The Order: 1886 Hands On Impressions

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As I made my way through several back alleys of 19th century London, one thing became immediately clear: The Order: 1886 is an extremely gritty, yet elegantly beautiful game.

Unfortunately, this is where the praise ends, as the game I was playing was, simply put, boring.

The Order: 1886 seems to be just another shooter in the same vein as Gears of War: cover-based combat. Moving from one piece of cover to the next, popping out, shooting the enemy, moving on, and so on; this was essentially the entire playthrough. While I only had my hands on the game for about 12 minutes, I really wasn’t yearning for more in the end.

That’s not to say the game didn’t have it’s interesting elements. Far from it. The gameplay itself is what put me off. It’s simply more of the same we have seen from game developers. We heard about the Gears comparisons since the February showcase happened. I didn’t expect to basically know how to play the game once I picked up the Dualshock 4.

You play as Galahad, a tall, grim fellow who says things that are very un-Galahad like (such as “There is no God to save him” and so on). The scene opens up with you needing to make your way through an alley way (why for? Not sure, the demo didn’t say). With weapons such as a Thermite Rifle, which fires flares and uses Thermite bullets to ignite the area ablaze, and a simple pistol; Galahad is a machine gunning beast. The demo seemed to really want you to use the Thermite Rifle, though I found the pistol much more effective when taking out enemies.

As you’re fighting the enemy while they fire down upon you from the rooftops, one of your fellow Knights is hit by the enemy, and it’s your job to cover another NPC while he’s dragged to saftey. The game then prompted me to use the Thermite Rifle to set the inside of a building ablaze, which I did, and I went over to help drag my fellow to safety.

I should point out that at no time during this demo did the game seem to skip, lose frames or even stutter slightly. The game ran as smooth as glass, keeping a perfect 1080p in the process. Again, visually speaking, The Order is striking.

But that’s it. That is the only part of this game to me that screams “next gen.” Otherwise, the combat is more of the same as what we are used to, which was, for me at least, extremely disappointing.

Ready at Dawn has a chance to really capture something special with this spin on the classic Arthurian legend. I really wanted to give this game a chance, and I likely still will do so, since a simple vertical slice isn’t really enough to write a game off. I have said that if this game is good, it would be what causes me to buy a PS4. If the rest of the game is the same style of gameplay we’ve witnessed in games past, I’ll likely wait.

 

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