There was once a time when reviews could only be read in the next issue of whatever game magazine source you trusted. There was a time when ad revenue didn't matter, and you trusted someones own opinion on a game. Sadly though that has changed because of the internet.
E3 2013 was the reveal of "The Order: 1886" and it gathered much hype quickly, after seeing that trailer and the E3 2014 gameplay I was convinced I was getting this game. Every screenshot, gameplay video, "leaked news, and images" were avoided. I wanted the full experience without any type of spoiler.
On release date I saw the review scores and that didn't make me think twice, I was still getting this game, I was going to take the "risk" and see how I felt about it. That's exactly what I am doing now. I have yet to read or watch a review, listen to feedback or have someone try and steer me away from something I consider a truly amazing experience. After playing through this game I have decided to write another review.
Loading up The Order I had a sense of nostalgia, one that quickly reminded me of what games use to be like before online multiplayer was a thing, when a game simply wowed you on the idea alone. I reference this to Resident Evil for the PlayStation. I remember quite clearly how I felt about that game (at the age of 11) and how awesome and amazing I felt to have played it. A game where the graphics were considered realistic and the game itself was simply amazing. I wanted to play a single player experience I wouldn't soon forget and The Order delivered that for me.
The Order Takes place in...You guessed it "1800's London" White Chapel to be exact and you are the "modern aged" Knights of the round table. This concept alone made me interested in the game. I won't go too much into the story as I really don't want to spoil it for anyone. Let's just say that there is a lot going on in White Chapel and you are trying to figure out how it all strings together.
This is by far the best looking game to date, the attention to detail is simply breathtaking. I spent 10 minutes looking at texture work on the wooden floors just to see how the light reflected off of it in such a way I was just floor (pun intended) by this, I honestly couldn't get enough. I think the biggest wow moments for me aside from amazing texture and lighting is the cloth physics this game has. I have yet to see anything come close to this level of realism. It brought me back to that feeling I had when I first played Resident Evil. The lighting in this game, the sounds, the water, THE HAIR. Nothing was spared in the making of this game, Ready at Dawn really has a talented team and a great engine and I am excited to see what else comes of it. I can go on and on about how gorgeous the game looks but I honestly think the only real way to experience it is for you to sit in a dark room, put on some headphones, turn out the lights and just play it yourself.
The Order is not an open world game, in fact its quite linear and sets you on a guided path through a story that can take you anywhere from 6-10 hours (depending if you like to sprint, or would rather admire what the game actually shows you). This is what everyone is complaining about, how linear and short the game is. I don't know about anyone else but when I buy a game, I do it for the experience not just the content on the disc. If I feel I was satisfied with what I spent my money on, I then move on and play the next one. Ready at Dawn had a vision, to keep the player going to keep everything happening in such a way that you were playing a Cinematic adventure (Think Heavy Rain but at a turbo pace). I understood their vision as soon as I realized the QTE's were there to keep you into the cut scenes, to make you feel invested in some way, and it worked very well for me. I loved every single minute of this game and at no point did I feel like any "one" part dragged on at all for too long.
The emotion brought on to you by this game is thanks to the immersion that it throws you into immediately. You feel the struggle of the characters, you feel bad for what they've gone through and continue to go through. You realize just how important you are, and how easily things can turn when you aren't there to help. This is made possible by not only the INCREDIBLE graphics of this game, but the voice actors who were behind it. Honestly some of the best I have ever heard in my life. I felt like I was in London during the late 1800's and that is exactly what Ready at Dawn wanted to do. It wasn't just me either, I was live streaming my play-through and had people in my chat actually feeling sad for certain parts of the game. This game will hit you right in the feels and it will show you many different types of emotion along the way.
The Order also delivers in terms of gameplay. I will admit when I first saw the E3 2014 gameplay I was worried. It looked like the guy playing the game was having trouble shooting his gun, I am here to clear the air of that. This game handles incredibly well. That doesn't mean its easy though. When an enemy shoots, you will flinch, when you are shot you will get knocked off target. The AI is very aggressive (hard mode) and very accurate forcing you to use the cover system that handles like a dream. One of the downsides I have to say is that there are a decent amount of "run" parts where the game forces you to chase. I understand why they are put in games (suspense) but honestly, there is so much to look at and admire sometimes I just wanted to stop and enjoy what I was seeing but couldn't because the game wanted me to track someone. This game is best played at a walking pace and I recommended keeping your finger off the sprint button as much as possible because The Order is meant to be admired in its attention to detail. When I think of The Order: 1886, it reminds me so much of the Uncharted series. The first game in particular. Which was 6-10 hours long, and had no multiplayer. A game that took risk and ultimately became one of Sony's beloved IPs. I could see that same thing happen with this IP, and I think it will. We will see an evolution of this series in the same exact way we did with Uncharted and that is something I am extremely excited for.
Is The Order: 1886 a 10/10 game? No it is not. I honestly think the score has to reflect off the person playing the game, and that's what makes the reviews so lop sided. A game like this, one that comes around every few years and is so good (to some) and so bad (to others) makes rating this game pure bias. Usually when I approach a review I try and do so with others in mind, but honestly this time I am reviewing this game for myself.
I am a gamer who grew up during the late 80's and early 90's I played everything I could get my hands on and tried to appreciate what the developers were trying to accomplish. Ready at Dawn had a vision for their game and it was a vision i completely and wholeheartedly agree with. This game took me back to a time when I didn't have a Ethernet cable plugged into my console, one where I got to be immersed in a world for a set amount of time, a game where I got to enjoy it for all it had to offer and not expect more because of the news media. If anything at all this game does so much right, and all I want is more. If that's not a good thing at the end of your play thorough, well then...I am sorry for the people who are so jaded to think that $60 dollars is too much for a game of this caliber even if its just in terms of graphics alone.
That being said. This review I took my time to write, was written for me, and for people like me.