Game Review: The Order 1886

Ah, my first game review. This will be interesting to see when it’s over. I’ve really enjoyed writing this blog and have had a lot of fun. Anyway, let’s get right into it.

The Order 1886 was released early last year by a new studio called Ready at Dawn, and when it was announced, it looked very promising. However, when it was released, it was a different story. Most of the big reviewers gave it fair to low scores and it just wasn’t received well. So, I thought I’d give it a shot. Here’s my review of The Order 1886

Presentation

The game looks beautiful. I’ll say that from the start. For being almost two years old, it still looks really good. I only saw a few cases of some weird facial expressions from the characters, but everything still looked great. The game looks almost real, with wonderful lighting, and great high-resolution graphics. The soundtrack is also very nice, and gives itself to the moody atmosphere the game has. The streets of London are misty and dark, and the catacombs dirty and grimy. The voice acting is great, as well, feeling natural and real, especially in the emotional moments. So far so good.

Story

Alright, so I won’t go into spoilers, but the game ends with some strings left untied. The developers have said that this wasn’t a one-off story and hoped to use The Order as a jumping off point for a new IP. However, I still feel that a lot of characters just stopped getting any action, and kind of fell off. The premise, unlike the ending, grabbed me very quickly. You are part of a secret order, you’ve lived hundreds of years, and there’s some cool Steampunk stuff going on. Oh yeah, and Werewolves. Rebels against the government have rose up in the streets, and riots have been getting larger. Oh I forgot, there’s Werewolves. So, the world feels really cool and I was really getting into it. There’s airships and cool steampunk weapons created by the one Nikola Tesla. Oh I forgot, there’s Werewolves. See, The Order is hunting Werewolves and has been for hundreds of years. However, the game makes you kind of forget about Werewolves until they show up again and you say, “Oh I forgot, there’s Werewolves.” So, eventually the game just throws vampires in there, and your character just acts like vampires are normal, even though nothing has been said about them at all. In fact, the game was rather on the nose about the historical references. For example, one time, a character said something about a guy named Doyle calling something “elementary”. This just kind of came out of nowhere and felt kind of forced. A lot of the plot twists are very predictable as well. Now, most games have pretty sorry stories. Let’s hope they gave us some good gameplay.

Gameplay

The Order is a pretty basic third-person shooter that says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It feels good to shoot (even though it can be a little heavy at times) especially when you get some of the really creative heavy weaponry. There’s a sort of electricity cannon that you have to charge before you let it loose, a rifle with a stunning smoke blast, and a thermite cannon. The thermite cannon is the one that I think is the coolest, because you have to spread flammable dust over everything before you shoot a thermite chunk at it to ignite everything it’s covering. The shooting feels solid except for some big problems. When an enemy throws a grenade, you can’t throw it back, you have to roll out of the way. Seems fine? No, because the majority of the time you roll out of cover into enemy fire. Next, is the armored enemies. Something seems off-balance with them. They are just bullet sponges and nothing more. There’s not any other type of enemy besides regular guys and guys you have to fill up with bullets. However, there are a few Werewolf fights where a few of them all gang up on you. Overall, it’s pretty cool if not a little frustrating at times when they all jump in on you. Then, there’s times where you have to fight like an elder werewolf (or something like that) and you only have a knife. It’s basically a huge button mashing quicktime event that I’m not a huge fan of. I wrote more about it in an earlier article about quicktime events that you can check out here. The shooting can feel clunky at times, especially the cover. Sometimes you exit cover for no reason. Sometimes you enter cover for no reason. This is very annoying and I died many times because of it. Also, I’ve noticed something with the level design. There are relatively few branching paths and the few that exist hardly ever reward you with anything. Sometimes, there’s an audio log à la BioShock. However, most of these are pretty boring and you have to stay in the menu to listen to them, and I’ve already sat through too many long-winded cutscenes. Oh yeah, and speaking of long-winded cutscenes and little amounts of gameplay, this game has it. This game is more cutscene then it is game. Not to mention that a lot of the gameplay is slow walk-around-this-place type missions. Combine that with very vanilla shooting and stealth and you have The Order.

Final Words

What can I say about The Order to sum it up? You know those bad Ninja Turtles knock-offs that lasted for like 12 episodes? They weren’t bad, but there was nothing that stood out either, and it didn’t last long. That’s The Order. I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t play it over and over again like other titles in its genre like Uncharted. Nothing stood out about the gameplay besides the interesting weapons. However, those are sort of impractical and rare to find. If you have a friend who spent the money on this (like I did) and you want to borrow it from him, go ahead. I wouldn’t spend more than $10-$15 on this game. If you just really want to check out the story, watch it on YouTube. With strong visuals, a pretty good story, a crappy ending, and a mixed bag of gameplay, The Order 1886 nets itself a:

6.5

 

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