An intense fire fight breaks out in the streets of Victorian-Era London. Bullets buzz by your head as you take for cover. You hear a sudden charge of electricity and what looks like a bolt of lightning hurls from your fellow knights Arc Rifle. The fire fight wages on between knights of the Order and rebel soldiers. The rebels take the fight below the city streets, as you chase after them you enter a room and find yourself face to face with an ancient beast of legends. All of this, just describes the first of many action packed moments that fill this third-person shooter, The Order: 1886.
Ready at Dawn delivers with their own version of London set in an alternate history world during the late 1800s. Knights of a legendary order serve to protect the world from threats of monstrous proportions, with the help of advanced weaponry created by none other than the genius Nikola Tesla himself. You take the role of Sir Galahad, an elite Knight from the Order created by King Arthur centuries ago when the appearance of the half breeds first came to a head. These beasts are not your only threat though, a war has been declared on the Order by the likes of rebels who believe that the Order doesn’t have the right to bring London into a police state. With the help of gorgeous, life-like, graphics, and cinematic style camera work, The Order: 1886 feels like a movie that you are in control of.
One thing this game nails, is the seamless flow between cutscene and gameplay. There were times while playing, a cutscene would end and I would be sitting there waiting for the characters to move, only to find out that the scene had ended and I was now staring at actual gameplay. These transitions were so well done, the flow of the game is never bogged down with a load screen in between. During many of the games cutscenes, you will find yourself needing to stay at the ready, because you’ll never know when you’ll have to press a button to continue the action. The shootout scenes rely heavily on a cover system similar to that of Xbox exclusive series, Gears of War.
While in cover, you’re capable of blind firing, throwing grenades, or popping up for a more well-aimed shot. Like most shooters, these battles require mowing down a number of soldiers before moving on to the next area. The weapons given to you are a great nod to Tesla’s work in real life. The Arc Rifle, that once charged, unleashes a powerful bolt of electricity capable of blowing your enemies limbs off and gives you some satisfying gore, or even the Thermite Rifle that unleashes a cloud of flammable smoke that deals heavy damage to anyone caught in the area. These are just a few of the advanced weapons you’ll be able to use along with the run of the mill pistols, and machine guns through out.
The hand to hand combat is very satisfying, more so than other games. Get up close and personal with an enemy and pressing the triangle button triggers a beautifully choreographed sequence. Galahad’s brutal with his fists and occasional knees to the face, but during scenes where you uses his knife, he holds nothing back and usually stabs the unfortunate rebel multiple times. The game also features a very authentic voice casting that fits the character models well, bringing them to life.
Unfortunately though, this game hasn’t been well received by all. While the game does feature a well written story for the most part, there are times where it slows down and the gears seem to stop all together, only to be picked up by a twist that leaves the game hanging in an inevitable sequel. I say it’s inevitable because the ending leaves multiple characters, and storylines open.
The game also features a rather short run time than most new games now a days, but don’t forget, quantity does not always mean quality. While I did play it on the hardest difficulty, did some exploration and looked for collectibles, It took me roughly ten hours to beat over the span of three days. While it is unfortunate that the game wasn’t longer, doesn’t have much replay-ability other than going back and finding the rest of the collectibles or playing on a harder difficulty, there is always the hope of add on story dlc in the coming months.
There were many things I did love about this game, as a history nerd, the talk of a new killer for that time named Jack The Ripper, the mention of the War of the Current which involved the creative minds of Tesla and Thomas Edison, and I was a big fan of the half beasts. The subtle detail the developers put into the game when you kill one of the half breeds and they slowly turn back into their human form, was a nice touch.
I do wish this game would have been longer, but I am glad I took the time to play it and do look forward to what the sequel may have in store. While this does seem to be a love it or hate kind of game, I suggest everyone should at least check this out, but maybe let the price drop a little bit. In a nut shell, this game was a thrilling, alternate history, shooter where legends come out to play.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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