A more detailed look at The Order: 1886's underground horrors

One of the more memorable moments from Sony's conference showcase was a short and scary sequence of The Order: 1886 during which central character Grayson faces down a werewolf.

The day after the conference, I visited Sony's booth and took a closer look at that level including some stuff that Sony's PR representative told me was far too strong for a stage presentation.

At the beginning of the level, which takes place in the bowels of a convincingly dilapidated Victorian redbrick hospital, Grayson was exploring with the aid of a lantern. Using the lantern I was able to poke around and look at some specimen jars, which included some unspeakable stuff.

The damp corridors led to other rooms, included some that were locked, holding the sort of sorry inmates you might expect to find in the sad environment of a mental hospital at the grimy end of Queen Victoria's glorious reign. There were also some dead bodies scattered about.


There follows the bit you'll likely recall from Sony's demo, when Grayson comes across a fellow feasting on the remains of a corpse. The creature rises and contorts into a Lychen, a hairy, wiry, dangerously wolflike creature on two legs.

I asked Sony's people about the Lychens. Turns out they are not actual werewolves. That's just the name they've been given in this world by people looking for simple comparisons (shades of Joseph Merrick, aka The Elephant Man, who lived during this time period).

Humanity has long been at war with genetic offshoots such as Lychens; a war that is finally going the way of the humans, now that they have access to Industrial Revolution technology (plus some steampunk stuff introduced by the game designers.) Unfortunately, this imbalance has led to a civil war between the exploitative elite classes (from which Grayson hails) and the working people.

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Unlike previous portions of the game that I played some weeks ago, this did not rely so much on cover-based shooting, as on some QTEs (press a button on your controller in a rapid or timed manner to defeat the enemy) and some slow-motion shooting scenes, during which the Lychen needed to be put down by calm marksmanship under duress.

Undoubtedly, there are going to be some scary moments in this game. Whether the much-criticized QTE, as an interactive story-telling device, is the best way to experience this lovely, intriguing world, remains to be seen.

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