The critical reception for the latest PlayStation 4 exclusive isn't exactly glowing.

In fact, with a current Metacritic average of only 66, it's arguably the biggest disappointment of the new generation thus far.

But is it really? I've been scanning dozens of reviews and while there are objective points that bother me (the poor pacing, predictable story, overly intrusive QTEs, etc.), I'm noticing a lot more subjectivity than normal. And interestingly enough, that subjectivity speaks to a preference that has changed drastically in the past ten or fifteen years.

It seems the overwhelming majority of critics dock the game for being too short, too easy, and too story-centric. Some reviewers come across as if they can't sit still for more than 30 consecutive seconds without pressing buttons; they act like watching a cut-scene is some agonizing ordeal. Cut-scenes have dwindled greatly in frequency and length and now that we've returned to a game that's heavy on the cut-scenes, it just doesn't go over well. There's no doubt about the decreased attention span in the nation, but that goes well beyond gaming.

As for the too short and too easy part, there was a time in this industry's history when games were way too hard. Do we not remember that? And do we not acknowledge that gaming is now a mainstream hobby and successful titles must cater to a larger audience than ever? "Too short" is highly subjective as well. As I said yesterday, shorter games actually appeal more to me than ever before . My biggest problem with a lot of these reviews is that subjective reasoning seems to be presented as fact.

It is not a universally bad thing that a game is short, nor is it an automatic negative if the game puts a big emphasis on story. Now, if the gameplay feels tacked on and the storyline in question is better suited for another medium (like movies), that's one thing. But just because there's an emphasis on a narrative – something we're absolutely seeing less and less of – that doesn't mean it's "bad." Difficulty is also mostly irrelevant when determining a game's quality.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Had this game released a generation or two ago, I can almost guarantee the scores would be much, much higher. And not because it's "outdated" now; just because it's of a style that obviously, people don't like anymore.

Related Game(s): The Order: 1886

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Ignitus
Ignitus
5 years ago

For what I can tell the game didn't fare well for being too short, too shallow and there is nothing to come back for after you finish it.

No multiplayer, no unlockables, no branching story lines. The developrer should hace made it longer, with an engaging story and it should hace scored higher.

Either that or release it at $20 like MGS but at $60 with this shortcomings its unforgivable

kokoro
kokoro
5 years ago

Unforgivable?

Man people want way too much these days.

matt99
matt99
5 years ago

When you compare it with going to the movies, gaming is cheap. So even for a game that may only be 6-8 hours you're still getting more entertainment time for your money. Plus I'd argue that the quality of entertainment matters more.

Shauneepeak
Shauneepeak
5 years ago

@Matt
I can see a 2hrs movie for $5-7 or spend $60 for a 7hr game with no re-playability.

Corvo
Corvo
5 years ago

I read a review that said "It had good graphics. Maybe they should just go to make CGI movies since they focus on good graphics. 4/10"

Games awesome by the way. Not very far yet but, It's awesome.

FAREEZ
FAREEZ
5 years ago

Ouch!…
This game suck…

shaytoon
shaytoon
5 years ago

based off what? have u played it? or are u bandwagoning ignorant/biased reviews

Bio
Bio
5 years ago

What makes you think these reviews are ignorant/biased, shaytoon? Have YOU played it?

Underdog15
Underdog15
5 years ago

Bio. Clearly he has not. That is his point.

There's a lot of merit to waiting to see if you like it. We've all had games that score poorly that we ended up liking, afterall.

Axe99
Axe99
5 years ago

I've played the first hour and a half, and most of the reviews are pretty poor. It's being reviewed for what it isn't, rather than what it is. Ie, Ready at Dawn have put together something that's got a different rhythm and approach than many games these days, and most reviewers are too closed-minded to appreciate it (and yet still complain that no-one does anything different….)

So far, I'd say The Order is an 8/10, if you like story-heavy third-person shooters. If you don't like story-heavy third-person shooters, definitely avoid, but that doesn't make it a bad game – it's the same as if you don't like turn-based strategy then don't play Civilization.

slow and smart
slow and smart
5 years ago

@Axe99:I also played about 90 min and i fully agree with all you said!!
Some reviewers review the wrong way:review what it is and not what it isn't.


Last edited by slow and smart on 2/20/2015 4:53:05 AM

Bio
Bio
5 years ago

@Underdog – My point was that, without playing it, he has no basis for calling reviews biased or ignorant.

Underdog15
Underdog15
5 years ago

How do you know that? He never gave his reasons. I don't know about being biased or ignorant… probably a little harsh. But it is a lot easier for him to have an opinion on a review's score based on the reasons they give than it is for Shaytoon to have an opinion on the game itself.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/20/2015 7:21:54 AM

wambo
wambo
5 years ago

FAREEZ, have you actually played the game, or are you just being a fool!

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
5 years ago

I'm taking the reviews with a grain of salt. One site hates the AI, next one up praises it. One loves the story, next says it didn't make sense. One speaks of the pace being good, next says it's completely ridiculous. One says the QTE is extremely lenient, other says it's a hit or miss.

Ironically, all of the sites that I typically consider to be the least opinionated on what should be presented as a factual review are the sites I typically enjoy for their factual take on games with a neutrality regarding their own preferences.

Edit: I'm not going to say that these sites are wrong for their scores, but will be far more vocal once I get my hands on the game.


Last edited by DemonNeno on 2/19/2015 10:34:35 PM

SaiyanSenpai
SaiyanSenpai
5 years ago

Yeah, the reviews have been all over the place. Considering the game was the only constant in the whole equation, I have to say the reviews are the things subject to scrutiny here. Reviewers are just so full of $hit these days.

Whatever happened to objectivity?

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
5 years ago

It reminds me of amateur reviews in Google Play for apps and games.

Godslim
Godslim
5 years ago

I think it looks pretty good, the thing that does bother me is the length of it. I expect a story mode of a game to last at least 8 hours and that isnt even that much. At the end of the day even if its great quality there is a still a minimum needed for it to warrent the 50 quid spent.


Last edited by Godslim on 2/19/2015 10:37:35 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
5 years ago

Always append at least 2 hours to the time it takes a reviewer to complete a game for a normal gamer's playing time. They rush through.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
5 years ago

Most reviews are saying it has 8 hours. They said it can be lengthy of you spend time with the game but also say you could run through and complete it in less than 7. Most are consistent in that regard.

SaiyanSenpai
SaiyanSenpai
5 years ago

too short and too story-centric? Those aren't bad things at all in my book! You sir, just sold a copy. I'm picking this up!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
5 years ago

Sounds like Heavenly Sword or Uncharted 3 on that front.

FAREEZ
FAREEZ
5 years ago

Heavenly sword and uncharted 3 have great gameplay, but the order just boring generic shooter with forgettable story…

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
5 years ago

Fareez can I borrow your time machine right now to play through this game before tomorrow? I mean you sound like you've obviously played through it. Do you have a youtube I can follow to check out your playthrough?

berserk
berserk
5 years ago

" Sounds like Heavenly Sword or Uncharted 3 on that front. " Those games have twice the amount of gameplay then The order have tho .

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
5 years ago

nope, same length.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
5 years ago

I think this is the result of the hatchet job done pre-release. People got all jacked up to review it and lost their senses about objectivity.

I'm looking forward to playing it tomorrow to find out for myself. I'm kinda doubting it's an objective 6 or Sony wouldn't have let it release.

Jawknee
Jawknee
5 years ago

I liked the Verge review. He basically said(paraphrasing)it was a PS2 era game released on the PS4 and it reminded him of the great games from that era the we are now missing.

I did watch the review done by former IGN employees Colin and Greg on their new channel. While it didn't change my mind about wanting to eventually own this game, some of their complaints were a bit concerning. For instance Greg said there are many times where you'll acquire a cool weapon only to have it taken away from you a few minutes later and never given the chance to use it again. Not even after you finish the game as there is no New Game +. Another complaint was that there are chapters in the game where you're not even playing. Just cut scenes. Strange.


Last edited by Jawknee on 2/19/2015 10:55:08 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
5 years ago

"I liked the Verge review. He basically said(paraphrasing)it was a PS2 era game released on the PS4 and it reminded him of the great games from that era the we are now missing."

Exactly what I'm talking about.

matt99
matt99
5 years ago

This has me sold on the game, a ps2 era game with fantastic visuals!

Jalex
Jalex
5 years ago

Honestly, the mixed reviews only intrigue me further. Reading even some of the most negative reviews, I notice that I'm not finding any objective criticism. Just critiques of various design choices, most of which don't bother me.
So I think I'll be picking this up soon, at least to support a developer who dared make exactly the game they wanted to make instead of caving to boring expectations.

JDC80
JDC80
5 years ago

I had this on my Gamefly Q its on low availability so I can't get it, so I just might go out and buy it Saturday. As for reviews I rarely depend on someone else opinion on games and movies. If I enjoy it that's the only thing that matter. Trust me the hours I work that game is going to be a 5 to 6 week thing.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
5 years ago

There's probably some truth in there based on some of the negative to mixed reviews. I'm not questioning that when I say what I'm about to.

But I've noticed a large change in reviews at the end of last gen into this one. Reviews are not exactly consistent, as they used to be. I said this back when Knack got reviewed as well and it had similar scores.

My issue with the idea that its because people have short attention spans or critics "come across as if they can't sit still for more than 30 consecutive seconds" is that based on Metacritic there is 20 positive, 26 mixed, and 5 negative reviews. That tells me that isnt entirely true. Not that it doesnt exist, but that for almost half the reviews it doesnt. Most of the positive reviews I read didnt speak of or in such ways. This also tells me reviewing games isn't any longer a way to let gamers know what a game has going for it. But its more how a game is to a reviewer on a more personal level. Not all. But more and more. There's no reason a game should have a 95 and a 20 from two different reviewers. You will never convince me that, some how that makes sense with out some sort of opinion an preference involved.

In a way we agree because I also don't think the 66 is really indicative of the game. I'm not saying it should be higher or lower necessarily. I'm just saying the 95 and 20 tells me something is going on. It's like they played two different games. If the graphics are good they are good. If the controls are good they are good. If bad they are bad. If the story is good as some have said then it's good. See where I'm going with this? There's more subjectivity in reviews and it's clear when one review says "attempts at storytelling are just as boring and lifeless as the action". (Metro game central: score – 40) and another "the experience is elevated by excellent storytelling, compelling characters"… (game over online: score – 85). There's preference in their and it's hard to argue based on their perceptions.

And beyond that there's plenty of reviews that praise the core mechanics. Others say it's generic and don't give it credit for being good because it's familiar, others just say it's bad.

As a consumer I havnt based a purchase off of reviews in some years for this exact reason. It's Confusing. Who do I believe? It's not exactly something I can put faith in. Being able to trust a source is fine, I'm on board with that. But seeing large discrepancies in reviews doesn't help with trust in the system.

Voyager236
Voyager236
5 years ago

The Order is not an innovative game, it's short and the experience doesn't stimulate to replay it more times. We already have better experiencies for this genre like Gears of War. Ben doesn't recognize negative aspects in this game saying that if it had been released in the past, it would have better scores. But he can't see that this game just follow the common sense nowadays, copying things of other games and doing something worst in comparison to them. Ben, for me you're defending The Order so enthusiastically just because is a PS4 exclusive.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
5 years ago

I think you pretty much proved that if this game was a few years older it would have scored better. You mentioned Gears of War and then said The Order is "copying things" things in maybe Gears did and at the time scored very high because of…

I however won't wish this game was released years ago. If it's solid regardless if it copies other games and doesn't necessarily innovate, that doesn't make it less of an experience.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
5 years ago

You've got no clue what I'm saying, nor do you have any idea what kind of score the game will get. This article isn't even in defense of The Order. It's a questioning article that takes no sides…if you could read, you'd get that.

I played all the Gears of Wars, by the way.

Axe99
Axe99
5 years ago

I've played Gears of War 1 and 2, and The Order's early stages – just the gunplay bits – are a better game than either. The story is better as well, but a better story/better acting than the Gears games isn't exactly much of a highpoint.

Indeed, that actually highlights something else. The Gears games, while third-person shooters (albeit with inferior cover and navigation mechanics to The Order) are not story but action/twitch shooters, and quite repetitive. The Order focuses much more on mixing things up and story. They might be the same broad genre, but they're considerably different games. It'd be like saying "Civilization is good, so there's no need for a game like Europa Universalis".

Voyager236
Voyager236
5 years ago

The way you said sounds like a big conspiracy to diminish Ready at Dawn's work, but all the scores are low. It is time to recognize that the game is not one of the better experiencies for what it proposes.

FAREEZ
FAREEZ
5 years ago

Some people just can't accept the truth when thing they like/worship turn out to be bad…

Mog
Mog
5 years ago

Well you are just so open minded aren't you FAREEZ.

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
5 years ago

The subjectivity in most of the reviews I have read are pathetic. Folks complaining about things that bother them about games rather than be objective and actually review the game. Anyone who immediately jumps on the "this game sucks" bandwagon is immediately a fool. One for not even having played the game themselves, either renting or purchasing, and two for being a blind sheep that needs to be spoon fed decisions in life. If you folks don't know what an objective review is compared to a subjective review, please do us all a favor and use the google tool and educate yourselves. I for one am playing this game tomorrow and going to generate my own opinion based on my playthrough of the game. That's the only best way to play.


Last edited by DIsmael85 on 2/19/2015 11:36:09 PM

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
5 years ago

Yeah I agree. It's pretty pitiful that reviews are so subjective now days. I can't believe that they are supposed to be professionals in their fields of work and we get this type of outcome from them. I don't expect everyone to see everything the same, but when objectivity isn't a source of the review then it's hard to get behind.

shaytoon
shaytoon
5 years ago

this is exactly why i hate reading any review from anywhere for any game.

JackDillinger89
JackDillinger89
5 years ago

So much damage controlling, I own a ps4 and I have zero interest in this game. I don't have to buy it just to "support the developer" especially if the game lacks replay value and "meh" gameplay then that's the devs problem.

Now if anyone else that has a desire to buy this day 1 and don't give two flying poops about the games shortcomings there is nothing wrong with that at all also. There is better ps4 exclusive coming out and the ps4 will do just fine.

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
5 years ago

I don't think there is much damage controlling going on as much as there is just a discussion about the way the review landscape has changed. You've expressed zero interest in the game, so I'm not sure how this adds anything to the discussion. If this were about The Order being the PS4's saving grace I'd agree with you that it's not, but that isn't the case.

FAREEZ
FAREEZ
5 years ago

Yeah jack just wait for Bloodborne, that game will be great…

Evil Incarnate
Evil Incarnate
5 years ago

@FAREEZ

Bloodborne will be a pile of suck! I'm already hearing the combat is slow and boring crap. More Demon Souls ripoff garbage. From what I've read, Dark Souls combat was much better then the combat in Bloodborne. Another step back for the new generation.


Last edited by Evil Incarnate on 2/20/2015 9:41:17 AM

Evil Incarnate
Evil Incarnate
5 years ago

@JackDillinger89

I was unaware the article or anybody in the comments was asking you to buy something. I would hate to be you watching TV commercials when you take things so directed and personal.

Mercedes commercial: "Come on in and put zero down and 2% interest rate on a new CLS400"

JackDillinger89 commercial response: "God dammit! Stop trying to sell me cars! I don't know why you're trying to sell me crap I don't want".


Last edited by Evil Incarnate on 2/20/2015 10:04:29 AM

Voyager236
Voyager236
5 years ago

It is not just about controlling and lack of replay value. It does not have a good plot too. The game force you into many tedious situations, you are forced to do stealth actions and the characters are not constructed so well. Lack of personality in the characters, a history that take so long to develop to end abruptally. I can't see all these aspects as subjectivity. If you think that it is subjective because you liked the game, for me is OK, because tastes are always subjective. I think that when most people show negative aspects of the game and you keep saying that they are subjective and you are objective, it is time to review if it is not you that are being subjective, instead of them.


Last edited by Voyager236 on 2/20/2015 12:10:22 AM

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
5 years ago

Oh I definitely plan to review this game. However, I am not going in playing it with any preconceived feelings toward it. The slate is clean so to speak. Each game has its goods and bads and when I play a game I start with a fresh open mind about it. Only as I am playing through it can I really begin to form an opinion about the game itself. Most people do not do that. They've already compared it to previous games they probably didn't enjoy and immediately latch onto that being the big pulsating negative going in.