The Order: 1886 pushed visuals hard in 2015 – and still looks stunning today

The Order: 1886 pushed visuals hard in 2015 - and still looks stunning today

In February 2015, The Order: 1886 came and went. This third-person narrative-driven action game arrived on PS4 with plenty of hype, but it delivered what felt like a prologue for a larger concept and achieved a lowly Metacritic score of just 63. Some loved it of course, but the game never received a sequel or even a PS4 Pro upgrade.

It’s a game with limitations, of course, but it pushed visual frontiers in many ways, possessed brilliant image quality that still looks exceptional today and paints developers Ready at Dawn as pioneers of modern physically-based rendering techniques alongside Crytek, Guerrilla and Don’t Nod. Still held in great regard today, we wanted to take another look at the game – and we can add a modern twist. Recent exploits to PlayStation 5 firmware allow highly unofficial PS4 frame-rate unlock patches to work on the latest console, meaning we’ve got footage of The Order running locked at 60fps.

Formed in 2003, Ready at Dawn’s first games were on well-regarded PSP titles, including Daxter and two God of War games. The Order: 1886 was their first new game using their own IP, and was under development when it was revealed alongside the PlayStation 4 in the console’s first media briefing in 2013. Two years later, the game was released to stiff cricitism, focusing mostly on its short length, limited interactivity and lack of replayability. Yet despite these failings, Ready at Dawn had still managed the huge transition from PSP to PS4, building their own entirely new engine and tools, and delivering one of the best early technical showcases of the console.

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