The Order 1886: Hidden Graphical Details That You May Not Be Aware of

A look inside the several technology variables of The Order: 1886.

Posted By | On 13th, Jan. 2015 Under Article, Graphics Analysis | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

The Order: 1886 is by far the best looking game on the PS4 and it’s a shame that Sony and Ready At Dawn studios have been hesitant to show more of the game. We are not sure about the reason behind The Order: 1886’s lacklustre marketing but there surely has to be a reason behind the same. The gameplay shown so far seems to be a poor imitation of Gears of War’s duck and shoot style and the quick time events are hardly inspiring. With only a month to go, we are highly sceptical about the critical reception that The Order: 1886 might receive. But we will reserve our final judgment when the game launches. You may never know, Sony might have something up their sleeves and the final game may very well shock and surprise us.

Gameplay issues aside, there is one department that the game truly shines in. The game is without a doubt a looker and Ready At Dawn’s choice of opting for cinematic black bars adds a new dimension to the the visual presentation. The Order: 1886 was showcased at last month’s PlayStation Experience and this gave us the opportunity to further analyze some of the hidden graphical details found in the 15 minute demonstration.

Observe the dynamic foot print indentation on the cloth of the airship.

The demonstration opens up with Galahad and company descending down a airship. Dynamic foot print indentation can be clearly seen on the cloth of the airship which is directly proportional to the amount of pressure that Galahad is applying to his legs and and eventually to the airship’s cloth. Ready At Dawn’s cloth simulation technology is clearly at work here allowing different materials to have their own individual properties.

Cloth physics and 4xMSAA really lift up lifts up this scene to all new heights.

Further instances of cloth physics are seen when Galahad makes his way across the narrow pathway to make his way inside the airship. Galahad’s coat sways away dynamically according to the blowing wind. These are intricate details but go a long way in adding more to the experience.

During the same shot we can see the positive effects of 4xMSAA which results into sharper image quality and the complete absence of jaggies on the ropes holding the airship. Props to Ready At Dawn for using 4xMSAA over FXAA and MLAA, and although they could have saved more frame time by using standard AA techniques they opted for a resource intensive solution enabling the game’s engine to have CG level image rendering and detailed sub-pixel information.

Skin shader and cloth material rendering in action.

Once the group gets in, we get a clear view of the character models and cloth material rendering. It seems that Ready At Dawn are using a resource expensive skin shader which is using multiple specular lobes. This helps in calculating several skin properties such as pores, marks or scars accurately depending on the amount and angle of the light sources.

Global Illumination in full force.

Global Illumination is used in plenty in The Order: 1886. The scenes above are good examples of GI, which helps in adding realistic lighting sources to the scene. As the enemy enters the room, take a look at the light sources and how it reflects the light on the nearby objects resulting into bounce light effects. When Galahad takes him down, the light source still casts dynamic shadow before it comes to a stand still. Obviously this is a very resources intensive technique and we are glad to see its adoption being increased in several AAA games.

A closer look at the material compositing.

In the scene above we get a close look at the different material textures in action here. Ready At Dawn have added blend for compositing cloth with different kind of materials [such as leather, metal and wood in this scene] giving it a great look with several variable parameters that the developers can adjust.

Light reflecting depends on the object material, its transparency, opaqueness and reflective properties.

In the scene above we clearly see how light is being handled by different kinds of materials such as the glass on the door in the first video. In the second video, the carpet is not reflecting the light back but with the same light source the glossy floor is able to do that. Even the broken glasses are able to reflect back the specular light back. This is precisely what Ready at Dawn were talking about in their presentation at last year’s GDC and it seems that they have nailed it. One little detail is that the amount of light reflection varies in the proportion to the angle at which Galahad is positioned. Absolutely phenomenal.

Physical based rendering is the way to go.

It’s fascinating to see Ready At Dawn use Physical Based Rendering for the Order 1886. This way they are able to make almost everything look photo-realistic by playing with the amount of light bouncing off the surfaces, in this case the character’s faces. The game clearly uses refractive index properties to define how much lighting and shadow effects will vary on a particular object, taking into account the object’s absorption and diffusion parameters. It is difficult to gauge whether Ready at Dawn studios have developed each and every object’s texture individually and whether they all have variable refractive index properties, but at least all the objects that comes to immediate attention on the screen do have individual properties.

Additionally the game uses lens effect, depth of field, rag doll physics for objects, variable gun physics, motion blur during several instances such as fights.

To end this article, it’s literally amazing and to an extent jaw dropping the amount of work that Ready At Dawn have poured into The Order: 1886. This is easily one of the titles that looks next-gen. However we are not sure whether this translates into gameplay. It’s sure to be a looker when it releases next month but whether it will bring in revolutionary gameplay is something that remains to be seen.

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  • Guest

    Graphics don’t make a good game. That’s what those devs should learn in the first place. It’s nice to have added detail and easter eggs, but if the basic gameplay is flawed, you can’t correct that with shiny graphics, no matter how hard you try.

    • tplarkin7

      Good graphics is critical. The small details enhance gameplay/immersion in a big way.

    • DarthDiggler


      We have seen about 30 minutes of this game, not enough to say the game is a complete failure. I like what I see so far and they haven’t even revealed the supernatural enemies yet.

      If the narrative is decent, this game should be well above average. I highly doubt if you have a PS4 to play it on anyways, so your opinion doesn’t carry much integrity.

    • andy

      Of course. That is why this game is SO detailed that it comes back and affects the gameplay, the way bullets interact with real world materials in this game is a big thing. Like metal and wood actually react differently like they would in reality.

      Its so funny that the game is so next gen, you don’t even realise that you are talking in such a backwards PS2 gen way. (I say PS2 gen because we already got a taste of this on PS3 with games like LittleBigPlanet that also had real world materials that completely changed how the physics worked in levels, especially user created levels).

    • Иван Мордор

      Vanishing of Ethan Carter is pretty good game and on 75% because of graphics and art

  • Counterproductive

    The bias shown in the first paragraph of this article is astounding. It doesn’t inspire confidence in this site’s ability to render an impartial judgement when they show so much venom based on what they’ve admitted is a very small part of the game.

  • JimmyNice

    The Last of Us and Uncharted have gameplay that could be defined as “uninspired gears of war cover style shooters”. Did that stop them from being awesome games?

    Can we stop with the widely hyped misconception that this is all there is to the Order? This game had the LONGEST lineups at playstation experience for people waiting to try the game. It’s currently #1 on the pre-order list over all games for USA. People already want to play this game regardless of the same repeated vitriol placed on the game play style OVER and OVER… I’m genuinely anxious to see final reviews for the game and see how it is received by the players.

  • Vance

    you’re going on like this over cut scenes?

    • GamingBolt

      Did you even read the article?

    • Section8

      Maybe you should actually read the article first.

  • andy

    Err guys it really isn’t hidden details when they announced these intricate details in the game engine A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, mere days after the games announcement.
    Gamingbolt strikes again.
    Here is a direct link to the pdf guys, educate yourselves

  • Counterproductive

    The bias shown in the first paragraph of this article is astounding. It doesn’t inspire confidence in this site’s ability to render an impartial judgement when they show so much venom based on what they’ve admitted is a very small part of the game.

  • bardock5151

    Stuff that, it’s basically an interactive cutscene filled with QTE. The story might be good but there isn’t much in the way of gameplay, the game does it all for you.

  • Shawn

    Typically sony game all graphics no gameplay, That’s prolly why im still playing tlou whenever i decide to play my ps4 only good game on it still a year later and thats a remastered…

  • Mark

    I agree with this small analysis. Def the closest thing to a movie I’ve seen. However, it’s funny that I think Qbreak is equally as impressive graphically, in a different way……The Order looks like a movie while Break looks like a Live Action Movie. Both studios r super talented man, well atleast in the visuals dept.


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