The Order: 1886 Quick Review
- Gorgeous character models and environments
- Fantastic music and voice acting
- There is so little player interaction, it can barely be called a game
- The story is both convoluted and cliched at times
- Of the six hours of game time, only about a quarter of that is actual play time
The Order: 1886 is the perfect example of how beautiful presentation means nothing if it’s not accompanied by compelling game play.
Let’s start with what’s good about The Order: 1886. I have never seen more beautiful, realistic graphics in a video game. The character detail is phenomenal, from the way their clothing moves, to the emotion in their eyes. If this level of detail is what we have to look forward to from the current generation of game consoles, we are in for a treat.
The music and voice acting are equally great. The Order does not lack for presentation. It’s everything else that suffers. But we’ll get to that.
The story in The Order: 1886 is a mixed bag. It is both convoluted and cliched at times, but the characters are compelling enough to make you want to see it through to the end, and discover their fates.
This brings us to where The Order: 1886 starts to go wrong. Most games break up the action with brief cut scenes. The Order breaks up the cut scenes with brief moments of action. And those moments consist of the game throwing a bunch of generic enemies at you until one side or the other is defeated. Then, it’s back to the movie, where you are occasionally encouraged to press a button or guide your character’s movement through the scene. If you’re planning on playing The Order, you’d best prepare yourself for a lot of watching things unfold, and a lot of quick time events. Every boss fight consists of pressing the correct button when the game prompts you to. There is no room for creativity, tactics, or skill.
In my opinion, The Order can barely be called a game. And lest you think I’m exaggerating, during the game’s first hour, there are only about ten minutes of interactivity. I wish I could say things get better after the introduction, but you can expect to “play” the game about 25% of the time, and watch it the rest. The moments that I was involved as a player were so few and far between, I actually found myself nodding off during the down time.
Before I played through The Order: 1886, I saw a number of reports that the game was too short, clocking in at around six hours of game time. Initially, this news didn’t bother me. As a working dad, it’s rare to find a game I can actually play to completion. So, six hours actually sounded pretty good to me. Unfortunately, with only about 90 minutes of those six hours being actual play time, I would have to agree with the complaints I read about the game’s length. I really didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth, at all.
The Order: 1886 is rated mature, primarily for violence and language. However, there is also a scene in a brothel that contains nudity and a couple of characters having sex right in front of you. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t understand the trend of putting sex into games just for the shock value. The Order certainly isn’t the first game to add random sexual content, but it still puzzled me when I ran across it.
In the end, The Order: 1886 is a beautiful, extremely flawed, piece of entertainment. But is it actually a game? I don’t know. I do know that it’s not what I want to see from the games I play.