The Order: 1886 Review – Flawed Beauty

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“Gorgeous” is a word you will use to describe The Order: 1886, a PS4 exclusive made by Ready at Dawn. It’s their first foray into developing home console games and they’ve executed it in style, but there are a lot of problems that drags the game down drastically.

First things first, you will be completely mesmerized by the graphics of this game. They have employed a cinematic style complete with grain filter to make it look like a movie. It takes a while to get used to the visual design but once you do you can’t help but marvel at the work that has gone behind the various levels you’ll get to play in the game.

The story revolves around Sir Galahad and Knights of the Round Table. It’s set in an alternate history Victorian London where half-breeds and vampires run amok. The game begins with a bang with Sir Galahad apparently being tortured by prison guards and you get to know eventually why he ended up in that situation.

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The game is an extremely linear third-person shooter which is a little disappointing because I would have loved to explore some of the environments in the game. However, considering the heavy graphics focus there are limitations to what RAD could do on the PS4. There are games like Assassin’s Creed Unity that are not only open world but also look stunning but the AC games are made with gigantic teams and a huge budget.

Since it’s a cinematic shooter, RAD has tried to control the experience instead of letting the player do that. Which means, there are sections where Galahad will walk slowly and it really gets on your nerves after a while. However, considering the gorgeous environments on offer it’s not a bad thing after all. It would be a shame if you run everything in a hurry and ignore all the effort that has gone into the setting.

There are a ton of innovative weapons in the game, designed by none other than Nikola Tesla. The enjoyment you get from firing some of these guns and watching the enemy react is really splendid. For example, the Thermite Gun can set your enemies on fire and cause a lot of damage. There are shotguns that can completely wreck anyone standing in front of you. There’s also crossbows which are really fun to use.

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The cover system while decently implemented does not blend with the environment well. It feels like the devs just put a piece of cover in a random location for you to use. There are also forced stealth sections that make no sense whatsoever and are just included to increase the length of the game. How else can you explain a scenario where upon detection it causes a game over?

Coming to the game length, it took me around 7 hours to complete the game on medium difficulty. This is kind of disappointing for a single player only experience especially considering the story has a terrible ending and does not tie the loose ends well. It does not properly explain some of the events in the game and you are left wondering what the hell just happened after the game abruptly ends.

The main problem with The Order: 1886 is that it is difficult to justify spending $60 or Rs 3499 on it when it does not feature any multiplayer mode. Replayability is extremely important to most gamers nowadays. It would’ve been find if the story was closed properly and you were offered 10 to 12 hours of gameplay but that is not the case.

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There are some collectibles and other items that you can find in the game and it just did not evoke my interest all that much. You can get a platinum trophy on your first playthrough so for trophy hunters the game might be an attractive proposition.

The voice acting and writing are incredible and that’s one of the reason why I grew a little attached to Sir Galahad. He is one of the most interesting protagonists we’ve seen this gen but RAD could’ve made him a lot more interesting. The story contains some twists and turns but it’s nothing that you can’t predict.

It is a very simplistic game and other developers have executed the same situations that you encounter in the game a lot better. For example, the Lycan fights are taken straight from Dead Space 2 where you are trapped in a small room with crates and what not and have to shoot the charging lycans who can come from any direction. This wasn’t scary at all and the one in Dead Space 2 was done a lot better and the scare factor was higher.

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If RAD hopes to make a sequel provided it does get a greenlight from Sony, they have to overhaul the entire mechanics to justify the price tag. The setting and characters hold a lot of potential but are just held back by game which is very simplistic in nature.

If you’ve been wanting to play The Order: 1886, it does provide a decent single player experience, and may be worth your time if you are into such games. Just don’t expect the game to impress you in things other than the graphics and sound design.