The long gap between exclusive titles for Sony’s Playstation 4 has irritated many fans, as it was one of the strengths of the previous console generation’s PlayStation 3. This will soon change with the release of The Order: 1886, the first of several exclusive titles. To find out if this new Sony exclusive can live up to previous Sony exclusive games, click here.
About the Game
Sir Galahad is a loyal knight of the round table in The Order: 1886. To protect the British kingdom and empire from supernatural beings known as half-breeds, or as we all know them best: werewolves and vampires. They do this by drinking a mysterious liquid called Black Water, which extends life and can heal deadly wounds in an instant, making the knights almost immortal.
A War Rages
The industrial revolution has finally given humanity a chance to combat the threat. This is because in this fictional universe, engineers and inventors had to work hard to develop weapons to combat the supernatural enemy. For example, electric rifles and hand-held cannons that cover an area in flammable thermite can be used by knights. The knights can also use radio and zeppelins to call for help from the air. This is not our first encounter with a game.
The knights must also battle a group of rebels who appear to aid the evil half-breeds. Sir Galahad is soon entangled in a web of intrigue and conspiracy that threatens not only the British Empire but also the rest of the world.
The stunning graphics are probably the first thing you notice when you start the game. The character animations are some of the most beautiful you’ve seen in a PS4 game, and even the characters’ faces seem alive in a way you’ve never seen before. The game world is also vibrant and full of delicious details. The many details quickly convince one that one is in a gloomy 19th century London, where the architecture and mild fog truly create an atmosphere of time travel. The large airships that hang heavily in the sky disturb this mood, but not in a bad way, as small details like the zeppelin just add to the overall adventurous feel.
Play the Game
The acting is also fantastic, and on par with Uncharted and The Last of Us, which are big words from here. The characters all have distinct personalities, and the facial expressions are so detailed that it’s easy to forget they’re animated. This level of detail also makes the characters feel real. The distant fosters empathy and makes the story more compelling, as you become invested in the character’s fate. It’s rare in games where the main character and maybe a few companions get all the attention. The creators deserve praise for this, and we can only hope that more game developers will follow suit.
The fantastic play is accompanied by a great story, despite its clichés. However, it is mostly an enjoyable action-adventure, with a few clichés that don’t ruin the experience. More detail would reveal too much of the game’s action, which spoilers dislike. However, I found the game’s ending to be a bit disappointing, given how good the story was throughout. Many loose ends are left, obviously to set up a sequel, but this could have been done much more elegantly, and it detracts from the overall impression.
Sadly, the game also disappoints at other points. The gameplay is solid and enjoyable, and I’m reminded of the Uncharted series at this point. To add to the realism of the game, you play in third person and use a similar cover system during firefights. The many weapons are also fun to shoot, and killing hordes of enemies alone or with a computer-controlled partner makes you feel like a top-trained soldier. Sadly, there’s not much to do between firefights, which in Uncharted were occasionally interrupted by good platform elements. Preserved with little dialogue and collectibles,
Some puzzles must be solved to progress, but they are so obvious that they are solved in a few minutes and feel like an afterthought. There are some good stealth sections and knife fights, but the overall impression is a bit flat. Finally, there are the many, many cutscenes. In my replay, I would say that at least half of the game is movie sequences, some of which are interactive, but most of which are just to be seen.
The story is compelling and the acting is solid, but it’s all a bit much. A single, albeit brief chapter in the game is solely a cut scene, which is odd.
Despite these flaws, The Order 1886 is a visually and historically stunning game. The gameplay is also very enjoyable, though it could have been longer. The game’s extreme linearity may turn off players used to more open single-player experiences, but I thought it worked well for telling the story.
With no collectibles in sight, I finished the game in just under ten hours, which felt perfect for this type of game. It’s a shame the ending disappoints, as it detracts from the overall experience, but hopefully it means we’ll get to see more of the universe in the future. That would be great.