The writing's been on the wall for a little while now, but with our hands tied by a publisher imposed embargo, we haven't been able to say a whole lot about The Order: 1886 – until now. Fortunately, we can finally tell you that, despite being one of the most visually impressive releases ever made, Ready at Dawn's debut PlayStation 4 project has some sizeable problems. Of course, that's just our opinion – but do other critics agree?
Push Square - 6/10
The Order: 1886 is an antique that's aged ungracefully. The presentation is sublime from the release's rousing start right the way through to its anticlimactic finish, but several shoddy design decisions detract from its otherwise exemplary gloss. The developer's crafted an incredible universe, but outside of the title's core cast, it's failed to do much of note with it. This is a property that's begging for a sequel to realise its undeniable potential – but only time will determine whether it gets that opportunity.
IGN - 6.5/10
The basic conflict at the heart of The Order: 1886 is that considerations for a cinematic approach are prioritized above the needs of basic gameplay. Its best aspects are its stunning looks, atmosphere, and style – which are truly fantastic – and entertaining fiction. But the shallow, slow, and generic quick-time event-riddled gameplay make it feel like an experience that would've been better served by a non-interactive movie than a game. With no multiplayer, and no reason to revisit the short and stunted single-player campaign once it's been completed, there just isn't a lot to it.
Polygon - 5.5/10
Galahad's story, such as it is, concludes so rapidly and with so few loose threads tied off, it's hard to shake the feeling that someone somewhere decided that it was time for the knight and his cohorts to get out into the world whether they were ready or not. Though it nails some of the fundamentals, The Order: 1886 has been released without answering the essential question of what it offers that other games aren't already doing better . Everything about the game's final shot screams "sequel set up," but unless The Order finds some non-aesthetic reasons to justify its existence, it's hard to imagine coming back for a second adventure.
GameSpot - 5/10
All of these gameplay tropes are then shoved together into herky-jerky levels that end just when you think they might gain momentum. The only individual sequence lengthy enough to find a rhythm is a later stealth level, though it's far too simple to inspire wishes for more sneaky sections. What, then, to make of The Order: 1886? It is, at best, perfectly playable, and lovely to look at and listen to. But it is also the face of mediocrity and missed opportunities. A bad game can make a case for itself. A boring one is harder to forgive.
Giant Bomb - 2/5
There are things here worth checking out, but the action feels half-cocked and you'll be finished with it in an afternoon. I won't pretend to guess at how much $60 means to you, dear reader, but I will say that The Order is a middling experience with a couple of bright flashes that only serve to remind you that this could be a more interesting game if more of its ideas were fully formed. If you're bent on seeing The Order for yourself, you should probably rent it.
Has this spate of sorry scores forced you to reconsider your interest in The Order: 1886, or are you going to go ahead with your purchase regardless? Dry your eyes in the comments section below.