I was on board that The Order: 1886 hype train from day one. It’s a shooter, it’s steampunk alternate history in Victorian London, and it looks absolutely beautiful. I dismissed all of the previews that said the game wasn’t great, because they were mostly talking about the gameplay. As a story gamer, I can forgive so-so gameplay if the story is riveting. Case in point, Spec Ops: The Line had fairly boring shooter mechanics, nothing innovative there, but the story had me from the first minute and held me there until the end. The Order: 1886 sadly suffers from a weird mix of shooter and forced interactive gameplay and an okay story.
Here’s a bit of what I wrote about it on Action Trip:
The best way I can describe the game is a mix between Gears of War and Heavy Rain. On the one hand, you have the third-person shooter with chest-high walls, a vast array of technological weaponry, and big, clunky characters who have trouble escaping much faster yet larger monsters. On the other, you have Heavy Rain’s need to make every little piece of the game interactive, requiring button presses in the middle of cut-scenes or for the most random of actions while moving through areas. So Tesla made me a new weapon. Do I really need to pick it up and rotate it and look at it? Oh wait, I guess I do as the game won’t progress until I look over every inch of this damn crossbow.
If The Order: 1886 released at the PS4’s launch, we would have a far different view on this game. As it is now, it’s a glorified tech demo of the PS4 that released 18 months too late. It’s more than obvious that Ready at Dawn had a story they wanted to tell, and they forced gameplay around their story, including shoe-horning in all of the new features that the PlayStation 4 has to offer; you know, like a launch game of a new system often does.
The Order: 1886 absolutely broke my heart and shattered my expectations. I’m honestly surprised there is a strategy guide for this at all, but as there is one, I’m replaying the game on Easy so I can 1) burn through it and 2) make sure the guide tells me where all of the collectibles are.