A VERY TALL OR­DER

The Or­der: 1886

GAX (Malaysia) - - REVIEW - by PeterChu

LON­DON, REIMAG­INED

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.

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