It’s 1886 and a subset of humanity has evolved into some sort of monstrous Half-Breed race, vying to rise from the shadows and disturb the balance The Order has fought so hard to maintain for centuries. This alternate universe set in late 19th century London has forced mankind to develop technology faster in order to maintain dominance over the beastly Half-Breeds. Even Nikola Tesla himself has moved far beyond his alternating current, which already lights the streets of London, and instead devotes his time to developing powerful weapons for The Order.
The Order: 1886 is a visually stunning, movie-esque Playstation 4-exclusive game with rich environments that occasionally feel more like a Monet painting than a mere video game setting. The next gen graphics are sharp and the storytelling is immersive, but the game is, at times, painfully linear. The take on the alternate history, where London’s problems are much more complex than a dose of the black plague, is fresh, but familiar, and creates an interesting launching point. As Sir Galahad, one of the Knights of the Round Table, now known as The Order, you are tasked with protecting human life as we know it from the pesky, menacing, Half-Breeds. And picking up random sheets of paper that have nothing to do with the plot.
“I found another piece of paper on this table. Oh, it’s just pamphlet for a local brothel.”
As a member of The Order, you are provided with the “Blackwater,” a powerful elixir running through your veins that heals, strengthens, and provides life for centuries. Get shot up by some rebels, or thrashed by some Half-Breeds, no problem, just enjoy a snort of the elixir around your neck and you’ll be right as rain. With England being the birthplace of the India Pale Ale, I had to wonder, what IPA might make me feel like a Blackwater sipping member of The Order running through the dingy streets of London?
I imagine the people of this alternate London not only inventing the IPA, but evolving it into something amazing. In the real world, the English created the IPA, but left it to the American West Coast to perfect it (there, I said it!). There was only one brew, which seemed to bring together old and new, and elevate the style to a point where I think The Order would be proud: Dogfish Head: Burton Baton. This blend of oak aged English-style old world ale and a solid double IPA is just what I need when I’m slaying Half-Breeds with a M86/FL Thermite Rifle.
Burton Baton’s 10% ABV is artfully masked by the smooth malt, oak, and subtle citrus notes. The deft hand used in blending the two very unique styles, is evident in every sip of this tasty and unique brew. The high ABV won’t affect your game, so much as it might extend what turns out to be a pretty short single player mission, with little room to explore. Burton Baton’s sip worthy depth of flavor will save you trips to the fridge, and keep you seated on a cozy couch, as you take in The Order’s movie like game play.
Bottom Line: Is The Order a great game? No, but the story is engaging enough to make it worth a play, and with a 4-pack of Dogfish Head’s Burton Baton by your side, you might be able to resist throwing your controller at the TV during the annoying cut-scene battles.
“Can’t I just fight this guy without a cut scene?! I guess I’ll just sit here and press X a bunch of times. That’s almost as fun.”
Drink up and button mash responsibly!