The Order: 1886

A little late, especially as I finished the game a while ago, but I feel the game is worth talking about still. The game received a lot of press talk about how plain or boring it is. Personally I do not get it. I think the game is just plain fun.

The first thing to know is that this game is short. And while it has received criticism because of it I don’t think it matters, in fact I kind of prefer that. It’s a great weekend or long afternoon experience that is worth playing again I feel. The strength of the game is in its presentation. Video games are a form of entertainment and part of that entertainment factor comes in the story and how it’s told. The Order nails that part of the equation. A lot of games get a bit convoluted and overly deep with the story that by the end of it I’m lost and left wondering why exactly the main character was on this adventure anyway.

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The pacing works well, never was I left bored or just waiting for a cut scene or mission area to end. I enjoyed every cinematic and was drawn into the game almost instantly because of, what I felt was, strong voice acting and animation.

But enough of how much I loved the story portions, this is a game after all so let’s talk about the The Order as an actual game. One area where I can see why people hated the “boring” parts are that there is a lot of walking. The level of interaction during these areas is minimal. It’s just forced story. You can pick up some objects but the interaction is just looking at it and flipping it over. Nothing exciting but serves well to deepen the story some.

I touched on this in my “First Look” and it still bothers me. The audio logs which are one of my favorite things in games to collect are just awful. The logs themselves are fine but not being able to listen to them outside of the pause menu is just a huge mistake.

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At the core of the game is a competent shooter. I had a lot of fun with the controls and feel of the game. It’s your standard cover shooter but done well enough to stand on its own. The guns feel good to use and give off a solid boom. The thermite gun was absolutely my favorite weapon even if it was almost an “I win” button. It wasn’t available often but when it was, it was my go to gun that I held onto as long as I could. Otherwise the standard rifle and pistol was enough to get me through the game.

The difficulty is not too bad, but there were some spikes in it in a few areas that made things frustrating. Armored enemies are bullet sponges to the point you think you are doing something wrong. The amount of ammo wasted on heavily armored enemies is borderline unfair at times. Go in with the wrong gun and good luck.

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My final thoughts on the game are generally good. I had a good time with the game. There wasn’t anything that had me running back to play it, but when I did fire it up I had a great time. Good gameplay, graphics and story in a short and complete package. At $60 new many may, and have, scoff at it but when it hits the bargain bin you’ll have a hard time finding a better value for a current gen title.

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