The Order 1886 (PS4) Box Art (http://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-order-1886-ps4/) Rated M by ESRB The Order: 1886 introduces players to a unique vision of Victorian-Era London where man uses advanced technology to battle a powerful and ancient foe, the half-breeds. As Galahad, a member of an elite order of Knights, the player embarks on a thrilling ride to uncover the mysteries surrounding The Order and the growing threat of the enemy rebels. I say “ride” because the pacing of The Order: 1886 is more akin to a rollercoaster than a shooting gallery, and especially a far cry from the abundance of open world games that have flooded the market in recent years. Some may find the linearity of The Order to be too constraining or boring, but for those players who want to buy into the story and experience, this game might be worth your time.

The Order 1886 (PS4) Box Art The Order 1886 (PS4) Logo (http://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-order-1886-ps4/) Rated M by ESRB The Order: 1886 introduces players to a unique vision of Victorian-Era London where man uses advanced technology to battle a powerful and ancient foe, the half-breeds. As Galahad, a member of an elite order of Knights, the player embarks on a thrilling ride to uncover the mysteries surrounding The Order and the growing threat of the enemy rebels. I say “ride” because the pacing of The Order: 1886 is more akin to a rollercoaster than a shooting gallery, and especially a far cry from the abundance of open world games that have flooded the market in recent years. Some may find the linearity of The Order to be too constraining or boring, but for those players who want to buy into the story and experience, this game might be worth your time.

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Presentation:
Order: 1886 has set the bar for video game visuals on any platform, with real material based textures and lighting, flawless anti-aliasing, and a variety of visual filters that all come together to complete an image that feels as authentic as anyone would imagine a Nineteenth Century London to be. Everything from the animations to the way Galahad’s cloak sways while running highlight what I consider to be the most graphically stunning game ever made. The Order is a clear emulation of the cinematic experience, replete with film grain and specially designed filters to emulate the style of a film camera’s lens. While some may not like the style, Ready at Dawn chose to display their game in an anamorphic widescreen cutting off portions of the top and bottom of the screen with thick black bars. Some will appreciate the style, and some will absolutely hate it (WHY ARE THERE BLACK BARS IN MY VIDEO GAME) but Ready at Dawn executed their vision of a true “next gen” cinematic presentation with top-notch graphics right down to the movie-style credits.

I don’t want to get into the story too much because of how integral it is to the experience, but The Order has one of the more interesting stories in games I’ve played. It does enough to pull you into the believable world without being too heavy-handed, and though it may miss a few beats, I found myself satisfied with the overall package by the time the credits rolled.

The Order 1886 (PS4) Screenshot The Order 1886 (PS4) Screenshot The Order 1886 (PS4) Screenshot The Order 1886 (PS4) Screenshot


Gameplay:

This is where The Order: 1886 becomes divisive. I tried to think of a game that could compare to the pacing and gameplay structure of this title and the closest I could think of was Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Sections of gameplay are connected with unskippable cinematics that drive the story forward but fail to let the player get into a groove. It seems choppy at first, but if you like the story then you’ll appreciate the way Ready at Dawn decided to pace their game. Quick time events are abundant and used for almost every action, whether it’s rolling away from a grenade or shutting down the electricity to an electrical box. Those points aside, the actual gunplay is a blast (literally) and The Order has some of the coolest guns I’ve ever used in a game. Anyone who doesn’t have a big smile on their face the first time they use the arc gun is cold, heartless, and most likely hates sunshine and warm beaches. Unfortunately, these guns are limited to certain areas of the game, restricting the player to some of the more vanilla options. The biggest fault in my opinion is that there’s not much to actually play. Gameplay is split approximately 50:50 with the cinematics and QTE’s, and when the game is only 6-8 hours long, you can see where people might be upset with spending their hard earned $60. Though, taking The Order for what it is, the gameplay is very well done with tight combat and somewhat interesting QTE’s and it’s a shame there isn’t more of it in this ambitious title.

Conclusion:


Interesting story, amazing graphics, solid gameplay…so why has the critical reception of The Order: 1886 been so negative? In my opinion, I can’t recommend this game for everyone. If you’re expecting a game in the traditional sense, then you may want to hold off. However, if you want to experience a concise, technological achievement that’s more story than gameplay, then this title might just be for you.

The Order: 1886 released for the Playstation 4 on February 20th, 2015 for $60 and is available in stores and on the PSN Store.

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