The Order 1886 And The Console War Cycle

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Disclaimer: I do not own a PS4 and haven not played The Order: 1886.

People weren’t just anticipating The Order: 1886, they weren’t just anticipating the reviews for the game, people were anticipating forum reactions to reviews of the game. I know a lot of people looked at its launch like an oncoming train wreck. This game has been surrounded by morbid curiosity for months now.

Most of that comes from the anticipation for the game. That in itself is made up of several factors occurring in a cyclical pattern I’d honestly thought people who buy game consoles had outgrown. All this hype and anguish over The Order is just another tragedy of the console wars.

Let me start by saying I really don’t care that the game is supposedly five hours long. A five-hour campaign can mean a lot of things. Some of my favorite games can be completed in less time. The nature of most video games makes the completion time of a single campaign basically irrelevant. There’s no guarantee everyone is even going to play a game once. I completed Wolfenstein: The New Order at least three or four times on different difficulty modes, with various other different settings for the game, and to track down all its secrets. Even without that kind of stuff some games are just so good as to warrant multiple runs, not dissimilar from a book you like to read every year. One such game is Resident Evil 4, which The Order tries to emulate. Anyway, I have no idea if The Order is actually that good, I’m just saying.

Reviews are saying The Order isn’t all that. It isn’t the savior of the PS4. It isn’t the killer app a lot of fans thought it was going to be. I can’t really talk about its quality. What does unsettle me however is how much people really did pin their hopes on it based on everything we knew about The Order up until release.

I didn’t watch every last trailer or gameplay reel, but I get the feeling we didn’t see a massive amount of gameplay footage. People remarked that what we did see looked like a typical third person shooter with some of the prettiest graphics on the market today. I guess there are people who pre-order every big AAA game, even people who pre-order them digitally despite the no-refunds policy. People have different buying habits. What I have trouble understanding is why so many people do it based on so little. What I have more trouble understanding is why so many people seemed to think this was gonna be a really big game for the PS4. It happened in the PS3’s early years too. This was one of the times Penny Arcade nailed how a lot of Sony fans felt about Killzone 2. I’m just wondering why it still happens. You’d think people would look back right? In my opinion the days about getting uptight about which console is better have passed. They’ve got most of the same games nowadays, and you don’t see people getting this heated when comparing Windows to Mac OS or iOS to Android.

Maybe some just can’t let go of the PS2 era when that system was defined by uniform exclusive support from Japanese developers and every console had a unique game library to identify it. Each console back then kind of felt like a nation. The few exclusives that exist today must stand out a lot more, regardless of how good they actually are. In the past buying a console for one or a couple games made a lot of sense, but today it makes more sense to buy a console because you prefer its operating system or the service the console manufacturer provides.

Maybe people are feeling crushed over these recent games because it’s taking longer than normal for truly great games to set apart the new hardware. The new consoles are past the point in most consoles lifespans when great games started to consistently appear, and they’ve had several disappointing high-profile releases. Was The Order really the last hope for some people?

If you are still searching for The Chosen One of the PS4, Bloodborne isn’t a bad bet. The main difference with Bloodborne is we’ve already seen double-digit minutes of raw gameplay footage, and after seeing that footage I seriously want to play Bloodborne. Based on that and the developer’s history (no offense to The Order developer Ready At Dawn, but before that they only put out some pretty good PSP spin-off games and a troubled Okami port) I’d be prepared to pre-order Bloodborne if I had a PS4. I just hope Sony gives it a proper marketing push. The Souls games have occupied a healthy niche but it would be great if Sony marketed its latest first party effort to the point where I see it on TV and on some billboards. It probably deserves it more than anything else Sony is putting out in the first half of 2015.

BULLETS:

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One thought on “The Order 1886 And The Console War Cycle

  1. Karl Weller says:

    The Order, contrary to many erroneous reviews isn’t the unanimous failure I had been expecting. It’s two biggest issues are its narrative and replay value, both of which make it a hard game to recommend. The Order, in spite of its floors has purged most of my fears for the future of the ps4. There is a great concept here that could easily be fleshed out into a incredible series.

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