One of the biggest game announcements of Sony's E3 press conference was The Order: 1886, a new IP for PlayStation 4 from Ready at Dawn. The studio has a sterling reputation when it comes to dealing with other properties (like God of War and Daxter on PSP), but The Order is a chance for Ready at Dawn to break out of the handheld mold. We spoke with creative director Ru Weerasuriya about scope, premise, and even the future of The Order.

Beyond what we've seen in the trailer, what can you tell us about the premise?

The premise itself, beyond just the setting and the world, is that it is an alternate history...The game is going to have a lot of things in there that exist in our real world. What we wanted to do was give people something they could connect to. When you invent everything, people have a hard time connecting. They say, "I have questions about this," and "I have questions about that." What we wanted was for them to have questions about the things that are different. The things that are twisted. 

Is this an occupied version of London?

You could call it that. Imagine our history going on a certain way for centuries, but at one point, an event happens that splits off our history from the history we're presenting. We don't want to take it off into a sci-fi, steampunk, crazy kind of thing; it really is about the small changes that have happened to build this world.

There's a character named Galahad in the trailer, and it begins with a Malory quote from Le Morte d'Arthur. Is "The Order" the Knights of the Round Table?

That's a good question, actually. I don't think that was part of our talking points, but yes, you can make your own conclusions about that. There is definitely connections there. There is some of the lore that has existed -- the original lore is Welsh lore, before it was a Christian thing. We harken back to the very early legend of Arthur and took some cues from that to add to our IP as well.

What kind of game is it?

It's a third-person action/adventure. That's one of those things that we pride ourselves on having done in the past and wanting to do in the future. Our expertise is there, and we definitely wanted it to be more of a storytelling medium for us in this game.

What does the titular Order do?

It has kept watch, the balance in this war between man and these ancient foes. The Order has kept man safe.

So this isn't a human-versus-human kind of conflict? It's human versus...some other?

Yes, "the other." That will be be revealed sometime soon, but I can't tell you right now. We purposely wanted to hint at it, because we wanted gamers to ask questions about who they are and why they're there.

You said that the trailer is in-engine. Just to clarify: those visuals aren't the target for actual gameplay, right?

No, this is not gameplay, but it is the way you're going to see, for example, cinematics happen. Everything you see in the game and the way the game is going to flow will look the way the game looks right now.

Is there one pivotal historical moment that results in the real and alternate histories diverging?

Beyond the very genesis of the IP, which actually happens very long ago -- probably more than a millenium before this game -- this is a window into the IP. The big moment is really the industrial revolution. We've twisted that industrial revolution in a different way than what it did for us in real history. Human society was an agricultural society that turned into an industrial society. What we did with our industrial revolution is that it's man's way of fighting this war. It comes about because they realize they're going to lose. It's their survival. It's where the tides turn and humans take their destiny into their own hands.

You refer to The Order as an IP. Assuming the game is a success, do you have more plans for the world?

The goal was that I wanted to build an IP that transcends just this media. The point would be that there are other stories to be told -- past stories, future stories. Hopefully, in the future, we'll be to tackle a lot of these.