Review: ‘The Order’ falls short

Mace Mackiewicz, Verge Reporter

It’s been awhile since a game has missed the mark for me as much as The Order: 1886 has. I was promised a game about knights killing werewolves with oddly futuristic weapons, but instead I got a playable movie.

The first cracks in the hype for this game occurred months before the game was released. I read several articles about people played it at conventions who said it was like a Gears of War rip off and wasn’t as promising as it once looked.

Recently someone obtained the game early and posted the whole thing on YouTube. The runtime of the game was five and a half hours. Debates about how long a game should be were started and people brought up complaints in game pricing.

The thing with The Order is that while it’s short it still feels like it’s dragging while playing. Nothing interesting happens for the first two thirds of the game. There isn’t much suspense because the beginning of the game takes place right before the final mission before flashing back so you know at some point something bad happens and somehow the main character has ended up in a situation where things went wrong.

The gameplay is very derivative of third person shooters as a whole but I don’t know about the comparisons to the Gears of War series. The Gears series had huge, epic set pieces. The Order doesn’t really have anything exciting going for it.

The game also takes hand holding to a new level. You can’t run unless the game gives you permission to run. If you are in certain sections of the game that requires the player to use a lantern you’re forced to use a weaker hand gun until the game decides it’s time that you can now use a bigger gun.

Certain doors you need to go through to progress force you to wait for another character to get to the door before it will open. There were at least two times I was waiting to open the door only to realize the games AI wanted me to be behind the character to progress.

The game is also a never ending tutorial that treats the player as if they have never played a game before. Telling the player how to shoot their weapon at the beginning of the game is understandable, but telling them what buttons to press anytime a similar situation shows itself again is asinine.

Some of the cooler weapons in the game are hardly ever used. There’s a gun that shoots a bolt of lightning at enemies that you get to use maybe three times total in the game. Another weapon shoots out thermite that you can use on your enemies that again you use only two or three times.

Speaking of other disappointments in the game there are hardly any times that you actually fight werewolves. Most of the game is spent fighting other humans. When you do fight werewolves it’s just spent dodging once, shooting them, and pressing triangle to finish them.

The actual gameplay is lackluster but what’s even worse is the game is constantly taking you out of the action to make you watch cut scenes. I think nearly half of the game is just cut scenes after cut scenes. They lock the frame rate at 30 fps and put bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Why not just make a movie if you are really committed to being “cinematic” because this certainly does not work as a video game.

The games length isn’t normally something I would complain about if it was repayable but there is no replay value in this game.

The story isn’t anything special. The beginning is dull with very few interesting characters although, Lafayette grew on me throughout the game.

Two thirds of the way through the game gets interesting and ends with a cliffhanger that normally you’d think would be in the middle of a story. The game doesn’t complete any sort of arc and instead feels like a giant teaser for what’s coming in the future.

The only truly good thing I can say about the game is that the graphics are stunning and are the best example of what the new generation consoles can do.

I give this game a 5 out of 10 because it never exceeds mediocrity or even averageness except in the graphical department. If you really want to play it I would rent it from Family Video and you can finish it in one afternoon.

Mace Mackiewicz is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]