It’s not that often that a game comes around with a single-playe campaign and little else. The Order 1886 features no replability is any Way. The campaign lasts between 7-8 hours and once that’s done, so is stuff to do. Ready at Dawn have created easily the most beautiful games ever existed but it’s also created one of the shortest-lived games of this generation so far.
The Order 1886 is a captivating game visually but behind the quite frankly stunning visuals is a game littered with flaws but length isn’t one of them. Games that outstay their welcome can be as damning as a game that barely shows its colours, The Order falls on the latter at the story is set up for a futures, which, honestly isn’t that surprising.
There was no way that Sony would put so much behind The Order, Ready at Dawn wouldn’t put so much effort into creating the engine if there was nothing else to it but just one game. They are hoping for a franchise. The Order 1886 is in a lot of ways reminiscent of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed. A flawed first outing with the potential for something truly great.
The biggest flaw The Order has going for it is the pacing which is downright terrible. Throughout the campaign, you never feel in control enough as you mostly walk from area to area, not getting into nearly enough gunfights, which when you do are incredibly limiting in your approach. It’s usually a bottle-neck battle area with you on one side and the enemies on the other. However, these battles feel satisfying and meaty thanks to the excellent sound design and feeling of the guns.
However, it happens far less often for a game that is considered a third person shooter. Every battle is then followed by walking, cut-scenes, or quick time events. It never lets you feel the pace of a battle, it never allows the gunplay to ramp up, leading to a crescendo moment that would look all the more spectacular given the game’s visual fidelity. It just fizzles out as the biggest battles have you staying in the same area as waves of enemies come your way.
This is particularly disappointing bit because the gunplay is so good but because of the visuals, the sound, and the feeling of your guns, each shot and kill feels impactful. Taking down 20 enemies feels like a massive undertaking, which it should in games. A massive scale battle like those seen in Gears of War wouldn’t do the game any good but being consistent with the gameplay would be a start.
You spend far too long not shooting. There is so much story to the game. Cut-scenes are long for its genre, there’s almost never any time in the game when narrative isn’t being progressed and together these complete ruin the pacing of the game.
Ready at Dawn are confident in what they’ve created, and so they should be. The visuals on show are easily the best ever seen on a console. This love for the visuals they’ve created may go a bit too far when you encounter its inspecting feature of the game. This is basically just your character moving an object around in his hands, showing off the detail really. It’s as if Ready at Dawn are tapping themselves on the back with this mechanic.
The story and setting is incredibly interesting. The world portrayed is one you want to stay in. However, the game honestly feels like the first episode in a TV series: Full of introductions and questions but very little resolutions. This is a game that Sony want to turn into a series, and I’d imagine a second one is already in the works. The unfortunate thing is that they forgot to make an amazing game first. Once again, getting the feeling of the Assassin’s Creed games.
Galahad and the Order are a bunch of interesting characters. You like them, hate the, and ultimately want to know more about them and their stories with one another. You never get that close in the 7 or so hours it takes for the credits to roll.
I would be lying though if I stated that I didn’t like The Order 1886 while I was playing it. There was quite a bit I like, or like the potential off but the game just wanted me to not enjoy those aspects. Silly design decisions, including forced stealth with instant fails for being caught, not enough variety to the great foundation of gameplay, and not enough reasons for people to be dying for the next instalment.
For all that, The Order 1886 isn’t a bad game at all, in fact, I liked it. I could have loved it though. It’s worth playing but offers far too little satisfaction in a lot of ways to make it an essential purchase for the PlayStation 4.