‘The Order: 1886’ can’t live up to the hype

Published 8:01 am Sunday, March 1, 2015

There’s a joke in the video games industry about hyping up a game. It’s called getting on the hype train.

When a cool-looking game gets a lot of interest, there’s usually so much positive comments about it among gamers and media outlets that it becomes an unstoppable force, much like a train.

The hype train left the station, flew off the tracks and careened into a gorge with the game “The Order: 1886.”

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This title is a passable shooter with little gameplay variety, wonky controls and seemingly inspired but often frustrating quick-time events. It is, in short, an overhyped game that doesn’t quite deliver on its campy premise.

“The Order: 1886” had a lot going for it in terms of its universe. You play as a Knight of the Round Table, straight from Arthurian legend, out to battle werewolves and their ilk in a steampunk Victorian London.

Arthurian legend, werewolves, magic guns, immortal players, futuristic gadgets — this game had all the marks of a decent science-fiction title. I wanted to like “The Order: 1886” so much, but there are simply too many small issues that take away from the game.

For example, the game isn’t that long. I beat this game in about nine hours on normal difficulty. This isn’t inherently a problem, but the gameplay doesn’t vary enough to make the experience memorable. Players will hide behind cover, shoot at enemies until dead, then move to the next cover. Lather, rinse, repeat.

There are few memorable fights as well. The final boss is pretty much a direct copy of a boss fight from early in the game, which is disappointing.

Perhaps worst of all, there’s little replay value once you complete the game. There’s no multiplayer options as well, which limits the amount of time you spend in what could be an exciting game universe.

There are bright spots to “The Order: 1886.” The voice acting is quite charming during the story’s exposition, the graphics and art design are well-thought out, and some of the ridiculously overpowered weapons are a blast — literally — to use.

Once again, there are just enough slight issues to make the game annoying where it should be awe-inspiring. Some of the quick-time events come seemingly out of nowhere, which means players will go through cinematics paying less attention to the plot and more attention to not dying.

I found some of “The Order: 1886” was far too dark, in the most literal sense. I had to turn up the contrast several times just to see where enemies were in a dark corridor, underground even at night. That could have been more due to my TV settings, but it was still an annoyance to have to play with the contrast so much. It took me out of the gaming experience in a frustrating way.

“The Order: 1886” has the makings of a great game. It’s just not this game. There are too many little annoyances that add up to make what should have been a great, silly game just plain silly. Here’s hoping the next game in the series makes up for a lackluster start out of the gate.

“The Order: 1886”


Rated M


Genre: third-person shooter

—A solidly campy premise makes for an intriguing sci-fi game

—Wonky controls, repetitive gameplay make “The Order: 1886” seem bland

—Too many little annoyances mar an otherwise good-looking game