Maybe it’s cause I’m from the Metal Gear Generation on the PS1 before the strangely action packed version was released on the Game Cube that helped me find The Order 1886 game’s style fine and dandy. For any of you that haven’t played Metal Gear Solid on the PS1 think Mass Effect without the dialog options. Move a few feet, kill usually a room worth of people, and then then hear about 10 minutes of expositions. The pacing of the game is more like a slow boiled BBC action Drama then anything that comes out in the States. Actions scenes are usually raw, and gritty, with stiff people talking about things in serious ways. Even when they are joking, or talking shit to one another, it comes off stiff. This isn’t a criticism, more like an observation.
Sir Galahad or ‘Grey’ for short, is the main playable character, and in many ways is the classic rough and gruff character that is always fighting for his ideals. Now this isn’t to say he is flat or one dimensional, he’s actually a complex character, he just doesn’t show all his colors right away. Though by the end he seems to slip into his role as the hero so strongly that any more characterization goes out the door in purpose to finish the story.
Even the lead Female sidekick character, Lady Igraine, is probably one of the more interesting people in the game. She’s one of the boys in many ways, talking shit, insulting ‘Grey’ the main guy and generally being a ball of nails to get to know. She dresses head to toe in knights armor from beginning to end, and not even once comes off in any sexual manor. This is no Bayonetta. She’s in many ways not the usual female lead, yet as the game goes on, it not that her character arc gets softer, its that little points of understand come out about her that help her become someone human and not in anyway the stereotypical female sidekick.
The frenchman on the other hand, Lafayette, is pretty much as stereotypical as you can get. He fights for liberty and nothing else, and hits on every woman he meets. oh and his hideout tends to be in brothels.
As for the story… and this is where I feel the game actually hit spot on for me. But again how the game is paced could turn off people. Basically they are the knights of the round table and because of a magic bottle of black water they have lived longer then natural. They are charged with killing werewolves, Lycan or half breeds, and generally protecting the Queen and Kingdom. Now the story goes that they are sent off the try and stop a rebellion in Whitechapel the famous seedy area of all games, stories, and movies that take place in the late 1900’s. While they “investigate” really kill a lot of rebels, they learn that there are half breeds with them, and that means they must go and fuck them up. As they investigate they start to pull more and more of a conspiracy apart as they start to wonder why are the rebels and half breeds linked and so forth. Without spoiling they mystery, I’ll simply say I was totally curious the whole way through, and this is some ways is why I think the game gets such bad reviews. As the games story and mysteries build, the game settles the main arc and ends. Quite powerfully, but on such a huge sequel bait ending that for some it might make them crazy. For me… I’m honestly very mixed, I felt the ending made sense, considering where it was leading is definitely into another full game if they followed it fully, yet at the same time, it could have been wrapped up if they wanted too. But at last, they didn’t and we’re left with this big, ‘Oh… it ended. Shit what happens next fuckers’ kind of feeling.
Graphics are something that I feel i should mention but I wont go into details cause eveyone else has, and simply say “wow, it’s purdy.”
Gameplay on the other hand is made up of a few elements. Now to sum them up, basically all of them are there to make the story feel interactive, but are always at the mercy of the story. Nothing is more complex then they need to be, or more non linear unless the story benefits from a digression… and lets be honest it never really did.
Gun play in the game works like a very traditional cover based shoot, and no they aren’t the shortest things around… most of the time as many reviews that only played a few minutes will say. They can take a good amount of time as you clear out whole libraries, or blimps, but they are in most cases as linear as they get. Think Call of Duty or really any other corridor shooter out there and you get the idea. Fuck even Uncharted 1, 2, and abyss in many ways is a corridor shooter, so don’t ruffle your feathers. The bigger problem is in the enemy AI, they are really simple. They act like gophers popping their heads out for easy head shots or running right at you. As for enemy types you get about 4, plus a few different weapon types thrown in there.
Gun fights with the Half Breeds on the other hand is an enterally different experience. It’s usually in an open area that allows you run and dodge as the beast basically bull charge you over and over, giving you little option but to roll out of the way, or get mulled. And in many way the highlights of the experience. My only problem with it was that they weren’t more complex. Like having them move through tunnels or on the ceiling, they always just ran straight at you. with the right timing and weapons I could take each one out pretty quickly when i learned their patters by the end.
As for the weapons they are mostly your standard shooter weapon with a steam punk look, but there are two notables the Ark gun, shoots a electric bolt from the hip and pops whatever it hits. And then the thermite gun. after i figured out how to light people on fire with it i found it to be a great fun. Oh and you can only carry one big weapon and one pistol size weapon at a time. Found that annoying but again seems standard in most shooters these days.
Now the next gameplay part is QTEs and these strange wiggle parts. Now QTEs are used in combat as well as dialogs. In combat it works out to be nothing new and often is simply a few button presses before you kung fu everyone to death. But there are a few examples of it really working out well, the first boss battle is done in a kind of QTE with the ability to choose when to move. Basically your going hand to hand against a half breed and your like boxers circling each other. when he attacks you have to swipe the R3 to dodge and when you attack you press R2 or L1 depending on what you want to do. Now the first time I did this it totally enthralled me, and i really liked that i didn’t auto die when I fucked up, but would die after I got hit enough. As all good things there comes a second time, during the later part of the game this exact QTE thing comes up again, but instead of being exciting like it first was it was boring cause I already knew of it worked, taking all the dread out of the whole encounter.
The other part is the wiggle game, simply the game has you pick up an objects and you wiggle them, i think its so you get a good looking at what your holding, but the first time as with the other QTE thing is find but after the 50s thing you wiggle it get tiring. and in most cases theres no point, not even to find the secret switch or something. you just wiggle them about. strangely not tied to the 6 axis in the controller.
On the note, this is one Playstation exclusive that other then it being an exclusive would never look like one. It never uses the PS4 exclusive features. Touch pad does didily shit,nor does the controller speaker do squat. Its very strange and when you find Audio logs which are kind of really boring in the first place, I can’t listen to them while I continue wandering around the area, I have to open the menu and listen to them there just looking at the text on the screen. Oh and one more complaint, when I pick up a news paper I have to try and read the text off the paper Grey’s holding. Looks pretty, but man thats some fucking small text.
My Summary is simple, it a game that has a good story, is about 8 hours long, and has all it’s mechanics built to service the story. Now if your like me and your from the generation that didn’t get dialog choice but simple watched away as my game went on like in Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy then you’ll probably be fine as long as your not expecting a shooter experience. I read one critic say this game is a launch title that is 15 months late, and I’d kind of agree, but add that it’s at least a full game, unlike most launch titles like Killzone Shadow Fall. And I will most likely be picking up the sequel when ever that gets released.
PS this game might be 8 hours long but I chewed through it, while at the same time I been playing Evil Within and I’m only 5 hours in and really not sure if I’ll finished it. It’s so Boring.