Sony has been struggling to release first party console exclusives since their PS4 came out . While the Wii U unleashed a ton of first party games last year and the Xbox One followed with a handful of their own, Sony has been content to sit back and just put out third party multi-platform games and previously released, albeit awesome, indie games. This could be to blame for the ground it lost in the sales war with Microsoft, although the steep price cut of the competing console is the more likely culprit. Sony hopes to turn things around in 2015 with a slew of PS4 exclusives with the first being The Order: 1886. Because of the importance surrounding the success of Sony’s first party games, we here at The Dadcade are giving it our game of the month nod for February.
The Order: 1886 takes place in, you guessed it, 1886, except with a bit of a twist. This is an alternate timeline 1886 where Victorian London is a steampunk cosplayer’s dream come true. Guns and mechanical contraptions are plentiful and the scenery is bleak and foreboding. But don’t let that turn you off, the visuals in this game and downright gorgeous. With The Order, Sony is hoping to blur the lines between game and cinematic experience. The gameplay will focus on third person cover based shooting with special focus paid to fancy gadgets that the Knights will use. The weapons and gadgets you will be using will range from the standard (shotguns and rifle style weapons) to some more…unique design choices. With your team of Knights supporting you throughout the campaign, you can except a variety of missions to come up where you’ll both be alone and with allies as you battle the half-breed humans throughout London.
Based on previews from those who were able to play a preview build of the game, Sony seems to have largely hit the mark with the goal of making an incredibly beautiful story driven game. Unfortunately, it seems that gameplay may take a hit because of it (at least in the preview builds presented to some members of the press.) Similar to complaints made against Ryse on the Xbox One, The Order sounds like it’s a game with amazing visuals, but very shallow gameplay. The combat, while reportedly being serviceable, doesn’t do much to set itself apart from other games like it. With the beautiful visual and the interesting story plot, it would be a shame to see the game fall flat in the gameplay department, but until the game is released, we’ll just have to wait and see. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how The Order can stand out among the other third person shooters on the market while also offering the solid story the writers so desperately want to tell.
The story in The Order: 1886 focuses on a group of “Knights” who are tasked to fight back against “Half-breeds”, genetically de-evolved humans who are at war with humans proper. As Sir Galahad, you will take the fight to the enemy with the help of a strange liquid called “Blackwater” which will help you heal your wounds and supernaturally extends your lifespan. With the help of mechanical weapons and supernatural devices at your disposal, your battle will take you across Victorian Era London where you must quell a rebellion that is underway against the oppressive Order you are apart of. You’ll have companions along the way to help and the game looks like it will offer some excellent character building around the different group members. With the top notch visuals, and a reported excellent story waiting, I’m excited to see where the writers decide to take this game.
As touched on earlier, the major complaint so far has been the gameplay. I haven’t played it myself, but while doing research for this post I constantly came across other sites talking about the subpar and, on some pages, downright boring gameplay in The Order. The Order is a third person cover based shooter with a ton of quick time events thrown in. For a story based game, quick time events can work, if done right. Overuse of the mechanic to tell a story is tiresome but if spread out enough can be bearable. As a big fan of story games, I’m able to look past a lot of gameplay issues if the story is worth being experienced. Hopefully the initial impressions on the gameplay aren’t indicative of the entire game. Only about an hour of the game proper was presented to the press and if you’ve been around the game world for a while – a demo doesn’t represent the entire game. We’ll just have to wait and see how the game plays when it releases later this month.
With the other consoles on the market releasing first party exclusives and building their library, The Order: 1886 is a very important game for Sony to get right. This game was announced with the PS4 a couple years ago and blew people away with it’s visuals. We know the game is going to be a looker, but is the gameplay going to be fun? Sony sure hopes so as they have put a ton of money into the game and the marketing team has been stepping up to advertise this to anyone who will listen. 2015 is a big year for Sony as they need to get more exclusives under their belt. The Order is the first of many, and to an extent, is the biggest in their arsenal. If The Order is a success, Sony can relax a bit and rely on it’s successes to carry their console into the later parts of 2015. But on the other hand, if it’s not a success, Sony will need to make sure the games they release later this year can match up against the first party exclusives on other consoles. Sony has the tech in their systems, now they need the games – and hopefully The Order: 1886 is the first of many great exclusives for the PS4.
The Order: 1886 releases on the PS4 later this month on February 20th.