Blog - Updated on May 12, 2022

Now you will not surprise anyone with Full-motion video games, the time of this genre has passed, it has been replaced by games with realistic computer graphics, with which you can do something incredible much easier. But there are still enthusiasts who invest their efforts in games, such as the products of one British publisher, Wales Interactive. It so happened that over the past year I went through several of them and I can share my impressions.

The bunker

Although this is the earliest game in the selection, I passed it last, as the steam ratings were average.

To be honest, I was expecting some kind of collective survivalist, where decisions would have to be made like: who will live and who will die. And everything will be built on conflicts in a closed space. It turned out to be completely different.

The scene is a bunker after a nuclear strike, hundreds of people have locked themselves underground in the hope of protecting themselves from radiation. But it never passed in 30 years, and as a result, the only survivor remained.

On the one hand, the absence of people creates an atmosphere of hopelessness and fear of loneliness, and on the other hand, how cheap it is. Most of the time we only have one person on screen. Sometimes, of course, we are shown flashbacks from the past, but there are always the same people. And they don’t have much screen time. The compressed video makes it even more cheap. But who presses the video so much that you can already see the artifacts? At such moments, it immediately becomes clear why video games shot on camera are an endangered genre. There are no compression artifacts in 3D.

On the first day of the game, everything is fine with the hero: we check the radiation, drink a vitamin, eat canned beans. The second one does the same – here the repetition of useless actions began to strain me. But something is going wrong. GG will not be able to sit in his room, otherwise he will simply die from an overdose of radiation. It’s time to move on to the gameplay, if you can call it that.

It all comes down to finding active areas on the screen and clicking on them. Mostly just useless activities. Sometimes you can read notes and collect collectibles. Important tasks are simply performed by a sequence of actions and a very unpleasant QTE – you need to quickly, quickly hammer on the left mouse button. In general, everything is in terms of gameplay.

What about the plot? We have a detective story here. We gradually learn what happened 20 years ago and why only one person remained. Flashbacks send us back to the protagonist’s childhood, where he, driven by youthful curiosity, learns something he shouldn’t know. As a result, this leads to tragic consequences, and the mental trauma will remain with him forever. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to influence the course of the plot much, although, it would seem, the genre has it. The GG makes the main fateful choice literally at the very end before the credits.

And what is the result? It was quite atmospheric for a couple of hours thanks to the corridors of an abandoned bunker and the loneliness of the protagonist, sometimes turning into a kind of obsession. As a game, it’s zero. In fact, we just follow the “script”, pressing the buttons in time. The plot is primitive, but it raises an interesting question and is not without twists. Now I understand why The bunker has a weak rating and it is really deserved.

Late Shift

While The bunker is a very intimate story, Late Shift takes it to the next level and feels like a complete movie with a variety of settings, lots of actors and action scenes.

The main character is a student who works as a parking attendant in an underground garage. There are a lot of cool cars around him and he is alone with them all night. It would seem that what could happen? As it turned out, maybe. A chain of random unfortunate events, and he has already plunged head over heels into a criminal story in which he will play an important role.

We’ll have to get into the trust of bohemia, and also meet with bandits and the police, these meetings will not always be pleasant. In general, it’s time to embark on all serious. And your choice will influence whether the hero ends up with a bullet in his head in a ditch or gets out of it dry, or …

Our influence on the plot, in comparison with the previous game film, has increased, there are many moments of choice, and they influence further events up to the endings, of which this time there are 7 pieces and at the same time they differ significantly.

Everything is filmed quite simply, there are no frills with the camera, but the night city and expensive cars give a certain charm. Unfortunately, the number of recorded videos is not very large. On the second playthrough, you choose completely different answers, and the scenes are basically the same. But the actors play well, there are no stone faces, and the guy playing Matt (the main character) shows emotions well.

This is entertainment for a couple of hundred rubles and for 2-4 hours. At the same time, it is fascinating to follow what is happening. I think Late Shift is worth the money.

The Shapeshifting Detective

After Late Shift decided to continue with games from Wales Interactive, my eyes fell on this detective.

This is a noir puzzle game about a murder mystery. A crime has occurred in a small town – a promising cellist Dorota Shaw has died under very strange circumstances. Her death was predicted by tarot cards.

Since the case is mystical, then a detective not of this world will investigate it. The main character has an unusual ability – as a T-1000 terminator, he can almost instantly turn into any person, regardless of gender. This opens up some additional possibilities in a murder investigation. Not everyone, you know, is ready to tell secrets to strangers, especially if they are connected with the police. But friends or lovers, is another matter.

Oh, what an atmosphere here: a rainy night, an old radio is constantly humming in the background, with news of the murder and mystical stories. For the first half hour, I just stood in the lobby of the hotel and listened to the broadcast. A little play with light, the rooms with the suspects are dimly lit, and the people’s faces are shrouded in shadow. Music and sound effects surround what is happening with an aura of mystery.

The gameplay is a questioning of suspects and witnesses. First we talk to everyone like a detective, and then we change our appearance. And the second is the most interesting. A small town and its inhabitants are not as simple as they seem. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, mired in lies and debauchery. You will have to hear a lot of revelations, delve into dirty laundry and find skeletons in the closets.

One small feature – the killer is chosen randomly before the start, this opens up scope for replayability.

But no matter how atmospheric the game is, no matter how interesting the local detective is, something prevents you from enjoying it:

Budget. The whole environment is a few rooms, and the police chief was not even given this: only a table and a wall). Saved on makeup – the faces look bad, it’s hard to explain, but sometimes they don’t look cinematic. There is no action – we just walk around the rooms, or take a taxi to come to those who live far away.

Repetitiveness. You need to constantly change faces, and talk to everyone. At first, this does not cause inconvenience, but the closer to the end, the more characters, and the GG, in order to reincarnate, you need to go to your room, change your appearance, then adjust your voice, go out into the hall, choose who to talk to first, and only then will the dialogue begin . You start to get tired of this. A lot of time is spent just running back and forth. The rewind button is missing to make the routine go faster.

Translation. When I played Shapeshifter detective it was terrible. Well, a person cannot translate like that. Or maybe? The masculine and feminine are mixed up, semantic errors, just wrong words. The radio is not translated at all, so it’s better to know English at a good level and not rely on subtitles.

I don’t even know if I recommend this game. It has its pros, but its cons spoil it. Probably like this: it’s better to find a cheap key on certain sites, I took it for 30 rubles. Moreover, there are cards to sell and it will be even cheaper.

The complex

It all starts in a field hospital, which is located almost in the center of a hot spot in one of the East Asian camps. Doctors, a man and a woman, solve an important problem: two patients are dying, that’s just one syringe with medicine. Oh, the moral choice that fires later, though it’s more like a crossbow, could have been better. Unable to withstand the stress, the male doctor simply shrugged it off, sort it out for yourself.

5 years pass, our heroine is appointed the head of the nanocell project, which works like in the MGS Nanomachines son! But they are not yet fully prepared, and as usual they are kidnapped. In the process, one of the interns becomes infected with these nanocells, she becomes ill, she is taken to the very complex after which the game is named to find out what is wrong and pull out such important cells.

The very same doctor is called to help. They say time heals and he transforms into a cynical joker who is not as cowardly as before. But with our heroine everything is getting worse, more precisely with acting: she has only one emotion on her face – something like surprise, and she will walk with this mug all the game.

The complex has a set of problems

This is a bit of fantasy, and to show it properly, you need money, but this time, obviously, there was none. Outdated CGI, lousy chrome key, all the action takes place literally in two rooms.

Actor play. Everything is bad. The heroine has already been mentioned. But there are still terrorists. I doubt that they are actors, they play and move so badly. Just people from the street recruited for a cheeseburger? As a result, the head of the complex from the second plan plays best.

Plot. There is nothing unusual, it doesn’t keep you in suspense, you don’t want to worry about the characters. Plot holes punch the bottom in the literal sense. Seriously, what did the toilet do to them? Two doctors could not determine if the person is alive or dead, how? Guard with a weapon, but only use it when the one being guarded is already dead.

As many as 9 endings are declared, but in fact these are just variations of the 2 main ones. Although I will give credit, one of them is funny.

As a feature film, “Complex” is not very good: elections that affect at least a little something and everything goes according to one scenario. You can only influence some minor things. If you want something of high quality, then you should not buy it, unless you watch it on YouTube. But if you want to go through a three-shot with a beer – you can try, there are a couple of stupid moments here.

It was an interesting experience, I don’t remember ever playing something like that. I didn’t like everything, to make it beautiful you need a lot more money, but it’s not a fact that the investment will pay off. The genre is very niche, I bet you have never heard of such names. The more realistic the graphics, the less sense in games with live actors. But I did enjoy the ride. The bunker and The Shapeshifting Detective are very atmospheric, Late Shift is pleasant, and even the stupid The complex made me laugh. Let’s see what else Wales Interactive has in the genre.

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