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Late Shift is the latest example of just how far the FMV genre has come since the days of the Sega CD: the production values are insanely impressive, the narrative is interesting and the acting is strong.
Late Shift is a fun experiment that I'm glad I got to experience, and would encourage gamers and film-goers alike to give it a shot. It manages to suck you in enough that you want to see where your decisions take you, and successfully creates an experience which is fairly unique in both the worlds of cinema and gaming.
Late Shift is an excellent FMV game and a unique point in interactive cinema. It's a vastly interesting new way to allow the viewer to change the outcome of the movie they are watching, but has the very odd position of trying to sell itself as neither a movie or a game, but at the same time, both. What I am most interested to see is how Late Shift impacts the future of media. It might just be a flash in the pan, but if we end up one day having an Oscar nominated film that is also a Game of the Year contender, I can safely say that Late Shift will be seen as the original piece of interactive cinema that provided the catalyst for that potential combined media future.
I must say that on pretty well all levels Late Shift is an amazing exercise in interactive storytelling. While I’d imagined it would be a lot like The Bunker, sharing quite a bit in common with the likes of laser disc games ala Dragon’s Lair and its ilk, it instead has made an appropriate generational leap ahead. Nothing will change the fact that your ability to interact with and control the events taking place in the game is limited, but it is all handled so deftly, and without hesitation, that you get much more immersed in the story. The fact that the production values and acting are easily on par with even middle of the road TV and movies then pulls you in even further. I think that Late Shift really represents the future vision people dreamed about when they were making those original FMV games, and that if more titles at this level of quality continue to be made it is a genre set for a comeback.
The Late Shift is an experience definitely worth checking out, as the FMV style makes the wide variety of decisions and dilemmas more fun and interesting to sift through. If you're seeking to blend the world of live-action film and video games, this is a great game to watch and play.
Late Shift is an interesting release with a solid story. This being an FMV video game, you'll basically be interacting with a movie that plays on its own for most of the time. The game is only $12 which, considering the cost of a movie ticket these days, ain't bad. There is also a Platinum trophy at the end of the road once you've experienced every story branch and unlocked all endings.
Late Shift is a technological beauty that shows what full-motion video games can truly achieve. Its slick plot and fast but meaningful pacing proves that the genre has some uncharted territory it can explore in the future.
Of course, should you choose to only play once, then the game’s 90-minute length may leave you worrying about value for money. Treat it like a cinema ticket, though and honestly, it’s worth every penny. It’s fun, it’s interesting and when played in handheld it feels like a whole new genre has opened up like a vein of precious metal.
Late Shift succeeds on its own terms by knowing exactly what it is and executing on its goals. It's a tight, movie-length, choose-your-own-adventure that doesn't let ill-fitting puzzle elements slow it down or dampen the tension it creates so well. While player agency is limited to the core branching system, its scale eclipses other FMV productions and, although it's resolutely on-rails, it's a far more seamless and satisfying 'interactive entertainment' experience as a result.
Late Shift is an interactive movie of cinematic quality. Players have the power to decide what the protagonist should do next, shaping the narrative with their decisions and leading to seven possible endings. Every decision you take is shown seamless on screen, without abrupt transitions that may disrupt your immersion. It is an enjoyable thriller, even though some events may happen without so much development, making them hard to believe. For the same price of a DVD release, it is worth a shot.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Late Shift uses an awesomely innovative idea in a game that revolves around a young man being pulled into a deadly heist. The lack of normal gameplay elements makes it a very different kind of game, but it's a fun and compelling sprint for anyone who likes a good story.
Late Shift is a great attempt at reviving FMV-led gaming, avoiding the pitfalls of The Bunker by choosing to opt for a purer movie direction rather than including unnecessary forced interactions, making it almost visual novel-esque with its decision-making route and multiple endings inclusion to encourage repeated play-throughs.
Doubt is understandable given the history of the full motion video game genre, but despite some glaring missteps, Late Shift is a step in the right direction for this presentation style. With a story that changes drastically on the way to many different endings, issues like stuttering after decisions and a hint of less than stellar production value can be somewhat forgiven.
For those who enjoy visual novels, or are looking for a Sunday afternoon in front of the couch for a casual playthrough, Late Shift is catered exactly for you. However if you’re looking for something little more fast paced, you could safely pass on this one. The FMV genre is certainly interesting, and with plenty of positive reviews on Steam, CtrlMovie may very well be in a position to explore other film genres to continue to strengthen their fanbase.
Late Shift brings back the interactive movie genre, based on the use of the Full Motion Video, to the current age with all the technical advancements that it brings in terms of visual improvements. However and while the actors' interpretations are competent and there are plenty of choices, they end up having less of an impact on the plot that it would be legitimate to expect and the game's own level of interactivity feels very narrow.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
For fans of the interactive movie genre, Late Shift is, without a single doubt, a product worthy of its price tag. Those grown tired of the usual flaws of this flavour of games, however, beware, as these make their appearance here too, with choices rarely changing things as much as they should.
Overall, Late Shift does well to ensure any choices you make impact on the story, either immediately or later on. The technical issues really hold it back though, and despite not being game-breaking, it’s irritating to have such problems spread out from start to finish.
Late Shift would be a fine movie, although it would falter from an odd lack of direction from time to time. As a game, though, Late Shift just feels too disconnected from the player to justify even giving them control. It does allow you to steer the story, and on occasion it feels like the decisions that have been made actually mattered. Still, the player's involvement just feels like the movie occasionally wondering where it should go.
Because the understanding on how to make FMV games really function is still underdeveloped, there are still structural issues that creators are clearly struggling with, and Late Shift is very much a product of this.
Night Shift is a neat concept, and it's pretty entertaining on a play-through or two. However, it's really tedious to replay, and the writing isn't particularly good. If you're a big fan of choose-your-own-adventure games, pick it up on a sale.
Despite being a thriller, Late Shift, is not nearly as well written, or structured as the films of the very same genre, such as the critically acclaimed North by Northwest. And that’s okay, because unlike Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Late Shift is a compound entity, which consists of numerous scenes which revolve around each other depending on the choices made by the player.
Late Shift is a decent FMV title with a cast that puts in a lot of effort to make their characters believable. It's let down by some glaring plot holes that don't stand up to scrutiny. There are seven endings, meaning that some of the choices made do matter, while others feel a bit like filler and don't seem to change anything. The ambition and the actual cinematography is there, but the writing really needs some improvement to push Late Shift toward greatness.
If you really boil it down, Late Shift is a movie with a plot that you can alter. Sadly, that plot isn't very good. Gameplay is minimal, and where The Bunker struck a decent balance, the lack of interaction here only serves to make the experience more of a slog. This can only be described as a complete disappointment.
Late Shift is an interesting update on the idea of the interactive movie. While it brings decent tv-quality production values and soap opera level acting to a genre notoriously riddled with far worse, it still doesn't do enough to stand out as a film, nor offer enough interactivity as a game. There's potential for this template, but the interactivity needs to be much more ambitious.
The concept behind Late Shift is not necessarily a bad one, but if you're going to design a game around an interactive story, it is crucial the story is actually well done. This isn't the case here, sadly.