[Update 2/23/15: The YouTube channel that hosted the playthrough has been deleted]
Sony’s much hyped third person Steampunk shooter, The Order: 1886, has many players outraged after a leaked playthrough showed the entire game to be merely five hours long.
Last December, a number of gaming media sites such as Eurogamer and Gamespot reported that a preview level of The Order showed it to have incredibly linear level design, over-reliance on Quick-Time Events, and simplistic gunplay.
This was also on the heels of rumors that the game would only be around six hours in length. Developer Ready At Dawn’s founder and CTO Andrea Pessino denied this, and later stated on his Twitter account that he was “done commenting on clickbait rumors about game length.”
A playthrough of The Order, leaked on February 14 by YouTuber PlayMeThrough nearly a week before the game’s official release on February 20, showed that much of the worrying preview reception garnered by The Order to be well founded.
The entire playthrough clocks in at roughly five hours, and of those five hours, about half of it consists of unskippable cutscenes. The portions of the game that are actually playable largely consist of linear and uninspired combat sequences and QTEs, and as a result the entire game feels more like an interactive movie with shooting gallery segments interspersed throughout.
Considering that The Order is a full priced, singleplayer-only game, having only three hours of actual gameplay that takes all its cues from nearly every cover-based shooter on the market doesn’t sound like a worthy investment.
In response to these complaints, Ready at Dawn’s CEO Ru Weerasuriya spoke to Eurogamer, stating that the game’s cinematic production values should outweigh concerns over length:
Any of these games need to pack in what it needs to to deliver the experience you were hoping to deliver when you first tackled it. For us that meant, it’s not going to be a short game, it’s going to be something that rewards you as you play through, that there is a storyline, that you have information there, and then also it opens the door to a lot of questions you might be able to answer either by what you find in the game, or hopefully by what you will find out in the future.
He goes on to say that “Gameplay length for me is so relative to quality. It’s just like a movie. Just because a movie is three hours long, it doesn’t make it better.”
Regardless of how you feel about Weerasuriya’s opinion on how long games should be, it would probably be wise to wait for reviews of The Order: 1886 to come out before spending top dollar on this cinematic third person shooter.