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Game review - The Order: 1886

Game review - The Order: 1886ating: 3/5

Price: Rs 3,999 for PS4

Features -
Beautiful graphics Interesting Victorian universe

The Order 1886 can best be described as Men in Black meets Jack the Ripper era. It is an action game set in old venetian London where lots of gruesome monsters lurk in the shadows. Made by the same guys who made a few of the God of War games. With so much going for it The Order 1886 has all the elements of a winner. Sadly all of that is squandered away to prop up presentation.

Story and Setting
The Order is the legendary Arthurian, Knights of the Round Table, having survived through the ages. A secret order of Knights tasked to protect humanity from half human, half monsters that seem to pop straight out of every gothic horror book. The game opens up with a pretty lengthy torture sequence, from there leading you deeper and deeper into the grim victorian world, where dozens of alternate versions of London are melded into one.

You play Sir Gallahad, a knight of the Round Table, and through his eyes you experience the rest of the Order, as well as the world. A world where the industrial revolution has only taken place for the sole purpose of letting you wield ultra cool guns. The dank, dark streets of London look like theres a monster hiding in every shadow. On the way you meet interesting characters like Nickolai Tesla, who incidentally makes the weapons you use.

The story and world does a great job of pulling you in and despite a lot of pacing issues, it settles well. As soon as you feel you're in and things are moving well, the game seems to end. A roughly seven hour campaign with no replayability value waits at the end of Order 1886. Which is not bad. What's bad is that you're paying a criminal Rs 3,999 for seven hours of gameplay. A very steep price.

You can term the gameplay of The Order 1886 as a third person shooter with cover elements in the vein of several games like Gears of War. The narrative takes several pages out of Naughty Dogs book of tricks. With everything feeling very much like a Uncharted or Last of Us. With long entertaining cutscenes, most of which have quick time events, a bit of moving around, following by shooting sections, it's fairly formulaic.

The world is beautifully made, with atmosphere leaking out of every gill. The game seems to love showing it off, telling you "you can go there" if you want, but you cant. It's an open world that's closed. Look but don't touch. So all you're limited to doing is walking about from sequence to sequence. The game is a lot of loose ideas put into one. Like you can pick up and examine objects, which could have started off as an idea for a detective game, but just made it in here to add realism by... well, examining objects.

Thankfully, to break the monotony is the wonderful variety of weapons. Industrial revolution, Victorian versions of Shotguns, Assault rifles. Not only that you get some really cool Teslafied electric guns. The monsters are truly quite terrifying, with some incredible graphics and animation work employed in transformations.

There's so much you will want to love about the game, but everything just feels like a squandered effort. Sure, at heart it is a really good adventure into a time that's fascinating, but it could have been so much more.

Graphics and Sound
Now this is where the game shines bright. The graphics, realism, atmosphere, lighting, character models mesh so well with the rest of the world, everything just looks fantastic. A testament to what the PS4 can achieve. The presentation itself is cinematic, with very movie like camera angles used in cutscenes, as well as during the action.

The Order 1886 is a slick looking game, with a superb world you would love to experience more of. What's lacking is gameplay, which does not mean it's a bad game. It just feels that it could be so much more than a beautiful skin stretched over a bunch of gaming templates. What is the worst part is the price. Games like Grand Theft Auto V, with several hours of gameplay, retail for much less. Sure, some retailers are stocking the game at Rs 3,799, but it was a very bad move of Sony to price the game so close to Rs 4,000. Especially considering this is a new intellectual property. The Order 1886 is worth experiencing, but only pick it up once it hits bargain bins.

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