Review – Late Shift

Late Shift is modern take on one of the cheesiest videogame genres from the 90’s. Remember when the Sega CD arrived onto store shelves and most of its games turned out to be bland movies with limited gameplay revolving around choosing between option A or option B? Imagine a game like this being released in 2018, but swap the “bland movie” bit with “a very good crime drama film” instead. That’s the premise for Late Shift.


That should be the game’s tagline

Reviewing a game like this is complicated, as it’s not much of a game per se and more like a movie, and I’m surely no film buff. How can I review its graphics? How about its sound? Well, I guess I have to judge the quality of the movie being presented as much as the game I’m playing.

Late Shift: The Movie is a very good movie. Not innovative, as it’s yet another heist-gone-wrong drama starring someone who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but very enjoyable, with good acting, very good camera work and sound editing. Our main character is Matt, portrayed by Joe Sowerbutts, a young student who works as a late night valet and gets drawn into a heist after being forced to help a carjacker. He can either be a relatable innocent character or a tremendous douche, depending on your actions. And that’s when we enter the “game” part of Late Shift.


What a good example for the kids…

Late Shift: The Game is… very limited. That’s when you stop thinking of it as a very good movie and you end up with basically what half of the Sega CD and 3DO libraries are comprised of. Watch a scene, choose an option, endure a slight framerate hiccup when the next scene arrives, watch a new scene, rinse and repeat. That’s the entire outcome of the movie until you either reach its end or you do something stupid enough to have your character killed.

The main problem with the game isn’t its gameplay, to be fair. The main problem here is the replayability factor. Late Shift features lots of different endings, and given how well-crafted the story was, I was actually interested in checking all of them out after beating it for the first time, but once you restart the game, you can’t skip scenes. That’s right, you’ll have to watch the same movie all over again in order to choose new options and then be granted with new scenes. I get that having a fast forward button would somewhat tarnish the movie-like experience the game is trying to provide, but the lack of it also severely disencourages mutiple playthroughs.


The game features better car scenes than the latest Need for Speed game

While Late Shift looked and played like a relic from the early days of CD-based consoles, it turned out to be slightly more enjoyable than expected. It provided me some entertainment as it’s actually a very good crime drama, but it bummed me a bit with its limited gameplay and its lack of a fast forward function, making it a nuisance if you want to play it again in order to achieve a different ending. It’s a nice interactive experience, but one I’d say that’s only good for one playthrough.


Graphics: 8.0

It’s one huge high-quality movie, so the graphics are as good as the director’s camera. Weirdly enough, there are some framerate issues whenever a new scene kicks in.

Gameplay: 6.0

Choose between option A or option B. That’s the entire gameplay.

Sound: 8.0

It’s all about the voice acting and the voice mixing. They’re both pretty good, especially for a supposedly lower budget film.

Fun Factor: 5.5

The movie within Late Shift is pretty good and very well-acted. The game within Late Shift is average at best, and the lack of a fast forward button hinders its replayability.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Reviewed on Switch.
Now available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch