After all the venomous attacks thrown at Ready at Dawn’s THE ORDER: 1886 over the past few months, I was worried that I wouldn’t even be able to finish the game despite how short the haters made it seem. Now, that being said, I can understand why some people might not like it, but, objectively, there are going to be many people who WILL like it that are afraid to try it. I will spend a lot of time on gameplay to help you form your opinion of buying THE ORDER: 1886.
Set in an alternate past, you play as Sir Galahad (a knight of the round) in a group called The Order that was founded to instill a balance between the “half-breeds” and humans. Galahad and his squad are part of the Queen’s Royal Knights, that might be better known as the MI6 of 1886. Not exactly a new concept, but Ready at Dawn has created quite a rich background of lore to pursue in the future.
I will start with the obvious; this is the best looking game on the PS4 so far, period. Art direction, style, character models, cut scenes… just everything about this game is absolutely visually stunning. Eye candy level 9000. Will it remain the best looking game for PS4? I doubt it, that’s just how technology grows, but it will continue to rival the games to come for a long time. So, if you find yourself gravitating towards visually appealing games, then check out a trailer or two and see what I’m talking about.
Wow, ok, that was the easy part of the review… Now for the hard part. Gameplay, otherwise known as the driving force behind video gaming, for THE ORDER: 1886 has been criticized all up and down hell’s highway. This is where the positive and negative reviews butt heads.
Look, I’m going to get this out of the way; if QTE’s (Quick Time Events, basically hitting “A” when the prompt tells you to) aren’t your cup of tea, then stay away, but your preference in not having QTE’s does NOT mean that it’s a bad game. I hate 1 on 1 fighting games, but I won’t deduct 2-4 points from my scoring of a fighter just because that element is present in the game, after all, I know many people who love fighters. So anyone who can’t respect that other people don’t mind QTE’s should just piss off and let another human enjoy their game – go back to your genre of choice and don’t leave your comfort zone. Yes, there is a good amount of QTE’s in this game, the very first chapter makes that apparent, and sets the gameplay tone.
QTE’s aside, I’ll now talk about the third person shooter aspect. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to gun down your enemies, and when you get the chance to gun them down it feels very typical. However, the controls are absolutely polished, and there’s a solid foundation for the engine and weapons which leaves us with a potential that was never fully realized in gameplay. While this hampers the game from being good, it doesn’t make it bad…I’d say it’s mediocre really.
The last part of gameplay I’d like to touch upon is the total time given to play. After all, Ready at Dawn did say they wanted this to be a cinematic experience – which is exactly what they gave us. They even told us they were experimenting with 24 FPS – as in the same as the big screen. They told us about the letterbox style aspect ratio of 2.40:1 rather than 16:9. QTE enables that experience more than shooting guards if you think about that objectively. However, that also leaves less time to actually control where you go in the game. Take away the QTE’s and this game would be under the 50% mark of actually playing. I’d probably go as far to say that THE ORDER: 1886’s gameplay is ⅓ cutscenes, ⅓ QTE, and ⅓ Third Person shooting if that helps.
So, if eye candy is your thing, THE ORDER: 1886 may be your cup of tea, liquor, or whatever you love to drink, but be warned, this game is in limbo between a “video game” and a movie, and will be a great steal at a price point around $20-$40 depending on the person once it gets that low. It may be right now as you read this.
Final Score: 7.5 Out Of 10