What I liked and disliked about The Order: 1886 on PS4

tl;dr – Fell flat of original expectations.

Warning: spoilers ahead.


 

Things I liked

Sniper rifle targeting.

Pretty spot on, didn’t shake too much. Much better than Uncharted’s Dragon Sniper Rifle – that one was more realistic and tended to bob too much.

Character/costume design, dialogue.

Excellently done. Characters didn’t feel shallow, dialogue was authentic, costumes were brilliantly done. I’d grade this game a 10/10 if it was based off this category alone.

Backstory.

You can see a lot of effort has gone into creating this world. Every inch of it looks so polished, both visually and in terms of the story design. Things like the Order’s usage of knightly names from the Arthur-era knights, the use of Blackwater to revive the Knights, cool-looking weapons, cut scenes that looked like they came out of an actual film, to flawless lighting and textures of every map, there’s really not much to nitpick.

There’s likely a reason for all the effort, and I would guess it’s in preparation of a multi-episode series – no surprise if it happens.


 

Things I didn’t really like

Weird plot progression.

It began as a war between the Knights and half-breeds. Half-way through the game, we suddenly had vampires entering the equation. The East India Company is shipping vampires in bloody crates to the rest of the world! Hastings is a vampire! Uh, whatever happened to the Lycans (half-breeds)? But sure.

And Lucan (should’ve guessed from his name, too damn close to Lycan), who’s incidentally the Knight Commander (aka yet another professional half-breed killer) is revealed to be a half-breed himself, and talks about betraying Galahad as protecting his own kind. WTF bro? I’m sure you’ve killed enough half-breeds over the decades/centuries of your life. Unless when you said “protecting”, you meant sending them to the comfort of the afterlife. Lucan’s story was never explored in depth, which felt like a waste. In a single scene, Lucan goes from being the trustworthy compadre, to the archvillain for this episode. Of course, Galahad did him in. And that’s it. The. End.

And yes: how weird is it that Lucan’s father (the effing Lord Chancellor) adopts a half-breed as his son and expects him to kill his own kind without a word of complaint, and is not surprised when his son turns out to be a traitor to the Order? And refuses to kill his own son, but handballs it to Galahad with some vague mumbo jumbo instead? Like mate, are you seriously the leader of The Order or what? Bloody poor example of a role model, that’s what you are.

You know what I would’ve wanted to see? If the game revealed that the Blackwater the Knights took, actually was a variant of what turned humans into half-breeds. That might have been more interesting, and raised some fun questions.

Lack of freedom.

You’re basically just there for the ride, and playing when there’s fighting to be done. Very fixed, linear game that just asks you to tap different buttons to move on, basically. The best part came at the final scene, when you had to hit R2 to fire the gun, and of course Galahad killed Lucan. The game ended right after.

I was like, SERIOUSLY? WHY MAKE ME PRESS A DAMN BUTTON IF IT’S ALREADY BEEN DECIDED FOR ME? Giving the gamers a choice to kill or not kill Lucan (and diversifying the storyline) would’ve been much better. Just saying.

Galahad does not have a reflection when he looks in the mirror.

Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. Is this intentional? If it wasn’t, big blooper.

Button mashing sequences.

Times when you have to get your right thumbstick to that indicated spot, and hit a random button. Annoying as hell.

Backstory.

The problem? It’s so underutilised. Nothing to collect. No real interesting trinkets that could fill the gamer in on the world’s history for example. The phonographs were too brief. Random photographs you could’ve picked up, but not much explanation. I had difficulty read the papers I picked up at various spots. Plenty of rooms that had NOTHING of interest. Look at The Last of Us, the contrast is just so evident.

Game length.

Too short, way too short. I completed the game in about 8 hours. Probably could have been less if I hadn’t nosed around, and wasted an hour at least on that last big battle in the catacombs, when about a million company guards jumped me, along with thermite-toting bozos and detonator launchers galore.

Saving the game.

No save points, looked like they were all autosaves. So, no chance of saving and retrying different scenes? Or maybe I’m just an idiot who couldn’t figure out how saving was done – that’s highly possible.


Overall. I thought the game just fell short of what it could’ve been. Be it an attempt to deliver on time with limited resources, or planning issues, it’s just a pity. This game was on my must-play list, and I’m a little bummed it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be.

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