Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Order 1886 Length Controversy

“Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters”

 Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

         There has been quite a fair share of controversy regarding the recent leak of the full play-through of this monumental Sony exclusive, due out in only a couple of days.  As originally leaked by PlayMeThrough, the footage appears to be 2.5 hours of cut-scenes and 2.5 hours of actual gameplay.  The video has now been taken down, but not without inciting harsh criticism for being too short, especially considering the $60 price tag.  Us gamers are a fickle bunch, preferring games above film and tv as far as the most bang for your buck.  So does this length simply mean that The Order: 1886 is not work a day one buy.  I for one do not think so.  IGN already has a Podcast up discussing this in length as well. 
          While the length seems short, Battlefield 4's campaign only took me around 8 hours to beat, almost half the time it took for Battlefield 3's campaign to end.
 I am hopeful the new Battlefield Hardline will finally get back to the great single-player roots of Battlefield Bad Company 2, which in my opinion had one of the best campaigns, as far as military shooters go, second only to Spec Ops: The Line.  It seems that this is a new trend in game development, focusing on a more refined experience, rather than a prolonged boring one.  As gamers everywhere get older and have less and less time to spend on our favorite past time, developers are realizing this and crafting the experience to match the demand.  Artificially lengthening of games is a thing we all know far too well.  I still haven't beaten all of  Watch Dogs.  This is not because there is too much to do.  It is because all those extra mini-games and side quests simply don't add any more fun or excitement to an already stale single-player campaign.  They are there for length, similar to all the inane minigames Grand Theft Auto V pads itself with.  Grand Theft Auto V at least has a great single player story, albeit with forced heist set up missions that drag on for just a bit too long.  Almost every Battlefield game that has come out does this with extra documents to collect and weapons to unlock.  But how many of us actually go back and replay the stale, linear story just for those single-player only unlocks?  I, for 1 have never done so.  But, if the single-player gameplay is terrific, like in Destiny I would do it again.  Sometimes, the gameplay does trump the story, since that is the basis of our interaction with this medium.             
          I hope The Order: 1886 will be one of the better examples of this new trend, and surpass our expectations, with gameplay and story.  After all if a beautiful gem, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time can stand the test of time (you can kill me for this pun later), one can hope that this game can too. The smart thing to do here is to wait until the review scores hit the net, with Gamespot being the site I use for the harsher, honest reviews, and IGN being my second choice for the "not as harsh" review.  If you're a younger gamer with more time on your hands, you'd probably be better off waiting for the price to go down, but the price is no object and it reviews fairly this could definitely be the game for you this month.  Coming on the heels of the critical hit like Evolve might be hard, with The Witcher: Wild Hunt and Bloodborne right around the corner The Order: 1886 definitely has its work cut out for it.  I wish it the best of luck, and if it fares well will be reviewing and uploading a full play-through to my youtube account soon.

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