PS4 Review: The Order: 1886

Steampunk comes to PS4, but have I taken a Lycan to the game?

Before I began playing The Order: 1886, I saw nothing but poor reviews over the game’s length, lack of originality and the cinematic way the game is handled. While I do take some issue with those points, it clearly doesn’t deserve the rap it’s got. So I went in eyes open into this new IP and came out hoping for a sequel…
The story follows a group of Victorian Knights around London, there’s a conspiracy plot brewing as well as threats from rebels and Lycans (Werewolves to the average Joe) constantly bowing down upon you. The game is heavy on the cutscenes and sadly there’s no way to skip them, which would have been a nice option on a second playthrough to find any missing collectables.

The first thing you’ll notice about The Order is the way it’s displayed on your TV; it has two black bars that divide the game into a cinematic view. It looks good during the cutscenes, but you are clearly missing out on a lot of detail when it comes to the actual gameplay and sometimes it’s hard to make something out clearly, luckily you can zoom in easy enough. It’ll take a while to get used to, but once you do then it’s not that big a deal, it’s a shame it’s not taking up the whole screen as with most other games, but considering how breathtaking the game looks, it’s a small price to pay.

I have never seen character models so detailed in a game as I have in The Order; the locations you come across are beautiful as well. The transition from cutscene to gameplay is so sneaky that there have been times where my character is standing around waiting to move and me not realising that I can now control him. So the game looks the part, but how does it handle?
Well, it’s not perfect…but it’s not flawed either. It takes the third-person shooter as you would expect, a decent cover system, quicktime events and so on; it also introduces some nice gadgets that would give Batman a run for his money. The problem I found is that it can’t tell what sort of game it wants to be, there’s the gunplay which feels like Uncharted, the Lycans attacking you in the London Underground which felt like a dash of survival horror and the gadgets from Nikola Tesla reminded me of the Arkham series.

The story itself is hit and miss, with the plot twist seemingly obvious about 6 chapters before it happens. But there are some solid performances in there and there is a memorable story to be found within, which also hopefully sets up for a sequel, which I hope we get…despite the negative vibes from other reviews. I went through the game in around 6 hours, but it took me another 2-3 to mop up the collectable trophies, so it’s not the longest game in the world…but it’s still memorable nonetheless.

Sadly, once you are done with the game and the collectables…you should have your Platinum trophy, as I do. After that there’s nothing else to do, well you can try it on a different difficulty if you wish…but there’s no difficulty trophies to be found, it’s a shame they didn’t add that really…it may have added a few more hours to the game.

The Verdict

It’s a shame there’s no replay value to be found after your initial playthrough, which begs the question why should you buy it and not rent? Well, it may not be long but it does leave a lasting impression, one that will make me pick it up again in the future and I see it as the first step in the new generation of consoles, which is worth being a part of.