It’s just as the prophecy (read: that notorious YouTube walkthrough) foretold – Ready at Dawn’s The Order: 1886 can indeed be beaten in an afternoon.
Every critic has now had their say on how they feel about the game’s length, and a fair few felt that it’s still worth considering despite being short.
“Yes, it’s pretty short. Yes, it’s pretty linear. But the varied action is great, the visuals peerless and production values off the charts. In terms of a pure showcase for what PS4 can really do, look no further” said Play before handing out 81% – one of the higher scores being bandied about.
On the opposite end of the scale we have a 4/10 from The Metro, who described it as a “a dull, aimless Gears Of War clone”. Worryingly, that 4/10 isn’t the lowest score Sony’s exclusive has received – Digital Trends branded it “a turgid mess” and a “terrible game”.
The Metacritic currently stands at 65%, formed of 46 reviews. That puts it between fellow first-party offerings Knack (54%) and Killzone: Shadow Fall (73%).
Here’s a review round-up:
95% – GamingTrend: “Literally no game has ever looked this good. It’s strange to even write that, but The Order: 1886 raises the bar so far above its contemporaries that it stands in a class by itself. Joined by a soundtrack that perfects the mood, The Order is a cinematic masterpiece”
86% – Canadian Gamers Online: “The Order: 1886 is not a perfect game by any stretch but it certainly wasn’t deserving of the early criticism it received. Now that the release is finally here and you can play through the whole game yourself you’ll find that despite some very minor misses in gameplay, Ready at Dawn sets a very high bar in terms of both presentation and story offering up one of the best experiences to date on your PS4”
81% – Play: “Yes, it’s pretty short. Yes, it’s pretty linear. But the varied action is great, the visuals peerless and production values off the charts. In terms of a pure showcase for what PS4 can really do, look no further”
8/10 – Shacknews: “The Order: 1886 feels like the perfect balance between story, gameplay, and atmosphere as Ready at Dawn has struck gold with its first attempt at an original IP. There may not be much to do after the credits begin to roll, but once they do, you’ll be met with a unique story told within an absolutely gorgeous game”
7.75 – GameInformer: “1886 goes against the current tide of open-world wandering and emergent sequences, and banks on the idea that players can enjoy a straightforward and relatively brief cinematic adventure – if it’s well told and original. I hope Ready At Dawn is right; I’d love to see what happens in 1887”
7.5/10 – God is a Geek: “Whether or not you consider a six hour campaign value for money (regardless of its quality) is down to personal preference, and it’s your money at the end of the day, but it would be a shame if Ready at Dawn suffered unfairly for a crime no greater than focusing on the plot and the characters, and producing a game that’s the very definition of “all killer, no filler”. You’ll make up your own mind, of course, but The Order: 1886 left its mark on me deeply, and I can’t wait to return to Ready at Dawn’s dark, forbidding London”
70/100 – GamesBeat: “I should make it very clear that I did enjoy my time with it. I didn’t want to put the controller down because Ready at Dawn did such an exquisite job of doling out the action. And that, combined with its decent concept, story, and gameplay, would’ve been enough a long time ago. But in 2015 it left me feeling discontent”
7/10 – TheSixthAxis: “The Order: 1886 features a wonderfully crafted and realistic alternate history setting with the greatest visuals and production values so far on the PS4. While the first half or so of the story really works, it’s let down by the final few hours, which abandon things shouting out to be explored in favour of introducing forced plot points which do the world and the main cast a disservice. Despite that, the gunplay is a lot of fun and it’s not a bad story overall, just one which could’ve been far better”
6.5 – The Jimquisition: “The sequel that Ready At Dawn is so desperately gunning for has a wonderful stage set, and I have a feeling it will be pure dynamite. When it comes, this will look even more like what it is – a sacrifice of a game, thrown out and burned simply to allow the real show to begin”
65% – IGN: “Though a stylish adventure, The Order: 1886 emphasizes its cinematic polish at the crippling cost of gameplay freedom”
6/10 – VideoGamer: “The Order is a beautiful dud. Instead of building the core mechanics and then wrapping everything else around it, instead it appears Ready at Dawn made a movie and wondered how to put a game into it. By all accounts it still hasn’t worked it out”
6/10 – Destructoid: “Outside of the sleek presentation and interesting world building, there’s nothing truly special aboutThe Order: 1886. It’s a shame in many ways, because I’d love to see a more tactical style of gameplay in line with Valkyria Chronicles, or a more in-depth game in general using the same engine and lore. I sincerely hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this universe, but for now, it’s only worth visiting once, briefly”
5.5 – Polygon: “Though it nails some of the fundamentals, The Order: 1886 has been released without answering the essential question of what it offers that other games aren’t already doing better. Everything about the game’s final shot screams “sequel set up,” but unless The Order finds some non-aesthetic reasons to justify its existence, it’s hard to imagine coming back for a second adventure”
2.5/5 – GamesRadar: “It might sound an odd comparison, but when playing through The Order, I found it impossible not to think of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1988 comedy classic, Twins. In the film, Arnie’s character, Julius, is a genetically engineered super man, a refined, improved version of humanity intended as a shining blueprint for the future. But he is born alongside an unexpected twin brother, Vincent, played by Danny DeVito, who exhibits none of Julius’ carefully chosen qualities. If The Last of Us – with its intelligent, progressive, resonating, modern interactive narrative design – is Julius, then The Order, with its dated, automated, uninvolving delivery of similarly epic aspiration is – as a scientist bluntly describes DeVito at one point in the film – ‘all the crap that was left over’. Still, at least it looks really nice”
5/10 – GameSpot: “What, then, to make of The Order: 1886? It is, at best, perfectly playable, and lovely to look at and listen to. But it is also the face of mediocrity and missed opportunities. A bad game can make a case for itself. A boring one is harder to forgive”
4.5/10 – EGM: “The Order: 1886 is a paper-thin PS4 launch title delivered 15 months behind schedule. It’s nowhere near as profound or innovative as it thinks it is—the epitome of all style and no substance”
2/5 – GiantBomb: “There are things here worth checking out, but the action feels half-cocked and you’ll be finished with it in an afternoon. I won’t pretend to guess at how much $60 means to you, dear reader, but I will say that The Order is a middling experience with a couple of bright flashes that only serve to remind you that this could be a more interesting game if more of its ideas were fully formed. If you’re bent on seeing The Order for yourself, you should probably rent it”
4/10 – The Metro: “Beneath the technical wonder this is just a dull, aimless Gears Of War clone – where the attempts at storytelling are just as boring and lifeless as the action”
1/5 – Digital Trends: “The Order: 1886 is a terrible game. Not because it’s broken or made without skill. Certainly not because it’s an average-length, story-driven shooter with minimal replay value. It’s just a bad game, forgettable in every conceivable way and safely ignored by all but the most ardent Trophy hunters”
Shame Blockbuster isn’t around anymore, eh?