5 things that would have made The Order 1886 a better game

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Today we’re all playing The Order… but we can’t help but be a little underwhelmed. Here’s 5 ways the game could have been made better.

1) More interaction

The Order’s big boast is that it is a hugely cinematic game. Not only does it have the best visuals we’ve seen yet on a console, but it blends cutscenes with action seamlessly – so much so that I was caught out a few times waiting for a cut scene to happen. And to underscore the cinematic qualities, it clamps two great big black-bars to the top and bottom of the screen, so you play in a more cinematic aspect ratio.

There’s just one problem with this: There just isn’t very much to do. Apart from fighting sequences, literally everything else is a handful of quicktime events. Exploration is limited to only a handful of things – and the closest thing you have to making exciting action happen is a “turn this piece of paper over” button.

There’s also a huge over-reliance on quick time events. In ‘stealth’ sections you have to simply hit Triangle at the right moment or you’re sent back to the beginning. How about, y’know, letting me improvise using the controller to fight my way out of situations like that?

Can we have some more to do in The Order 1887 please?

2) More variety

Maybe I’m expecting too much, but I didn’t feel to compelled to keep playing through the game. It was simply wave after wave of bad guys to shoot, or slower walking about. Don’t get me wrong, the mechanics were sound, but it just felt a bit… lacking.

3) No Lockpicking Simulator

I hate lockpicking simulators. There’s no need for them, and it is simply lazy to contrive some sort of mini-game. Just let me in the damn door, or find a more interesting way through.

4) Longer story

Perhaps the biggest criticism of the game is that it is just too short – with reports of plays coming in at around 5 hours to complete the game. “Ah, but there’s nothing wrong with short games!” people rightly say. Well yes, but it would still be nice to get a bit more play time for your money, right?

5) Less hype

Perhaps what has killed the buzz for The Order though has been the hype. When all we had was screenshots and video to go on, it was perhaps easy to get excited – and Sony’s marketing machine was cranked up to eleven offering a special Collector’s Edition of the game and a marketing blitz. So putting the disc into the console for the first time, it is perhaps not surprising that expectations were high.

Perhaps it would have been smarter to downplay the release a little, and let hype grow organically. Have people pick it up when the price drops a little, and then recommend it to friends as an interesting experience. But then again, perhaps the economics of modern games development don’t allow for word of mouth.

James O’Malley