Yesterday, when I wrote my Initial impressions piece, I was unaware just how close I was to the end of The Order 1886. I guess a more accurate title for that piece would have been the ‘three-quarters-of-the-way-through review’ – but it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue right.
So, I’ll just elaborate on a few of the points I made in that post, draw a few more conclusions and illustrate it with a few more screenshots. I know – original.
Cherry on the cake?
I had hoped that the final part of the game would redeem it from my earlier criticisms. It kinda didn’t. There’s a lot that gets tied up and a lot that gets resolved story-wise – a plot which I still maintain is well-written and thought out. But there is no real shock factor. What The Order really needed was a twist, a ‘Luke I am your father’-moment that completely blew my mind. Instead, I watched a well-modernised version of the Knights of the Round Table, which mashed Jack the Ripper into the same Lycan-Vampire mythology that Twilight sprang from. Okay, that’s a little harsh, the (voice) acting for The Order is so much better than in any of the Twilight films.
What’s weird is that the concept would have been brilliant as a serial, ideally a sequence of graphic novels or a TV mini-series. However, it also works great in the game. Just not spectacularly.
The elephant in the room?
Yes, I am going to touch on how short the game was. But can I just say first that how long a game is should not be a measure of it’s success. I’m still ploughing my way through Dragon Age: Inquisition and Assassin’s Creed: IV trying to get every collectible and Trophy, when in truth I lost interest in doing so about 60 hours into each game. In fact, given the way the story of The Order unfolded, there wasn’t too much more they could reveal without ruining any interest in a sequel. Yes, I want to know if Isabeau and Grayson are going to patch things up and I also want to know why the werewolves and vampires aren’t trying to kill each other – like in every other version of that mythology. But if they had answered those questions there would really be no point in making a second game – other than to rake in a bunch of cash. Yes, I know that it’s a gaming INDUSTRY, but, just just for a second can we pretend that that ISN’T a good enough reason to produce another.
So, I understand why some things were missed off and why the ending was quite so abrupt. What I don’t quite get it why there appears to be nothing after completion. Not even a New Game+. I even watched all the credits just to make sure. No, you just go back to the title screen, there’s nothing else under the Extras menu and you can’t skip cutscenes on your replay (when you go back to collect everything for Trophy purposes). So as far as replayability goes, there’s essentially nothing for me to do now…
I could understand the game being short if they were planning to release episodes periodically to add to the story, but I’d feel really cheated if they charged me, cause I’m not sure that I feel that I’ve got my money’s worth yet. As far as I’m aware, there are no plans to do this for The Order and any story development will have to wait until a second instalment comes out. That’s fine, I’ll just do some multiplayer… oh, wait…
Okay, I’ll put the difficulty up and play the game again, give myself a real challenge, what’s above hard? What do you mean there’s no Hardcore difficulty? Not even a ‘Very Hard?’
Well… I guess I could go back to playing Evolve… Oh, wait. That’s the game I bought the week before, which was made by a completely different company.
And the monkey fell out of his bunk
Yes, I threw my toys out of my pram a little here. But I’m not the only one who will have done so. In fact, compared to some, I imagine I’ve been fairly reasonable. I did enjoy the story and the attention to detail is excellent (there’s a great picture of the docks floating around on the page somewhere which should illustrate this pretty well). However, just because something looks great, doesn’t mean it feels great. And I feel really let down here.
I stopped giving out ratings for games somewhere towards the end of last year when I couldn’t decide on whether or not I could give Far Cry 4 such a harsh review and still grade it higher than Far Cry 3 – I changed my mind eventually. But it won’t take too much imagination to guess how The Order would have scored. Ten years ago this game would have been a marvel, a masterpiece. But we barely had HD TV back then and iPods weighed so much that you had to make sure your jeans fit really well when you put one in your pocket.
Sorry 1886, but you’re history for a reason.