Entertainment Video Games

‘The Order: 1886’ boasts epic world, generic gameplay

“The Order: 1866″—Sony Computer Entertainment—for PlayStation 4

6 out of 10

By Cameron M. Bray ’16
THE ROUNDUP

“The Order: 1886” is perhaps the most disappointing game I’ve played so far this year.

Not knowing much about it except for the E3 trailer I watched last year, I entered the game with some amount of enthusiasm.

“Werewolves and some sort of order; I could get into this,” I said.

My enthusiasm was further teased by “The Order’s” awesome first few minutes—its hook, if you will. Set ahead of the events in the rest of the game, the “hook” uses the lighting and other effects to create an aura or mystery and intrigue.

All you know is that your name is Sir Galahad and that you are being held prisoner in the catacombs of Westminster Abbey by the Order, which you apparently betrayed at some point.

You escape recklessly, and the game cuts back to the events that occurred beforehand.  It plays back to when you are still Sir Galahad, a knight of—get this—the Round Table, not a prisoner.

As a hook, it works amazingly at getting the player engrossed in the game in the first few minutes. It’s a shame, however, that “The Order” was such a bore afterwards.

Cutscenes are lengthy and frequent, and they often interrupt the flow of the game.

All too frequently, there are long periods where your movement is restrained and you are basically forced to walk around and take in the sights.

In addition, too much of the game is devoted to stealth gameplay and to cover-based shooting against generic human enemies. The cover-based shooting experience is hampered, too, by an obnoxious camera effect.

At the top and bottom of the screen, there are two ever-present black bars. Irritating and unremovable, they make it difficult to see when you are behind cover.

The rare fights against werewolves are the best parts of the game’s action. Unlike human enemies, the werewolves are fast and unpredictable, attacking in a hit-and-run style. They certainly do a lot to spice up the game and to alleviate the tedium of cover-based shooting.

Another problem with “The Order” is its surfeit of quick-time events, in which you receive button prompts to respond quickly to threats.

Quick-time events have always been generic and uninteresting, and they certainly do nothing beneficial to “The Order.”However, they are still not as boring as the clue-hunting sequences, in which you tediously trudge around the room looking for something to advance the plot.

Other than weapons, you rarely find something of interest. Oftentimes you just find old photographs, newspapers and letters that only offer a trickle of backstory.

And, most annoyingly, you have to wait several seconds before putting an object down. This pointless mechanic often has you rotating useless junk around in your hand like it’s a newfound treasure.

Despite all the negatives, “The Order” actually boasts quite a few positives.

The weapons are certainly unique. The deadliest and most interesting ones are the Arc Gun, the Shoulder Cannon and the Thermite Gun, which lets you fire a round of magnesium ammo and then ignite it with a blast of air. In addition, the game world is certainly engrossing.

Throughout the game you encounter vicious werewolves, you watch steampunk zeppelins fly overhead, you meet the ageless knights of the Round Table and you even meet the famous inventor Nikola Tesla, who serves as the Order’s gadget man and inventor.

The game and lore draw you in and make you want play more, but unfortunately the game never fully explains all the lore. By the end the Order and the werewolves still remain largely a mystery.

Ultimately, the biggest problem is that “The Order” tries to be a movie.

For these reasons, “The Order: 1886” gets a 6 out of 10.