Some days ago I played The Order: 1886 after years of ignoring it. I got my PlayStation 4 in 2016 with this game, Bloodborne and The Last of Us Remastered in bundle, but I played neither of them. The reason? At the time I had to review other games.
The quarantine pushed me to explore my game library, and The Order: 1886 popped out. Why is this game so infamous? I needed to find out the reason.
Armed with courage, I put the disc into my console and I started to play. Few hours later, I had to stop myself: I wasn’t having fun. I dropped it during Chapter 11 and I do not intend to play it anymore in my life.
Many people I know always told me that the problem with The Order: 1886 was its length, but I’ve come to disagree after playing it. Yes, the game is short, but it’s not the main issue.
There are other games that aren’t very long, but they are still good and funny experiences. Some examples are Papers, Please!, Portal and Resident Evil 3 (stop being surprised at the shortness of the remake, the original wasn’t long either).
The Order: 1886 in my opinion has other problems, which I will talk about down below.
When I’ll Start Playing For Real?
The game is a TPS, and yet you have to wait tons of time before shooting. Its pacing is really slow and, out of the sixteen chapters plus prologue, many are only cutscenes. Ready at Dawn tried to create an interesting universe and a compelling story, but forgot that you need to play to make a product a videogame.
You may say that many games are based more on their stories than gameplay, like Quantic Dream titles, but the problem is with the fact that The Order: 1886 was advertised differently. It was showed as a TPS, and that’s what I expected when I started playing.
A very big part of the experience was watching the screen, looking at chapters that were only a cutscene of few minutes and waiting to play again. If I knew sooner, I would have watched a TV show.
A big reason that pushed me towards The Order: 1886 these days was the steampunk setting. I noticed very soon that the plot has good premises, but that it has also issues that I cannot overlook. The characters are really bland and I could not be less interested in what happens to them. I think that attachment to the characters is good to engage more the players, and failing to do that is a big problem.
The story per se evolves with a really slow pacing, and I rapidly lost interest in what was happening on screen.
Shooting Is Boring
I think I never said that a TPS is boring for me. I usually manage to have fun even with games with a dubious quality, but The Order: 1886 is an exception. Just like the characters, the gameplay is bland, without a single feature that could have made the game at least unique and memorable. And the worst part are not the shooting phases.
The battles with the Lycans, that should have been the most important, are just insulting. The main ones have slow quick time events that are hard to miss, and the ones with weaker Lycans have a preset pattern. Shoot three times, dodge, repeat two times, finish the enemy by pressing Triangle. We players should fear the Lycans, instead we fear to die of boredom when we encounter one.
A Bad Experiment
The Order: 1886, apart from its stunning graphics, doesn’t nail anything to create a good game. It should have been a killer app for PlayStation 4, instead Ready at Dawn delivered a confused product that knows only what it’s not.
Some months ago there were rumors about a sequel, but fortunately they were revealed to be untrue. The developers, in my opinion, should pretend that this game never existed and move on to create something better.
I’ve been playing videogames since 1998. From 2012 to 2019 I wrote for many italian websites dedicated to videogames, but, after a long hiatus, I decided to open my own blog.
Besides videogames, I play Dungeon & Dragons 5e and I enjoy writing/reading mystery novels. I also love to cross stitch while watching movies and TV shows.