They say you should never judge a book by its cover. Though if you’ve been caught up with the hype surrounding The Order: 1886 and its glorious visuals, I’m not surprised. The Order really does look like you’re playing a movie. In the first moments of my demo I didn’t even realise it was my turn to control.
Set in a steampunk Victorian London, The Order presents a reality where advanced technology is used to battle ancient evil, and from what we’ve seen so far a Werewolf is part of that evil. Playing as Galahad, a member of an elite order of Knights, you work with your team and progress through the campaign with typical third-person action.
Akin to most third-person shooters, during the demo I was tasked with jumping from cover and popping off enemies left, right and centre. As I advanced through the gritty streets of London, I began to realise how well crafted the design was. Living only a short train ride away from the city in real life, I’m happy with the developer’s alternate portrayal. It’s full of atmosphere, and that goes a long way to help put some meat on this shooters’ bones.
Of course what would this game be without its wide array of steampunk weaponry? I only had a few items at my disposal during the short demo, but alongside the usual pistol, I also managed to fire the Thermite Rifle. Enabling me to shroud my enemies in a club of flammable dust, the Thermite Rifle could then ignite the cloud with its flare mechanism. It proved useful against larger sets of enemies and helped me progress in style.
Despite being fun, by the time my demo had finished I felt as though I’d hardly done anything. Sure, I managed to get in a few head shots and cause some explosions, but with plenty of cutscenes and linear level design, I might as well have been watching a movie and shouting directions at the actors.
The Order is a very pretty game, but its gameplay looks set to let it down. When all is said and done, I’d still be happy to play through what will probably be a linear, movie-like video game, but I doubt that the rest of the public will be so kind.