February 26, 2015

The Order 1886

Lasting First Impressions

It was hard to ignore the announcement of The Order 1886 when it debuted during the PS4 announcement almost two years ago. Harder to ignore still, was the negative comments about Ready At Dawn‘s game when it finally released last week.  Complaints that it was too linear, that it was too short, plagued the internet before the game even had a chance to make it into the hands of excited gamers.  Myself being one of them.  This was a game that I was mildly curious about at first, then excited for once gameplay videos began to surface.  So it was with bated hesitation that I began to play the game, my excitement slightly dulled by the comments and criticisms everywhere. Because of these negative comments, or perhaps in spite of them, I decided that this Lasting First Impression was going to be longer than our typical one hour.  It turns out, however, that wasn’t hard to do.  I can honestly say that I don’t understand all the hate directed towards this game.  The Order 1886 is a stunning game, simple as that.

The Order 1886 Screen (1)

Set in Victorian era England, The Order 1886 tells an alternate version of history in which the Order of King Arthur still exists and is engaged in a centuries old war against foes such as the Lycans.  King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table have found a way to extend their lives and, when they do eventually die, they pass their mantle and name onto another to carry on their mission.  Players take on the role of Sir Galahad and, using advanced and powerful weapons, players will find themselves embroiled in a conspiracy that will take them through underground tunnels, cramped streets of England, and even high into the sky in flying balloons.  We even get a chance to work alongside the genius of Nikola Tesla as he designs our amazing weapons and gadgets.

The Order 1886 is visually stunning.  This is, for all accounts and purposes, the best looking game available on the PS4. The story is told through many cut scenes that, at times, made me think I was watching a feature film.  Characters move naturally, the lip syncing is spot on, and the voice actors are brilliant.  There is even a slight graininess to the visuals giving it that quality film look.

The Order 1886 Screen (7)

The Order 1886 is a third person cover based shooter along the lines of the Gears of War franchise.  Controls feel tight and the gunplay is accurate and responsive.  I mention the Gears of War franchise here for a very specific reason.  It is a series that is heralded by many as a classic and yet many are heralding doom upon this game.  The Order is very much like Gears.  Both game tells a very specific story with intense action interspersed amongst cut scenes.  Both games are linear specifically to tell that story.  Both games have a relatively short campaign.  And both games are absolutely stunning on their respective consoles.  I would even go so far as to say both games present memorable characters that players will begin to care about and actually like.  It is these very similarities between the two franchises that immediately poke holes into the undue negativity surrounding The Order.

The Order 1886 Screen (6)

Is The Order 1886 worth spending your precious gaming time with? Absolutely.  After the first hour of gameplay, I had no desire to put the game down and move on. I want to keep playing this game right to the very end. The story is engaging, the gameplay is tight, the Lycan encounters are intense, and the visuals are stunning.  While there are quite a few Quick Time Events throughout the game, they are used in meaningful ways similar to those found in 2013’s Tomb Raider reimagining. These QTEs are used to instill a sense of dread and urgency into the story and they are never presented to make the player fail.

Whether you play the game now, or wait until later, you definitely don’t want to pass on The Order 1886.  This is a series that I’d love to see more of. While it may serve up a relatively short experience, it is a visually stunning experience you’ll never forget, and a game most definitely deserving of being called a true next generation game. I, for one, hope to see more from The Order and Ready at Dawn.


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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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