Is "The Order: 1886" About to Make "Cabin in the Woods'" Biggest Mistake?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Is "The Order: 1886" About to Make "Cabin in the Woods'" Biggest Mistake?

That's a headline that takes some explanation, doesn't it? After all, a lot of people really enjoyed Joss Whedon's big excursion into horror film, and with good reason. Frankly, I was one of them. But here's the thing: there was one big mistake that movie made, and based on some new reports, “The Order: 1886” is about to make the exact same mistake.

First off, just what “The Order: 1886” is planning to do. The newest word suggests that the basic idea behind the game—an alternate universe version of London that featured knights, zeppelins, and similar matter—has been around for quite some time, and has only recently had the opportunity to bring it out in a playable form. The PlayStation 4, meanwhile, allows for the first such installment to come out, and technically, there's plenty that went into it. But along with the variety of advances required to put this package into operation came one other point, and this is where the mistake may happen. The company behind “The Order: 1886,” Ready at Dawn, put plenty of time and energy into the development of the lore, the various interplay of relationships and history that goes into the game's world.

So what's wrong with that? Indeed, that sounds great, until you consider that was maybe the one thing that was wrong with “Cabin in the Woods.” “Cabin in the Woods” had a pile of characters existing in a kind of ultra-secure storage mechanism laid out as a series of cubicles contained in one central, massive cube. Described by the script as “the CostCo of Death,” the cube prison contains access to the various monsters used to perform the ritual, as determined by the object used by the five sacrifices in the cabin. Those who have seen the movie know exactly what I'm talking about, but suffice it to say that “Cabin in the Woods” had a whole ton of monsters with their own lore and backstory. Everything from dismemberment goblins to the scarecrow folk to something known only as “Kevin,” they're in that prison.

And you'll likely never see most of them again.

There was talk of a sequel, but that talk is nearly three years old now. The idea of a “Cabin in the Woods” sequel was vague at best, and time has not improved the matter any. That's the risk that a game takes when it's developed a lot of lore in the way “Cabin in the Woods” did, and in the way “The Order: 1886” reportedly has. Introducing gamers to a deep, rich fantasy world with a lot going on and then getting the rug pulled out from under them will not endear them to the brand. It's a very big risk, to make a really rich, detailed world that you're deliberately not telling about in that game, because you run the risk that there may never be another game to actually explain everything that was going on.

Consider “Fallout” for a moment; there's a lot going on in that world, and plenty of questions we have yet to get the opportunity to ask. We know about Anchorage, of course, and we're all kind of hopeful that we'll get to find out about things like The Institute in the eventually upcoming release of “Fallout 4,” especially given reports that it's supposed to be set in Boston. But there aren't very many questions that weren't asked and answered in the games themselves. Making a big world with a lot of unanswered questions may prove to do more harm than good in the long run.

Naturally, only time will tell just how well this turns out for “The Order: 1886”, but it's certainly got lore and to spare. But will that lore be a benefit for the game, or ultimately, a detriment?

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