Despite being notably absent at the Sony Gamescom press conference, Ready At Dawn Studios have outlined their plans for a familiar yet twisted version of Victorian London in The Order: 1886.
Ready At Dawn CEO Ru Weerasuriya dropped some juicy details about the mysterious PS4 shooter on the PlayStation Blog. "When creating our alternate history in The Order: 1886, our goal was to make the environment as believable as possible while at the same time adding our own twist to real places," he wrote. "With the release of our trailer back at E3, we hinted at our vision of an alternate London."
The "neo-Victorian" setting will apparently look both familiar to UK residents, but unsettlingly different. Taking place during an accelerated advent of electricity, the metropolis will pulse with the crackle of street lights and illuminated billboards, "making some areas of London almost look like Times Square." The tube system will also be far more advanced than it was in 1886, with some sections running above ground.
"The other big change you will witness is in the skyline of London," Weerasuriya continued. "Although the familiar sights of Big Ben, St. Paul’s, and the Tower Bridge are present, the skyline is broken up by watch towers. Their searchlights are constantly scanning the city and the skies. The other change in the skyline is the presence of airship mooring towers. In The Order: 1886, London is patrolled day and night by a squadron of dirigibles called the Sentinels. All of these are a constant reminder that the world is not as it seems.
"These changes are the result of our Industrial Revolution, mankind’s chance to take the upper hand in a centuries-old war. Mankind now has access to advanced weapons, one of which you saw in the trailer — a rifle that can fire electricity."
Weerasuriya also revealed that handheld communication is now a reality in this alternate reality, along with advanced weapons like the Thermite Gun that fires clouds of aluminium and iron oxide that burns at searing temperatures. Traditional black powder guns will help to ground this more adventurous tech in reality, adding a "sense of realism and believability to the world and make the atmosphere feel dirty and palpable."
The Order: 1886 won't be shown during Gamescom 2013, and is slated to release exclusively on PS4 some time next year. It's an exciting concept, but we'll need some gameplay footage and contact time before getting too excited about Ready At Dawn's next-gen effort.