Arguably one of the rarest forms of video games are full motion videos or FMVs. These are basically real life actors and scenes used to portray a video game narrative. CtrlMovie and Wales Interactive have announced a new addition into that genre today. Late Shift: A Cinematic FMV Crime Thriller is a point-and-click adventure where your choices are all that matters. You play as Matt, a mathematics student who is forced into a robbery of an auction house. How you get there will be all up to the player as there are over 180 decision points and seven different endings. You can check out the announcement trailer above yourself.
The story is penned by Michael R. Johnson, who just so happened to write the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film with Robert Downey Jr. Late Shift was also filmed entirely in in London via live action. It will release sometime next month and cost £9.99/$12.49. If you pre-order today, you’ll receive a 20% discount.
Michael R. Johnson, Co-Author of the Late Shift, comments, “There are two aspects of ‘Late Shift’ that really drew me to the project. The first is the idea of a truly interactive film. It’s been attempted before with limited degrees of success, but what I feel puts ‘Late Shift’ ahead of the pack is bringing the player into the experience in a very intuitive way. I like the fact that rather than saddling the viewer with a series of arbitrary “go left” or “go right” choices, ‘Late Shift’ instead puts you into the shoes of an actual character – Matt – and the decision-making process always draws on Matt’s ongoing experiences and train-of thought. You feel that each separate decision is weighted with careful consideration and the possibility of multiple consequences, good or bad.
Which leads onto the second aspect of ‘Late Shift’ that really appealed to me: the fact that although there are any number of possible paths through the story, involving different characters and locations, the outcomes of each are strongly influenced by the morality of the viewer’s decisions. How you choose to interact with other human beings has a cumulative effect on how they decide to treat you, and how that impacts on your own fortunes as the story progresses. If Matt treats people with respect, they will tend to treat him with respect, and vice versa. But that’s not to say that ‘Late Shift’ forces the viewer to be moral against their will. Quite the opposite. The viewer is free to interact in whatever way they see fit, ethical or otherwise. It’s just I like very much the fact that – unlike many console games – you cannot simply crash through the story with impunity and not at some point be faced with the consequences of your own actions. Just like in life.”
As always let us know your thoughts in the comments below. So far live action video games (FMV) have been half and half. Some were really good and others were just outright terrible. Where do you think Late Shift will end up?
Wales Interactive Press Release