The Order: 1886 seemed to be a perfect example of the hype train derailing. The game looked absolutely fantastic when it was first shown off, but excitement seemed to ease off every time Sony and Ready at Dawn released more info about the game. When it finally released in February people were almost completely deflated, the game’s short length seemingly the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Blair touched on the game’s length in his review, although not simply to complain that the game is isn’t long enough. Instead he criticised the way that “the game feels cut short”, with a “perfectly good plot” being suddenly exchanged for “something that just doesn’t work”.
He was also critical of the game’s stealth system, complaining that it lacks any sense of depth or nuance. Given that the stealth sections require you to “eliminate every guard” via a “timed QTE which activates as you approach”, I can absolutely see where he’s coming from. The fact that it doesn’t even give you the ability to hide bodies or pick your own way through the level is almost unforgivable in a stealth system, and Blair said that the only redeeming element was that the stealth areas “only make up a small portion of the game”.
On the more positive side of things, Blair praised the more core elements of the gameplay. He was particularly pleased with the covered based gunplay, calling it “notably fun” because the guns feel “extremely weighty and dangerous without being too old-fashioned in their nature”. Also receiving praise was the way the “environment gets destroyed in firefights, and enemies realistically recoil when shot”.
Of course, as a first party game The Order is expected to look absolutely stunning before pretty much anything else. It seems that this is the department where the game really delivered, with Blair saying the it contains “some of the most incredible visuals ever seen in a full game”. He went on to praise its “uncanny and almost photo realistic facial features” and the way the letterboxed appearance helps to create “a movie-like experience”.
Although the The Order’s visual and audio presentation was labeled “stunning” by Blair, other elements only served to drag it down. Ultimately he rated the game as a 7/10 and had this to say when wrapping up his review:
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.
Finally, it’s time to ask you what you thought of the game. Long time readers will know how this works, but for anyone who’s new to WeView we want to hear your thoughts on The Order: 1886. It doesn’t matter whether you loved it or hated it so much you couldn’t finish, all you need to do is leave your opinion on the title in the comments below. Remember to include a rating for the game on the Buy It, Sale It, Plus It, Avoid It scale so we can sum up the community’s opinion in Monday’s verdict article.