Just as The Order: 1886 was set for launch – the title was released in certain cities earlier than street date unleashing a wave of anger at the length of The Order, before even being release the cogs were turning against Ready at Dawn. It’s a shame because, beneath some shallow systems in their newest title, there is so much potential for a blossoming franchise.
The Order: 1886 is a technical marvel for consoles. Right off the bat this needs to be said so we can move past its beautiful and realistic graphics. The Order: 1886 takes place in an alternate-history Victorian London where Lycans and an ancient order or Knights are very real things.
Playing as the latest iteration of the knight, Sir Galahad, the game begins with him being tortured and questioned. For what we don’t know just yet, but this sets the tone for how brutal London can treat you.
The soundtrack composed by Jason Graves is stellar. From the Knight’s Theme to Agamemnon Rising it has an emotional impact on the game. The voice acting is some of the best I’ve experienced in a game.
The Order has a fleshed out and likeable cast of characters, the issue is the story is shallow and usually predictable from the beginning. The bonus is getting to interact with famed inventor Nikola Tesla, the man and legend himself, who acts like Leonardo Da Vinci did in Assassin’s Creed II, he handed you some of the best weapons to use in the game and a supporting backbone.
My playtime clocked in at eight hours ending on a definite hope for a sequel. Ready at Dawn has done well enough to flesh out the characters and the order. The game has the means to take the show on the road to the Americas at this point, or somewhere east like India. There is so much potential here.
The Order is a third-person cover shooter that plays most like Gears of War. You go from cover to cover and aim for the head of the rebel who just so happens to be wide open waiting to get shot at. The enemies aren’t very intelligent either and willingly come out to meet my bullets. Add in a ceaseless amount of sponges to meet me and it slowly turns into target practice.
The mechanics are little more than basic, go here and encounter rebels, shoot it out with them, proceed. The issue is there isn’t any strategy here, the enemies funnel from the same side every time playing a game of dodgeball from elementary school. Everyone you encounter reacts the same and it really stunts the gameplay from being even ordinary.
Add in an astounding amount of QTE which really hinder the cinematics – making you take away from simply watching them to involving you unnecessarily. More times than none I thought about how I would rather watch events unfold than move a analog stick and press a button.
The only saving grace is the very cool weapons Nikola Tesla provides the Knights. These weapons like the Thermite Gun which provides a devastating explosion for enemies who are behind cover. Or my favourite of the bunch the Arc Gun which runs on electrical currents and makes a mess of enemies. The first scenario where I saw a rebel’s head explode from his body I laughed manically. The shame is you don’t really get to use them outside of a few encounters and lack any ammo to really get a feel for the damage that can be wrought by your enemies.
While the detail in each level is astounding – everything is so damn pretty, the levels are linear to a fault, providing nothing more than a corridor to corridor experience with no little to no room left to explore your surroundings. I would love to see something a bit more open world in the next title in the series.
Unfortunately the story is more about the men and women of the world, we don’t get to experience much of the supernatural of this world, and I wanted to get my hands dirty cleaning up after them. We get but a taste of what is available. The one true experience was devastatingly boring and ruined what could have been an epic encounter.
The Order: 1886 is more film than a game and the love that went into the cinematics would have been better put to use in lovingly making this a fun game. There is nothing particularly standout about the game mechanics and sadly this clocks in as a title of style over substance.