If the Order:1886 wants me to judge it based on a movie, its not very good, but if it wants me to judge it based on a game then its alright. This game from early on reminded me of the first Assassin’s Creed, certainly not by game play but just by set up, along with the alternate history one character even says his moto is “Never Trust, Always Question” which sounds a lot like the moto of an Assassin “Nothing is True everything is permitted.” but even more than the weird coincidences this feels like a solid start to something that could be even better.
As purely a cinematic experience The Order does some pretty impressive stuff, the artwork and textures all throughout the game are sometimes breathtaking, and the motion capture acting is top notch especially from the three leads. However The Order runs into some issues when trying to be so grandly cinematic,this is still a game and its hard to shoot from cover when I’m constantly staring at a letter box in tight situations, movies and TV shows also don’t have fades to black once a chapter ends, if you want to be a playable movie then weird things like that shouldn’t get in the way. Something that is probably out of the hands of developers is the fact that the three leads (Gallahad, Izzy, and Lafayette) look absolutely fantastic but when they are surrounded by the worlds NPC’s it points out how unrealistic they look by comparison.
Third person cover based shooting (Gears of War,) is how we run through this alternate version of London, sometimes the cover mechanic can be a bit sticky but overall it works well, it certainly not new or inventive but that’s fine. As for the rest of the ancillary mechanics, why have games not managed to hit a sweet spot when it comes to lock picking? It seems that every game does it differently, I figure fallout and Skyrim do it well enough why don’t we all use that instead of trying to figure out your weird new mechanic, that’s not to say the Order’s lock pick mechanic is broken, it just occurred to me that every game seems to do it differently for no particular reason.
The story and the characters in The Order seem to be to different beasts, (pun intended) I really enjoyed the characters throughout this game or at least two of them, Lafayette and Igriane are bright spots in this sea of old British men, they bring levity and at least some intresting character moments to the game I felt as soon as they stopped accompanying me on missions I grew bored with the overall story because its hard enough to follow as it is. I can tell you bullet points throughout the game but I can connect those dots, and my biggest annoyance with the overall story is that there is very little to no payoff with Lafayette or Igraine, and especially for Igraine, this woman who apparently means a lot to Gallahad doesn’t get a final scene with him. The conceit of the story is that The Order no longer trusts Gallahad by the end, they think hes crazy. And you know what I don’t blame them, he never tells anyone why hes doing what hes doing, hes just running around with the rebellion leader in secret for what reason? I’m not really sure.
All of these things said, With all the negative press this game has gotten since its release, I cant say its a bad game, I did enjoy a large portion of it. And as I said I did enjoy the character moments, and maybe that’s why I was so upset by the ending, no actual payoff for these characters I got to know. And as for the ending “Fight” itself I’m also not a fan. this game is filled with quick time events and while those don’t usually bother me it feels as though this game has them on overload, even the stealth mechanics are a quick time event.
The thing that sums up this game the best are the half breed fights. The Order is tasked to kill half breeds (werewolves) and the way they are presented in many cases is terrifying, but once you fight them they are the laziest boss fights I’ve ever seen, they feel half baked and unfinished, that’s what this game feels like, unfinished. So as a third person action shooter I think its fine if not good, as a movie its not good at all. But the best thing this game accomplishes is the set up for a sequel, I cannot wait to see what Ready At Dawn does with another chance at this world that the so clearly loved creating.