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Late Shift Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While nowhere near as good as The Bunker, I like that Wales Interactive is keeping the full-motion video genre alive with games like Late Shift. This crime thriller isn't especially original and you probably won't want to play it more than a few times, but it has an attractive price and good production values. I hope they keep making games like this, but maybe next time make the interactive movie a little more, well, interactive. Rating: 57%
Late Shift
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
The choices you make in life are important. At least, that's the lesson repeated over and over in Late Shift, the brand new full-motion video game from Wales Interactive. It's sometimes hard to know how a seemingly insignificant choice will impact the rest of your life, which is probably why I'm spending my time playing video games and not saving lives or doing something important. But the bad choices I've made in life are nothing compared to the hero of this brand new interactive movie, and now that I've played through it a few times with varying results, I've concluded that's problem for the best.

This is a British crime thriller starring a twentysomething student who unwittingly gets himself caught up in a heist attempt that quickly spirals out of control. As a parking garage attendant, Matt lives a boring life that allows him to read books and dream of a day when he can afford the expensive sports cars he's paid to look after. But everything changes when he confronts an injured criminal who holds our hero hostage and forces him to drive what will turn out to be the getaway car.


Fearing for his life, Matt can either take part in the heist or suffer the consequences. What he doesn't know at the time is that this is no ordinary "job" and he's about to get in hot water with some real bad dudes. And no, I don't mean the clumsy thieves that took him hostage. This sets up a scenario where every choice he makes will be life or death, taking us on a riveting ride to make things right before time runs out.

As I mentioned at the start, this is a game about making choices. In fact, that's all this game is. You're basically watching a movie play out and occasionally getting prompts to make one of two or three choices that will have both minor and major ramifications to the plot. This is a seamless experience that is constantly making you second guess what the right decision is, which can lead to a pretty gripping crime thriller.

Late Shift (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

As you may already know, this is not the first full-motion video game from Wales Interactive. Last year they released The Bunker, an intriguing horror game with a great cast and solid production values. Late Shift follows suit with generally strong acting and good looking visuals, though it's not as interactive or puzzle-focused as their previous effort. I think that's why I had a harder time warming up to this release, since it never really felt like I was playing a game. You're basically just making a series of quick choices while watching a movie, which isn't as compelling to me.

That said, I would be lying if I suggested I wasn't into the concept enough to play through it multiple times. My first attempt saw me making choices based entirely on what I thought would be fun to watch, not necessarily what would be good for Matt and the people around him. I then followed that up by making the opposite choices, which gave me a very different experience with new twists and turns. Each subsequent playthrough had me honing in on different decisions just to see how varied things could get. The game will only take around 90 minutes to finish, but there's nearly four hours' worth of footage and seven different endings to locate.

Late Shift (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Despite having multiple paths, there are more than a few major plot points that will happen no matter what you do. Even when I went out of my way to drastically change the outcome, the story is good about pulling you back to witness the familiar twists. Though understandable from a development standpoint, this can sometimes break the illusion of choice. Thankfully, there are enough differences to keep you entertained for at least two or three plays, though you'll run into diminishing returns after that.

As a movie, Late Shift tells a gripping story that doesn't break any new ground. The characters are fine, but poorly developed; there isn't a whole lot of action; and you'll see some of the twists coming a mile away. Still, the production is good and first-time director Tobias Weber shows a lot of promise as a filmmaker. Had this come out before The Bunker, I likely would have been a lot more impressed with almost every aspect of Late Shift. Unfortunately, this pales in comparison to their previous FMV game, and I was a little letdown that there wasn't more to do than just make moral decisions.

While nowhere near as good as The Bunker, I like that Wales Interactive is keeping the full-motion video genre alive with games like Late Shift. This crime thriller isn't especially original and you probably won't want to play it more than a few times, but it has an attractive price and good production values. I hope they keep making games like this, but maybe next time make the interactive movie a little more, well, interactive.
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