Sony’s E3 2014 press conference showed us a dark, tense side of The Order: 1886 some folks might not have expected. Moving away from heavy action, the demo instead took us through a dark, narrow hallway reminiscent of the glory days of Resident Evil, matching us up again a werewolf hunting for our blood. Some might now think that based on that trailer The Order is strictly a survival horror game, but that’s simply not true. The demo I played at the Sony booth opens us up to some of the action, and The Order may be better-rounded than we thought.

For starters, the game is just gorgeous. There was a moment where I honestly forgot that I was watching a video game cutscene, instead thinking that Galahad and his crew were being played by real-life actors. The level of visual fidelity that Ready at Dawn has achieved is surreal, and I can only hope that the finished product looks as good as this demo.

The action I played takes place in Chapter Three, as the Order do battle against human rebels in a run-down part of town. The demo focused heavily on cover-based third-person shooting, evoking a very Gears of War feel without the roadie run. The devs wanted to focus on being covered so much that they programmed in a “punishment” of unstoppable bullet fire if we didn’t wait for the audio cues to proceed. I fell victim to that a few times before I realized what was going on. Good on you, Ready at Dawn.

The coolest part of the demo for me was the rifle we were given to play with. Called the Thermite Rifle, it’s a weapon with two parts to its devastation: when aiming the gun, one of the R buttons shoots a cloud of ash that blinds the target and sends him into coughing fits. The other R button then shoots a flare that, should it come into contact with the ash ignites it and incinerates whatever sorry jerk is coughing up a lung at the moment. It’s an awesome new way to bring down enemies, and it makes me hopeful that more of The Order’s arsenal is as unique as the Thermite Rifle.

Outside of the cool weaponry, this particular played a lot like cover-based shooters of the past. I had to keep myself protected, making sure not to let any errant body part be exposed, and keep the pressure on with accurate shots from the Thermite Rifle. I also got a taste of what’s it like to have a Thermite Rifle shot at me, and it helped me understand just how hard that thing is to avoid. I love using it, but I don’t like when it’s turned against me.

It was a short demo, roughly 8-10 minutes in total, but it was enough to get me excited for what Ready at Dawn has in store for us. It’s a shame that it was recently delayed until February, but I have full confidence that The Order: 1886 will be a great way to kick off the year 2015.

The Order: 1886 is due to be released on the PlayStation 4 on Feb. 20, 2015.