Prior to beginning this review I have to admit that it is rather remarkable how harsh I have been lately on games that I have genuinely enjoyed. My last two reviews were brutal despite liking what I was playing. I will not be following that formula for The Order: 1886, a title that defies conventional wisdom by being both short and tedious. Anyone angry with the developers responsible for The Order: 1886, Ready at Dawn, should be upset for being cheated out of a sixty-dollar experience and little else.
I have been a player of video games far longer than I have been a critic. Even as a person attempting to be as objective as I can be there is something particularly intimate about reviewing a product that I cannot possibly recommend. I do not have the cynicism necessary to say that The Order: 1886 is worth the time of even the most diehard third-person shooter enthusiasts. The sheer lack of value this title possesses, or should I say the barrenness of The Order: 1886, is stunning. In short the sum of The Order: 1886 can be considered a wad of saliva spit right into the eye of every consumer.
There are reviewers doling out scores closing in on a perfect ten for titles riddled with bugs, stability issues and time sink. Consumers should beware any reviewer distinguishing The Order: 1886 as an extraordinarily bad game overall and not the facts of the matter. The truth about The Order: 1886 is that it is a notably boring single-player third-person shooter with some of the best visuals seen in the industry but no value as a product whatsoever. Quick time events make for a serious portion of the gameplay which would be fine in a Telltale Games title but this is labeled as an action game. Everything else is moving between cover based shooting galleries.
The Order: 1886 is a sixty-dollar tech demo. I can assure the developers at Ready at Dawn that my PlayStation 4 is working sufficiently but I would like my money back. This should be an unmistakable sign that unless the industry corrects itself, or gamers stop screaming about skin pack downloadable content and focus on the value of games disintegrating, we're all going over the cliff together.
In reviews the critic is tasked with presenting the reader with the story, the characters and what memorable moments I had while playing the game. The truth is I remember a few moments of taking in the beautiful graphics of an utterly forgettable game. None of the characters, including the protagonist, stands out in any way. The writers at Ready at Dawn seem very utilitarian in that the characters are roles rather than actual persons. The playable character is a stock soldier with a mentor, a best friend and an unlikable senior official. His love interest is a rude but competent woman. The other member of the squad is a foreign comic relief character. (Oy gevalt!)
The lore is sufficient as a mixture of myths, legends and technology but fails to be engaging, let alone make up for an abysmal, incomplete story. You read that correctly folks, The Order: 1886 does not have an actual conclusion to the story. The player is given an incomprehensible cliffhanger ending that only adds insult to injury for a painfully short game. I paid sixty dollars for this superficial nonsense.
The protagonist is a 19th century immortal knight in a fictional English independent paramilitary fraternity. The lore of The Order: 1886 is rather scatter shot as the supporting characters spend more time protecting a plutocrat with his own private army than fighting werewolves. The player will listlessly fight a few dozen half-bred lycans, known conventionally as sort of offshoot werewolves, but primarily fights common goons. For those of you that already find Call of Duty to be an awful, dreary and repetitive franchise, I only wish I had the opportunity to be in the same room as you while playing The Order: 1886. As a person that genuinely enjoys third-person shooters, there is little fun to be had here. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days offers more to the player than The Order: 1886. Take a few moments to contemplate that.
I really question sometimes if my tastes have changed over time or the industry is just producing one flop after another. A question I have for the philosophers is: does the length of a meaningless, utterly asinine story affect the overall value of something? I managed to finish The Order: 1886 despite having a mind-numbing plot, cast of unimaginative characters and lifeless gameplay because the title was under seven hours long. Reviewers will point to the supporting characters as a collection of clichés but mentioning the cast is already a waste of a reasonably short sentence.
I wrote a rather rambling review for Far Cry 4 in which I drooled over the phenomenal graphics that the game possessed but in the case of The Order: 1886 it comes across as a sour dish with a fancy bow tied on top to distract the buyer. I refuse to succumb to the appeal of some of the best visuals in the history of the industry. The Order: 1886 is absolutely a visual marvel that may be the best ever produced on console but it is not worth sixty dollars. Many reviewers will say the same that this game is breathtakingly beautiful. Do not buy The Order: 1886.
(Reviewers note: This title was purchased by the critic and played on the PlayStation 4)
A playable third-person shooter with a laughably short campaign, pretty visuals and no substance.