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The Order: 1886, once poised to be the breakthrough hit of the PlayStation 4, recently came under fire days before it's official release. A YouTube member, who had somehow acquired a leaked copy of the game, recently put the entire game up as a Let's Play series of videos; while this was shocking in and of itself, the real shock came from the game's playtime: just over five hours. In the days leading up to the release of the game, fans found themselves questioning if the game is worth it despite the short length, and sadly the answer is a resounding no.

Is it solely due to the short length of the game? Not necessarily. If The Order: 1886 was a masterpiece of a game, cramming in the most spectacular advancements seen in gaming in only six hours, it would still likely be praised. However, where The Order: 1886 falters is that half of those six hours are cutscenes: That's right, for half of the game you won't even be playing it. Not to mention that those three hours of gameplay are interspersed with quick-time events, or QTEs, further decreasing the actual gameplay time. To make matters worse, the cutscenes tell a boring story, interspersed with bad voice acting and a story that ends on a cliffhanger. What's worse than a short game? One that doesn't even give the player a proper resolution.

How is the actual gameplay? Excellent... if the game released ten years ago. The Order: 1886 is a third-person shooter, one where you walk down linear hallways and shoot enemies as they pop up. Enemies always appear in the same place at the same time, there is no artificial intelligence to speak of, and the enemy types are extremely limited. In fact, the boss battle at the end of the game is just a repeat of the boss battle from the very beginning. If you've played any third-person shooter at all such as Gears of War, you know what to expect from The Order: 1886, but in this case you're just getting the bare minimum with no new gameplay elements to speak of. With no multiplayer and no “New Game +” option available, there is no replayability once you've completed the story: This is strictly a “one-and-done” affair.

The Order: 1886 does have one thing going for it: the graphics. The graphics are easily some of the best you'll find on the PlayStation 4 and look absolutely stunning. However, the game features black bars on the top and bottom of the screen that are a nuisance, due in part to the developer wanting to invoke a “cinematic” feel to the game. Perhaps The Order: 1886 would have been better off as a CG movie, as that was clearly the developer's intent. When playing the game, you'll get the feeling that gameplay was added as an afterthought, almost like the developer remembered at the last second that they were in fact making a video game and not a movie. It's style over substance, except in this scenario, there isn't enough style to make it worth your time.

When The Order: 1886 releases on February 20th, 2015 on the PlayStation 4, hold onto your $60; you're better off waiting until the game has a price drop to $18.86 before picking it. If you're really wanting to check it out despite its flaws, do yourself a favor and rent it.


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