Developer: Ready at Dawn
Release Date: 02/20/2015
Available Exclusively On
Ready at Dawn has had an amazing track record on the PSP with Daxter and both God of War games on that system. When everyone heard they were working on a new IP for the PS4 it got everyone’s ears buzzing. A historical third-person shooter set in 1880s London was just too good to be true. What came to fruition was a storytelling experiment that went well or badly depending on your viewpoint.
The Order is an interesting game in the PS4’s life cycle as it was the first major first-party exclusive to be released after the launch of the system. It was highly anticipated, it was heavily pre-ordered, and everyone was salivating for a next-gen PS4 outing. What was made was a well-told story about Lycans and a secret order with some interesting gameplay ideas thrown in.
You play as Grayson Galahad, a Knight of the Order, and charged with treason and crime untold. The story starts at the end and picks up at the beginning to wrap back around to the end. There are a lot of plot twists, amazing characters, excellent acting, and fantastic voice work to enjoy during this 6-hour campaign. Once I got ahold of Grayson I started slowly walking around linear hallways picking up photos and enjoying the scenery. A few seconds later I was presented with quick-time events, another walking session, and more quick-time events. After this was another long cutscene before I got control of Grayson again. During the first 30 minutes, I figured this is a build-up for something tense or to slowly eek out gameplay to the player, but it continues throughout the entire game, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Order has many QTE sections and story segments, but there are a few lengthy shooting sessions as well. The game does have intense action, great shooting mechanics, a good cover system, and everything you would expect from a top-notch shooter. I don’t quite understand the hate for this game as there are much slower games that do the same such as Heavy Rain where the entire game is a QTE fest. I understand taking action away from the players can annoy them, but then I felt the game was rather well-paced. There were even some one-on-one Lycan knife fights, and some pretty fun QTE events and they all felt unique and applicable to the story and events taking place.
Throughout the game, there are intense action sequences and slower stealth sections which all felt fun, and I had a blast through the entire game. The story kept me hooked until the very end, there were always plot twists, and I honestly sat and played through the entire game in two days and most other AAA blockbusters can’t even get me to do that. The storytelling in The Order is really well done and the entire visual presentation, atmosphere, and character development are great. While not groundbreaking, it’s nice to see in a sea of games that can’t even get one interesting character across.
In a time of impatient click-bait, instant gratification-seeking Call of Duty, and Fortnite generation, a game like The Order would have received critical appraise just 10 years ago, or if it was PC exclusive. PC games are released like this every day and gamers eat them up, but this is a strange playstyle and something new for console gamers I feel. I praise Ready at Dawn for trying something new and not following the continuing boring trends that are killing the game industry like a sickening plague. While The Order isn’t perfect, I didn’t run into any major issues that made the game not enjoyable. The story was a tad rushed in spots and I would have liked it more drawn out, but what is here is actually quite good.
The game looks amazing and is still one of the best-looking games ever made. This game makes me proud to be a PS4 owner and you don’t get unique narratives like this on other consoles. The PS4 continues to impress me and make me regret this generation of consoles just a little less with games like The Order.