Title: Late Shift
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: CtrlMovie
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: The true definition of an interactive movie
Price: £10/$12.49
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

Late Shift is an interactive thriller that tells the story of Matt, a university student at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Shortly after starting his night shift as a parking guard, he hears an unusual noise in an otherwise very quiet place. As he goes to investigate the situation, he notices someone that shouldn’t be there. As he interrupts the culprit, Matt gets taken hostage and tangled up into a brutal London heist. Late Shift is a FMV, a.k.a. Full Movie Video game which relies on pre-recorded real life movie scenes than the traditional sprites/vectors/3D models. Thanks to a plethora of choices that players must do throughout this “movie,” there’s a total of seven different conclusions that can be achieved.

Seeing as this is basically an interactive movie, the gameplay is limited to decision making. While games like Heavy Rain are a bit more interactive due to action sequences being peppered with QTEs, Late Shift only requires players to choose between two or three options throughout the movie.

Based on the decision you’re making, you can either go deeper in the conversation or abruptly end it. Each decision will lead to different situations. Obviously, it won’t derail the story as a whole, but there will be subtleties that will impact the relationship of the characters and the choices will obviously guide players through one of seven endings. There are good and bad endings. Which one you get depends on the choices you make.

Considering this is a “FMV,” game, the presentation is actually on point and it’s actually much better than some movies I’ve seen throughout my life. It’s basically like watching a movie. The acting is actually very well done. Additionally, the camera work is spot on and we’re treated to quite striking visuals of London at times. My main gripe is mostly with the subtitles as they don’t always match the actual dialogue between characters. Sometimes there will be a word or two missing, while other times the character will say something and the subtitle will display something entirely different, but in the end it essentially means the same thing. The game does have a few technical issues, as sometimes the “movie,” will stutter or slow down. The latter occurring more often after making a decision; as if the “movie,” is loading the proper sequence based on your reaction.

Variety is the spice of life and to be honest, we need more experiences like Late Shift. Well done acting, with a proper score and actually tense synopsis makes for a fun and wild ride. Considering each playthrough, or “watch-through,” can take roughly around 80-90 minutes, trying to get all seven endings can require a total of roughly 10 hours. The only fault I can find is watching 7 times might seem like a deterrent to some, Late Shift is like your favorite movie: you re-watch it on a regular basis; but thanks to the various choices, the “movie,” will feel different. If you’re craving for something new and want to enjoy a game with your non-gaming better half, Late Shift is the perfect choice.

The Good

  • Replay value through the roof (7 different endings)
  • Interactive movie that can be enjoyed with non-gamers

The Bad

  • Minor technical issues
  • Subtitles don’t always match the dialogue

Family Focus

Late Shift is rated M for Mature and PEGI 18 due to the presence of blood, violence and strong language, meaning this game isn’t for the younger members of your family.

This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.