The Order: 1886 from Daxter and Chains of Olympus developer Ready at Dawn is out tomorrow – and it’s deliciously gorgeous. Graphics alone do not a great game make though, so what do critics think of the PlayStation 4 exclusive showcase?
Here’s what critics have to say:
The Order: 1886 features a wonderfully crafted and realistic alternate history setting with the greatest visuals and production values so far on the PS4. While the first half or so of the story really works, it’s let down by the final few hours, which abandon things shouting out to be explored in favour of introducing forced plot points which do the world and the main cast a disservice. Despite that, the gunplay is a lot of fun and it’s not a bad story overall, just one which could’ve been far better.
The basic conflict at the heart of The Order: 1886 is that considerations for a cinematic approach are prioritized above the needs of basic gameplay. Its best aspects are its stunning looks, atmosphere, and style – which are truly fantastic – and entertaining fiction. But the shallow, slow, and generic quick-time event-riddled gameplay make it feel like an experience that would’ve been better served by a non-interactive movie than a game. With no multiplayer, and no reason to revisit the short and stunted single-player campaign once it’s been completed, there just isn’t a lot to it.
Galahad’s story, such as it is, concludes so rapidly and with so few loose threads tied off, it’s hard to shake the feeling that someone somewhere decided that it was time for the knight and his cohorts to get out into the world whether they were ready or not. Though it nails some of the fundamentals, The Order: 1886 has been released without answering the essential question of what it offers that other games aren’t already doing better . Everything about the game’s final shot screams “sequel set up,” but unless The Order finds some non-aesthetic reasons to justify its existence, it’s hard to imagine coming back for a second adventure.
The sequel that Ready At Dawn is so desperately gunning for has a wonderful stage set, and I have a feeling it will be pure dynamite. When it comes, this will look even more like what it is – a sacrifice of a game, thrown out and burned simply to allow the real show to begin.
Oh, and what’s with the needless L.A. Noire bits where you have to keep holding things and swiveling them in Galahad’s hand? Are they that proud of the texture on his gloves, or what?
The Order is a beautiful dud. Instead of building the core mechanics and then wrapping everything else around it, instead it appears Ready at Dawn made a movie and wondered how to put a game into it. By all accounts it still hasn’t worked it out.
The Order: 1886 isn’t a disaster, nor is it a particularly good game. It’s a hollow diversion, entertaining but outmoded and caught somewhere between a medium it repeatedly fumbles and one it fails to effectively embrace.
Ouch. Bargain bin stuff then?
As for our own review? Well, thanks to physical copies and logistics, we only received our copy of the game today. We’ll have our review up as soon as we can – but we’re probably only looking at Monday if we’re realistic.
Last Updated: February 19, 2015