The discussion surrounding The Order: 1886 is the wrong one. Of course a site dedicated to single player games and the gamers who love them would defend a title that is unapologetically single player. It is in fact the most single player a campaign could BE: the kind that is linear and has no multiplayer tainting the focus of the developers on their vision. Yup, we defend that, but that shouldn’t affect the fact that an argument about the length of The Order: 1886 should be looked at skeptically by anyone.

Crazy figures came out early about length, such as 3 hours. Then a 5 hour run complete with cut scenes hit Youtube somehow and of course since a game that is not sandbox or open world must be mostly linear the public is seizing on the length to attack it. They must, it feels more tactile than the earlier attempt to smear it by labeling it generic. We all know that at this point the big TPS games function essentially the same with a few differences here and there. Now we have a hang for your buck argument to go on. Or at least, whoever wants this game to fail has such an argument. So why put it out there so vehemently?

That is the real argument to be had. Why has the public and press decided to deride this single player adventure from the word “go”? I’d like to believe it is for a typical idiotic reasons such as the color palette, a misunderstanding of the interface, the appearance of not bringing anything new, but when nobody is making those arguments one tends to get a little more cynical. I wonder if perhaps it has something to do with it being a boundary-pushing PS4 exclusive at a time when PS4 popularity is starting to be questioned by formerly quiet Microsoft die-hards.

The_Order_644_Frame_2864_1422884099-670x377
Maybe that’s too cynical, but gamers should be interested in this, not helping out with a hatchet job on it. Ready At Dawn brought us two fantastic God of War titles to Sony portable, ans now they are making a console debut with a bold new IP (something everyone claims to want). It isn’t as if they are a first party studio either, if a Ready At Dawn console debut goes well they could pull an Insomniac and develop for multiple platforms or just one Sony competitor.

On that note it does strike me as interesting that there was no concerted effort to smear Sunset Overdrive after a perceived defection by Insomiac.
The answers to all of these whys will likely never see the light of day now that things have gotten so dark. With all the negative headlines though, I think it’s safe to say the smear campaign has so far been successful. It has been said that there is no bad press since any press is product exposure but that may not pass muster after the sabotage we’ve seen for this promising single player shooter. The Order: 1886 is a toxic property for all the wrong reasons and we wonder what it would take to get it a fair shake again.

Thus Ready At Dawn finds itself in a position where its game needs to be received as well as The Last of Us to reverse course, but again now that the seeds of doubt are planted the game will likely face undue pressure to impress where others would have gotten a pass.

I am not deterred, it looks amazing, cinematic, atmospheric, and a little horrific. So this single player is on board right away. I hope there are more like me than it seems. New Ips should be given room to breathe and a chance to succeed on its own merits, not suffer from a pre-release hatchet job that poisons the well.
Were I to interview Ready At Dawn developers, I can think of dozens of questions I’d rather ask about The Order: 1886 than “How quickly could a person conceivably get through your game?”

[alert type=white ]Note: This is an opinion based editorial which expresses the author’s views, and as such does not represent the views of OnlySP as an organization.[/alert]

David D. Nelson
David D. Nelson is a polymath with a BA in English working as an independent writing and editing professional. He enjoys gaming, literature, and a good hat.

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22 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to play this game. Open world games all have the same generic looking city, the same repetitive fetch quests & timed runs. And a game like Evolve is of absolutely zero interest to me. I enjoy an on-rails, linear SP-only game. And under 10 hours please. If it’s fun, I’ll play it 3 – 4 times, getting plenty of bang for my buck. Why tear it down if it’s not your thing? Just don’t buy it. I hate open world games. I never bought GTAV. But I’m sure it’s a great game if you like that thing. I hate long games. I have zero interest in Dragon Age. But again, I’m sure it’s great if you enjoy the genre. The Order looks to be that perfect SP experience. I could be wrong, but like this article states, I’ve yet to read an argument in a review that says it’s anything but what I’m looking for. They seem to attack it for what it isn’t rather than what it is.

    1. I agree completely. To me the reason for all this hating on games is the preordering business. Everyone is in such a hurry to preorder these games expecting them to be the best thing ever and then they find out it’s not and they bash it only because they weren’t patient by waiting till the game has been released to then base their purchase on the actual contents of the game. Shit they review it by youtube footage they watched! Ridiculous!!!

  2. Games today get unfair criticism. I keep seeing people say, “This game is not worth $59.” That’s an incredible statement. I remember paying $40 – $50 for NES games way back in the 80s. Most of them were made by teams of less than 50 people, with no human actors, only one or two musicians playing synthesizer, and a handful of programmers. Today, games basically cost the same as they did 30 years ago (adjusted for inflation, maybe less!), and they use real actors, motion capture, full symphony orchestras, Hollywood caliber special effects, international teams of programmers, graphic designers, etc. A 90-minute movie on Blu-ray costs $25 – $30, and nobody is firing up the torches and pitchforks about that. So an interactive experience, with amazing visuals, sounds, and storytelling, that lasts (at least) 3 times as long, isn’t worth 60 bucks? I call BS. I’ll be playing it this weekend.

    1. Agreed. GameRevolution called out a site for pretty much saying the game was only worth $30. I feel like a lot of sites have begun pandering to their audiences, or let the controversy surrounding games cloud their judgments on their reviews. I have yet to play The Order, so I will not provide an opinion on it. But, looking back at a similar situation, Ryse, I really enjoyed the game for what it was, and not what it wasn’t. It was cinematic, had an actually OK story, and the graphics were stellar. I expect the same from The Order, but with a stronger story. I know going into the game that it’s linear, cinematic, has lots of QTE’s and is a “generic” third person shooter. How many “generic” third person shooters do we have, and how many have gotten 8 or 9 or 10s? How is The Order, generic, when Call of Duty is essentially the same every year with some new weapons, maps and a new story?

      I’m more worried about The Order achieving its vision, and if the developers achieved that, well, then the game did what it set out to do.

      1. But…but…but…in MW for can spend 1000 hours playing capture the flag while 13 year olds scream racial epithets.

  3. I could care less about how long it takes to complete. What DOES bother me is how they tried to bullshit the public and continue to do so with this “Cinematic vision” Crap. All they cared about is pushing out the next PS4 Showpiece.

    What the team IS getting a lot of flak for is the continuous spouting of flawed defensive statements. The more “Oh 30 fps is much better for the “Cinematic experience”, or “You’re all just big meanie-heads”, kind of statements they throw out, the more it introduces a breeding ground for negativity and doubt. Trust is a big thing in development. You betray that you get a LOT of shit for it.
    (Take H1z1’s first few days of release with the Pay2Win Debate for example)

    It makes you ask yourself “What else did they half-ass just to get Sony their ‘Precious’ Showpiece?”.

    (Maybe something like Recylced QTE’s and scenes? Or Black bars to introduce “Cinematic vision” when all it does is give the game less pixels to render?) That is just things at the surface. I can only imagine the corners they’ve cut to appease their Publisher Overlords.

    Judging a game by it’s length is fairly shallow. But, to say that is the only thing they are being criticized for is just flat out not the case. There are plenty of reasons people have a negative opinion on this game aside from Story length.

    1. But by all means, Don your tinfoil Hat. Of course it’s impossible for a game to get a bad Rep without Microsoft paying it off. Hell. They probably Paid me to write this, right?

      1. Nothing was said here to push the notion that Microsoft is doing anything to give this game a bad rep. There’s reasons all over for the game getting the rep that it has, just like Ryse did when it was coming out. Both games are fairly generic games with lots of QTE, one being on one platform and one on the other.

        The point this article is trying to make is how much people go out of their way to criticize games, instead of hoping a developer succeeds with a new IP so we don’t get cookie cutter games every year. Sure, The Order looks generic gameplay wise, the story may be short, but this isn’t the first game to have those same “issues”. It’s another case of a game being way overhyped, and overblown non-issues.

        1. Not even true… 90% of the QTEs in Ryse were optional, you didn’t have to do the finishing moves if you didn’t wan’t to and could just hack and slash all day long plus, your character got other more advanced (Non-QTE) moves with the leveling up.

          Also, the story in Ryse wasn’t historically accurate but, it was entertaining at least.

          As for being critical, I disagree, they should be chastised for trying to give people a game that is lacking for a premium price.

          1. Whether a story is good or not is subjective. I love the story. If you don’t enjoy werewolves and syfy, you won’t like it.

            I liked Ryse but I found it more repetitive than this game. But I find GoW repetitive.

          2. Maybe so but, Ryse boss fights were better than the Order in that they weren’t all QTE based.

            I , liked the order and Ryse but, some critiques are very true.

          3. You found God of War repetitive? *gasp* The blasphemy!

          4. The QTE’s were optional, but they also enhanced the gameplay . And why should RAD be chastised for delivering the product they set out to make? Sorry, but that’s really a narrow sighted thing to say.

            What about Heavy Rain? Beyond: Two Souls? I’d say both of those games offered even less in terms of gameplay when compared to The Order. And they were fantastic games at that, or should I say interactive entertainment experiences?

            RAD was pretty clear on how cinematic The Order is, so I don’t think they misled customers or over charged for the product. Just my opinion though.

          5. I don’t hate the Order, in fact I liked the game a lot but, the fact his, there is some truth to what I’ve said about the game.

            As for QTEs, I don’t mind them in moderation but, a lot of people do so, you have to tread lightly here.

    2. Again, not worth 60 bucks, stop defensively hyping.

      youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=d7ZXOtDKQXI

      1. Nothing in my post was defending This game. Unless you were replying to the person below me I suggest you read it again. I’m fine with a short game, so long as it isn’t washed out, recycled, and has anything remotely new or interesting beyond dumbed down GoW mechanics.

      2. I’m only halfway through it but I already think it was well worth the money. And truthfully, If you don’t like it, trade it in when you’re done for $40. There, it only cost you $20. Happy? Chizzler.

    3. I agree that trust in a developer is important. By that token, what has Ready at Dawn precisely done to break trust? They presented this game from the word go as a cinematic experience, they plainly confirmed there will be no multiplayer & they made clear their intentions from the very beginning. Regardless of what the general consensus is on the frame rate argument, it is inherently true that movies run at 24 fps and that they wanted to achieve a filmic experience. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the vast majority of people claiming that RAD are simply trying to cover up for not being able to hit 60 fps don’t hold degrees in cinema & game design to state definitively whether or not 30 fps isn’t a more filmic gaming experience. They need stability in the game too, and by most accounts they got exactly that. If we are talking about trust, then we’d have to understand that trust is earned, not given…its also a two way street. In an age where even the most celebrated of developers are lying through their teeth right up until the product is on shelves, RAD delivered exactly everything they promised, so I’d say they’ve earned enough trust for those of us who aren’t involved in the process of game development to trust them when they say that 30 fps was the better choice for their title, and that the aspect ratio worked towards accomplishing their vision.

      Rewarding developers that are actively shipping broken games by being apologists seems to be the norm these days, with games like Halo:MCC receiving phenomenal scores even though the mp still doesn’t work properly according to the developers themselves. Where was all this talk of honesty then? Or AC: Unity still holding a higher score than many other more solidly constructed titles even though by most accounts it is also still inherently broken? If anything, RAD has been more humble than most by admitting to mistakes that aren’t even theirs to own up to. The other day the director apologized for not properly getting their vision across when the narrative regarding the title never changed & not one word spoken by the devs in regards to the game turned out to be false. People really are reaching to give definitive statements on why this game shouldn’t exist, but the bottom line of all of it seems to be a combination of internet bandwagon baseless claims and a vocal crowd that obviously aren’t fans of the genre in the first place & for some reason would like to see it die regardless of how many gamers are fans of it. I personally commend RAD for their work, regardless of whether or not you enjoy the style of game that The Order is, no one can honestly say that there was anything held back or not put forth by the devs.

    4. I honestly have no idea how many FPS the game runs at. But it’s silky smooth and definitely higher than 30FPS. I’d have thought it was 60 although perhaps not locked. Show me a real link that states otherwise – not a MS Redditt – and you can change my mind. But the game looks and moves so well that if it is lower than 60FPS, I haven’t noticed and so it doesn’t really matter.

  4. Seriously? They controlled the pace of the game with the cutscenes that couldn’t be skipped and still it was beat within 5 hours and that player, mentioned a couple of those hours were cut scenes.

    There’s also no way to level up and you literally get no incentives to play the game again as it is the exact same experience the second time around! At least with Infamous, you had the option of playing on the dark side to play through the game again.

    Ryse was not only as good looking, it was a longer game, many cut scenes could be skipped, QTEs were mostly optional, and the game had a multiplayer and coop modes for the coliseum so, it was at least better in these areas. Ryse had one more thing going for it… It was a launch title!

    If this had been a launch title it would have gotten more slack but, it wasn’t and it was in fact delayed significantly from the original launch date.

    So, does the game deserve its criticism? Absolutely, Many games back in the 90s had 24 levels and took days to beat yet their price tags were lower! The Elder Scrolls often come in over a 1000 hours of game play and better stories with class leading graphics so, why couldn’t this group at least give people their moneys worth?

    Maybe you’re just upset because the playstation is finally being forced to play by the same rules as the Xbox One and you hate that. Seriously, if Ryse deserved this abuse then the order does too but, I didn’t see you guys defending that title.

    1. Some of us enjoyed Ryse. Some of us don’t enjoy leveling up and thinkit’s a childish way to pad games so children with little money can get more play time. But when you’re a biug boy, with your own grown-up money, $60 for a fun experience is more than worth it. I’d drop $100 easily on one night out so cost is silly unless you’re a teen or younger.

      This is also still a launch title. Just delayed. But I assume by your statement that had the game been released last year you’d have loved it?

      I hate Elder Scrolls. And Dragon Age. And GTAV. And anything else that takes more than 10 – 15 hours to complete it. Elder Scrolls is a great game in its category – as is The Order – but not everyone enjoys 1000 hours of grinding for gear and XP.

      Sounds like someone’s a little butthurt that this game isn’t on his X1.

      1. Nailed it!

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