Archive for February, 2015

The Order: 1886 Review.

Posted: February 22, 2015 in Games
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Not Quite What I Ordered.

The Order: 1886 is a good game. Not great, but good. It could have been so much more but ultimately falls a little short of greatness.
Visually, the game is spectacular. And I mean that in every sense of the word. It’s by far the most impressive looking game I’ve seen running on a console. It’s just a real shame that it lacks the gameplay to accompany it.

Ready At Dawn tried crafting a third-person shooter with the narrative of a movie, but ended up so heavy on the latter that they forgot about the former. The amount of time you actually spend shooting in this game is probably around half the time it’ll take you to finish it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you take into account that the shooting isn’t all that satisfying. It took me about nine hours to finish the game and if I had spent the whole nine hours shooting, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. There’s a lot to be said about the science weapons, though, those things are awesome. Hurtling a bolt of lighting from your arc cannon towards a bad guy, to be rewarded with his head exploding into pulp, is one of the juicier flavours the game has to offer. The more conventional weapons, however, are not quite as fun. When you nail a guy, there’s no punch, there’s no pop. It just feels empty. At least the guns sound good.

Another gripe of mine is QTEs (Quick-time events), they’re everywhere! A lot of games get away with using this awful mechanic by using it to do something interesting, like finishing a guy off with style or countering a flurry of incoming attacks. The Order uses them to remind the player, during a long cutscene, that they are still in fact “playing”. Gameplay and cutscenes are so seamless that it can sometimes be hard to differentiate between the two. That’s an amazing feat for such an astonishing looking game, but it also frequently ruined the immersion by constantly reminding me that it was a game.

The story starts off slow but really picks up around the halfway mark. I found myself fascinated by the lure of the Victorian setting, splattered with a dose of steampunk. It was really strange how right it all felt. The real shame about the story was the ending, — don’t worry, no spoilers — it ended somewhat like a Lord of the Rings movie. You know, when it finishes in what feels like the middle of the story. That’s all well and good when you know there’s a sequel a few months down the line. What if The Order doesn’t sell well? What if they never green light a sequel? I’ve got OCD, I can’t handle that kind of intensity!

The Last of Us, Gears of War and Uncharted are games that The Order strives to be, but it offers nothing past the abruptly ended single player and simply doesn’t have enough impact. Gears perfected cover-based shooting, TLOU is a third-person shooter that tells an unforgettable story whilst still providing you with solid, satisfying gameplay. Uncharted is just epic.
The Order doesn’t bring anything new to the table, and what it does bring lacks longevity.
Not only do these other games offer a lengthy story that you’ll want to revisit time and time again, but they also provide hours upon hours of multiplayer. There’s no reason The Order couldn’t have featured, at the very least, some sort of co-op mode to keep players interested after the campaign.

The Order:1886 is a bit of a rocky start for Ready At Dawn, but hopefully it’s an experience they’ll learn from. They’ve got the talent to make the best looking game my eyes have had the pleasure of gazing upon. The story certainly peeked my interest towards the end, and the gameplay has solid potential. Hopefully they’ll get a second chance to deliver some of that “greatness” we’ve all been awaiting.