Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Let's chat about The Order: 1886 for a second.

-the cast of The Order: 1886-

I'd be feeling pretty burned, right now, if I was a member of Ready at Dawn.  You spend the last half-decade of your life sharpening the most gorgeous console game the world has ever seen, you're primed for release, and someone drops a speedrun on YouTube showing the game can be beaten in five and a half hours - and the internet at large gets all pissy.  "The game is only five hours long - that's not worth my money!" The game's not even out yet, and people be hatin'.

Well, whatever.  Fallout 3 can be beaten in twenty-four minutes - that's no indicator of a game's quality.  You can zip through an Uncharted or a God of War if you know what you're doing - and rumors around the YouTube upload indicated that the player was blitzing the game, running past combat, not sniffing around for collectibles, et cetera.  Not that I know for sure - the account's been killed, so I can't verify the playstyle of the uploader.

But let's assume "the worst."  Let's assume that you or I, playing The Order: 1886 for the first time, enjoying ourselves with the game and not rushing, will beat the game in five and a half hours.  I'll admit - I'd feel a bit burned, myself.  Probably.

There is a precedence for the existence of short, high-quality games which are still worth your time.  Consider the Supergiant titles - Bastion and Transistor.  Perfection in miniature.  Consider Portal.

The difference being (1) those games were nigh-perfect and (2) those games did not cost what The Order: 1886 will cost.  If The Order is indeed a mere snippet of a game with incredibly high production values, I think it'd be fair to denounce its lack of content when compared to other high-profile story-driven titles like The Last of Us or Uncharted, each of which permits the player dozens of hours of gameplay while maintaining excellent narratives.

At this moment - three days before the game's release - this is what we're talking about, when it comes to The Order.  Nobody's talking about its gameplay design or the quality of its story presentation - perhaps because nobody really knows what the truth of its ambitions is. Instead, we're fanning the flames of this short-length rumor.  Until the game is released and the enthusiast press at large are let off their chains, this rumor is the most-interesting tidbit we have to discuss - and again, if I beat the game on my first playthrough in 5.5 hours, I'll probably feel a bit burnt.  But not definitely.

'Cause what if?

'Cause there is a precedent for a game being incredibly short and incredibly worth it.  There's Limbo and Hotline Miami and Mark of the Ninja.  Classically, short-and-sweet games like that aren't triple-A by the longest of shots - but if The Order manages to be sublimely fun and intensely immersive, if it's narrative is up there with Naughty Dog's best work, if its mechanics are perfectly on-point - it could easily be "worth it."  It could be one of those singular experiences you've just got to see for yourself.

It could really be the game Ready at Dawn intended to make.

Or it could be kinda' meh.  We'll see.

Oh also there are some sweet sales up on PSN right now.  Of note:

  • Olli Olli for $2.60
  • Muramasa Rebirth for $12.49
  • Hohokum for $7.49 (which I may need to look in to, myself)
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for $19.99
  • Danganronpa 2 for $23.99
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth for $14.99
  • Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisitionfor $36 (PS4)
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor for $25
  • Mercenary Kings for $8 
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4) for $24 
  • and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for $14
That's a lot of quantity and quality. 

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