The Order: 1886 review (no spoilers!)

by GamingBits on February 28, 2015

in Game Review Bits, Sony PlayStation News Bits

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The Order: 1886
Developer: Ready at Dawn
Release date: February 20, 2015
Available for PlayStation 4

The

Round up the Knights of the Order and take on the role of Sir Galahad to fight off both myth and human monstrosities in The Order: 1886. That is all the plot-line you will get from me, as this is a spoiler-free review of The Order: 1886. Just an un-influenced take on the experience from this casually hardcore game player. In keeping with the element of surprise, I stayed away from any preview, and review, coverage to see what Sony and Ready at Dawn could deliver exclusively on its PlayStation 4 with the new entry into the gaming world. It was a challenge going dark on The Order: 1886, but I’m glad I did. So how does the PS4 exclusive stack up, coming from the hands and hearts of the excellent God of War PSP game developer Ready at Dawn?

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To sum up my first impression, you would would be hard pressed to find the graphic quality and fidelity in other PlayStation 4 games out there to date. The third-person cinematic offering is without a doubt the best eye candy you will currently get on the PS4. The foggy and gritty feel of old London, the linty-looking material in the fabric of characters’ clothing, all the shiny steampunk inspired contraptions, dark rainy evenings with glowing lanterns – the detail is amazing.

The

Just as strong is the voice and motion-captured acting, framing of scenes, facial features and expressions, and the sound production.  It all pulls you into the environment of The Order: 1886. The developers have crystallized their vision to deliver a world that leaves little for your eyes to fill in. A second pass of the game is worth it to just to gaze at all the detail you will definitely miss on first-pass. With all that laser focus in the visuals, there is one part in the game’s presentation that is missing early on in the game experience. And as trite as that may seem for a game with such an emphasis on delivering a highly cinematic experience, it is a nuance that all of a sudden blows away the smoke and mirrors (ahem, literally) grounding you back in a game setting.

The

Where The Order: 1886 has less weight on is in its ability to deliver adrenaline-pumping gaming experiences. With such a linear story, and infrequency of highly controllable combat sequences, it would have been great if some kind of branching paths with different outcomes were thrown in to the mix to add to the tension. The Order: 1886 is fairly straightforward story, more than it needs to be or benefits from. There is a lot of variety in the way the button and directional controls are played in the canned combat sequences (aka “quick time sequences”). The Order: 1886 just leaves you hungry for some more full-on controllable action moments. It does take several gameplay elements from duck-and-cover third-person shooters, slow-motion focus targeting moments and chapter-by-chapter play (some noticeably shorter than others). When your character dies, the continues just kick-in to move you along. There is no real penalty, or frustration, in losing a life or starting over. In fact, I encourage throwing in some sacrificial Galahads and company to see the death scenes (or you’ll be missing out on some of the cinematics!). For the most part, the weapon selection is straight-forward (pistols, rifles, grenades) but there are a couple that are creative steam-punk weapon contraptions. The M86 Thermite Rifle and the TS-23 Arc Induction Lance creatively light-up your enemies.

The

The feel you come away with from playing The Order: 1886 is that it delivers a graphical punch and movie-quality experience unlike anything currently out there. For that, it knocked me out. You would be remiss to overlook the cini-game for the delicious treat it is. I could smell the popcorn, just like I did when I played Resident Evil 4, Dead Space or the original Gears of War games for the first time. I am actually grateful the developers didn’t try to tack on any kind of multiplayer element to the game. It is welcome to see a focus on a strong and enjoyable single-player storyline game with The Order: 1886. I enjoyed The Order: 1886 and recommend it to any player who is hungry for a completely new story with a bang-out graphical experience.

**This one has been redeemed, enjoy, J!: (One time use promo code for Knights Arsenal DLC is EBJD-G6NA-H9HN Only 1 exists – once redeemed, it will no longer be valid. Good luck, Knights!)

The

The Order: 1886
Developer: Ready at Dawn
Release date: February 20, 2015
Available for PlayStation 4