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Review | The Order: 1886

by on February 19, 2015
 

Order

It only took a few minutes into playing The Order: 1886 to realize just how gorgeous this game looks. But despite the wonderful visuals and cinematic presentation, the game winds up falling short of being a must-have.

Developed by Ready at Dawn, The Order: 1886 puts players in Victorian era London setting with an alternate historic setting. You play as Sir Galahad, a member of the The Order, which is essentially like the Knights of the Roundtable, as you engage in a battle with supernatural beings, and a few werewolves, while attempting to uncover a conspiracy that could shake the foundation of said Order.

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Gameplay reminds me of Gears of War, since it’s cover-based shooting, though I wasn’t thrilled with how generic it turned out to be as you wind up taking part in a shooting gallery for the most part, with the areas in which you engage in a shootout, are pretty cookie-cutter. The weapons themselves are also pretty rudimentary, such as pistols and shotguns, while the more intriguing stuff like the Arc Gun and Thermite Rifle, though you only get to use those in certain occasions. You’ll also come across some hand-to-hand combat, though they rely on QTEs (quick-time events) and even the fun battles are far and few between.

Going back to the visuals for a second, I loved the graphic fidelity of the game, from the character models, to the gorgeous environments, though there were two things that didn’t do anything for me – the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, and the slight blurriness. I get that these were done on purpose, as the black bars, which resembles a movie on Blu-ray, adds to the presentation of it, but it also felt like I couldn’t see everything that was there. Whether or not I was actually missing anything isn’t the point, but it’s feeling like I’m watching a cutscene that is distracting. As for the blurriness, well let’s just say that you’ll immediately notice a lack of sharpness.

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That being said, the game does look incredible, and shows off the power of the PS4. I do wish however, that the game wasn’t as linear as it was, as I constantly hoped that I could roam around freely to admire the beautiful city of London. Unfortunately you only get to see snippets of the city as you’re being led to specific areas.

Running at approximately 7 or so hours, there’s still something about the game that kept me engaged in finishing the campaign. I’m not sure if I was hoping to see a big payoff or if I was just enjoying the eye candy, but in the end, I felt a little disappointed with the rather sudden finale.

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All told, The Order: 1886 is stunning to look at and has an amazing backdrop, but a short story and generic gameplay keep it from really reaching its potential. It ends up feeling like an interactive-movie that could have been a lot more.

Final Score: 3.5 out of 5

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  • February 20, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    Great review Ramon. Great looking game, but not the groundbreaking experience they seemed to lead us to believe. I think they spent too much time on the aesthetics and not enough on the gameplay.

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