Tech Talk: The Order: 1886

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I’m trying to remember the last game that disappointed me so much, I was angry. Despite beautiful graphics and visuals, this game has lousy controls, balance issues, and is more like a movie that you CAN’T control.

the order 1886Title:

The Order: 1886

Genre

First Person shooter.

Platform

Playstation 4

Story

“Steampunk” is a genre of anachronisms.  If you follow the web comic Girl Genius (and you really should), you’re already familiar with it. Take a Victorian setting, and add variants on modern technology, with machine guns and lightning weapons. Sounds like fun, right?

In this case, you’re playing as Sir Galahad. That’s right, one of the knights of the Round Table.  In this case “Galahad” is more of a title than a name.  In this world, the knights of the Round Table last for generations, thanks to little vials of water poured from the Holy Grail.  The knights have been in a war with lycans (yup, werewolves) for centuries.  And now the war has come to 1886 London, where they have united with human rebels.

This sounds awesome, doesn’t it?  Werewolves, the Arthur Legend, shooting lighting weapon in the streets of Victorian London.  What could possibly go wrong?

Mechanics

Walk a lot. Find cover. Shoot from cover.  Unless you’re in a quick time event (QTE – basically a cinematic cut scene where you either react to the button prompts fast enough, or you die).

Gameplay

There are plenty of fun weapon types … that you’re allowed to have until they’re taken away from you by the cut scenes telling you the plot.  No, I’m not kidding.  If you have a gun you like — like the arc-thrower that hurls lightning, or the gun that effectively fires napalm — and if you want to keep your gun, expect that it will be taken away from you by the end of the chapter … or whenever the next cut scene is.

If you’ve seen commercials about how cool the lycan enemies are, if you encounter them more than three times in the game, be surprised.  The AI on these enemies are stupid, stupider, and dirt stupid. They will literally charge you, and regardless of whether or not you dodge or get hit, the lycans will immediately return to their initial starting position and charge again.  Nope. I can’t make this up. I really, really can’t. This is stupid.

Oh, and the walking. Yes, you spend hours in forced, slow walk segments through the streets of London.  You will occasionally pick up a collectible photograph … that does nothing and adds nothing.  I’m a history nerd, and they haven’t been able to ring enough changes on history to make this interesting … or even be bothered to learn enough real history to make this interesting. Or do anything to make this interesting.

Also, two hours of this game consists of cut scenes.

And when you’re finally allowed to play the game for a few hours, the letterbox format black bars at the top and bottom of the screen will block your vision, and sometimes make it difficult for you to fight anyone from cover. And if you’re not in cover, the enemies WILL kill you. Quickly. Yay.

Let’s, of course, not forget the forced stealth sequence that involves instant death if anyone should see you. Those are always fun.

Music/Graphics

Music is okay.

The graphics are AWESOME.  The graphics are the seller for this game, if there is anything to be said about this game.  The graphics are amazing. The streets of London are brilliantly done. Repelling down a blimp will leave footprints in the canvas. Looking at street lamps will show you the way the flame dances in the lamp as the rain impacts and flows down. In short, it’s beautiful.

Morals/Appropriateness

Cursing. Nudity. Sexual situations, and character stupidity.

Community/Multiplayer

None.  Really, none. Not even offline co-op.

Addiction Danger

None. Anyone who plays this will be done in a matter of hours (7 hours is the max time I’ve heard for anyone to play this).  The collectibles don’t make a repeat experience worth it.

Problems/Ending Comments

Haven’t I outlined enough?  Story problems, gameplay problems, language, sex and violence problems … there are enough.

They obviously wanted a series out of this, since there are so many plot threads left dangling, I could use them to make a rope.

I’ll ignore the nudity in this game.  Yes. The game is so bad, that the occasional nipple flashes aren’t even a problem (seriously, someone else had to point them out to me).

Oh, there are two boss battles throughout the entire game. They’re the exact same QTE battle, with the exact same sequence of buttons.

The story is not fully fleshed out. The characters act in ways that are so stupid and cliché that you want to walk them out into gunfire to punish them for their idiocy.

ESRB Rating:  M for mature

My Rating: 4/10, a below average game. Stunning visuals do not a good game make.

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