Despite the naysayers, the prevalent barrage of critical disdain I still felt hopelessly compelled to validate my hope that “The Order 1886” would rebuke the frivolous hostility directed at it. All it did was ratify just how uncoordinated my prophetic appraisals are. And to think I chose this over Bloodborne! The Order 1886 may have been an emblematic continuation of my poorly analysed purchases over a 12 month span, with Watchdog’s and Destiny the formative deficiencies in my misguided purchase trilogy, but The Order didn’t disappoint simply because of its stilted capacity for cinematic fluency, it’s penchant for monotonous QTE’s or even the minimal exertions of combat that felt repetitious; it’s that it could have been so much better! Conceptually The Order was a fascinating thrift into an antiquated era and theoretical technology. A matted facsimile of inverted historical accuracy that merged real and varied depictions of Victorian London at the height of the industrial revolution, with fictitious literary studies and mythology into a amalgamated composite of nostalgic precision and fallacious imitation of illusory fables. The idea that descendants of the Knights of the round table inhabit 19th century London, incorporating technological innovations and aesthetic designs inspired by re-imagined industrial steam powered machinery is artistically suited to gaming. To capture the visual extravagance of high velocity weapons that disperses incendiary fuel that can be ignited for prolonged and devastating periods, around suburban slums and environmental dilapidation of the Victorian era was collaborative genius. Visually provocative, ambience, the varied dichotomy of vampires, Zeppelins and general steam punkery was downright sexy. Yet the preferential mandate that prioritised visual prosperity resulted in a pretty, yet hollow partitions.
London’s territorial vacuity is only hastened by the derelict and claustrophobic backdrop. Not in a exhilarating Arkham Asylum kind of way, more of a “loose strand of hair on Batman’s back passage” kind of way.
A conceptually impertinent conceit that’s more of an oddity of execrable belligerence, misfiring on almost every level. Bloated with narratively redundant that’s as emotionally authoritative as a whimpering puppy. It’s lapse in narrative coherency and general plodding limitations seem to have concealed itself down one of the many darkened alleys you weren’t able to explore. London’s territorial vacuity is only hastened by the derelict and claustrophobic backdrop. Not in a exhilarating Arkham Asylum kind of way, more of a loose strand of hair on Batman’s back passage kind of way. Consisting of surrogate characters, superbly well versed, yet saying nothing of considerable pertinence, as well as speciously intimated love affair with all the sweet catharsis of an insulin shot! The plot was composed of a consignment of vampires exported to the UK to a storage facility because……humph. A subsidiary plot concerning governmental austerity and political ignorance, portrayed emphatically by the lower class hanging effigies of Queen Victoria is only briefly intimated early on, then completely forgotten. And the elaborate betrayal of the organisation was structured with such banality that you may as well have been reading the obituary of a someone who watches paint dry! It’s complacency was so robust that you had to wonder whether it’s inherent flaws were deliberate? Corroborated by some chapters being entirely devoted to cut-scenes that you couldn’t even interact with! To accommodate historical events such as Jack the Ripper you’d expect Ready At Dawn to take considerable liberties or assuage contrasting deviations to the source material. But to include such a historically prevalent event such as this with such obtuse inaccuracy, with the murders attributed to Jack, and thus the origination of his legendary status were premature in context as he didn’t commit his first act until 1887 was unnecessarily negligent. How difficult would’ve of been to call it The Order 1888? But it’s worse offence was that it simply wasn’t a game, merely a concept that hadn’t progressed past the imagery of its concept art or CGI trailer. The result is a bloated, self referential movie with annoyingly distracting game-play sections that’s more concerned with exerting it’s narrated pomposity rather than tell a convincing, considerate yarn. It’s like a 1000 piece puzzle assembled by a 3 year old, with jagged patches either densely cobbled together with sections that aren’t intended to be pieced together or gnawed and stuck up the child’s snotty Nasal cavity!
But your always left thinking “what if?” Imagine if someone had taken a moment from duplicating the precise fluctuations of a candles flickering flame and capitalised on the beautifully crafted recreations of London’s austere streets, rendered with such stern authenticity and provided some content? Imagine a fully exploitative London, the cobbled streets murkily shrouded by the replete Dickensian fog, with the cockney vernaculars of prostitutes alluring prospective suitors by bellowing “Aweright luv. Fancy some company governor?!” Remember how cool the bespoke rifles furnished with ornate accessories were? Fortified with electrical propulsion, durable yet highly volatile weapons that were almost ornamental in design, like weaponized antiquities. Well imagine if you got to use these more than once? Hardly asking for the world. The utilisation of set of unique weapons manufactured by one of the most esoteric and socially ascetic minds of the 19th century. An exiled scientist driven by his resentment of Edison, crafting implements of destruction. Bestowed as a technical advisor for a hermetic militarised institution derived from the distended heritage of Camelot’s knights of the round table, that essentially imitates the role of “Q”, with exception that this resident Quartermaster conducts bizarre experiments on vampires and werewolves to ascertain weaknesses. Tesla as well as his singular weaponry was such a neglected feature that should have featured a more prominent, if more nuanced role with his utilities admission especially conscientious during combative moments that reduced the player to using pistols and rifles. Perhaps smaller additions to the game such as an interactive and mobile carriage that could subsidise suppositories, requiring players to mediate what weapons they carry, with perhaps an upgradable carriage to store additional volatile amenities. And if we’re going with hypothetical inventions to cull mythological beasts through Victorian London then why not merge other existing fictitious literacy? Perhaps you could enlist the aid of fictitious characters in literature like Sherlock Holmes? Imagine hunting werewolves with the world’s only consulting detective, wielding a rifle imbued with an electronic current!
Perhaps you could enlist the aid of fictitious characters in literature like Sherlock Holmes? Imagine hunting werewolves with the world’s only consulting detective, wielding a rifle imbued with an electronic current!
These suggestive notions aren’t revolutionary facets, they aren’t unique considerations, they’re intrinsic principles, basic cogitation that should be at the forefront of any prospective game developer, especially a gun wielding Sherlock Holmes! I’m not seeking any prophetic chastisement from expedient development, I just expect a marginal sense of, well sense and above all fun! The Order was a game that resented being a game, one that exiled the remittance of the games potential industry and the creative flexibility to facilitate player interactivity, story and aesthetics, instead focusing on the latter. My design suggestions may not have enforced greater inventive game-play or exonerated any issues that may have presented themselves, but with enough remonstrated application, greater emphasis of being a game coupled with striking design, The Order could have been the best game of 2015. Instead we were left with a interactive movie, that was barely interactive.
What bad game have you played which you feel wasted its own potential? Let me know your suggestions. Cheers.