When The Order: 1886 creator and developer Ready At Dawn (RAD) was acquired by Facebook back in June of this year a little part of me died inside. I’ve got no doubt it’s probably a great deal for RAD, but I was pretty bummed at the fact all my hopes of a RAD-led The Order comeback had been all but quashed. I’ve been very staunch in my love for The Order IP – I still consider it one of my favourite IPs in terms of premise. But ever since RAD’s acquisition was announced I’ve been theorising on who could carry the torch for Grayson (Sir Galahad) and The Order IP. While I understand the IP is owned by Sony, for the purpose of this article I’ve been a little liberal with who Sony may get on board to continue the series. Here are five studios that I think could help revive The Order IP.
Let’s start with the obvious choice: the kings and queens of single-player storytelling over at Naughty Dog. There are very few studios in the world who constantly put out the quality of single-player games like Naughty Dog does (yes they normally come at a human cost), and they’re certainly a studio that could continue where RAD left off when it comes to the technical and production prowess of The Order: 1886 – I mean just feast your eyes on The Last of Us: Part II. Plus, third-person action-adventure games/cover-based shooters are their bread and butter, and with a lot of criticism levelled at The Order’s gunplay, perhaps Naughty Dog could tighten it up as they did with The Last of Us in Part II. The biggest question is whether Naughty Dog is the kind of studio that would happily work on another studio’s creation? The answer is probably not. I mean, if you’re the studio responsible for franchises such as Uncharted and The Last of Us, why wouldn’t Sony keep letting you do your thing?
After spending a number of years working on various PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita titles for existing IPs (Uncharted, Resistance), the experienced team at SIE Bend resurfaced in 2019 with their first console game since 2004 with the popular open-world zombie game Days Gone. It didn’t stray too far from the studio’s third-person shooter comfort zone, but it did show that the studio can still hold its own with the game’s mechanics all fairly sound. The studio now has experience with open-world games, which could come in handy given criticism of The Order: 1886 was that it was far too linear. Who knows what they’re currently working on, but with a history of working on existing IPs and third-person action-adventure games, they’re probably the most likely of all Sony’s first-party studios to get the call up.
Out of all the independent studios, Remedy Entertainment is one that fits the bill the best. The studio has a strong pedigree of third-person adventure games with Max Payne, Alan Wake and Control. Say what you will about Quantum Break (I loved it), but it was an experiment that pushed the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. Without a doubt though, all of Remedy’s games have been backed by compelling worlds and immersive atmospheres, and much like RAD they aren’t afraid to take some risks when it comes to executing their vision. They don’t all pay off, but as Benjamin Franklin once said, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If I was writing the cheques at Sony, I’d be getting Sam Lake on the blower to get Remedy on board to Finnish what RAD started.
The world of The Order: 1886 was full of untapped potential
This one is a little left-field, but the French developer has certainly earned praise over the past couple of years thanks to its efforts with A Plague Tale: Innocence and Microsoft Flight Simulator. The studio has quite the eclectic resume, assisting on current-gen games such as ReCore and The Crew, and developing older titles like Toy Story 3 and Rush: A Disney–Pixar Adventure. A Plague Tale certainly proved the studio certainly has the ability to build an immersive world and deliver an engaging story, something that The Order’s rich lore is ripe for. However, there are slight reservations about Asobo’s ability to deliver a third-person shooter, something they’ve not done since 2005 with Special Forces: Nemesis Strike. Then again while playing through A Plague Tale I would never have thought that the same studio would be capable of releasing one of the best flight simulator games we’ve ever seen, so perhaps Asobo could surprise us once more.
Eidos Montreal is easily the most farfetched inclusion on this list given they are currently owned by Square Enix, but as a bit of fun, I didn’t want to limit myself to just independent studios. Minus the whole Square Enix ownership, Eidos Montreal makes a lot of sense, with their varied history in developing action-adventure games such as Deus Ex and Tomb Raider. There’s the studio’s reboot for Thief, which despite receiving average reviews, managed to craft a decent Victorian steampunk world, something that The Order excelled in doing. If you take elements from all of Eidos’ games you could easily make a game set in The Order universe that works. Furthermore, with Eidos’ experience, they could even add some RPG elements to the series if they wanted to take it in a different direction.
Until Sony symbolically tweet a photo of them covering a picture of Sir Galahad (not unlike the one on my desk) in petrol and setting it on fire, I will always believe in the possibility of a continuation of The Order franchise. The world that Ready At Dawn created is incredibly rich and was always meant for multiple entries, and even if it’s another studio that picks up the torch, I feel like Sony are currently sitting on a lot of untapped potential.