First impressions: The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne

Rappler had a chance to take both games for a spin during an exclusive media event held at Imperium e-Sports bar and Video Game Lounge.

The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 is a third-person shooting game developed by Ready At Dawn Studios (Okami, God Of War: Chains of Olympus, God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta) with the collaboration of Sony Santa Monica (God Of War 1,2,3 and Fat Princess).

Set in an alternate 1886 London, The Order: 1886 tells the story of Grayson, a member of an ancient order of knights tasked with the protection of the world against forces that would do it harm. The player takes control of Grayson a.k.a Sir Galahad as he does The Order's will and completes his missions with either stealth or brute force.

The game's visuals are impressive. At first glance, it is hard to tell whether you are looking at a high budget animated movie or a video game. The texture and lighting are amazing and effective that we often find ourselves immersed at the game's environment and atmosphere. The Order: 1886 redefines the concept of story delivery in video games.

The transition between cinematic storytelling and actual gameplay is seamless and players will find it natural to move Grayson into action while a story event is being played out. This really helps in immersing players into the story. The game runs at 30 frames per second, ideal for achieving a cinematic feel.

The game's third-person-shooter mechanics are standard and easy to get into. The Order: 1886 favors shoot and cover gameplay similar to The Last Of Us and Uncharted.

There are other mechanics thrown in such as bullet time and quick time events. While in cover, you can initiate an attack in slow motion for better control and accuracy. This slow motion attack or bullet time event is breath taking to look at as Grayson switches stance after stance as he guns down each enemy that he sets his sights on.

There are also cinematic quick time events that require the player to press a series of buttons in succession as they are displayed while an event is unfolding in order for Grayson to successfully perform his maneuvers. In some missions, Grayson is required to move stealthily and employ his knife and hand to hand combat expertise for stealth kills.

The game unfortunately does not have a cooperative or multiplayer feature. The lack of this feature is rare for modern shooting games.

It would have been fun to play against other players using the game's armory of steampunk style guns.

The Order: 1886 is set to come out on February 20, 2015.

Bloodborne

Along with The Order: 1886, we also got to play Bloodborne.

Bloodborne is a third-person action RPG developed by the acclaimed Japanese game developer FROM Software (Armored Core Series, Demons' Souls, Dark Souls 1 and 2). The game was made exclusively for the PS4.

The game takes place on Yharnam, a ruined city cursed with a plague that turns its citizens into monsters. The player takes on the role of the Hunter, a lone adventurer who seeks the rumored medical remedy within the city.

The city of Yharnam is breathtaking. Its design is inspired by victorian architecture and the atmosphere is dark and gothic. The houses and streets lie in a state of ruined beauty, giving these places an eerie and abandoned look. Houses have broken floorboards, cobwebs, tattered piles of books and papers, frayed tapestries, and shattered mirrors. The rooms give off a feeling of history and loneliness, as if decades had passed without any living soul setting foot in their halls. The streets are littered with piles of bricks, broken barrels, abandoned coaches, and rotting corpses.

The environment somewhat evokes scenes from Lovecraftian lore, as if HP Lovecraft himself helped in the level design. The graphics are beautiful and effective in immersing the player in the atmosphere. It's definitely a huge step forward from FROM Software's previous game, Dark Souls II.

We encountered several enemies in the game such as infected city folk and rabid monster dogs. Enemy movement is convincing and unpredictable. Encounters tend to become dangerous when you fight mobs of enemies, often resulting in the death of the player character.

This intense difficulty appears to be the selling point of the game as it rewards players who learn from their mistakes and take the time to learn the game's combat system.

Throwing pebbles at enemies to lure them one by one was a strategy we came up with after suffering several defeats.

The Hunter can equip two weapons, one in each hand. In our case, the character we used had an axe for the right hand weapon and an old firearm on the left. The firearm resembled an old flintlock pistol, just like the ones you would see on pirate movies.

Combat is challenging since it requires you to read your opponent's moves and strike when they are vulnerable. There are no shields in this game so you will need to dodge and roll to evade enemy attacks. This kind of mechanic teaches the player to be careful and avoid being over zealous when attacking.

We asked Naito Arata, Sony Asia Region Marketing Manager, a few questions about Bloodborne during the demo:

Rappler: Is this game related to the Dark Souls series?

Arata: Well it's being created by the famed company, FROM Software, but we see this game as some sort of spiritual successor to PS3's Demons' Souls.

Rappler: Is this going to have the same brand of difficulty as the other FROM software game like Demons' Souls and Dark Souls?

Arata: It's difficult but we don't want to describe it as a difficult game. Again, it's a challenging game but by observing the environment and the enemies you can always find out how to survive. I'm not a super gamer and my reflexes is not super good but I can survive and beat the enemies because I can understand how enemies will move.

Overall, Bloodborne promises to be a rewarding game to beat. It is set to be initially released on March 24, 2015. – Rappler.com