The Order: 1886 Review Round-Up

Here we are again, ready for one of the most crucial round-ups of 2015, as we look at the critical response to Ready At Dawn’s alternate history shooter The Order: 1886. There has been great deal of negativity in the months leading up to the game’s launch, from worries over the title’s length, to its reliance on staid dynamics like Quick-Time Events, or simply the banality of it being yet another third-person cover-based shooter. Despite this there are clearly some highlights to come, particularly as an example of the power of the Playstation 4, with the game showcasing some incredible visuals.

Our very own Editor Blair gave it a good 7/10, saying “The Order: 1886 features a wonderfully crafted and realistic alternate history setting with the greatest visuals and production values so far on the PS4.” though he calls attention to the game’s length and some narrative missteps, “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”.

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Overall the critical consensus is that despite the impressive graphics and fantastically realised world, the game has a number of flaws which are difficult to overlook.

IGN – 6.5/10

“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.”

Destructoid – 6/10

“Outside of the sleek presentation and interesting world building, there’s nothing truly special about The Order: 1886. It’s a shame in many ways, because I’d love to see a more tactical style of gameplay in line with Valkyria Chronicles, or a more in-depth game in general using the same engine and lore. I sincerely hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this universe, but for now, it’s only worth visiting once, briefly.”

Polygon – 5.5/10

“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.”

Gamespot – 5/10

“What, then, to make of The Order: 1886? It is, at best, perfectly playable, and lovely to look at and listen to. But it is also the face of mediocrity and missed opportunities. A bad game can make a case for itself. A boring one is harder to forgive.”

Metro – 4/10

“Frankly, we resent not being able to mark the game any lower, but as unadventurous and undemanding as it is The Order works exactly as intended. But we’re staggered at not only the lack of ambition, but how so much money and effort can have been expended to make something so laborious and boring.”

Digital Spy – 3/5

“The Order: 1886 isn’t easy to recommend, but it isn’t impossible to endorse, and despite its familiarity, is a game we enjoyed our time with. Here’s hoping The Order: 1887 pushes for greater.”

Videogamer – 6/10

“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.”

Kotaku – No

“The PlayStation 4’s newest action game is a dull and lumbering thing. It’s a brief, drab adventure starring a group of characters who all seem to dislike their lives and one another, and if it managed a single new gameplay idea over the course of its runtime, I didn’t catch it. The Order: 1886 is one of the most depressing games I’ve played in a while.”

God Is A Geek – 7.5/10

“Whether or not you consider a six hour campaign value for money (regardless of its quality) is down to personal preference, and it’s your money at the end of the day, but it would be a shame if Ready at Dawn suffered unfairly for a crime no greater than focusing on the plot and the characters, and producing a game that’s the very definition of “all killer, no filler”. You’ll make up your own mind, of course, but The Order: 1886 left its mark on me deeply, and I can’t wait to return to Ready at Dawn’s dark, forbidding London.”

Playstation Universe – 7.5/10

“Like Resistance: Fall of Man, The Order: 1886 comes early in a console lifecycle to set new visual benchmarks and give us creative, compelling fiction. As a game, it’s significantly less ambitious.”

Eurogamer – No Score

“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.”

Games Radar – 2.5/5

“Worthy in its (assumed) intent, and visually spellbinding, The Order’s archaic, player-detached approaches to interaction and narrative nonetheless make it a dated and instantly forgettable experience.”

PSNation – 9.5/10

“Ready at Dawn has exceeded any expectations that I had with their first foray from portables to a full-fledged console. If you were happy with your purchase at the end of an Uncharted or God of War game you’ll be equally happy with spending your cash on this one. When I finished the story my first words were “when is the next one?!””

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43 Comments

  1. My review: 9/10. Best fun I’ve had on a video game for bloody ages. Admittedly, I didn’t finish it, and as Blair mentioned in his review, it’s the last section that drags. But up until them, bloody loved it.

    • These reviews are idiotic! I played 4hrs last night and am up to the end of ch4 (out of 16). I can’t understand the low scores. I literally can’t wait to play more. The characters, atmosphere, gunplay is all awesome. If you need multiplayer and coop to be considered a good game then something is wrong. These sights give great reviews to dull repetitive FPS all the time.

    • Microsoft advertising dollars at work right there..

      No other explanation for it. Titanfall sucked as a game had loads of pre release hype, failed to deliver, gets a free pass. This is a fine game and the press are all out trying to destroy it simply for being a PS4 exclusive…

  2. Wow just wow

  3. Destructoid – “It’s a shame in many ways, because I’d love to see a more tactical style of gameplay in line with Valkyria Chronicles”

    Whilst I hate this kind of comparing and overly-personal opinion weighting in on review scores, I have to admit it would of been bloody awesome if the game had been like Valkyria Chronicles’ level of strategy and gun play. Probably would have added more weight to the game (personally speaking) than the Uncharted style approach.

    Overall the scores are lower than I expected for a highly anticipated PS4 title, and some of the things said are incredibly (and unnecessarily) harsh against the developer’s hard work. In comparison, there’s much more respect in thesixthaxis’ review, as well as one or two other sites.

  4. Wow, wasn’t expecting that.
    The scores aren’t especially bad, but it’s the words that make it sound like the game wasted so much potential, when it could have been quite good.

    I guess that’s one to cross off the bargain bin list.

  5. Definitely scored lower than I thought – looking forward to making up my own mind and hearing what other TSAers think of it.

  6. Cool! Should be half price in a month or so!

    • Pretty much what I’m going to do. I’ve already got a backlog on this gen so but clear that instead.

  7. Despite these review scores, I’ve still got faith in it being an excellent game. Especially when a majority of DriveClub’s reviews were mainly negative before the online fiasco was even present which turned out to be the best game I’ve played since TLOU was originally released.

    I’ve learnt over the last year or so to listen to friends and a lot of the TSA’ers opinions on games rather than the critics.

  8. A linear, story focused game being criticised for being too linear and story focussed?

    It’s as if the game is being attacked for what it’s not. rather than reviewed for what it is.

    And what’s with this obsession with every game having to break new ground and do something new?

    How exactly has COD or Fifa evolved over the past five years? Seems to me like they release the same game every year with a different number at the end and every year without fail they score 9/10’s across the board.

    I can’t really argue the point too much because I haven’t played the game myself but it feels like, unless you are a well established fps/sports game, open world, heavily online focused, MMO, you’re going to be marked down for it.

    No love for the big-budget, linear, story driven, single player experience anymore, which is a shame. Sign of the times I guess.

    • I agree with everything above and Im looking forward to GamesRadars 2/10 review of this years CoD where the rightly call it out for “just being more shooty stuff”.

      • Yep, gamesradar “too many guns, too much war, 2/10”. IGN “played on the hardest difficulty and it was too hard, 5/10”.

    • This completely echo’s my thoughts, but I didn’t say anything as I’ve already been rooting for The Order 1886 a lot (despite not having played it). I like 3rd person shooters, so why does it matter that it’s not “ambitious” or tries anything new?

      And as someone who has 2 kids and a large back log of games, I’m happy to have a linear, short, story driven game. Suits me. Can understand some people waiting for a price drop though, due to the length.

      • Myself and Jim made the same sort of comment to Blair, we just don’t have time for 40+ hour games. Maybe we should incorporate an age modifier in to the score system :)

      • Great idea ;)

        It’s overwhelming sometimes when I like the look of a game and read if is 50+ hours to finish (rules out any RPGs). There’s also a chance I’ll play through a lot of it but not reach the end – GTA5 for example. To know I should definitely reach the end of The Order is actually a selling point for me! Often open world sandbox games like Watch_Dogs and Far Cry are bulked out with repetitive side missions anyway. Take those side missions away and they’re probably much the same.

        No replayability? Great. I can move on to something else. If I enjoy it, I can chose to play it again.

      • I don’t have time for 40+ hour games, but it doesn’t mean they’re bad!

    • Couldn’t of said it better myself.

    • Amen! These are exactly my thoughts. I’m really looking forward to an uncharted-esque game to take me on a rollercoaster ride through the beautiful scenery. Not every game needs to be ‘ground-breaking’ or 40+ hours long.

      Question: If every new game was ‘ground-breaking’, would that mean no game is ever ground-breaking?
      I can see it now “just another ground-breaking game doing nothing new to distinguish itself from the crowd of ground-breaking games”

      /cynicism

  9. Hang on, I just remembered, something. Score goes back to 10/10 for being the first console game since Dante’s Inferno to NOT go all coy and keep the camera above waist height when it comes to naked man bits.

    • Tuffcub “I’ll give it a ten as it gave me a ten”.

      Sold! :D

  10. I just looked on another site which is full of The Order reviews, and from top to bottom in-between other articles these are the scores on page 1…

    8.2/10 5.5/10 9/10 4.5/10 2/5 86/100 8/10 4/10 8.5/10

    What the hell? LOL
    I know they’re peoples own opinions but how the hell can the scores vary so much?

    What I find a bit strange is there also seems to me to be a bit of a pattern to which most of the ‘popular’ or sites I’ve heard of give more negative scores, whereas a lot of the smaller independent or European sites appear to be handing out more positive scores.

    • I think the hype train may have derailed some peoples reviews, ie not as good as they were expecting.

      • Yeah, probably.

        It just seems ridiculous to me (not just with this game) how someone can score a game 4/10, then someone else score it 9/10.

        I’m guessing most reviewers would regard themselves as a professional in what they do, therefore even if a game isn’t their cup of tea they should still know the difference between a game which is dogsh*t and a game which is excellent, so in hindsight, surely they shouldn’t vary so much. It makes a mockery out of the whole reviewing system.

        I must admit though… “ready at dawn, finished by lunch” – Classic :)

      • Digital Trend has given it a 2/10. Now from what I’ve heard about the visuals, gameplay and soundtrack, plus the fact the game isn’t broken tells me that someone at RaD has being boning the reviewers missus behind his back because that score really is a joke.

      • I agree with the scores differing a lot its kind of odd, I can only presume they hate certain aspects (probably the QTE’s) and marked it down harshly for that.

    • I agree. I’ve seen reviews range from 1/5 to 95/100.
      It’s not just that, the actual written content is completely different.
      Some say the gameplay is weak. Some say it’s solid.
      Some say it’s almost all QTE. Some say there isn’t as much as you thought
      Some say it’s 5 hours. Some say it’s 7+

      Now I understand each reviewer is different but this game seems to move between a broken mess and an unmissable gem. I can’t remember the last time a game has had such polarised reviews. It’s very odd.

      • Agreed… even down to the stuff that should be factual and without ambiguity. :-\

      • Maybe Eurogamer have the right way of removing the numerical scoring system. It frustrates me to no end when (don’t know if they still do) PLAY magazine used to rate things out of 100. What the fudge is the difference between a 83 game and 84? Or for that matter a 63 and 68? It’s ridiculous.

        Maybe there’s too much of a call for a simple label to represent things.

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