Late Shift Reviews

  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    13 1 5
    Hello and welcome to my review of the game Late Shift. Despite the official TA review of the game, which is much more technical and in-depth, I’d just like to explain my experience with the game and why I think it’s really a fantastic throwback. For achievement-hunting purposes, the guide by Alf Ganikiller is very in-depth and helpful.

    The game uses Full Motion Video to tell its’ story, in the same vein as The Bunker recently. Primarily, FMV was widely used in the 90’s in great games such as Wing Commander, Dark Forces II, Rebel Assault, there was a terrible X-Files game for Playstation, etc., the list goes on. Luckily for us, technology has improved to the point where it also makes for a nearly seamless experience.

    Basically, you play the game from the perspective of Matt, a young Londoner who is preoccupied with probability, as he is studying to become some sort of Mathematician. At night, however, he’s the attendant for an affluent apartment building’s garage, where he pines for vehicles that would keep him “in school for a decade.”

    The plot thickens when he’s kidnapped by a car thief who was on his way to a larger heist. At one point, Matt alludes to a shadier past, which I suppose gives you an excuse as to why Matt can so easily cooperate with the plan, if you chose to. As someone who has played the game and completed it, I can tell you that sometimes the choices that make the most sense are the least helpful or productive.

    I freely admit that I’m biased in favor of this game, so my objectivity is slightly skewed. If I had to step back and critique it though, I would say on the technical side that the video occasionally freezes, and then moves at an accelerated speed to catch up. This is small, but it takes me out of the moment. Story wise, the game is a little bit on rails at times, with some predetermined outcomes, no matter how you’re acting. It’s just odd when in one scene you’re joking with someone, and in the next they want to kill you. Also, the game doesn’t give you much time to make your dialogue choices.

    It’s hard to chart the plot because there are so many variables. The game is tailored to how you play it, like the TellTale games. However, it is also reminiscent of Mass Effect. You reap what you sow. You could be a goodie-2-shoes and subvert the plan or run to the cops. You can play it middling, where you’re pragmatic enough to go along with the heist, but you have some lines that you simply won’t cross. Lastly, you can play it full-on Renegade Shepard, where you’re the alpha.

    Being a dick to everyone is always good for a laugh, but I found that the game leads you to the ideal playthrough. Some courses of action simply make more sense than others. For example, there’s a point where you must make a choice entering a security code. There is an achievement tied to this, but aside from that, if you’re going along with the plan, why would you purposely enter the wrong code? There should be some logic to your behavior.

    In conclusion, the best part is that you can complete the game in under 40 minutes. Not only is it entertaining and suspenseful, but it’s fast enough to warrant multiple playthroughs, and as a completionist, I usually hate to retrace my steps. Each playthrough I pick up on something I missed the previous time through. This is not a game where you run around shooting monsters. This is a story-driven experience with a lot of dialogue. An experience, I might add, that is well-worth your time.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Thanks, Death Punch KO! You won't regret it. Let me know what you think!
    Posted on 21 Jun 18 at 00:16
    TheAnonymitythis is a pretty good and honest review. the story-telling and choose-your-own-adventure type of game was a pretty cool concept and the acting was pretty good. i, however, rated this game a 3/5 due to poor spelling on the subtitles and frame rate drops.
    Posted by TheAnonymity on 07 Sep 18 at 23:33
    I noticed that too, Anonymity! I actually forgot about the typos until I read your comment. The frame rate issue really takes you out of the story.
    Posted on 07 Sep 18 at 23:36
  • Sir Noncy DorpSir Noncy Dorp150,522
    18 Mar 2021
    1 1 0
    Choices, do they matter? What difference does it make if you hold the door open for the next bloke? Is the butterfly effect real? Are we really all in charge of our own individual destinies? Or are we each on set crash courses that we can't avoid? Welcome to the wonderful madness, of Late Shift.

    Begin a new story with Matthew Thompson (Joe Sowerbutts) as you start your night the way you do any other, with your late shift. Unfortunately you soon find yourself partaking in the middle of a heist. And yes, the transition in the game is just as smooth as it was in this review. From there, the night can only get as chaotic as you make it.

    The gameplay basically plays like this; watch the cutscene, choose what happens next, watch how it unfolds, and then move to the next bit. To say that this is an actual game might be stretching the truth a bit. This is more akin to a Telltale game in the manner of gameplay mechanics, because there kind of aren't any.

    I will say that despite the lack of gameplay, the production quality for this interactive movie is actually quite spectacular. And given all the different options you're presented with, I'm actually pretty surprised with how well it all wraps up. I can only imagine how many times the actors must have had to play out a scene similar to another one. Sowerbutts also shines as an actor here, really bringing out the actions you take and rolling with them. You choose to act like a coward? Sowerbutts acts like a coward as a result. It's quite the spectacle really.

    To me this game plays out kind of like I would want a Telltale game to play out. The choices you make do actually change the story and how it unfolds. It's much less focused on how your relationships with certain characters are, and instead looks into actually changing the scenes you witness and get to interact in. There are seven different endings you can achieve, and each one is different enough to go after. These endings range from hopeless, you clearly got the worst ending to everybody lives happily ever after. So there's a nice variety,

    Achievements aren't really too much of a pain as long as you do them in the right order and don't mind rewatching some of the scenes a few times. It's pretty easy stuff all things considered. And with how little time it takes, there's really no reason not to 100% the game.

    Late Shift is a fun little experiment that ultimately falls a little short of expectations. Still, it's not entirely disappointing, and it doesn't overstay it's welcome. Some cheesy dialogue might have you rolling your eyes, but outside of that, this is a short game with a quick 1,000G attached to it. I would recommend this game to fans of movies, anyone looking for a quick completion, and anyone interested in experimental ideas.

    Overall score: 62/100
  • Spring ShieldsSpring Shields315,457
    18 Jan 2020
    1 1 0
    In terms of FMV games I've played recently, I certainly liked this a lot more than The Bunker. I felt that the story was far more engaging with the Late Shift. I guess I like the choice and consequence style of gameplay more than the point-and-click style.

    You play as Matt Thompson, a college student who works the late shift as a valet/car park attendant. The night appears to be rather quiet, until a robber breaks into the car park, holds you up at gun point and forces you to drive to a house where a robbery is being planned. Unfortunately, the guy who kidnapped you suffers an injury when he broke into the garage and Matt is forced to take his place in the robbery instead. The robbery goes awry and you end up in the crosshairs of a Chinese triad gang, thus beginning the adventure to escape with your life based on the decisions you make.

    "Gameplay" is fine for what it is; a choice and consequence, FMV style game. Certain choices can lead to entire chapters being locked off until you try again on another play through, so there's at least some consequences for your actions.

    The acting is fine, it's kind of interesting to watch Matt's character arc quickly go from an average, innocent college student to a hardened criminal. The music is just kind of throw-away, although I wish they hadn't mixed the music to be so loud and the voices to be so low. I had to drop the music levels to about 60% just to hear what the actors were saying to each other.

    There are some technical issues I've found with the game. The subtitles and the actors lines don't match up on several occasions, there was one instance where I pushed my luck and managed to get a 50% share in the money for the robbery. The subtitles matched that decision when it played out, but the actor recited the line where it was only 25% (If you don't push your luck). There's also random multi-coloured bars that can flash up on screen momentarily and I get some frame rate slow down and acceleration with a number of scenes, leading to believe that maybe parts of this game weren't rendering correctly. Could simply be a console vs. PC thing.

    I do wish there was a way to check what choices you've made, what ending you got and even compare your choices globally with other players. I don't really care that I made X number of choices in a play through, when would that ever tell me anything of consequence?

    Overall, Late Shift is short, fun FMV game that I can recommend if, like me, you've never really played many FMV games. Do try to pick it up on sale, though. I picked it up for $7 CAD, as oppose to $12.49 CAD.