Going by various sources from Youtube playthroughs, message board posts from gamers getting early access to the retail game and the first media review coming from French game mag jeuxvideo, the game is heavy in unskippable cut-scenes and jeuxvideo rated it 15/20.
Link to jeuxvideo scan
Cut-scenes have been timed at anywhere from about 2 hours (people watching the walkthroughs and estimating total cut-scene timing) to jeuxvideo’s claim in their review that their 7 hour playthrough was half cinematics (which means 3.5 hours).
The key issue is that what if The Order: 1886 sells a ton of copies? Sony profits big time and focuses attention on more “cinematic”, “filmic”, and “interactive movie” style games at the expense of traditional gameplay genres? What if other publishers notice and they copycat making more cut-scene heavy games where it can encompass half the total time playing the game?
Is this good for gaming? Is this bad for gaming?
There can be a case made for both sides:
On the plus side, it can be profitable leading to using the money to bankroll other games (on top of more cinematic games). It can lead to better balance sheets so they won’t go bankrupt. Cinematic gameing is a genre that is small, so what’s wrong with more of them? It’s not like it’s going to overtake FPS games. This style of game can lead to a more cohesive story line, less chances of bugs and other issues large scale games experience.
The downside is that devs replace traditional games with more cinematic games (the total games they make stays the same, which gamers may not like. More issues include giving gamers less to do in games, more linearity (for gamers who prefer freedom), and forcing gamers to watch unskippable scenes (for gamers preferring to press X to move the game along briskly). Imagine if many devs decide to all follow the dollars and there’s a retro focus on movie style gaming like the PC CD-Rom era from 1995? I don’t think too many gamers would like that.