth this year was The Order: 1886, which is an exclusive title for the PS4. The Order has been on gamer’s minds since last year’s E3 where its first trailer debuted and wowed gamers with its insane visual quality.

At this year’s E3 a playable demo of the game was on display and I got to give it a go to test out the pop and cover gameplay of The Order: 1886. The demo took place during the third chapter of the game and featured a mission that required Galahad and his Order teammates to track down rebels that stole a cache of their advanced weaponry. Considering that the members of the Order have weapons that are light years beyond the technology of the 19th century, securing the stolen cache is crucial to ensure they can keep the edge over the rebels and the mutated humans that are a cross between a werewolf and a zombie.

Members of the Order have some serious firepower
Members of the Order have some serious firepower

It’s immediately clear that The Order plays very similarly to the Granddaddy of pop and cover gameplay, Gears of War. By using the X and O buttons you can enter and leave cover with ease, and firefights play out like they did in Gears 1. What I mean by that comparison is that you and your squad are pinned behind cover in a tight alley and must strategically use cover to survive while taking pot shots at the enemies who are behind their own cover. Once you kill off the enemies you can advance to the next section where another firefight will ensue that requires you to rely on cover and using your weapons with deadly accuracy.

In the slice of chapter 3 that I played I was pinned down in a Victorian era looking city alley and was under heavy attack from rebel forces that were raining hell upon me from the terraces of the opposing buildings. Once I slid into cover I managed to test out my impressive thermite rifle that could shoot the flammable substance with one trigger squeeze, and an incendiary round with the right bumper, which when fired at the thermite would cause a fiery explosion of death.

Cover is key and a major part of The Order’s gameplay

I found this weapon to be formidable at disposing of the rebel forces, and its two fire mode mechanic suits The Order’s focus on pop and cover gameplay perfectly. You can lace an area with the fuel, take cover to avoid being shot, then pop back out to ignite the fuel and kill your enemies. I’m sure the demo was set on an easy difficulty setting, but I found the power of this weapon to be devastating and it was very enjoyable to use.

After a series of these types of firefights the game shifted into a cutscene, which looked damn near like a high-end CGI movie. The Order is definitely a clear indication that the next-generation of console gaming is really here in case you’ve been let down by the PS4/Xbox One era of gaming so far. The character models and their animations were near perfect, and at times it felt like I was playing a movie and not a video game. There’s no loss in visual quality when the action returns to actual gameplay either.

From here the demo transitioned into another firefight, which played out like the previous one; packed full of popping and shooting, and taking cover. After reaching our objective the action once again transitioned into a cutscene, which featured my first look at the mutant humans that can transform into some evil creature that kind of looks like a werewolf. At this moment the demo ended as the monster charged Galahad, so I didn’t really get to learn much about this particular scene, but it definitely showed off some impressive tech and some sort of overarching narrative of the Order’s long struggle against these mutated humans.

The Order features impressive visuals throughout
The Order features impressive visuals throughout

The Order 1886 is most definitely a beautiful looking game that is full of intriguing characters and an interesting plot. The action is very reminiscent of the Gears of War franchise, especially the first game, so if you enjoy that style of shooter you’ll more than likely appreciate what The Order has to offer. It’s easily one of the best looking and performing games I saw at the show, and while the gameplay may not be revolutionary, it’s still very precise and enjoyable thanks to the world the game is set in and its characters. This is definitely a game that PS4 owners should look into, so stay tuned for more details as they’re released.


If you have any questions in particular please use the comment section below and I’ll do my best to get back to you with an answer if I have one.


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Tags : E3 2014Hands-on PreviewPS4 ExclusivesThe Order 1886
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.