We first saw The Order: 1886 at E3 this year. This third-person action game by Ready at Dawn Studios features an alternate-history Victorian setting and deadly foes that look suspiciously like werewolves. It has caught many people's attention for being one of the few upcoming games that features supernatural creatures that aren’t zombies.
At Gamescom, company co-founder Ru Weerasuriya discussed the game's genre further. He stated that internally, the studio calls the game Neo-Victorian rather than steampunk. The development team wanted to avoid some of the cheerier and fantastical aspects of some popular steampunk settings. Instead, the game is an alternate history of the Victorian era that's meant to be dark and gritty. Technology will only be included in the game if it's reasonably plausible to a modern audience. This emphasis on reality carries over to the game's physics and AI systems as well.
Steampunk fans would argue that a dark, alternate Victorian history featuring believable advanced technology is the precise definition of the genre, so Ready at Dawn seems to be splitting hairs to a certain extent. Regardless of semantics, though, Weerasuriya's words tell us more about The Order's setting being grounded in a sense of reality rather than in a fantastic world. It's just unfortunate that he wouldn't tell us anything more about the werewolves.
Senior Contributing Writer