In Late Shift, you play as Matt, a student who is good with numbers. To make extra money, you’re working a night job parking cars. Except tonight’s shift isn’t like any other. Before you know it, you’ll be embroiled in a high risk robbery at a London auction house. But that becomes the least of your worries. Things get steadily worse and worse as it comes to light the true significance of the item you have illegally acquired. Strap in, you’re in for one hell of a night…
As you can see by the screenshots, Late Shift is a cinematic FMV game. You are essentially participating in a movie. You are here solely to make decisions. There is no tricky game play, no combos to learn. You are in effect, an on the spot scriptwriter. There are a whopping 180 decision points, and your decisions vary in terms of importance. It could be deciding whether to high five someone, or it could be whether someone lives or dies. The game itself is short – one run through will only take around 80 minutes. But perhaps the most impressive thing is you will 100% want to play again. With the game boasting 7 different endings, Late Shift cries out for you to play it again. What would have happened if I’d been more selfish? How would it have changed things if I had not gone to the Police? These dilemmas only present themselves when it’s too late and the credits are rolling.
Late Shift is presented flawlessly. There are no stutters between making decisions and every turn looks like a blockbuster film. Directed by Tobias Weber and written by Michael R. Johnson (author of Sherlock Holmes – 2009 film), the actors have a brilliant script to work with and they certainly work with it well. Joe Sowerbutts as Matt delivers an exceptional performance as someone who is torn between trying to get out of this alive, but also being tempted by the heist’s rewards. Haruka Abe is also brilliant in her role as May-Ling, as is Richard Durden as Samuel Parr.
So Late Shift is a superb crime thriller that you’d happily watch at the cinema. But what about us gamers? Are you just a bystander without any real input? Not at all. I platinumed the game as I wanted to see every spot I could, and I was pretty astounded at how different the endings were. There’s certainly your money’s worth here if you go looking for it. And speaking of the Platinum, this game is a very simple one that you will wrap up in about 4 playthroughs. Yet another perk in a game that is full of them.
Late Shift is a thrill ride that you don’t want to miss. As games go, this is as real as it gets. Outstanding.
Punk rating: 9/10