Now Playing: The Order – 1886 (2015)

Oh, The Order. That game that you always see in bargain bins everywhere, with a horrible reputation, yet it has such an interesting looking setting and plot and such nice graphics…how bad could it be? Well…it’s not BAD, there are even moments when it’s very fun, but holy shit is this game full of flaws.

The Order is kind of a clone of Gears of War, and it actually succeeds very well in the department of combat, except it bafflingly hates to let you actually participate in much of it. This game is actually quite fun when the damn thing lets you play it, but it’s just sooooo packed full of meandering, sightseeing filler, and I’m not even talking about the piles and piles of cutscenes, I mean the absolutely ridiculous amount of forced slow-walking segments that end up making up the majority of the game.

This game really doesn’t know what it wants to be either. Is it a Gears of War clone? Is it a Telltale/Heavy Rain style interactive movie? Wait, is it trying to be like a Tomb Raider/Assassin’s Creed game here with the brief and overly basic wall climbing and stealth segments? What’s with all the half-baked time-wasting mini-games?? And the story…oh fuck, the story…

You see a lot of people complain about the length of this game, but I figured, no, it can’t be so bad, games can be really short and still be really good, right? Yes, but it’s not the length itself that’s the problem here, it’s the context of that length. What I mean is if this 8-10 hour game had a lot more actual gameplay and a full, conclusive story, I’d be just fine with that, but that isn’t the case here. In The Order you spend almost the whole game trying to unravel the secret conspiracy and reveal the true enemy that’s behind it all (all of which is actually incredibly predictable and derivative, but anyway…), and then right when you finally find out who’s behind it and what they’re really planning, that’s it, it’s over. There is no final confrontation with the big bad villain. There is no resolution of the situation at all. It was all nothing but buildup for future sequels that are never going to happen. What a punch in the dick.

I got the damn thing on sale for only $5 so I don’t feel TOO terrible about spending the brief amount of time on it, but I sure wouldn’t ever recommend it to anyone. It’s nothing but a tease, promising an epic adventure in a beautiful world, but in the end, it’s nothing but a clumsy first chapter to a big book that no one’s ever going to finish.

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