North Texas Daily

The Dose: ‘The Order: 1886’ lycans itself to film

The Dose: ‘The Order: 1886’ lycans itself to film

The Dose: ‘The Order: 1886’ lycans itself to film
March 16
13:11 2015

Nicholas Friedman / Features Editor

Ever since games discovered the third dimension, they’ve been compared to and stacked up against films. Games like “Journey,” “Heavy Rain” and “The Last of Us” sacrifice traditional gameplay mechanics for a movie-like experience, and it works, but some games face criticism for this. The Playstation 4-exclusive “The Order: 1886,” an ambitious first home console outing for Ready At Dawn Studios, faces such criticism, offering one-part gameplay for two-parts narrative.

Story

Similar to that of the recently released “Kingsman” film, The Order places you in the shoes of Sir Galahad, a knight of the round table, with your gauntlet passed down from generation to generation following King Arthur’s original knights. The knights are bonded by Blackwater, a potion that combines water from the “holy grail” with the blood of the knight, and this allows the knights to heal and live beyond that of a normal human (most knights live hundreds of years because of this).

Galahad, along with mentor Perceval, mentee Isabeau and LaFayette, a frenchman with passions for liberty and freedom, are tasked with fighting the rebellious forces in London and the lycans, a half-breed race of human wolves that hide in plain sight.

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Throughout the game, a conspiracy is discovered involving the lycans, the rebellion, the knights and the East India Company’s trade plans. Through a tightly-woven, sometimes slow narrative, the player becomes enveloped in each of the character’s and their progression. You feel for Galahad’s betrayel, Isabeau’s worry, and LaFayette’s hilarious quips. This is big-budget film quality development, but it’s dragged down by pace.

Gameplay

This is and isn’t your typical third-person shooter, marrying the cover system of “Gears of War” with the float of something like “Uncharted.” The mechanics are simple: take cover, shoot some redcoats. Take cover, shoot some rebels.

Then, there are the werewolf fights, which are the best and worst parts of the game. Some encounters, and there are only three or four throughout the game’s six-hour story, will have you ducked in a corner where you empty clips into a lycan one-by-one and then deal a finishing blow. These often feel formulaic and if you’re caught looking for ammo thing will get frustrating very quickly.

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But these encounters will often lead to a one-on-one battle with a half-breed, and these are where the gameplay succeeds. You’ll dodge and essentially knife fight, timing your blows to cause the most damage, before taking down each lycan in a cinematic quick-time event. These aren’t drawn out, and kept the game from feeling stale.

Oh, can’t forget the weapons. The arsenal available in this game is actually designed by the character of Nikola Tesla, who makes his distaste for Mr. Edison evident in this game. From arc cannons that shoot electricity to thermite guns, there is a lot of variety and the alternate-historical ties make it interesting.

The gameplay is simple, but wholly playable, if only a tad slow.

The verdict

Unless you’re a perfectionist, there isn’t much of a reason to play this game after the credits roll for the first time. Overall, the game utilizes some of the best motion capture technology in the industry to make you feel for it’s characters, and ties it together with typical gunplay.

The story was short, but fulfilling. This cinematic experience is not unlike seeing a film, but it’ll cost you $60 as opposed to $6, and that may hold some buyers back.

Should you buy “The Order: 1886”?

TheDoseSays

Played through the story on Medium difficulty and collected 1/3 of the collectibles.

Images courtesy of Playstation and Ready At Dawn Studios.

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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