GAME NAME: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
DEVELOPER(S): Red Fly Studio
PLATFORM(S): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
GENRE(S): Action, Adventure
RELEASE DATE(S): August 28th, 2013
It has been nearly thirty years since the Turtles made their debut on TV sets around the world. If you’re holding down a day to day office job, have a couple of kids and numerous bills to pay, chances are, you can relate to the franchise better than anyone else. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is roughly based on Nickelodeon’s new TV series, and after playing the game, one can’t help but feel that this franchise has been milked beyond the point of no return. This is somewhat unfortunate as most of us have fond memories of the “heroes in a half shell”, and this game, if anything, should have at least provided the necessary fix of nostalgia we’ve all been looking for. Unfortunately, this trip down memory lane is short lived and filled with more bugs than actual gameplay.
TMNT: Out of the Shadows‘ fighting style can be compared to that of the Batman Arkham series… well a flawed, poorly executed version to say the least. Each turtle has their own unique combination of attacks and voice over tag lines, both of which are equally redundant. The turtles use a combination of weapon attacks, kick, counter moves and evade tactics in order to battle their way throughout the game. You will find that spamming the evade button and randomly mashing away at the weapon and kick attacks should do the trick throughout the game and that no actual skill is in any way involved. This poorly mimicked fighting style is, however, the game’s one and only positive attribute, a travesty to say the least.
In a nutshell , or a halfshell, if you prefer, TMNT: Out of the Shadows is an unfinished game filled with an abundance of glitches and terrible camera issues, making the game nearly unplayable. Add poor level design and an appalling navigation system to the equation and you get an overall idea of the game itself. The navigation is riddled with invisible walls and unbalanced progression sections, forcing you to search for highlighted sections which allow you to continue with the level. These highlighted sections only become noticeable when you’re, for all intensive purposes, right on top of them, making it a mundane, simple task that only ever requires you to move from point A to B.
Throughout the game, you come across locked doors that require you to hack into a security panel. This is essentially a mini-game of connect the dots. You’re tasked with completing a number of circuits in order to open the door and progress to the next section of the stage. While these sections act as a break in gameplay, they are easily forgettable and feel as though they were quickly slapped together by the developers.
The game’s over all presentation could be worse, and while the design flaws are only emphasized by the poor camera angles, the end product of the visuals isn’t too bad. Although, “isn’t too bad” is a far cry from a shining approval. The cut scenes do, however, have a completely different look and feel to them. The scenes are presented in a comic book style, and rather than tying the story together, the presentation and poor monologue feel like a shortcut taken by the designers in order to finish off the game’s story mode in the quickest way possible.
TMNT: Out of the Shadows is only a viable purchase for the most hardened TMNT fans. If you’re after a dose of nostalgia, you’ll find random hints of it here and there but not enough to give you your expected fix. Unfortunately, the cons heavily outweigh any pros the game might have. Worst of all, who knows, maybe with an extra 6 months of development time, Out of the Shadows could have been something substantial; the sad truth is, it isn’t… not in the least bit.