Despite the undeniably divisive reviews, it should still come as no surprise that this week the PS4A team’s most played game was PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886, which comfortably dominated all other games, including fellow new arrival Dead or Alive 5: Last Round.
Predictably, this week has seen me travel back in time to 1886. Before we get into how good or bad The Order is, let’s take a moment to appreciate the superb quality of the Blackwater Edition. The box it all comes in is luxurious. The vial pendant is excellent, the character cards and postcards are nicely done, the stickers are decent, and the fabric patches are fantastic – really high quality. Along with behind-the-scenes DLC, the soundtrack, and some nice additional costumes, I think the collector’s edition is superb (see image below).
Now, how is the game? There has been a lot of commentary about The Order: 1886 online. Much of it is accurate. Others have gone for the ‘clickbait’ route and spouted sheer nonsense to get more traffic. The reality of the situation is this. Graphically, it is glorious. So many incredible touches and a quality you don’t see every day. The gameplay is fairly solid, to be honest – apart from some odd AI choices. The problem with The Order is that all of this was ‘new’ several years ago, and it doesn’t move third-person shooters forward in the slightest. The plot and story? They’re OK, but I’m four chapters in and can pretty much already tell exactly how this is going to pan out. Some of the plot choices are a little lazy, but it isn’t the heinous, hideous, disastrous effort some reviewers would have you believe. It just isn’t that new.
That’s the biggest issue with The Order. Glorious graphics and visuals aside, we’re seeing nothing new here. Sure, and as with seemingly all titles these days, there are some silly little bugs. But unlike Driveclub or AC: Unity, these bugs don’t break the game. They just raise a mild smirk or a tiny ‘grimace of slight annoyance’. Otherwise, it is an enjoyable romp so far, and I’m actually enjoying it more than I thought I would, given the barrage of negativity online before I picked up my collector’s edition. My biggest gripe is the lack of any multiplayer. Even 4-player co-op would have sufficed. Despite it not being a disaster, that omission does limit the game’s lifetime, which is a shame.
Like DolphGB I too have been living in 1886 and am working my way through The Order. I completely agree with his assessment of the game so far. The graphics are amazing, while the story could have used a little more attention. In all honesty, it reminds me of a Naughty Dog game. Give Ready At Dawn a few more console titles under their belt, and I foresee them being just as good as the Uncharted developers. They didn’t need to reinvent the wheel with their first PS4 game.
I also agree that the game could have used something more to extend its replayability. While I don’t think multiplayer was necessary, the game basically screams for players to be able to play as the other three Knights; Sir Perceval, Lady Igraine, and Lafayette. Since the story often has you splitting up, it would have been cool to be able to play the same events from the other characters’ perspective. It’s a missed opportunity.
Other than that, I’m still enjoying my time with The Order: 1886 and have a little bit left of the story to complete. Then there’s the matter of going back and finding all the remaining collectables and trophies.
I’ve spent many hours gaming this week, mainly with fighting games! You can read my thoughts on Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late, a phenomenal 2D fighter, which has the honour of having the highest score that I’ve given a game on PS4 Attitude so far. I’ve unlocked all gallery items, finished every single arcade route and am playing the other modes, and it’s just so much fun.
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart has been eating up my time too, and it’s a fantastic instalment in one of my favourite series. I won’t speak much about Dragon Ball XenoVerse yet as the review for it will go live later this week, but a game I can say I’m enjoying is Dead or Alive 5: Last Round; there are a few teething problems and it’s not quite been a smooth launch, but it’s an easily accessible fighting game with an innovative counter system. It also jiggles a lot.
I’ve been playing Fantasy Hero on Vita which is pretty fun too, although it’s not really standing out to me. It doesn’t do anything wrong but it doesn’t excel in any area either. I need to return to a few games including Diablo III, Alien Isolation and LittleBigPlanet 3 but there are just so many games to play right now and, as everyone knows, I’m partial to my Japanese games. Speaking of which, I’ll be playing a lot of The Guided Fate Paradox to prepare myself for next month’s sequel!
Finally, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls got announced earlier this week so I’m itching to replay the first two games. I am so ready for it!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; as time goes on, review scores are playing less and less of a role in determining which games I purchase. The Order: 1886 may not be absolutely perfect (show me a game that is), but how any self-respecting journalist can give it a 1/5 verdict, I have no idea.
I’m a big fan of cinematic games like Beyond: Two Souls, and The Order is going for a very similar style but with third-person shooting thrown into the mix. Far from boring, I personally find the gameplay extremely enjoyable, as it is difficult to predict exactly what you’ll be doing next. Then of course you have the visuals, which are nothing short of incredible; and I’m not just talking about the graphics themselves, but also the animations, lighting, and the insane amount of little details in the world. If you enjoy games made by Quantic Dream or Telltale, my advice is to ignore The Order’s critical reception and give it a purchase. You almost certainly won’t regret it.
Whenever I wasn’t playing The Order, the chances are I was on Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. If I’m honest, it’s not quite as much of a step up from DOA5 Ultimate as I was hoping for (particularly in regard to the visuals), and it also would’ve been nice if all of the old cross-buy DLC was available on day one. However, I’ve still sunk a huge amount of time into it already, and it should easily tide me over until the next DOA game (which hopefully won’t have the number ‘5’ in!).