The Order 1886 Review: Uncharted Territory

Ready at Dawn's first foray into developing a completely new property has paid off as The Order: 1886 is among one of our favorite games to be released this year.

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The story of King Arthur and his knights is a familiar story in popular culture , although its legitimacy is often debated. But what if King Arthur and his Knights were real and their influence carried on throughout the ages? The Order: 1886 takes this as its inspiration, as the legendary figures continue to be protectors of the realm. This story is told in an extremely unique and stylish way, and regardless of its length, is easily one of my favorite games to be released this year.

Ready at Dawn is known for mostly working on ports of popular titles, such as the Wii version of Okami and God of War: Origins Collection on PS3, as well as some PSP God of War games. The Order: 1886 is the developer's first foray into a completely new property, which is quite ambitious as it looks to rewrite history where humans and half-breeds are continually at war.

Knights of the Round Table

The Order: 1886 takes place during an alternate universe in a neo-victorian London where an old order or knights fight to keep the world safe from half-breed monsters like Lycans. For centuries, humans and half-breeds have fought one another. The beasts often gained the upper hand due to their animal strength, but the tides changed when the Order discovered a substance known as Blackwater. Rich with healing properties, it increases the strength, and prolongs the life of those who ingest it. By the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution gave humans a greater chance of winning the war as engineers were able to invent technologies way in advance that includes Zeppelins, thermal imaging, and wireless communication.

Players assume the role of Grayson, who bears the title Sir Galahad, and has battled the order’s enemies for centuries. Grayson and the order are not only fighting the half-breed threat, but they’re also fighting rebel forces who appear to be collaborating with the half-breeds. Grayson and his squad hopes to learn the truth about what exactly is going on between the order and the rebels.

Ready at Dawn put a lot of work behind The Order’s setting, cast of characters, and its backstory and it shows when you’re playing the game. The story is told through the eyes of Grayson and there’s even more told through the use of story-based items that can be picked up and manipulated, such as newspapers, phonograph cylinders, and random pieces of papers. Even though the replay value of The Order is quite limited, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and learning about the detailed world the studio constructed.

Grayson’s Fortune

Fans of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series will feel right at home when playing The Order: 1886. The game is a third-person shooter that features the ability to use cover and use situational melee combat to pummel your opponents against nearby obstacles, or simply bash them in the temple with your knee. Grayson is able to access a sidearm, a primary weapon, and two grenades during combat. The weapons at his disposal range from typical 19th century firearms to science fiction weapons that are based off of Nikola Tesla’s inventions, who just so happens to be working for the order.

The line between cinematic segments and in-game are extremely blurred in The Order, making for a more cinematic experience. I was usually unable to spot when the game would change from one to the other. There were a number of times when I was playing that I was late to jump back into the game as I was unaware I was able to control Grayson again, and I’m sure this will happen to others more often than not. In fact, I believe Ready at Dawn’s RAD Engine 4.0 easily beats the Naughty Dog Engine.

Similar to Uncharted, The Order: 1886 also has interactive cut-scenes that are a mix of quick-time events, button mashing, and other moments where you’ll need to give input that isn’t directly controlled through normal gameplay. I found the mix between QTE and actual gameplay to be balanced, as long as you count the moments when Grayson is walking around and not shooting rebels or half-breeds. When comparing actual combat versus QTE, then it certainly feels like there’s more of these events than there are enemies to shoot.

Speaking of enemies, there isn’t much variety in who you’ll be fighting as you’ll either be going up against rebels or half-breeds. There are a handful of variants of rebels to combat that range from snipers, shotgunners, to those who use more advanced weaponry. Half-breeds, on the other hand, use their speed and strength to attempt to take Grayson down.

Quality Over Quantity

The Order's alleged length has come under scrutiny before release, after a YouTube user published a set of walkthrough videos that only lasted approximately 5 hours to complete the game. In my time with The Order, I did find it a bit on the short side--I finished in under 10 hours--but I felt utterly satisfied. I'd rather play a fantastic 10 hours rather than a mediocre 20. That time was spent experiencing a thoroughly enjoyable story, and left plenty of room for exploring items and collectibles that round out the world.

The Order: 1886 feels like the perfect balance between story, gameplay, and atmosphere as Ready at Dawn has struck gold with its first attempt at an original IP. There may not be much to do after the credits begin to roll, but once they do, you’ll be met with a unique story told within an absolutely gorgeous game.

Senior Editor
Review for
The Order: 1886
8
Pros
  • Stunning graphics
  • Line between in-game and cut-scene is non-existent
  • Unique story with an interesting backstory
  • Gameplay feels Naughty Dog inspired
  • No unecessary fluff
Cons
  • Lacks variety in enemies
From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 19, 2015 5:01 AM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, The Order 1886 Review: Uncharted Territory

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 5:24 AM

      I hear it's a pretty short movie.

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 5:59 AM

        Really? You consider a 9-10 hour movie "short"?

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          February 19, 2015 6:05 AM

          He was attempting to insult the game by calling it a movie, likely because it contains QTE sequences. Kind of backfired though considering a 10 hour movie is an extremely long movie.

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      February 19, 2015 5:26 AM

      This is one of the higher scores I've seen so far. Looks like a lot of the big sites are savaging this game.

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        February 19, 2015 5:33 AM

        what it's coming down to is whether you're happy with a genre title (that does only the expected but well) or you prize innovation above polish. Most of the big review sites seem to fall into the latter category, like you'd expect from career critics of a medium.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 5:31 AM

      Sweet. I'll have to try it out. :)

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 5:36 AM

      Great to hear. I hoped this game would turn out fine despite all this stupid internet outrage about its length.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 5:53 AM

      who do I trust shacknews or giantbomb??

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 6:02 AM

      I'm gonna try it out at virus's place later.

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        February 19, 2015 6:04 AM

        0/10 The Order gave me a sore neck, would not recommend

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 3:01 PM

          i usually hate the virus memes but this was well done

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 7:16 AM

        virus hates the SNES

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 7:19 AM

          I didn't say hate.

          • reply
            February 19, 2015 7:27 AM

            You didn't have to. >:(

          • reply
            February 19, 2015 7:31 AM

            VIRUS WHAT THE FUCK BR0.

            • reply
              February 19, 2015 7:47 AM

              Click here to find out why you should forget everything you learned about virus hating the SNES.

            • reply
              February 19, 2015 8:10 AM

              Sega Genesis > SNES

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:10 AM

                Stop saying this. Not only is it not true, it's hurtful. I'm tired of your...Genisism!!!

                • reply
                  February 19, 2015 2:27 PM

                  IT'S 100% TRUE

                  • reply
                    February 19, 2015 2:28 PM

                    DID THE SUPER NES HAVE SKITCHIN?

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 2:36 PM

                =@least games like streets of rage and shining force can stand up to anything snes has

          • reply
            February 19, 2015 7:32 AM

            Oh, NOW is the time to SM :)

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 6:32 AM

      Way too long for a movie.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 6:46 AM

      i enjoyed heavy rain quite a bit, which was basically a huge QTE. is this any different?

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        February 19, 2015 6:53 AM

        Yeah, I'd be curious to hear from people who liked HR and Beyond whether they feel like this is any good. I loved both of those games, though I'll admit to having rented, rather than purchased, both of them because fuck paying $60 for something that short.

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          February 19, 2015 7:41 AM

          I enjoyed games like Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, although I have yet to play Beyond. With that said, there isn't as much QTE, although I highly recommend you don't put your controller down during cut-scenes.

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        February 19, 2015 8:16 AM

        Difference is that Heavy Rain pretty much marketed itself in a way that people expected the QTE gameplay. And marketed itself as an adventure game. Marketing is a big deal and determines which people pay attention to the game. I personally didn't like Heavy Rain though.

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        February 19, 2015 9:27 AM

        IMO, the thing about Heavy Rain and 2 Souls is that the QTEs didn't yank you out of the game. The prompts were part of the scene, vs. a button at the bottom that takes your attention away from the scene.

        I'm not inherently against QTEs, but I got soured on them in the God of War games because there was often something very cool happening onscreen, and here I was just staring at the bottom of the screen to make sure I didn't miss a button prompt.

        I'm not sure how they're integrated into 1886 though.

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          February 19, 2015 9:50 AM

          From what I've seen, they're more like the HR/Beyond QTEs, in that they're part of the scene.

          Beyond especially did a great job with the QTE stuff becoming more "real" gameplay when you got to some of the sequences with fist fights and such. I really enjoyed that stuff, and can't wait to see what they inevitably do on PS4.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 7:00 AM

      So EXCITED! Midnight release, here I come. Already know I'm gonna play through it at least 3 times. Thank you for the review!

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 7:14 AM

        18hours. Should be able to put that through 2 days.

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 8:18 AM

        Why? I can understand being excited about a game, but with the game is this linear by all accounts with little replay value, why would you state before even buying it that you are going to play through it 3 times.

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 10:12 AM

          Because sometimes games are fun to play the first time through.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 7:10 AM

      Awesome, excited for this game!

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 7:15 AM

        Kotaku vs. Shacknews...FIGHT

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        February 19, 2015 7:34 AM

        This review is terrible. It starts off with 'Should you play the game? NO.', but never really explains why. Then it goes on to say stuff like this: 'You're usually locked down behind one piece of cover. There's often a second piece of cover farther up, or to your right or left. You can shoot guys from here, or from just over there.' ...uh...isn't that how it is in most cover based shooting games, or am I crazy and they only give you one cover spot? THEN he says IT DOESN'T LOOK good. That was pretty much all I needed to read. I haven't even played it and I know that's NOT TRUE.

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          February 19, 2015 7:39 AM

          It's pretty bad writing lol

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 8:21 AM

          Gears of War clones are so last-gen. Now it's all about the open world Assassin's Creed/GTA clones. And then next generation when people are tired of those, people will put up reviews saying stuff like: 'You're usually looking at the map looking for some random objective. There's often some meaningless task to perform to pad the gameplay time. You can do a mission where you have to run somewhere really fast, or one where you have to kill someone.'

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 7:17 AM

      Woah, this thing is taking a beating on most sites. I was expecting better considering the people behind it. That said, it does sound like my type of game - the production values are there, I love me some simple shooting, and the whole cinematic angle works for me. I don't think I'm paying full price for this, though.

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        February 19, 2015 7:23 AM

        This is their first big console title, isn't it? I thought most of their past games were ports/sequels on handhelds.

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 7:28 AM

        Sounds like a movie with some interactive parts :(

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 7:19 AM

      Much lower average than I expected on metacritic. I'll get it from the library.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 7:26 AM

      Rental says Jeff. Yeah, or a really discounted price.

      http://www.giantbomb.com/reviews/the-order-1886-review/1900-698/

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 7:34 AM

        Yeah, I read it this morning. That was a very well-written review.

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 9:09 AM

        "Forced stealth section" Pre-order cancelled. Just kidding, I never had this pre-ordered, but still, fuck that noise

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 7:36 AM

      Most unbiased review I've seen so fat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBw6otfaGHI

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 7:53 AM

        18.86 out of 20.

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 7:59 AM

        So this is what kids find funny nowadays?

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 8:19 AM

          I like them. Shorter than most of the parody reviews and genuine chuckles from me. I may be 37 but I feel like 17 so that might be why.. ;)

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 8:20 AM

          Well, yes, but you are just broken in general.

          • reply
            February 19, 2015 8:42 AM

            Hey man, having a higher standard for comedy does not make me broken.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 8:04 AM

      sorry shacknews, but I'll trust Giantbomb's take on this. The overuse of quicktime and the seemlingly lack of satisfying story turn me off this game.

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 8:20 AM

        To each their own. I completely respect your decision.

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 8:31 AM

          Well I'm trusting The Shack. Just read the GB review...I respect it, but I know I'm gonna like this game. Don't care about a frame around the screen, don't mind QTEs, and the rest of the complaints just didn't bring me down to a level of 'maybe I should just rent it'.

          • reply
            February 19, 2015 8:35 AM

            If you want to spend $60 on this, then by all means, it's your money. I honestly think the wiser use of your money is to spend $10 and rent it over a weekend and then buy it if you like it, but that's just what I would do if I were on the fence.

            • reply
              February 19, 2015 8:38 AM

              Yep. This. Spending $60 on a linear, single-player, 6 hour, and mediocre game is just straight up financially irresponsible.

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 8:46 AM

                Due to the visual fidelity and polish (and the fact that its supposed to be fairly short) ill probably put in at least two run throughs. Actually, i plan on going for a platinum on this one.

                Just like Ghostman2k78 I dont mind QTE at all, as long as its done right. Something like RE 5 or Bayonetta 1 QTE on the other hand... can do die in a pit of flaming cobras.

                I'd rather have a short game that's straight to the point, and entertaining throughout, than an overly long game, like FarCry 4, thats made up of 90% filler and monotonous "collect 300 of theses, and 150 of these, for no other reason than we need something for you to do"

                • reply
                  February 19, 2015 8:54 AM

                  You make some good points, to each his own!

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 8:52 AM

                I think that totally depends on your finances.

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                  February 19, 2015 9:12 AM

                  This is where I fall. I want to play this game, and it looks like it'll be something I'd enjoy...but that $60 price when there's at least one game I'm definitely buying in March (FF Type-0), another I might buy (Bloodborne), and one that I already paid for (Pillars of Eternity), it's hard to feel like I should spend that $60 on a shorter experience that simply won't last more than a night or two of playing, tops.

                  • reply
                    February 19, 2015 9:28 AM

                    So far all my games are taken care of aside from Bloodborne which ill get to eventually. Witcher 3's been hanging out in my steam library for something like a year. Problem with type-o is... they didn't take my money when i HAD my money... so now i have to make sure ive still got the money when they charge me in the upcoming weeks. (FF 15 demo coming my way :p)

                    That makes The Order more of a "do i need this?" purchase, but, ive been lacking in high budget things to play for too long now so i grabbed it up. Im sure ill get max playtime out of it regardless. Seems like my type of game.

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 9:34 AM

                Well...my wife would argue that buying games period is financially irresponsible. You spend coin on what interests you, right? But yea...I'm that guy who buys CoD games for the short campaign, and spent $100 on FF type-0...because I want that FF XV demo and a steel case. :( Never been good with $$.

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:18 AM

                So if buying a $60 game is financially irresponsible, what is buying a PS4 and then selling it for half the cost to buy a 3DS called?

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:19 AM

                this is such a terrible post

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:21 AM

                arguably buying any game is financially irresponsible

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:24 AM

                Gifting games to the chatty is financially irresponsible, too.

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:42 AM

                Lollercoptering away from this post.

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:45 AM

                Spending any money on any game is just straight up financially irresponsible.

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:51 AM

                What about spending $60 on board games that are opened and never played?

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 10:55 AM

                Every game can't be cheap like Minecraft

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                  February 19, 2015 11:10 AM

                  He's not totally wrong though, the games I've played the most I've paid way less than $60 for. I can't think of any games actually I paid $60 for that I wound up liking enough to finish.

              • reply
                February 19, 2015 11:58 AM

                Opinions, man.

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                February 19, 2015 1:24 PM

                actually, that's a great value. let's reflect on brink. lolololol /gun

            • reply
              February 19, 2015 9:03 AM

              I actually agree with you-what you say is how I feel about almost EVERY game I think about picking up. But for me this purchase is about supporting a fresh IP, based in this universe that just oozes awesome (to me). It may not be the best game, but if it does well enough, maybe we'll get a sequel, with fewer QTEs, no border, and less linearity. I supported Shadow of Mordor for the same reason and feel the same way about it- didn't like it personally, but maybe we'll get a sequel with more variety in the locations, a few towns with NPCs, etc.

            • reply
              February 19, 2015 10:23 AM

              You seem to really have it out for this game. What happened?

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        February 19, 2015 8:21 AM

        Yeah I just watched the quicklook and was so bored

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      February 19, 2015 8:24 AM

      Some people chose the weirdest hills to die on.

      Just an observation.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 9:14 AM

      EuroGamer http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-02-19-the-order-1886-review

      We're left with characters without any discernible character [...] all of whom swap dead, portentous exposition with each other as the plot trips up on itself.

      That was already my impression from the videos, absolutely zero character and bland dialog.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 9:39 AM

      Graphically the game looks great. Think I'll wait until it goes free on ps+ or at least drops sub $15

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 10:08 AM

        Probably won't go free on PSN for years, but it'll probably be $30 at amazon in a few months and then I'll grab it when it goes on sale for $20

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 10:09 AM

      Ready at Dawn, Finished by Lunch.

      lol

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      February 19, 2015 11:22 AM

      pretheorder canceled

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      February 19, 2015 11:54 AM

      This game is getting trashed everywhere, don't think I can trust Shacknews on this one. Shame still no reason for me to get a PS4 ... maybe if Bloodborne ends up being good.

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      February 19, 2015 1:23 PM

      Is it at all glitchy or in need of a day one patch?

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        February 19, 2015 1:47 PM

        Cus if its not, then it deserves a 9 out of 10.

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          February 19, 2015 2:26 PM

          Why is that?

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            February 19, 2015 3:42 PM

            Seems like every game coming out these days comes with bugs and or a massive day 1 patch. In fact, it would be a miracle, outside of Nintendo, if a AAA game wasn't fully polished. I'll trade that over a buggy game any day.

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              February 19, 2015 6:14 PM

              So, I take it that its buggy. Sad.

    • reply
      February 19, 2015 1:24 PM

      http://i.imgur.com/nk1y9Uh.jpg

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      February 19, 2015 2:18 PM

      These are 5ish reasons I will probably buy this tomorrow:

      10 hours of single-player gameplay sounds like a lot to me for one game/system, I could probably keep&play this for a few weeks and still get $30+ back.

      I regularly like games that have mixed reviews; some of our favorite series' got bad reviews on release or in their first iterations.

      It seems dumb to slam a game for story/characters when most of the AAA shit is half-assed, comment yes, slam no. Shack is normally good about acknowledging this fact. A few people do almost all of the voices for this, there is no equivalent to this http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_Baker in blockbuster movies of the last few years

      I like things that are prettyful and I do not normally skip cutscenes anyway

      I don't give a flying fudge about multiplayer/online features and I like New & Original IPs, which normally only have multiplayer at some detriment to single player (if the last of us hadn't had it, that time could've probably made the environment destructible or something else cool)

      • reply
        February 19, 2015 2:23 PM

        If you are just gonna return it once you are done then you should rent it.

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          February 19, 2015 2:33 PM

          I won't play 10 hours in a weekend and where will I rent it, Blockbuster?

          My experience is that redbox here has nothing on ps4 and I dropped my sub to gamefly bc it took months to get new games, even if I'd had them queued for months

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            February 19, 2015 2:58 PM

            I was thinking Redbox, my local one seems to have the latest PS4 games, but if yours doesn't I guess that isn't an option.

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              February 19, 2015 3:02 PM

              None of the ones within multiple zip codes of clearwater Fl area seem to have any ps4/xbo stuff, but I know so very few people here that own either;
              when I was visiting Arkansas a year or two ago, none of my friends had a PS3 or 360...most of the world doesn't follow gaming like us

            • reply
              February 19, 2015 5:05 PM

              Redbox's site doesn't even list the Order in its coming soon section, so I wouldn't count on that.

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        February 19, 2015 2:57 PM

        Agreed.

        Though the Last of Us MP was actually pretty cool if not rage inducing at times.

        If the Gameplay holds up, I'm a sure I'll get multiple playthroughs, and as pretty as the game is, I don't plan in skipping cinematics. Unless they're crazy long and I have to rewatch it everytime I get cheesed/die by something.. Then unskipable Cinematics are quite irritating.

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 3:21 PM

          I had a friend who bought and played the shit out the Last of Us only on multiplayer 40ish hrs, no story, then sold it, it was a mind-blown moment for me

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      February 19, 2015 2:30 PM

      As polarized as the reviews, and even with how low it is, I still think I'm going to pick this up in a couple of months when the price drops a little bit

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        February 19, 2015 2:45 PM

        If it's not a PSPlus bonus by then.

        • reply
          February 19, 2015 2:56 PM

          Most Sony exclusives that have been out for a year and a half since launch & are under $20 used & got mixed reviews (knack, killzone, etc.) are still not on ps+

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      February 19, 2015 2:57 PM

      The fact that this game uses QTE's liberally throws up a lot of red flags for me. I just don't trust the judgement of any dev who thinks they are anything but annoying.

      RE4 gets a pass because it was trying something new, but the QTE's were easily the worst part of that game.

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      February 19, 2015 4:21 PM

      Cool, thanks for the review man, glad it took you more than 5 hours.

      I shall put it on the list.

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      February 19, 2015 11:24 PM

      can the black bars from the super wide aspect ratio be turned off?

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      February 23, 2015 1:58 AM

      From the videos i've seen it has an over use of motion blur that happens even in slow movements, that can make you dizzy.
      And yea, everything is pretty, but crazy blurry.

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