The Shapeshifting Detective
Top Critic Average
The Shapeshifting Detective is yet another really fun and innovative whodunit from D'Avekki Studios. At a glance, you may think it looks like a simplified FMV adventure based on their previous game due to the fewer number of questions you can ask and the removal of the manual questioning mechanic. However, the removal of that has allowed the developers to create many more branches and outcomes as they know the choices you can make and plan accordingly. My advice, play the game through to the end about three or four times, make different choices, refuse to talk about certain things, and be a complete nob to everyone instead of being nice, you'll end up with a few new and often hilarious dialogues.
I can only recommend this if you feel like something different, or you’ve got some company around to enjoy trying to figure it out with. It’s not groundbreaking, it’s not a fast paced roller-coaster of suspense. But it is a delightful, self-aware romp that plays more like Clue! and less like Identity, so have a laugh with it.
In respect to the murder mystery theme and The Shapeshifting Detective is a shining light in immersive story-telling. It may lack in gameplay variety but the shapeshifting mechanic and how it is integrated into the story really sets it apart
If you’re down for a somewhat unusual narrative where you’re a very active participant, able to hit characters from a variety of angles to tease out the truth, The Shapeshifting Detective may appeal to you. As long as you walk in with the expectation that there’s only so much room for player choice it may not be too disappointing. Compared to previous titles as a whole this entry feels a bit more jerky with the camera work and isn’t quite as cohesive, but it is certainly a novel experience with some decent acting propping it up. To get a taste for it’s style it is definitely recommended that you check out some video of the gameplay first to see if it suits you.
The Shapeshifting Detective is a game for those who like a good story: you're in the character and interact with the narrative. It's worth looking for the culprit. But if you are one of those who gets bored easily, you'd better look for another option.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
I really can't talk more about The Shapeshifting Detective without spoiling the experience for you, but I will say that this is a brilliant FMV experience that you have to play on PlayStation 4. The story is good, the performance from each actor is solid, and the shapeshifting mechanic is very addictive. As long as you take things slowly and make sure you're not caught, you're going to have a lot of fun with this one on PS4!
As it is, even without any deeper investigation being possible, it’s hard not to be charmed by The Shapeshifting Detective. From its presentation – with an eerie local radio station playing spooky stories in the background – to its alluring characters and enthralling narrative that dances with supernatural themes, there’s a lot to love.
The Shapeshifting Detective is proof that FMV titles can be done extremely well.
At its core, The Shapeshifting Detective has a good hook and a compelling enough story structure, but is marred by not feeling like your choices matter, uneven pacing, and the impression that not all the story beats were well thought out or executed. Without sticking the landing on either the story or interactivity, what had potential to be great feels more middle of the pack.
Acceptable murder mystery FMV game with poor actors, fair story and good replayability.
Review in Slovak | Read full review