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The Order: 1886 Gameplay Preview Impressions

by Damian Seeto

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The Order: 1886 has been hyped up to be one of the PS4’s must-have video games of 2015. After getting delayed by many months, is the game shaping up to be a big-hitter?

The preview code I got to play for The Order: 1886 was only around 45 minutes long, but this was more than enough to see what type of game Ready at Dawn is trying to make. There are elements of features borrowed from other games, and the gameplay feels solid as well. However, it is far from being a revolutionary experience from what I played.

At its core, The Order: 1886 is your usual third-person shooter with a cover mechanic. This genre took off thanks to the release of Gears of War back in 2006, and now we’ve seen a ton of these games made recently. This game tries to make things slightly different, but the ideas here have all been seen in other games before.

One thing that might annoy some gamers about The Order: 1886 is its addition of Quick Time Events (QTEs). QTEs appear VERY often in this game so be prepared for them. They are used during stealth sections, sometimes during combat and other action set pieces. If you don’t like QTEs, there’s a good chance you might not like this game as they appear quite frequently.

The stealth is also a bit clunky mainly due to the level design. The level I played in this preview for The Order: 1886 was set in a very narrow airship. There was little room to move around and hide behind corners. To make things even harder, you weren’t allowed to be spotted for even a fraction of a second. Once a guard spots you, you are instantly shot in the head for your failure.

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Combat in The Order: 1886 was quite solid and satisfying. The guns are responsive and I didn’t encounter any hit detection failures or anything like that. The AI is also quite smart as they will hide behind cover too, and will try and flush you out with grenades and more.

The graphics in The Order: 1886 are excellent as the 19th Century setting looks realistic and authentic. The character models too are very life-like and is some of the best I have seen for the PS4. The only small downfall to the visuals is its purposefully “cinematic presentation”. The letterbox widescreen aspect ratio might annoy gamers with smaller TVs. While playing the preview, I just wanted to stretch out the game to a full screen, but I couldn’t as this is how it’s supposed to be…

The audio in The Order: 1886 is quite impressive. The mostly British voice actors all sound great. None of the actors sound out of place, and nor do they over-perform their lines. The music is okay and fits the tone for the game too.

The preview code had its fair share of bugs, although these were already recognized and Ready At Dawn are sure to fix them when the full game comes out in February 2015. Hopefully they are able to ship a bug-free game, as there were far too many glitchy games released in 2014…

The preview code ended too soon as 45 minutes isn’t a very long time to judge how good or bad the final product will be like. From what I’ve played so far, The Order: 1886 is a solid action title, but it doesn’t innovate the third-person shooter genre in any way. Still, the action is quite fun and the setting is unique too. We’ll just have to wait and see how the full game truly delivers now.

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