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The Curious Mystery of The Order: 1886 - Where's the Hype Train?

The Order: 1886 is as exciting as it is perplexing.

When one does a Google Image search for “The Order: 1886,” the lack of image variety is almost staggering.

A couple gameplay screen-grabs here, a wallpaper there, with a few facial modeling engine pictures sprinkled about for good measure. It’s truly hard to know what exactly this game is. With a trailer and a gameplay reveal being released in the last 24 hours, we now have our second and third official looks at the fall blockbuster exclusive for the shiny, new Playstation 4. That’s it. 

In viewing the trailer, I got instant flashbacks to the cryptic Uncharted trailer shown in November.

I am excited for The Order: 1886 because it’s a major exclusive on the $400 console I happily purchased, not because of the hypothetical blood of some mysterious covenant being spilled onto parchment.

There was a bunch of deep, metaphorical mumbo-jumbo about how there was an uprising against an organization (presumably The Order).

There was talk of darkness and light.

Oh and there was blood too. but that’s about it.

I tend not to put any weight into game trailers (with exception being the standard, bass-infused epilepsy party in the last ten seconds) because they always seem to spend two minutes talking about nothing. I am excited for The Order: 1886 because it’s a major exclusive on the $400 console I happily purchased, not because of the hypothetical blood of some mysterious covenant being spilled onto parchment.

Third person action is one of my favorite genres, and for this I will give The Order: 1886 a chance, but I still have absolutely no idea what this game is about.

I love third person action games. They have an omniscient feel to them, like you are manipulating someone’s actions. The cutscenes don’t feel out of place because of a sudden jump from first to third person perspective. If I’m experiencing something firsthand in the gameplay, why would I be witnessing something from the outside during the non-playable aspects of the game? Third person action is one of my favorite genres, and for this I will give The Order: 1886 a chance, but I still have absolutely no idea what this game is about.

Trying to explain the assumed plot of this game turns me into a nervous, bumbling fool almost instantly.

“Well you see, I think that you command this squad of people who slowed down their aging process (I think, maybe), allowing them to become super advanced or something. It’s in a steampunk-based 1886 London alternate history realm, but there are RPGs and futuristic machine guns. Or so I’ve heard. There’s a rebellion of some sort too, and the peasants are not pleased with something or other. Oh, and there are human-monster hybrid creatures too somewhere.”

The fact that there is still able to be so much mystery surrounding The Order: 1886 is as fantastic as it is concerning.

Seriously, I have no earthly idea what this game’s plot is going to entail. On one hand, that’s awesome. We live in a crazy time where any bit of information is instantly accessible at the touch of a button. My God of War 2 section of the aforementioned collection disc froze up, and I did not want to spend $10 on a PS2 game in 2014. In five minutes, I found every relevant plot detail I needed and was able to move onto God of War III without missing a beat. The fact that there is still able to be so much mystery surrounding The Order: 1886 is as fantastic as it is concerning.

When it was revealed that the (insane) original trailer for the game was running in the game’s engine, my initial thoughts were “Okay, take my dollars please.”

I wouldn’t say I’m a graphics snob (30 FPS, 60 FPS, 1080p, 900p, I don’t care), but it’s 2014, and I like my games to look damn good. Whether that’s the gorgeous background art of Rayman: Legends, the simplistic yet beautiful color palette of Spelunky, or (what I consider to be the most mind-bending graphical experience I’ve encountered) that insane flyover of Vekta City in Killzone: Shadow Fall, I want to play eye-pleasing games. In regards to this, The Order: 1886 has the potential to be the best-looking console game of all time.

But dive a little further into the gameplay trailer, and you’ll see some stuttery framerate grossness. I don’t care about a game having a specific framerate, but I don’t want to ever think about it during a game. In the moment, it breaks immersion, which is one of my favorite aspects of gaming. If The Order1886 is breathtakingly gorgeous, yet sputters in combat, that’s a damn big problem. 

I am extremely excited for this game, don’t get me wrong.

I love myself a crazy, convoluted, nonsensical plot (Metal Gear Solid 2 anyone?). I adore being blown away by the continual graphical progression of video games. The setting looks like one of the most unique in years. I just fear that the mystery behind The Order: 1886 might be because Ready at Dawn is hiding something from us, to which I say, “For shame.”

By: Matt Whittaker (thetrianglebutton.wordpress.com) (@MattTwittaker)

Published Feb. 18th 2014
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    I definitely understand what you're saying. It's frustrating when there isn't enough info out there for a game you REALLY want.

    But Sony tends to do this with their first-party software. They want it to hit big at a certain event, usually, like E3, GDC or TGS. I'm willing to bet The Order will be a huge highlight of Sony's press conference at this year's E3, for example.

    And they did just release a couple new trailers (one of which is gameplay). It's not quite enough, though, I know. But remember that this is also a brand new IP, and comparatively speaking, only a few people even have the PS4 right now. That contributes to the situation.

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