Sony has all sorts of goodness planned for its PlayStation 4. We’ll get a new Uncharted with A Thief’s Tale, race like crazy with the innovative DriveClub and spill plenty of guts in From Software’s atmospheric Bloodborne. However, one of 2015’s biggest surprises could easily be Ready At Dawn’s The Order: 1886, a Victorian-style third-person shooter.

The game follows the Knights, a heroic group of soldiers who are the only voice of reason as war emerges between monsters and humans. Playing as Sir Galahad, you guide your squad through challenging situations using state-of-the-art weaponry while scrambling to survive against tougher enemies.

Even though the game lacks co-op support (would’ve been ideal considering you have a squad of four), The Order: 1886 should provide a thrilling single player experience. This is a classic cover shooter, as you’ll need to find spots to duck out of harm’s way as enemies shoot at you, and monsters attempt to lunge at you. The cover system the game utilizes is ideal, as you can easily tap a button to get into a hiding spot, then peek out to fire.

What’s great about The Order is that your weapons are quite effective against enemies, even if they’re hiding behind objects. You can easily disintegrate a wall using a flame cannon, or impale someone with a well-timed shot from a crossbow. Considering that the enemies come at you quickly (and furiously), it helps to have every advantage you can get.

Speaking of weapons, they’re along the lines of stuff you’d find in the Gears of War games, as they’re far more conventional than traditional weapons from that era. The main one that Galahad uses is a pellet gun of sorts, with a flame attachment. Here’s how it works: the pellets, which are flammable, get shot at enemies and objects within a certain area. After firing them, you’ll fire a flaming stick that will set them aflame, creating a huge explosion in the process and incinerating enemies you hit.

There’s a certain strategy to this, as you can play it the other way as well. You can shoot the flame first to distract the enemies, then fire away a few pellets and watch them catch fire as they connect. You could create a stream of flames with just a few well-timed shots, turning the battle back in your favor.

This is just one portion of the gameplay, as there are secondary things you need to do as well. During your battle with a few rogue citizens, for example, Galahad will need to run out into the street to retrieve an innocent victim. Now, since he’s guiding the human with one hand, he won’t be able to use his fancy weapon. Instead, he’ll have to rely on a pistol to shoot enemies from above. There’s also a segment where Galahad uses some sort of melting grenade to clear an object blocking a nearby exit.

Ready At Dawn makes its console debut with The Order, and thus far, it appears to be a terrific shooter. The demo we played was brief, but the controls were solid, from finding a good cover point to shooting advanced weaponry at enemies. On top of that, the development team made the visuals so good, you can barely tell the difference between cutscene and gameplay. In fact, during one point of the demo, the producers had to tell us that we could play.

With all sorts of enemies to take on (including large, hulking beasts and soldiers carrying nasty weapons), The Order: 1886 promises to have a surprise around every corner, with new challenges for Galahad and his team to overcome. We’ll take a closer look at survival tips and the weapons later. For now, there’s a lot to be excited about.

Are you ready to Discover History’s Darkest Secret? Join a centuries-old war against a powerful threat with the essential Signature Series guide! The guide takes you beyond the basics so that you can delve fully into the narrative of an alternate-history London. 

  • Discover all collectible items with maps and a quick-reference appendix.
  • Optimize your weaponry with tips from Ready At Dawn on using special weapons like the Thermite Rifle and the Arc Induction Lance.
  • Defeat the trickiest monsters with advanced combat strategies.

The Order: 1886 Official Game Guide cover