Indie Comic Review – Cognition #3

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Bit melodramatic… I bet he destroys the cauldron.” Sigma (Demonic Mouse)

Time for another Indie review this week. This time I’m taking a look at Cognition Issue #3, which is currently on Kickstarter. I’ve previously had a look at the Cognition series and was curious to see how it was coming along. Although this is very much an indie comic lead by creator Ken Reynolds it has a very distinct story, art style and left an impression that made me want to come back to it. This comic is bought to us by:

  • Script and Letters – Ken Reynolds
  • Artist – Sam Bentley
  • Editor – David Hailwood

Set in Victorian England, Cognition combines steam punk with the occult and mystery to deliver a cast of steam powered robots, demonic mice, investigators and Shuck, the terrifying monster dog who recently joined their party. As with previous issues the interactions between the characters, the snark of Sigma the demonic mouse bouncing off the Cal the robot is a particular enjoyment of mine. The on-going investigation brings the team to the Welsh Countryside where they encounter Gwinddonod, a mysterious old crone whose tales of legend provide further insight into the investigation. Reynolds’s strengths are certainly at play here as he delivers a narrative which hooks the reader in, with vivid language which Bentley turns into fantastic imagery.

Bentley provides a unique and distinct art style which I cannot help but associate with the series. The black and white presentation adds to the atmosphere and sense of dread while also reinforcing the feeling that this is a tale from a bygone era. The two tone style could easily lead to a rather bland read, but Bentley manages to instead embrace it and provides a level of detail in the panels, particularly with the characters which evokes a sense of realness I wouldn’t have expected from the premise of the comic. One issue I did find is when I first read this comic as a digital PDF on my phone. I have a fairly decent size phone but I did fine the art was less clear when viewed one that sort of device and it made the story harder to get into. My second read on a computer screen was a totally different experience though, which lead to the praise I’ve given above. When you read this I strongly recommend either a hard copy or if a digital done on a screen which does justice to the comic.

It’s also worth noting that Reynolds does an excellent job with the lettering, providing distinct styles for each character, which adds personality to how I imagined their voices in my head. I’ve seen Reynolds’s work on lettering in other comics, though I feel he’s at his best in Cognition.

Final Verdict

Kickstarter is currently open for this series (link here), and if it sounds like your kind of thing then get on there and back it. In my opinion this series started strongly and is continuing to improve as it goes. Check it out on Kickstarter and be sure to pick up the previous issues too.

You can also follow @CognitionComic on twitter to keep updated


Have an indie comic you’d like reviewed? Get in touch with Kit at!

Adam’s Top 5 Video Games of 2015

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be sharing our top 5s of 2015, from everyone who writes here at The Lost Lighthouse. This time Adam will go through his favourite 5 video games of the year.

I’m taking a quick break from the depths of writing my PhD thesis to write about some of the things I actually cared about this year. This time it’s my favourite video games released in 2015. Of the various things my misguided attempt at a doctoral level qualification has taken from me, the spare time to actually play video games is probably the most felt. Also video games are expensive and I’m incredibly broke. As such, I’ve only actually played five games this yeah (at least that came out in 2015. I also played the incredible Transistor). So this was really just an exercise in picking which order they go in for me. All of these games were played on PS4.

5. Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks)

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The above is part of the reason why Bethesda’s latest installment of everybody’s favourite huge, sprawling post-apocalypse sandbox game is only number 5 on my list. After months of rumours and speculation, details of a new Fallout began to emerge and in November it was finally released. Now due to my heavy work load right now and general state of being very busy (and leaving my PS4 in London over Christmas), I haven’t finished the main story yet. I have however pumped a lot of time into the game, completing a lot of side missions and doing a large amount of world exploration.

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Let’s talk about that world, as a way of kicking off with the good about the game. The world is stunning, as long as you look at it from a distance. While the post-apocalypse trope of a colour palette heavy in browns and greys is definitely present, ‘The Commonwealth’ is densely packed with a lot of interesting scenery and locations to interact with. The storyline so far has been relatively engaging. I don’t really care about my missing son, but the shadowy Institute is intriguing and the return of certain organisations on unprecedented scales is an interesting inclusion. The world really lives through the side missions though, many of which are not only engaging but incredibly enjoyable too (my favourite so far is The Silver Shroud).  The combat mechanics are unchanged for the most part, so the V.A.T.S. system is back and still a lot of fun.

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Now for what I don’t like, and I’m just going to rattle through them. Feel free to discuss them in the comments! The UI is not great, and any changes have not improved things from Fallout 3 or New Vegas. The graphics, while not the be all and end all of a game, should really be better at this point especially for the character models. The dialogue system, previously a big part of Fallout, has been stripped back to make you feel like a passenger in what is largely otherwise a shooter, rather than a participant in an RPG. I have yet to see the point in settlements, and the user interface in building and interacting with a settlement is horrible, likely the reason why I have no desire to spend any more time doing it. While I do enjoy the crafting aspect for weapons and armour, having this and the base construction in the game means that almost every piece of junk in Fallout is worth keeping, and every location contains more crap than you and your companion can carry. As such, I’ve spent probably about 40% of my playtime hefting junk around and either selling or scraping it.

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But for me the biggest issue with Fallout 4 is the glitches and bugs. There has been a lot of comment online about this, which largely seems to boil down to this being something you expect and accept in a Bethesda game. I don’t really see it like that, and this is probably the first time I’ve really had a problem with it. With limited time and money to play games these days, having a full price game be released as a bit of a glitchy mess doesn’t hold water with me. Weapons disappearing, enemies floating, corpses janking around ruining the desolate quiet of a vault. This is why it bothers me. These games are about immersion, and every time I see my companion get stuck in a wall or I fall through the world it takes me completely out of it. Sure they’re working on fixes all the time, but I’m reaching the point where I want games to just be finished properly when they come out.


4. The Order 1886 (Ready at Dawn)

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Speaking of a game that was finished, The Order 1886 was the first game I played this year (I reviewed it over here). I liked it a lot. The gameplay was a bit heavy and reminiscent of a clunkier Gears of War, but it wasn’t bad. The story was interesting, succinct and well-paced and while it ultimately didn’t quite deliver on the promise of alternate steampunk Knights of the Round Table supernatural beast hunters, with the very few instances of actually fighting monsters either shockingly easy and repetitive or relegated to quick time events, while the rest of the game was spent shooting ‘rebels’ and other humans for reasons that were never made abundantly clear other than waving around the word ‘conspiracy’, it was a satisfying plot that I enjoyed.

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The game wasn’t particularly long, in fact many said it was far too short for a full price game. I clocked in around 7 hours for my playthrough, and I was fairly defensive about the length in my original review, while also decrying the debate as generally oversimplified. However, since I completed it I really haven’t felt any compulsion to revisit the game. I’m not really sure what that says about it or it’s value. Saying that, it remains the best looking game I’ve played so far on the latest console generation. Despite it being a largely drab and grey trudge through Victorian England, it was stunning to look at and I really enjoyed it.


3. Mad Max (Avalanche Studios)

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This one snuck up on me, as it would probably have totally passed me by if I hadn’t been swept up in the Fury Road fever this year. Instead, I actively made the decision to pick up this new Mad Max game over Metal Gear Solid V, due to it’s reasonably positive if not stellar reviews and the fact that I was fairly sure it would be an easier game to pick up and put back down for short gaming stints, making it better for taking breaks from working and avoiding getting so engrossed that I waste hours on it. Fortunately I turned out to be right about that, but more fortunate was how much I ended up loving this game for all of it’s simplicity.

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Set before Fury Road, with a somewhat tenuous link to characters in the film, you play as Max after having the Interceptor stolen and being left for dead. You ally yourself with a mechanic, and slowly modify a rusty frame to an armoured ‘Magnum Opus’ capable of driving across the Plains of Silence to freedom. The game is another big sandbox environment, as you drive around finding scrap for your car, fighting off raiding parties, taking down War Boy camps with your fists and limited shotgun ammo and helping your allies thrive, while trying to outrun sand storms and stop Lord Scrotus and his minions. In essence, you just drive around and blow stuff up. And it is incredibly fun. The game’s only real let down is that it is very repetitive. The map is studded with scavenging locations, and each of the 4 allies you meet along the game require the same things from you. A lot of it is extraneous, but useful for completing the game. That said, there are some very fun and unique missions, like driving through the Underdune – a network of tunnels that was once an airport, now home to the nocturnal Buzzards.


2. Bloodborne (FromSoftware)


Second from top for me this year is the PS4 exclusive Bloodborne from ‘Souls’ creators FromSoftware. A grueling, Groundhog Day style trial-and-error endurance experience where you spend most of your time dying. A lot. But it’s the sort of game that makes you think tactically, commands your full attention, tests your ability and ultimately rewards you for it. As a hunter, you wade through scores of the crazed residents of the town of Yharnam, feral beasts and huge, hulking monsters. Each time you finally figure out how to beat a boss and ‘Prey Slaughtered’ pops up on your screen, you feel an immense satisfaction and a real feeling of earning it.


The game itself is beautiful. Well, beautiful if you like heavily gothic surroundings and grotesque monsters. Halfway through the game you enter a sort of nightmare realm, while everything takes on a deeply Lovecraftian slant, including horrific beasts that cling to the huge buildings around you that you can’t attack… but get close enough and they can attack you. My flatmates described this as the game they’ve enjoyed watching me play the most, I expect in part because of the surroundings, but likely also due to my reaction to the difficulty level of the game – swearing my head off every time I felt like I was unjustly killed, even thought it was probably due to me not paying enough attention. It happened a lot.


1. Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios)

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My favourite game of the year is likely a little predictable for me. As a huge Batman fan, I’ve always been extremely impressed by the Arkham games (at least the Rocksteady ones) for not only capturing the ethos and feeling of a mixture of the best Batman comics and Batman: The Animated Series, but also managing to create gameplay that makes you really feel like you are being the Batman. Easy to control combat that looks brutal yet elegant, stealth that combines technology and fear to take down foes, and detective work to put together a case. This third installment from Rocksteady is their final Arkham game, though there isn’t a doubt in my mind that WB will be back with more.

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Scarecrow is working with the mysterious ‘Arkham Knight’ and his militia army, and using an overwhelming force and seemingly hundreds of drone tanks they bring Gotham to it’s knees. Batman must prevent them from poisoning the city with fear toxin, while figuring out the identity of the Knight and putting a stop to their plans. Along with a few new tricks, like the hugely satisfying fear takedown, Bats also finally has the Batmobile – less a car in this incarnation and more of the personal tank of the Christopher Nolan films, able to speed around at huge speeds before transforming into a combat mode complete with missiles, stun guns and a huge cannon – to be deployed against drone tanks only. While feeling hilariously overpowered, the Batmobile has been successfully deployed in much the same way as the hand-to-hand combat was for the first time in Arkham Asylum – it’s very easy to feel like a total badass with it. The one drawback? I get the feeling Rocksteady were very, very proud of their new toy. So much so that the Batmobile is shoehorned into missions and situations that feel totally unnatural, to the point that it is essentially overused.

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The main plot is an exercise in escalation, in an understandable trajectory from the first game until now. But it’s a very enjoyable superhero tale with some very well deployed twists, some less well deployed twists (I may have seen the identity of the Arkham Knight coming a mile off due to my familiarity with the comics, but it’s telegraphed very clumsily and out of nowhere a couple of hours before) and a huge climax. The side quests are even better than they were in Arkham City, once again drawing from the extensive rogues gallery (some of which were extensions of side plots set up in that game). For every one that fell a little flat, like the Hush sequence, there were excellent scenarios like ‘The Perfect Crime’.

The only issue I have with the extra content like this, which was the same as the previous games, is that while I can suspend my disbelief in general for superhero antics, it is physically and temporally impossible for all of this to occur in one night. Equally unbelievable is that with the city in such dire peril, you’d take some time out of saving it to capture Man-Bat or train Azrael. Maybe leave them to tomorrow Bruce? Or even just have the plot take place over a couple of days. Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight go to ground for a day or two, and while the Batcomputer checks up on some leads you start cleaning up some other problems in the city? Whatever. It’s really a tiny and slightly pointless complaint, really just brought about by overthinking things. Ultimately, this was a great game. Unless you tried to play it on PC.


Graphic Novel Review – The Bozz Chronicles

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Sometimes he reads graphic novels. This is a review of one of them.

The Bozz Chronicles, written and created by David Michelinie and illustrated by Bret Blevins, came out on Marvel’s Epic Comics imprint in a 6 issue run over 1985 and 1986. In September Dover Publications are releasing all 6 issues of this paranormal detective caper in a single collection for the first time, including bonus artwork and introductions from Michelinie and Blevins, a foreword from Brandon Graham and afterword John Ridgeway.



The Bozz Chronicles takes place in Victorian London and centres around the Boswell and Flynn Detective Agency, run by Mandy Flynn, a former prostitute; Salem Hawkshaw, a Texan bare-knuckle boxer; and the titular character Bozz, an alien crash landed and stranded in Victorian London. Taking inspiration from E.T., this alien has instead given up on ever returning home, and being stuck on our backwards planet bores him so severely that he decides that suicide is is only way out. This is how Mandy finds him, attempting to end his life, so she starts to devote hers to preventing him from trying again. That is why she sets up the detective agency, purely to keep the brilliant mind of Bozz occupied and interested (and maybe taking her off the streets too). They take on the cases that Scotland Yard ignore – the weird, otherworldly or occult occurrences that people bring to them. Throughout the series they take on immortality, living paintings, lasers, demonic manifestations, time travel and crazed cults, which is a lot to cover in a six issue run!


It’s very impressive how Michelinie managed to create such a compelling world and cast of characters in just 6 issues (granted back in the 1980’s issues were a few pages longer…), smashing together elements of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who, with an extra dash of melancholy into the mix. Bozz is a sad but brilliant soul, and his predilection for trying to take his own life seems entirely based on his own boredom, and a fear of being stuck in that boredom forever. Mandy is no-nonsense and streetwise, and has grown fond of this oddly shaped man from the stars, stopping at nothing to keep him busy. Out of the three Salem is the least fleshed out, with his background consisting largely of punching and making chilli (I wish my life was that simple), but even he is interesting and made me wish we got to see more of his back story.

bozz3The steampunk and more ethereal elements to the story are played up well with Bret Blevins art, showing a shadowy London with some strong facial work for the whole cast of characters, even Bozz who has features that lack detail but still manage to portray a sadness. The art really comes alive for the more fantastical elements, with the monsters in Book 2 terrifyingly realised. The break in the art in Book 4 with John Ridgeway doesn’t detract from the overall aesthetic at all, rather it gives a fresh perspective on the concept.

As I said before, despite the short run The Bozz Chronicles manages to cover an impressive array of genre themes. This is a great series, and a real shame that there are only 6 issues. There is huge potential for more stories in the Bozz world. This new collection is being released by Dover Publications on September 16th, so if a paranormal story starring an alien Sherlock Holmes sounds interesting (and it should) then pick it up then!

ISBN-10: 0486798518

ISBN-13: 978-0486798516

Video Game Review – The Order 1886 (PS4)


Adam infrequently reviews games weeks after they are released because he has a job and can’t complete them fast enough. Potential spoilers included.

I’m actually typing this review with the credits rolling in the background, while still trying to collect my thoughts on The Order 1886. We’ve been fairly positive with our coverage of the game here at The Lost Lighthouse, all really liking the look of everything released prior to launch. I got the chance to play a very short demo back at EGX last year too, and really enjoyed it. But the game seems to have divided many critics, and following the video of someone speeding through the game in 5 1/2 hours just a week before release (more on the game’s length later), I thought it best to buy the game myself and make up my own mind.

In The Order 1886, you play as Sir Galahad, a member of an ancient order of Knights who act as defenders of the realm, fighting rebels and hunting down half breed nightmares through the streets of a steampunk Victorian London. Each Knight has had their lives extended by unnatural means by consuming a substance called ‘Blackwater’ from the Holy Grail, which heals almost any wound and allows them to live for hundreds of years, even if it is hundreds of years of fighting monsters. Nevertheless, members of The Order aren’t invincible and their names are bestowed onto them as a title, a member of the Knights of the Round Table, when the previous bearer dies. Galahad is certainly not the first of his name, but he may be the last. He is joined by his mentor Sir Percival, Lady Igraine and Marquis de Lafayette, as they investigate a break out at Bedlam, a rebellious plot aboard an airship and a conspiracy that could shock the very foundation of their organisation.

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Gameplay in The Order 1886 is fairly basic, and as many have pointed out is reminiscent of Gears of War. I’d say that is accurate, and as a 3rd person cover based shooter it maybe falls a little short of the fluidity that Gears has achieved, but it also felt quite heavy and realistic. In fact everything feels like that, from climbing and running, to shooting. Galahad moves likes a man in his late 40s. The shooting feels intentionally laboured too, and not overly accurate. Even lining up a headshot isn’t a guaranteed hit because the guns, while sometimes high-tech, aren’t modern rifles and as such lack the pin point accuracy one would expect. Details like this enamoured the gameplay to me, even if it was at times a little frustrating. The Order uses a variety of anachronistic steampunk-inspired weaponry and gear in the fight against lycans and rebels, provided for them by the inventor Nikola Tesla, including an arc lightning gun that explodes heads, and a high tech monocular for scoping out the enemy.

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Not the arc gun I mentioned, but still pretty nifty

Another gameplay mechanic is ‘Blacksight’, The Order 1886’s version of bullet time, where everything slows down and allows you to fire off several pin point shots in black and white. A bar slowly fills up to allow you to use this. However, I rarely actually remembered this was an option and forgot to use it in many situations where it might have been useful. The game didn’t really force me to use it or remind me, so I was content with just blasting people in the face with carbines in real time.

One of the most noticeable facets of the gameplay in The Order was a reliance on quick time events, or QTEs. For a few years now many have complained about how often we see these in games, and the degree to which a game relies on them can drag. Being a highly cinematic game, but not wanting to completely cut you out of huge chunks of the story that are effectively just cut scenes, The Order falls into the QTE trap and does use this particular element a little too much. There are plenty of other games equally guilty of it too, but when the final confrontation of the game is effectively a long series of QTEs rather than any of the gameplay you’ve developed rudimentary skill at over the last several hours, it becomes more about how closely you’ve been paying attention and actually pulls you out of the immersion more than ensuring you a fixed on the screen.

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Press X to – Drown this guy/snap this guy’s neck/grab this guy’s junk/not get killed by this lycan

Graphically The Order 1886 is stunning. Graphics may not guarantee a great game, and you certainly can’t judge purely based on them, but when next-gen was first announced I was excited for what we were going to see. Victorian London looks beautiful, if a little dark and grim. The detail on all of the characters is amazing, from their slightly gaudy uniforms to the wealth of excellent facial hair that almost everyone automatically possesses. Motion capture performance has made games that are heavily cinematic feel truly alive. It seems to me that we almost skipped the Valley of the Uncanny entirely through mo-cap, ever since playing The Last of Us and being blown away by the attention to detail and synchronisation between the dialogue and the character speaking. Here it is even better. The overall presentation for The Order 1886 is a labour of love, and Ready At Dawn should be commended at least for that. They were clearly trying to make a cinematic game, and with that they have succeeded. At times they even grind the walking speed down, or make you look at an object for an overly long time, just so you can see what a pretty game they’ve made.

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So very pretty

As for plot, I found the world and the story of The Order to be engrossing and if anything I would have liked more details about the organisation, the rebels and what they stand for, and the lycans and other potential half breeds that Galahad and his compatriots fight. The conspiracy angle in the story is admittedly a little predictable, but if we criticised every story for using a trope that lacked originality we’d very quickly run out of things to enjoy. The execution of how that conspiracy unfolds is interesting, and how the characters deal with it too. My one gripe with it in this instance is that Galahad is essentially told there is a conspiracy, and will be led to evidence of it. On the way, though admittedly shot at first, he kills a hell of a lot of people that he has no idea whether they are good, bad or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. It actually happens in two different chapters, and in the second when I found myself stealthily plunging my foot long knife into an unsuspecting guard’s neck I wondered why the game wanted me to kill him and all of his friends. Couldn’t I have just knocked them out? Overall though, I found the story to be strong. It left me wanting more, without leaving gaping holes in the plot.

A lot has been made about the length of the game, since a Youtube video went up early indicating that if you rushed a little bit, you could complete the game in less than 6 hours. Ready At Dawn defended the length, and stated that if you tried to find everything and explore, possibly playing on hard mode, it was more like 8-10 hours. I’d argue about the exploring point there, because the game is very linear and there is little exploration to be had. Regardless, I had intended on timing how long it took me to finish the game as a comparison, but I forgot. I’d be surprised if I clocked in more than 7 hours, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. I felt that the length of the game, for the type of story and game that Ready At Dawn were trying to produce, was spot on. Pacing was good, I was never bored or on any sort of fetch quest, and the game led me down a journey with Galahad that by the end, I was satisfied with.

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Fear the righteous fury of my moustache and chops

When it comes to value for money, it is a far more difficult question to address. The Order 1886 is a single player experience only, with not a lot to entice the player to replay other than to enjoy the story and maybe mop up a couple of trophies they missed. No new game plus, challenge modes or multiplayer to speak of. Now I usually say that is a good thing, I’d rather the focus went into crafting either the best single player or best multiplayer game it can be, using the whole ass for one thing rather than half-assing multiple things. This is where the length discussion does come into play, because it is still a full price game. I put down £49.99 to play this game at launch. I’ve seen plenty of opinions on this topic, and when someone is receiving review copies of games it can be easy to dismiss the cost as a factor in either choosing which games to play, or whether or not to wait for the price to drop a bit. You see people always try to compare the cost to other things, like a night out, or relative to how much you pay to see a film at the cinema Vs. how many hours of entertainment you get from that. I think it is a mistake to compartmentalise and compare the costs in that way, because it is assuming that people have a certain amount of money, and don’t have multiple interests. It isn’t useful to point out that a night out or two is the same price as a game, because I’m probably going to do both. I’ll just enjoy one a lot more (hint – it’s the one where I don’t have to pretend that everyone wherever I am isn’t incredibly irritating). People will always weigh up how much something costs and how long it will entertain them for. I find it easier to think about how much I spend on a game when I think about the sheer effort that must have gone into it. If I’ve enjoyed it, and a clearly huge amount of effort and investment has gone into its development, then ultimately it doesn’t matter if I didn’t play it for 90 hours.

I enjoyed The Order 1886 a great deal. It wasn’t without it’s flaws, but with no game breaking glitches, plot holes or frustrating gameplay, the stunning graphics and compelling and succinct story shone through for me. The potentially rich world also opens itself up to sequels, which I would be keen to see.  If you are looking for a strong cinematic tale that you’ll probably finish in a week of average playtime, think about checking this out. It is fairly linear, but there aren’t any fetch quests. Swings and roundabouts.

Score: 7.5 Half Breeds out of 10


EGX Round Up – Part Two: The Order 1886 and Mortal Kombat X

Adam and Kii went to EGX in London on Friday. Here is Adam’s coverage.

On to part two of my EGX round up from last Friday, where Kii and I received our first press passes to check out and cover the gaming expo. After a healthy dose of survival horror (see part one!) we went back down to the main floor to check out a few more games (and to give Kii a break from all the horror!).


The Order 1886

There were probably four games I was most looking forward to trying out at EGX. I have already talked about the first two, Alien Isolation and The Evil Within. The Order 1886, the Playstation 4 exclusive from Ready at Dawn and SCEA (due out February 2015), is another and the last I actually made it to. We wandered around for a while trying to figure out where it actually was, before realising it was in the same Playstation demo booth as Bloodborne (the other game I was very keen to try) and Until Dawn. So to try any of these three games you had to join the same queue, taking around 30 or 40 minutes, with an attendant coming through and splitting us up depending on the game we wanted to play. The Order was the most popular, so the queue was the longest, but to play another game in the same booth would mean re-queuing from the back of the line again. As such, I didn’t get the chance to play Bloodborne so we could get to some other game, but The Order was the game I really wanted to check out.


The Order 1886 appears to involve a squad or division of enforcers that hunt and battle supernatural threats in an alternate, steampunk inspired Neo-Victorian London, utilising a variety of advanced weaponry (another character was using a weapons a lot like a Proton pack from Ghostbusters) to fight various creatures and violent criminals. In the demo, you play as Galahad (I’m not sure if you get the chance to play as multiple characters or just this mutton-chopped badass), and The Order join a group of constables who appear to be engaged in suppressing armed rebels or terrorists. Galahad is equipped with a Thermite rifle, which involves firing a combination of a flare at the enemy and spraying them with rapid-fire thermite rounds, which alone do little damage but upon contact with fire cause a huge ignition, setting enemies aflame. Lots of fun.

The demo doesn’t give too much away in terms of story, but hints at supernatural elements, for example a team member is grazed by a bullet and instantly heals the wound by drinking a tincture from a vial around his neck, and it shows off the Neo-Victorian environment. As this is just a snapshot of the game however, nothing is spoiled regarding where The Order are heading or why they are fighting these people. A succinct demo, that showed off the gameplay and the setting for the game, and left me wanting more by the end.


The unique setting of The Order 1886 has me hooked, and I enjoyed the gameplay a lot. There was a fair amount of cover-based shooting, which isn’t a new mechanic but if you are going to use it it is important that it works and fits the game style. This felt like the system perfected by Gears of War, feeling heavy as you duck behind cover and move with all your gear without being sluggish. The only part that worried me was that around halfway through the demo the system froze, and one of the attendants came over and kindly rebooted it for me so I could start again from the beginning. A few minutes later, the same thing happened to the lady playing to my left. Now clearly this isn’t occurring on a level that is worrying the developers if they still felt they could show the demo at the expo (and it is a relatively early demo too), and it didn’t happen to me a second time through. But crashing for two people next to each other isn’t exactly a rare occurrence, unless it really was a total coincidence. However, I’m not worried as I am sure it is something Ready at Dawn are aware of, and with over four months before release I am confident that issues like this will be ironed out. Aside from that minor point, I am still very excited for The Order 1886 and will be keeping an eye on it as it gets closer to release.


Mortal Kombat X

This was actually one of the first games we tried out, while we were just wandering around the convention floor when we first arrived. Mortal Kombat X was developed by NetherRealm Studios, and we found it in one of the Playstation booths so played it on PS4, though it is also coming out on Xbox One. I won’t pretend that I play many fighting games anymore, but when I was younger I was pretty in to Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur and even way further back Killer Instinct on the SNES (I also love Smash Bros.). I never seem to buy new fighters because I only really get a lot of enjoyment playing with people live in the same room, but I always really enjoy them when I get the chance to play any beat em up round a friend’s house. The first trailer for Mortal Kombat X was very pretty and moody, so I was looking forward to the chance to try it out.


Kii and I faced off against each other, she choose Ferra and Torr and I chose Cassie Cage, and we fought on a stage called ‘Kove’ (we get it Mortal Kombat. Everything has to be spelt with a K). The graphics were very nice, which only highlighted the gore to come, and the fighting stage was fun with a few things to throw and other interactions to try out. Kii was a lot better than me, as she plays fighters more often and there was some overlap with the DC Injustice: Gods Among Us game that NetherRealm also developed. However, I still won. Because I am a badass. Or she let me try out my X-ray move which put me at a significant advantage in the last round. Whatever.

This was a whole heap of violent fun, the X-ray mode particularly being hilariously gruesome. As we played this downstairs, we actually were trying the censored version of the demo, with the full version only being upstairs in the 18+ section. Fatalities were blocked on this version, resulting in a victory that lacked any sort of fanfare. However, aside from that I don’t see how this was a censored toned down version. The X-ray mode attacks were all insanely violent and gory. I think Cassie Cage’s involved popping the opponents testicles, which you got to see, and others showed hands being shoved into chests, ripping at internal organs.

Am I going to buy Mortal Kombat X? Probably not. Will I play the hell out of it when I visit Kii and allow her to beat the shit out of me on it? Definitely. If fighters are your thing, this is shaping up to be another great Mortal Kombat game.


Come back tomorrow for the final part of my EGX round up!