Matthew Thompson is a hard-working mathematics student in London. He earns the necessary change for his studies as a security guard in a parking garage for luxury cars. A BMW i8 here, a Maserati sports car there – each worth so much that Matt could use it to finance his entire studies. He constantly encounters rich snobs and beautiful women in his work. In that late shift, hence the name of the game, something extraordinary happens. At gunpoint, criminal forces him to hijack one of the sports cars. However, the theft is only a small element in the execution of a much larger coup into which Matt involved himself.

TitleLate Shift
Platform(s)PS4, PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
PublisherWales Interactive
DeveloperWales Interactive
Genre(s)Adventure, Interactive movie
ReleaseApril 2017
ModeSingle player
ESRB-rating-Mature-17+MATURE - Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

The real object of desire is a 700-year-old rice bowl worth millions. Also, this theft seems to succeed, but from this moment on everything finally goes wrong. Now not only the police are searching for Matt and the art robbers, but also the triad clan of the Tschois, who claim the bowl for themselves and, if necessary, go over bodies. The unusual thing about the thriller adventure game Late Shift is an interactive film with pleasantly professional scenes that leaves an astonishing amount of freedom within the story.

Many roads lead to the goal

The plot of Late Shift itself may not necessarily be suspicious of an Oscar. Director Tobias Weber and his co-writer Michael Robert Johnson ensure a thrilling and exciting adventure throughout. The quality and scope of the story, however, depend above all on your decisions.

screenshot

She is basically under great time pressure, which practically never slows down the progress of the action. Allied with Matt and art robber May-Ling, he’s on the road with her for most of the thriller. He has to flee from triads or police and uncovers the true background of the crime in a completely different way than usual.

However, anyone who decides early on that Matt will turn himself into the police will be denied access to a series of 14 chapters. Questioning an important witness in the hospital or confrontation with the alleged client Mr. Woe does not occur automatically. It also results in very different playing times.

The shortest version in Late Shift takes about 60 minutes. The longest is about 90. But it is incomprehensible that the developer CtrlMovie does not offer a chapter selection like in Beyond: Two Souls. You may restart a running chapter, but you may not start Late Shift at a certain point to try out alternatives. However, the numerous possibilities to change history create incentives for at least one more round of the game.

Self-destructed credibility

However, it is not only fundamental decisions that change the plot and eventually lead to one of seven ends. Even small things can come back to you later. In this hospital scene, a character will only help you willingly if you act in a certain way at the beginning of a scene.

The credibility of the story also depends on the smaller decisions, which are roughly between 50 and 80 depending on the course of action. Would Matt get involved in a fistfight, hurt a witness to talk, or even shoot someone? It is up to you. However, whether your actions damage credibility or increase it by entering an incorrect access code when stealing the rice bowl.

lateshift-screenshot

You can’t prevent the theft with this decision – and you can’t provoke an early end of the game anywhere else. But it is precisely these options and their consequences that create an atmosphere in this game concept. That’s why we strongly advise you not to let the game make the decisions automatically.

High quality

Late Shift works so well, not least because the production quality is consistently high. Whether in camera work, editing technique, music or sound design, CtrlMovie’s work easily keeps up with medium-sized European film productions.

The acting ensemble also does a good job almost without exception. Above all, the Briton Joe Sowerbutts, who takes over the part of Matt. The cast by Late Shift doesn’t offer big names. But with Richard Durden or Lily Travers movie connoisseurs get to see one or the other familiar face.

lateshift_screen

However, owners of the Nintendo Switch version have to make smaller technical cuts. Due to the comparatively low performance of the new Nintendo console, the makers have reduced the film scenes in some cases extremely. Especially in the darker scenes, ugly compression artifacts can be seen again and again in marginal areas.

Sometimes unattractive trailing effects become noticeable with faster movements, which fail imperceptibly on the other platforms. The Switch version has the advantage that the occasional image layers omit when loading the connection scene.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
FUN FACTOR - Not bad try from Late Shift developers, but eventually lack of any sort of skip button will become so much annoying.
7.5
GRAPHICS - It's a movie! Or not?
8
SOUND - Electronic and acoustic sound blends into the crime drama story very nice.
8
SINGLE PLAYER - Provides unique experience.
7.5
CONTROLS - Use of the controller doesn't make this title a game.
7
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