Top Critic Average
An interesting idea, but not a very good game. I enjoyed watching it for an hour but replaying it became very frustrating. Bandersnatch did a similar idea and doesn’t require a direct purchase price.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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