The game The Order: 1886 hit shelves on February 20. Will it make history? Or is it doomed to fade into obscurity…
Game development studio Ready At Dawn broke into the console market with their new Playstation exclusive, The Order: 1886. It’s the first attempt by the game development studio at a home console game after a long period of exclusively developing games for the handheld PSP and PS Vita systems.
It is a standalone game and the first PlayStation exclusive for 2015, being sold at a price of $99.95. However, many people on the internet have speculated on whether or not this game is worth it.
The first thing many players will notice about this game is that it is very dark. It’s clear the development team from Ready At Dawn were trying to provide players with a dark and gritty experience, however it doesn’t look like they had much success with it.
Even though the graphics are very impressive, especially with the clear detail that has gone into the facial expressions for each individual character, it fails in terms of aesthetics. The majority of the game’s environments appear very dull and fails in the task of managing to pull in the players for more.
The game’s development team have made many claims, on internet videos and in interviews, of how much focus was put into delivering a cinematic experience to players, similar to games like Uncharted. Although it appears a lot of work has gone into giving the games cut scenes and levels as much detail as possible, it seems as if there wasn’t a lot of work put into the rest of the game.
When it comes to the story, it is lacking – the game is very short, which perhaps prevented any real story development. As for the story itself, it is very hard to describe it, as most of the story is very disconnected and many of the characters are lacking in depth.
The main thing that stood out about the characters was how their personalities changed from one extreme to another halfway through the game. Overall, the story seems to be a poorly constructed excuse to go from one murder-fest to another.
Then there’s the gameplay, or rather lack there of. Many of the combat mechanics used in the game are mildly enjoyable, but the game doesn’t offer more than that. Even though the developers made statements about how creative the weapons in the game are, they weren’t anything that stood out, and most of the weapons just weren’t very impressive.
Other aspects of this game include quick time events, used to break up the main gameplay. However, I feel the quick time given to complete events is more than generous.
During my own play-through of the game, I decided to not complete the quick time event to see how long it would take for the game to kill me, and by the time it did I had almost completely fallen asleep because of how long it took.
Aside from that, the game also has stealth sections and survival sections, which managed to shake it up a bit and made things more interesting. But there were too few of them to have a significant impact on the game.
Overall, The Order: 1886 is much too short and the entire game seems to suffer for it. Even though the game is enjoyable in parts, it is as though the developers were unable to build on those fun moments to make a better gaming experience.
It is sad to see The Order: 1886 not offer anything else other than really good graphics and mildly entertaining combat mechanics. Its only real selling point seems to be that PlayStation owners can have something to play between the releases of other games like Evolve and Dying Light.
Rating: 5/10 – Nathan Davies
Top image: Cover art from Ready At Dawn.