The FMV thriller is fully exhumed in this splicing of game and cinema, where high production values fail to obscure the creative fissures.
Though Late Shift looks stylish and boasts a clever script, the lack of meaningful choices and a chapter selection drowns its promise
Late Shift is interesting enough on its first go around, but without reward in its narrative or punishment in its gameplay, there's not enough reason to go back.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you make totally different choices, events actually play out differently enough where it doesn't just feel like the illusion of choice.
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.
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
The story has its weaknesses, but offers an exciting, non-linear experience with great actors and far-reaching consequences.
Review in German | Read full review
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 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.
A slightly iffy script, one or two uneven performances and some questionable scenes aside, Late Shift is an intriguing FMV crime thriller worth checking out.
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.
Full motion video games are making a comeback and you could do worse than the crime thriller Late Shift.
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.
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.
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.