The Order: 1886

Short, shallow yet utterly sumptuous, The Order: 1886 is a narrative-driven shooter that already feels dated.

Key events

Just over a year ago Sony launched one of the best looking console games of the modern era with Ready at Dawn's narrative-heavy third-person steampunk shooter The Order: 1886. It was a technical marvel for spring 2015 and one that Digital Foundry editor Richard Leadbetter called "a milestone in the development of next-gen visuals." Indeed it still looks mightily impressive 16 months on.

Majora's Mask 3D bests Evolve in February US retail sales

Majora's Mask 3D bests Evolve in February US retail sales

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate fastest-selling Monster Hunter title in US history.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D was the top-selling game in US retail, analyst company NPD Group has revealed.

Majora's Mask 3D is the fastest-selling Legend of Zelda hand-held game in US history, Nintendo said, with more than 515,000 combined physical and digital units sold. Not bad for an updated version of a 15-year-old game.

Second and third places were Evolve and Dying Light respectively. The latter was expected as Dying Light launched in January, but Evolve's place as number two might be somewhat surprising as it's both a brand new game (as opposed to a remake) and available on multiple platforms. Then again, Majora's Mask has a huge cult following and it launched alongside the fancy New Nintendo 3DS.

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Physical Dying Light sales overtake The Order and Evolve in UK

Physical Dying Light sales overtake The Order and Evolve in UK

Despite the download version launching a month ago.

In the world of physical game sales, Dying Light is a roaring success despite the download version launching a month ago.

There had been some concern that the delay of the release of the boxed retail version of Techland's zombie kill-'em-up would affect its sales. But it's already outdone two other high-profile games after just two weeks on sale.

UK sales company Chart-Track revealed today that Dying Light has already outsold PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 (launched 20th February) and 2K Games 4v1 shooter Evolve (launched 10th February) after just two weeks on sale in shops - and with the download version going live weeks beforehand.

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Dying Light tops UK chart as physical version finally launches

Dying Light tops UK chart as physical version finally launches

Dragon Ball Xenoverse in third, Dynasty Warriors in 21st.

Undead survival shooter Dying Light has scored the top spot in the new UK all-formats chart.

That's despite the game having been available as a digital download since 28th January. UK numbers company Chart-Track only counts physical copies sold, so this is Dying Light's first chart placing.

It arrives ahead of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in second place and new entry Dragon Ball Xenoverse in third.

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PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 number one in UK chart

PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 number one in UK chart

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round in at 27.

Sony's PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order entered the UK all-formats chart in first place.

Sony's previous UK number one was Naughty Dog's The Last of Us: Remastered, which came out for PS4 in August 2014.

The release of Ready at Dawn's The Order beats out Activision's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which is second. Last week's number one, Turtle Rock's Evolve, falls to third.

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Digital FoundryTech Analysis: The Order: 1886

Digital Foundry dissects PS4's most impressive visual showcase.

Famous for pushing the boundaries of Sony's PSP platform, The Order: 1886 demonstrates what developer Ready at Dawn is truly capable of from a technological standpoint when working with more powerful, modern hardware. While interactivity, run-time and replayability have dominated the headlines this week, what shouldn't be forgotten is just how much of a technological leap the game represents. Indeed, by focusing on such a tight, focused experience, Ready at Dawn is given the freedom to push visual boundaries in new and exciting ways, without the issues faced by larger open world experiences.

Whatever your stance on the humble moustache, mutton chops, beard or goatee, facial hair can be found growing with reckless abandon on a number of gaming's most memorable protagonists (and a few forgettable ones to boot). Once you delve a bit deeper, however, a pattern starts to emerge from among the bristles; facial hair is, basically, game developer shorthand for emotional development.

The Order: 1886 review

The Order: 1886 review

One knight stand.

Eurogamer has dropped review scores and replaced them with a new recommendation system. Read the editor's blog to find out more.

In video games, the term 'cinematic' can cut both ways. It speaks of the grand sweep of Naughty Dog's Uncharted, where players are washed away in the tightly scripted matinee-idol action of Nathan Drake. It speaks, too, of the frictions that have existed since such lavishly animated Laser Disc adventures as Dragon's Lair and Space Ace, where players are pushed to the sidelines as the spectacle unfurls before them, asking for only occasional minor prompts.

Ready at Dawn's The Order: 1886, the first original home console game from a studio that made its name with portable versions of Sony's God of War, cuts a curious line between both concepts of cinematic gaming, finding shaky new ground between the choreographed shooting of Uncharted and the more prescribed, cut-scene-laden drama of Heavy Rain. The action never clicks and its dramatics fall consistently flat - but the spectacle they are slave to is unquestionably stirring.

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Performance Analysis: The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 may well prove to be a highly divisive title - but for all its controversies, we're equally confident that it represents something very special, a sneak-peek at the future direction of real-time graphics on console hardware. Ready at Dawn's visual technology is simply immense: so good, so precise, so realistic that at times it's like you're playing a game that looks as good as a pre-rendered movie. This is a milestone in the development of next-gen visuals.

Implementing the very latest rendering technologies and integrating them with a superb level of consistency throughout the rendering pipeline, this is clearly a stunning visual showcase. Every element of the scene, from environmental materials to clothing, hair and skin is exceptionally rendered, beautifully lit according to how light interacts with their physical properties. There's little - if anything - in the way of hard geometric edges to give this game an old-school gaming aesthetic, while the more traditional high detail texture work found in most games gives way to a softer, more filmic look.

Effects work is lavish, rendered at a high quality, but without any single effect standing out over the others. There's a pleasing consistency in the quality of the rendering we've not seen here since Crytek's Ryse - camera and per-object motion blur along with a high quality depth of field effect blend perfectly into a rendering pipeline where every element has its place, enhancing the cinematic nature of the scene. Jaggies are mostly non-existent owing to the excellent anti-aliasing, but we're unsure bout the technique utilised here. Ready at Dawn's graphics presentations to the industry mention the use of 4x MSAA, but there's the odd manifestation of shimmer on edges and very rare sub-pixel break-up, hinting that a post-process AA technique may be in play.

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It's Friday: treat yourself with a brand new video from our own Ian "Greetings" Higton. No-one can deny that The Order: 1886 looks impressive, but during a recent hands-on with a preview build of the game, Ian found that there may be cause for a few misgivings behind all those moustaches. It's still very early days so we're keeping an open mind, but here are five reasons you may want to hold off on that pre-Order: 1886 for the time being.

EGXThe Order 1886: Rummaging around in the toy box

Our look at the brief burst of fun available at EGX this year.

Leaving the EGX demo stand for The Order 1886, I can't say I felt I knew a great deal more about the game than I had before picking up the controller. Without any kind of backstory fanfare, or introduction to the characters and the mission at hand, the demo simply plonks you straight into the third chapter of the game, with only a light roster of seemingly arbitrary objectives to achieve, and a handful of toys to complete them with.

The Order: 1886 release date confirmed

The Order: 1886 release date confirmed

Moustaches and monsters arrive in February next year.

PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 will launch on 20th February 2015, Sony has revealed in a new trailer.

A single-player cover-based third-person shooter set in an alternate Victorian London, The Order: 1886 was originally due to be launched this Christmas, but was delayed last month into next year.

"We have an open discussion with Sony all the time," Ru Weerasuriya, boss of The Order developer Ready at Dawn told Eurogamer. "We said, 'Look, we can achieve the quality you expect everywhere, but delivering on this is going to take a few more months.'

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Why PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 was delayed to early 2015

Sony and developer Ready at Dawn have delayed PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 from late 2014 to early 2015.

Speaking at a pre-E3 Sony event in Santa Monica, Ready at Dawn chief Ru Weerasuriya tells Eurogamer the decision was made so the developer could try to make sure the entire game was at a high quality level, rather than just certain sections.

"We want to hold true to something we've talked about in the past," he says, "which is delivering the experience without having this ebb and flow of: oh, this was really great and that was kind of meh, because we sacrificed a little time on it."

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FeatureHow The Order reinvents QTEs and the cinematic game

The PS4 exclusive combines the methods of Quantic Dream and Naughty Dog in a triple-A spectacular.

A good few minutes of our first proper look at The Order, the PlayStation 4's high-profile, big-budget exclusive, pass before we see anything resembling traditional gameplay. Even then it's brief - a short, staged shoot-out in a crowded Whitechapel alleyway where third-person cover-based gunplay gives way to a fist fight before our hero Galahad crashes through a weak timber roof. Except it's one of those fist-fights, as Galahad's actions are brought to life via on-screen prompts that, when pressed in the correct order, see him reaching for a knife before plunging it into a rebel's neck.

No multiplayer in PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886

No multiplayer in PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886

"Better to do one thing well than a whole bunch half-assed."

Upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 does not feature multiplayer, its developer has confirmed.

Responding to a question on Twitter, Ready At Dawn chief technical officer and co-founder Andrea Pessino described The Order as a "single-player, third-person action adventure game".

"No multiplayer," he said.

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Screenshots of PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 remind us of Gears of War

Sony's released a handful of screenshots of PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 - and they remind us of Xbox 360 series Gears of War.

The screenshots, below, show off the Steampunk game's character-hugging third-person camera perspective. There's a dash of weapons fire, too.

The Order was announced during Sony's E3 2013 press conference with a cinematic that told us little about the game, save it was set in a Steampunk London alternate history 40 years after the Industrial Revolution.

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How Uncharted influenced PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886

FeatureHow Uncharted influenced PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886

Ready at Dawn reappears with its shot at the big time.

It wasn't any moment in particular that inspired PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886; it was the feeling Ready at Dawn co-founder Ru Weerasuriya had after completing Uncharted 2.

It was a feeling that, four years after Naughty Dog's incredible action game released for the PlayStation 3, Weerasuriya still struggles to pin down.

"It's that emotion they created in people," Weerasuriya, who 10 years ago co-founded the California developer of the PlayStation Portable God of War games after a stint at Blizzard working as an artist, tells me in a cool, calm hotel room set away from the chaotic whirlwind of Gamescom's Koelnmesse.

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PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 is a linear third-person action adventure with shooting mechanics

PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 is a linear third-person action adventure with shooting mechanics

"We're trying to tell a story. It's what we call a 'filmic experience'."

PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 is a linear third-person action adventure with shooting mechanics, developer Ready at Dawn has revealed.

The Order was announced during Sony's E3 press conference with a cinematic that told us little about the game, save it was set in a Steampunk London alternate history 40 years after the Industrial Revolution and would see you interacting with several real-world historical figures ala the Assassin's Creed series.

In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, Ready at Dawn co-founder Ru Weerasuriya described The Order as a linear story-based game. "We're trying to tell a story. It's what we call a 'filmic experience'."

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Sony announces steampunk horror game The Order

Sony announces steampunk horror game The Order

From the studio that brought you God of War: Chains of Olymous & Ghost of Sparta.

Ready at Dawn - the studio that made such PSP titles as Daxter, God of War: Chains of Olympus, and God of War: Ghost of Sparta - has announced its Victorian Era PS4 game, The Order 1886.

Set in a steampunk alternate history 40 years after the industrial revolution, The Order will see you interacting with several real-world historical figures ala the Assassin's Creed series.

Ready At Dawn CEO and creative director, Ru Weerasuriya noted on the PlayStation Blog that he aims to make the game particularly filmic. "The idea was to make sure that you never saw any visual discrepancies or breaks in continuity between gameplay and cinematic," he said. "What you saw is running in-engine, in-game with no gimmicks. These visuals are what you can expect of the final game when you play it."

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