Author Topic: The Order 1886  (Read 1761 times)

The Order 1886
« on: February 21, 2015, 03:33:51 PM »
I got this with the console so my emotional investment might be less than someone who paid fifty quid for it. Just wanted to share my thoughts for those tempted to buy it. I've not read any reviews yet but I heard it's had a mixed reception at best. I was initially very unimpressed but played a good three hours this morning before I exchanged it.

Long story short, it's a very frustrating game. The setting and concept are fantastic. Steampunk Arthurian legends fighting werewolves in the grimy backstreets of 19th century London slums, using Nikola Tesla's electromagnetic rifles. Add to that, some of the most beautiful models and textures and effects I've ever seen in a game. It is in another world to The Last Of Us or GTAV. On top of that, the environments are so incredibly atmospheric and alive, they're begging to be explored. From the the boardroom to the brothel to the underground to the backstreets, alleys and rooftops, you can honestly almost smell the air. It's so lovingly designed. The music and ambient sound is also fantastic, especially the latter. Every area feels alive and lived in.

A third of the game involves you walking slowly through these settings while it loads the next bit. Sounds great, that was one of the best bits of TLOU for me. Only problem is that these are the most linear and empty areas I've 'played' since...well, it's barely a game. I've not played anything like it. Occasionally, you will see an object you can pick up. They look amazing as you rotate them lovingly in your hand. More than half are of zero interest. Quite often, you only get to walk a few paces, maybe five seconds of game before a mini cutscene kicks in and walks you the remaining few steps to your target. This happened probably a dozen times in the first couple of hours. Cut scene. Hold up on the controller. Cut scene. Cut scenes make up the next third of the game. Occasionally these feature QTE, as redundant as the worst of RE4. The final third is Gears of War, except you know the really cool Tesla weapons and gear? You don't get to use them really, you've just got a pistol or a rifle most of the time. The game will let you know when you can use the interesting stuff. The game will let you know pretty much whenever you need to do anything. From a gameplay point of view, this is the very very worst of modern videogames.

So, one of the most atmospheric, consistent and beautifully realised worlds I've ever played, but one which left me questioning whether I could even use that verb. What it has left me with is a real sense of excitement for what Uncharted 4 will do with this console hardware.

Bhazor

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 04:48:09 PM »
I knew it was going to be bad from the first trailer that showed the generic rote gameplay. I'm just amazed at how bad it seems to be.

The most humourous part being the reused bossfight.

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 05:20:42 PM »
I've finished chapter 4 and yeah, it looks *amazing* and I fully echo how if anything this mostly makes me think 'God, Uncharted 4 will be so damn good' but aside from that I've done more walking than anything else. The biggest action section so far just took place around a big square, where more enemies kept on entering from the far side until they stopped, so I could move on. It does the thing of only letting you take either a shotgun or a sniper rifle or a machine gun or a fancy special thing, which is crazy as it has 4 weapon slots (one's always one of two pistols (that I've seen so far) one is grenades and the fourth I've not seen used yet...) There seem to be trophies for headshots, kills with each weapon and the like, but there's no progression indicators in the game or recorded anywhere, so harder even than usual to be interested. It never tells you if you missed any things to investigate (most of these have been pamphlets for shows) but worse than that nothing happens when you investigate them. You don't collect them to look at again later, your character rarely makes any comment on them, they're just there. You press Triangle, pick it up, turn it around, put it down, if you want, you can press Triangle again to... do it again. It's strangely lifeless.

I'm tempted to plough through it and see the credits before trading it somewhere tomorrow, but if it hadn't been free with my console I wouldn't have bothered.

Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2015, 05:25:10 PM »
I think I got 34 quid trade value for it at some off-brand game shop.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 05:40:10 PM »
It is frustrating but on the other hand there is a gun that shoots smoke and then a firework that makes the smoke go on fire

Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2015, 07:27:35 PM »
If they made the walking bits more interesting and involving, like TLOU, it'd make a massive difference. I appreciate the effort they put into creating a world in your imagination through the power of suggestion but there's just not enough game to it! If you could leg round the city a bit more and explore these unbelievable environs, fuck off most of the cutscenes and make the gunplay more 'wacky' and you've got yourself a decent game, maybe even great. As it is, bad.

Onken

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 08:53:09 PM »


The Order on a 21:9 monitor.

niat

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 10:55:13 PM »
I haven't played this, and I'm unlikely to as I've got an Xbox One, but this video made me laugh a lot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV-u5tvQC34

This video seems to be the new "Downfall" as a change-the-subtitles-meme-thing and I'm enjoying it so far. A few more and I'll be sick of it but what the hey.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 03:06:20 PM »
I'm on the airship now and it's much better. Shotgun in this shreds dudes. The seamless cut scenes into action and the cinematic pretensions remind me of Max Payne 3, which I liked a lot. This style of game has fallen out of fashion but there's a place for it.

wasp_f15ting

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2015, 09:44:35 PM »
I am looking forward to playing this game when its much much cheaper..

Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2015, 03:09:50 PM »
After swapping a bundled copy after about two hours gameplay, I picked it up again via the US store for twenty dollars, which is a very decent valuation I reckon. It may still be available at that price.

Having recently completed Everybody's Gone To The Rapture since experiencing the peerless mechanical marvels of MGSV, I'm quite in the mood for a more story-heavy laidback atmospheric experience and I'm saving Until Dawn to force it on my wife. My brief experience of this was 'technical thrill, cookie cutter gameplay' but I tried to take it more on its own terms this time.

I really really enjoyed it. For starters, I liked that the story wasn't afraid to take itself fairly seriously, despite the playful technological anachronisms and references to contemporary figures, not to mention fucking werewolves and the like. It bordered on boring at first, when I wasn't paying attention, but ultimately the writing and performances were refreshingly po-faced! It helped ground you in the dramatic decrepitude.

Although the graphics are pretty sensational, I did see more of the visual trickery this time around, maybe because I've got a bigger TV! There's a lot of subtle film grain and blurring and filtering which is very realistic in the sense that it affords focus where appropriate but becomes less impressive as you go along because you have the sense that you can never really pick out background details. It looks fucking amazing in motion, though; sweeping past these lovingly decorated bureaux and brothels you can almost smell the leather and smoke. The atmosphere in the slums is what stuck with me initially and eventually encouraged me to pick it up again. Playing through some decent headphones this time round only made it more immersive. The sound design is very good, distant foghorns and visceral snarls bring the world to life.

Now, that gameplay. Well, for me, the gunplay is absolutely no worse than Uncharted. In fact, when you do get the heavy weapons (less than you'd like but more than most reviews would have you believe), it's more fun than any 3rd person reticule pointing I've experienced. I say that having barely touched GoW, mind you. The intermittent stealth bits are also fine, and quite tensetense. The platforming and traversing is perfunctory and one of the weakest elements, though. There's loads of push this cart, turn this crank type crap which just needs to end now because it has no narrative or mechanical value. Maybe they use these as opportunities to dump/load assets, I dunno. Someone else might?

The QTEs aren't as painful as initially thought but they do take away much of the potential challenge and fun from boss encounters, especially. As a melee alternative for MGSV's reflex mod, they're pretty decent but I would have preferred something less prosaic for the big moments. Again, though, treating this more as an interactive story, they do help to maintain some momentum.

Finally, in terms of longevity and value, it ended up being about a third longer than I expected from reviews and hearsay. I reckon I got ten hours out of it, which is all right for under fifteen quid. No spoilers but I was expecting it to virtually freeze frame like The Sword of Doom but it definitely resolved the main plot and character points. I was satisfied from that perspective: a clichéd but committed plot, consistent characterisation which kept me guessing at least as to how events would unfurl and a real sense of a living, breathing world beyond the tight constraints of my movement.

And there's my main criticism, really. It's almost unashamedly linear. Fine, this contradicts my attempt to take it on its cinematic prescriptive terms but there's a real sense of disappointment every time you take the alternate route while your companion ushers you to hurry along and you reach a dead end. A nicely decorated dead end, sometimes with an audiolog, but ultimately a fourth-wall breaking reminder that it's not really a world at all, just a lovely corridor.

With a certain approach, there's a lot to enjoy here at the right price, and I'm disappointed that there won't be a sequel to take this engine to places anew. It's no system seller but it's well worth ten hours and twenty dollars of your time.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2015, 03:24:16 PM »
Are they really not making a sequel? That's horse shit if true. Having recently played the first Uncharted (albeit the remastered one) I'd say it's easily on a par with if not better than that, and look what happened with Uncharted 2. Fucking internet babies with their whining for 60 hour non-linear sandboxes scuppered this one very unfairly I think. I wish there was more of a market for 10 hour linear cinematic shooters because I love them.

Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2015, 04:11:54 PM »
Are they really not making a sequel? That's horse shit if true. Having recently played the first Uncharted (albeit the remastered one) I'd say it's easily on a par with if not better than that, and look what happened with Uncharted 2. Fucking internet babies with their whining for 60 hour non-linear sandboxes scuppered this one very unfairly I think. I wish there was more of a market for 10 hour linear cinematic shooters because I love them.

Sony owns the IP, not the developer – I believe that Sony was far from pleased how the game performed; in any case, it cut ties with the developer (which would like to do a sequel).

Prior to release, there was a lot of negative buzz around the launch (e.g. the length of the campaign, no multi-player) and the developers had to fire-fight. In that kind of situation, reviewers can bolder in slating a game, which I think happened here.

Although I would like to see a sequel (I very much enjoyed the art design and weaponry), thought it was a very clunky third-person mediocre shooter. At times, the AI was so bad I didn’t know whether I should be laughing – such as when four enemies crowded together, as soon as I shot one in the head, another would leap to the same spot and repeat and repeat and repeat.

Admittedly, it wasn’t terrible and I didn’t experience any technical issues, but as a game, it felt very lacklustre overall – as a shooter, I can’t think of something it did really well. With the Uncharted comparison, maybe it’s worth using something a little more recent as a yardstick – this was a title that was meant to be flexing next-gen muscle after all. Other aspects were so-so – the story, for instance, was serviceable but pretty predictable.

However, although I would struggle to recommend it, I’ve seen quite a few people say they enjoyed it a lot albeit at a cheap price.

Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2015, 04:53:31 PM »
Definitely a fair point that Uncharted shouldn't really be the comparison but I don't really have anything else to compare it to this gen. The reason I exchanged it so soon last time was because the shooting was so prosaic but in coming at it as a cinematic experience with secondary shooter elements, I did get much more out of it. That may seem overly selective but given the bulk of the game is walking and talking, it is more appropriately paced to experience it that way than the Space Invader waves of Uncharted, and arguably TLOU.

Now, it lacks the setpieces, characterisation, emotional resonance and plain fun of those games but as an atmospheric tale, I think it succeeds, even if the plot is predictable. I hear they've got a new IP in development, though, so if they still own the engine, there's hope that they can come up with something significantly more engaging from a mechanical point of view, which can build upon the strengths of The Order.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2015, 09:36:35 PM »
I think the Uncharted 1 comparison is pretty fair as both were new exclusive shooter franchises that came near the start of their respective generations. Uncharted 1 is a pretty flawed game in many ways - different ways to The Order - but they got ironed out for the sequel and I had hoped to see a similar development for The Order.

I do agree that the (unwarranted in my opinion) negative buzz emboldened reviewers, that's a good point. I'd prefer to see Sony stick by their developers and let them, well, develop. Launching a big game like this was a lot for Ready at Dawn to take on.

Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2015, 09:42:59 AM »
It's 20 quid in ps store - worth it for that money??

biggytitbo

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2018, 07:46:53 PM »
You get to see a cgi cock and balls in this. Beautifully rendered too.

biggytitbo

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2018, 04:07:23 PM »
Can see the point about the semi on rails gameplay in parts, but quite enjoying this. It's amazingly atmospheric, almost distracting so, the story is quite fun and the main body of it is some pretty decent gunplay. Something like this in a more open world with control over your character would be ace.

Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2018, 04:12:39 PM »
I look back on this very fondly, indeed. The atmosphere is incredible and there's a strong sense of a world beyond the game world. Cane and Rinse did an excellent episode on it, well worth a listen when you're done.

biggytitbo

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2018, 08:29:34 AM »
Finished this, enjoyed it a lot. Perfunctory gameplay yes, but can't think of a more atmospheric game. 3 sets of cock and balls too, 8/10.

falafel

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Re: The Order 1886
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2018, 10:16:49 AM »
Cock and balls, semi on rails, sounds like a winner