I still think it needs to go free-to-play, though
The Order: 1886 studio Ready at Dawn recently came out with a multiplayer-only blob action game with a cute aesthetic, a nice ‘n’ chunky game feel, and a melodic soundtrack from Austin Wintory.
Those were the positives. Unfortunately, they were vastly outweighed — at least in my experience — by insurmountable negatives. I had a lot of trouble just getting into a working match at launch.
Since I last checked in with the game, things are much better. Not ideal, but better.
With the most recent updates, Ready at Dawn has addressed several common complaints.
- Actual tutorials. They’re short and segmented but sufficient, covering the basic elements like movement, shooting and charging, power-ups, and classes. It was jarring having to learn how to play in live matches (or by watching YouTube videos beforehand), so this is a crucial addition.
- Cross-network play. PS4 and PC, and Xbox One and PC players can matchmake with one another. Naturally, PS4 and Xbox One aren’t playing nice but we know how that goes.
- Offline play. You can do local split-screen co-op with up to four players and the secondary accounts don’t need to have PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold memberships. Thank goodness.
- Performance and network improvements. I’m still getting some lag, but it’s not as bad as it was around launch.
The studio is on the right track. I don’t know if it’s too little too late, though. The $30 price tag is simply too high for the depth and scope of Deformers, and its ghost town of an online population don’t inspire confidence. If they can get AI bots fully implemented, that’d be a huge step forward.
As is, I can’t help but wish this style of game was attached to a cool little platforming action-adventure experience rather than deathmatches and a soccer variant. I just like how it feels to move — it’s inherently fun, which is no easy task to pull off. And with Sega not concentrating on Super Monkey Ball these days, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good game about rolling around. There’s an opportunity.