A VERY TALL ORDER
The Order: 1886
As far as aesthetics goes, you could say that The Order: 1886 has that aspect beautifully taken care of by its amazing graphics and the immaculately detailed depiction of a steampunk London. As a matter of fact, the game even comes complete with a cinematic aspect ratio of 2:40:1 – similar to what you will find in movies – to further emphasize the artistic elements of the game. Good intentions, but this brings about the presence of a significantly sized black bar occupying the top and bottom of the screen, which completely undermines the overall beauty of the game.
What’s the point of going the extra mile to create a game that looks flawlessly beautiful when the black bars are only going to obstruct and limit the players’ field of vision? I want to be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the game, and not be teased by it. Yes, one can always look around by rotating the camera angle with the right analog stick, but we found that doing so every time we progressed into a new area of the game would only incur a headache from the incessant spinning of the camera.
SLOW AND STEADY Don’t expect to play through The Order: 1886 with guns constantly blazing, as the game – for all intents and purposes – feels painfully slow, primarily due to the game’s strange preference for only allowing your character to walk (at a snail’s pace, no less) instead of run most of the time. Then there is also an overload of lengthy cutscenes abruptly interrupting your gameplay whenever they could. Of course, the technical explanation is that these moments are meant to mask the load times. It didn’t take long for these rampantly reoccurring interjections to make us lose our patience and frantically mash at random buttons in attempt to skip them and get back into the actual gameplay – but to no avail.
Combat mechanics leave much to be desired as well. Gun battles heavily rely on the act of covering when you are being shot at, and popping out to return fire when the coast is clear. This rinse-and-repeat method of combat feels very mechanical, and becomes dreary as the game progresses. Like with most games these days, The Order: 1886 also uses the controversial self-regenerating health system. So if you do get injured, stay low behind cover until the screen stops pulsing in a shade of red and you’re good to go.