Top Critic Average
With its entertaining story that you have a surprising amount of control over, Late Shift is definitely a triumph in a genre that is steadily making a revival.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
When you make totally different choices, events actually play out differently enough where it doesn't just feel like the illusion of choice.