The Order: 1886's cinematic look is more than meets the eye

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The Order: 1886's cinematic look is more than meets the eye
To 1080p or not to 1080p: that is not the question for Ready At Dawn's PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886. Running at a 1920x800 resolution in 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the game is presented like a film, with horizontal black bars running across the top and bottom of the screen. In an age where resolution is a selling point, is Ready At Dawn selling themselves short by giving up valuable real estate?

The short answer: No. The longer answer: In fact, it may even be better.

It's hard to tell by looking at screenshots and trailers how much aspect ratio and resolution will impact the feel of a game, so I was happy for a chance to get my hands on a demo of The Order at E3 and see for myself. While I definitely noticed the black bars running across the screen at the game's start screen, my eyes seemed to forget all about them once I was blasting rebels with a thermite-launching rifle.

The television used to demo the game was the same size as those used for other titles at the Sony booth, yet The Order felt larger. My vision felt stretched to the periphery, so much so that it became hard to focus on anything but the game. It's a very strange sensation, almost like being in an enclosed space or using multiple computer monitors to give a greater field of view.

There will no doubt be a limit to this effect - I wouldn't expect to feel the same way if I were sitting farther away from the screen - but standing in the "sweet spot" gave me a sense of being surrounded by "Neo-Victorian" London and her inhabitants.

We'll have to wait until 2015 to find out if The Order can succeed as a game, and there are plenty of valid questions about how it can do that. Inquiries about resolution and aspect ratio, however, need not be among them.
[Image: Sony]
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