I’m Lycan what I’m seeing.
Mustaches. They can be elegant, look fantastic, and sometimes downright smooth. Yet having a mustache doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be the talk of the town. Some people hate mustaches and you just have to deal with that. The Order 1886 definitely features a whole bunch of mustache… but does it come off elegant or simple a brush of a mess?
The Order has been around for a long time. So long that in fact they have had plenty of time to do a few things. A. Fight Lycans, keeping the balance between man and beast and B. Grow facial hair. That being said, players will take on the role of Sir Galahad, a knight with personality and determination. Doing his best to keep peace within the land and kick a Lycan ass or two. There is much more to the story, but let’s save that for players to discover.
Price I’d Pay: $59.99
Set in 1886 of course, and in a very Victorian London, the first thing players will notice upon booting up the game is the graphics and life like visuals. This game is no slouch when it comes to bringing forth extremely well done visuals. The billowing of smoke in the air, fog heavy alley ways, extreme facial details, gore, mustaches. Everything just shines so well. Moments in the game where lighting looks life like even. This goes hand in hand with the creating the amazing atmosphere The Order 1886 gives to us. I was pulled into the game, setting, and story more so then most titles release today. Visuals alone don’t just do the game justice. Voice acting is superb, the soundtrack is dramatic, dark, and flowing, offering the perfect pace between slow moments and action packed shooting.
This all leads way to the gameplay behind the sky high productions. A typical third person cover shooter is the best way to describe it. Galahad will take his guns and his mustache multiple times throughout the campaign, taking blind shoots, popping from cover, and sometimes even killing a Lycan or two. The gameplay mechanics are fairly typical and it’s nothing outside the ordinary in the genre. Guns do feel extremely satisfying though with weight and pop to them, combining that with the visuals of enemies loosing arms, ribs, and heads, and The Order 1886 can be downright graphics at times, more so then expected. There was something so satisfying to shooting someone in the leg or ribcage with a shotgun, and could quite arguable be considered one of “the best” shotguns in gaming. It’s that good and lots of the other unique weapons offer some fun as well, my favorite being the Thermite gun, which allows enemies to be burned to a crisp in a very painful manner.
The other half of the game comes in the form of multiple cut scenes, quick time events, and context sensitive moments. The game is literally filled with more of these then most would expect. When Ready at Dawn said they were aiming for a cinematic game, that was no joke, players will be watching quite a bit. Some chapters in the game are simple walking around and watching cut scenes. Meanwhile there are a few mini games and stealth segments thrown in the mix on various levels. It does well to keep the variation going in a game that could have otherwise felt boring or too simplified, it’s just enough.
Not everything is great though, just like mustaches there can be some rough edges. Ready at Dawn has created a breathtaking experience of a game. One I think they completely aimed for. I’ve never seen visuals like this. Yet at the same time, it’s also a very guided experience with little room for experimentation or exploring. It’s also filled with questionable game design. Why am I constantly getting tutorial prompts on how to do things I’ve already done multiple times? Why is it when I’m holding a lantern in one section I’m not allowed to take cover nor melee enemies? The game sometimes seems to teach you things but then take them away from you. I can run, but now I’m forced to walk? It just comes off a bit messy in that regards and is the biggest stain in an otherwise highly enjoyable experience. Once that experience is done though, that’s it. Players would only replay this to experience the combat and story once more, so if you’re not the type to replay games that could be an issue.
When The Order 1886 was announced, I had little excitement for it. Fast forward to sometime later and closer to release and I realized Ready at Dawn had this more movie like approach to their game. One that reminded me of games like Heavy Rain, or The Wolf Among Us. Games that are more about the story and pushing the player through an experience. The Order 1886 just happens to take third person shooting and adventure/story driven games and throw them together. A highly enjoyable combination for me. I look forward to a sequel or dare I say demand one after that ending. Just like mustaches, not everyone can appreciate what The Order 1886 was trying to accomplish, but if you know what you’re going into, you just might walk away loving it as much as I did flaws and all. The Order 1886 joins my list of story driven games I’ll play again and again.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.