The Order: 1886 is a third-person shooter game launched early this year by Ready at Dawn (makers of God of War). Is the game something that will cater to a lot of players or will it be like an acquired taste? Read on and find out in this review.
The story takes place in an alternate 19th century London nearing the end of the Victorian times. The environment is full of steampunk goodness like Zeppelins, clothes/gears from the Industrial Revolution era, and old school guns that spew out electricity and grenades.
Your character, Sir Galahad, is a knight that supposedly originated from sir Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table — dedicated to fight the evil that haunts humanity. 1886 is the year when they find themselves plagued by werewolves (also known as Lycans). These half-breeds are on the prowl for fresh meat and it’s up to The Order to stop them.
Just within the first 15 minutes of gameplay we could already tell that the developers behind this game poured a good amount of time and effort in making the graphics seamless.
As we’ve mentioned, the setting is made to look like 19th century London and they nailed it in terms of the overall feel. The atmosphere that they built really puts you in a time-travelling machine to the Victorian era thanks to small details like the distant steam coming out of machines, melancholic gray skies, pointed tips of structures, and carefully-crafted interior.
After the cinematic cutaways we often found our character idle and waiting for commands since we couldn’t draw the line when the cutaways are done and the gameplay begins due to its flawless graphics.
Facial expressions are also top-notch — they capture the emotions of the characters according to each scenario in the story. What we’re trying to say here is that this game is a testament to what Sony’s PS4 can produce when partnered with serious developers in terms of graphics.
The game is fixed on a third-person setup with a cover-and-shoot kind of chemistry going on. It’s the same type of gameplay used in games like Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist or Gears of War so if you’ve already played those titles then learning curve is easily quite steep. Running, vaulting, and shimmying across walls are some of what Sir Galahad can perform.
In addition, it also has the Inspect element during gameplay that lets you look at certain items in different angles using your joystick — and satisfactorily feels nothing short of how you’d look at an object in real life.
The entire game is full of cut-scenes. It basically is a combination of running, killing, and yes — cut-scenes. From what we could tell by finishing the game the team wanted the player to feel a movie-like experience (hence the letterbox throughout) with the aim of really being a part of it.
The game also makes use of QTEs (quick-time events) during cut-scenes. We admit that it prompted us more than other games did, and my brother (who is also a big time gamer) found them overly-used. Personally, though, I enjoyed it since it still made me feel part of the game even though it was only a cut-scene.
What we found as a big-time bummer is the lack of interaction with the otherwise intricate environment. Unlike other games that you can break tables or have elements moving around when you run past them, The Order: 1886 employs static objects that you just bump along the way.
This is the case for most of the items in the game but except for guns and ammo that you pick up, you can only interact with letters and photos placed conveniently on surfaces that you can read and look at. It wasn’t particularly fun.
The Order: 1886 certainly has the elements of a great game, although maybe not enough to satisfy a wide range of gamers. The game is story-driven, which means there are no chances of free-roaming, definitely not the open world type of game, and gives more of a movie-like experience rather than a grind-and-strengthen-your-character kind of approach.
Setting aside its eye-popping graphics it might be something that at first, seem lacking, but will later on turn out to be enjoyable as soon as you realize what it’s gunning for.
If you just want a plain but fun shooter game that you can just play and relax to and not think of strategies or what mission you should do next, then this game could be right up your alley. Otherwise, you might be finding yourself asking more from the game.
What we liked about it:
- Astounding graphics/details/textures
- Facial expressions make the characters life-like
- Easy to enjoy cover-and-shoot gameplay
What we didn’t like:
- All you could interact with (in the environment) are papers
- Story is somewhat weak and common