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Gameverse | March 31, 2020

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Why The Order: 1886 Deserves a Sequel

Matthew Byrd

There are many who feel that sequels are a blight on the entertainment industry. For every Terminator 2 and Godfather 2, you have a seemingly endless supply of uninspired follow-ups that just look to cash-in on the original installment’s legacy. Video games have traditionally fared much better in that regard, but even many of the best video game sequels tend to rely on more of the same.

Part of the problem with the whole sequel industry is that most sequels tend to be based on works that were typically successful and generally pretty good. As such, sequel makers are faced with the daunting task of trying to come up with something that is as good as the original while standing tall on its own.

That’s part of the reason why the recent rumors of a sequel to The Order: 1886 are so fascinating.

See, The Order wasn’t a good game. Actually, it was a pretty bad one. While the title initially turned heads due to its incredible graphics and wonderful presentation style, actually playing the game revealed a largely shallow cover-based shooter that relied on overly-scripted combat sequences occasionally broken up by simple story segments.

Oh, and what a story it was. The Order tells an alternate history story in which a group of highly-trained specialized soldiers must combat mythical forces such as vampires and werewolves as well as other dangerous entities that seek to end the world. It’s a fairly bonkers story that tries to surprise by having you do things like team up with inventor Nikola Tesla and try to figure out if Jack the Ripper was actually a vampire. For the most part, though, it comes across as a collection of many of the things that you thought were cool in high school but may not necessarily love to look back at now.

The Order: 1886 stands as one of the PS4’s most notable failed exclusives. Its sales were modest, but it was critically trashed by just about every outlet and many of those who purchased it. It’s seen as an embarrassment by many, but most people who experienced it in some form do still have some kind of memories of it.

All of that is our way of saying that The Order: 1886 is arguably the most intriguing sequel prospect that we’ve seen in years.

The Order may have been a bust, but it was a fascinating bust that was based on incredible technology, benefited from a fun setting and characters, and occasionally even featured some fascinating gameplay twists such as some over-the-top weapons that added new dimensions to the otherwise standard gameplay.

Granted, we’re a little inclined to shame this whole idea since The Order also featured a cliffhanger ending meant to tease a continuation that many doubted would ever be made, but when you really step back and look at the title, you start to see the ways that the core experience could have been easily improved upon. Actually, with a little more gameplay variety, a few refined story segments, and some more attempts early on to establish an identity of its own, The Order might at least have been seen as a noble experiment.

Well, maybe that can still be the franchise’s legacy. We don’t often get sequels to bad movies and games, but with The Order, Sony and developer Ready at Dawn have the chance to show the industry that something doesn’t have to be a runaway success to be worthy of revisiting.

Actually, if everyone involved plays their cards right, a sequel to The Order could show that sometimes the best use of a sequel is to give a talented group of people a second chance to get something right.