Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows is the latest release from developer Red Fly Studios and Publisher Activision, and is largely inspired by the original comic book and film series. The action adventure title was released on the 28th of August, and follows the Turtles’ adventures through New York on a quest to take down Shredder.
With the game consisting of a mere four chapters, gameplay is really going to be the core element of TMNT’s experience. Thankfully, every section to the game is thoughtfully laid out, and finely executed. Aspects of the gameplay may be a put off for certain players, however, as the game progresses, puzzles are required to be solved in order to access areas that otherwise would be off limits. To me this is the only real controversial element to the gameplay, but it is nonetheless an important one. This strikes me as a form of lock picking in my mind, yet I can understand why people would perceive it differently,
That being said the main duration of the gameplay comes down to movement and combat, both of which work quite well throughout the course of the story. As each of the four characters, whose control can be switched at will at any time, defeat enemies, their powers are upgraded. This is of a substantial bonus to the power and speed at which the players are able to overcome challenges and obstacles throughout the game.
The biggest attraction to the game is without a doubt the action sequences. Between combos, counters, weapons, specials, charges, health packs, grenades, and of course, shurikens, the game has it all. What’s more is that the mechanics for the game are expertly delievered, and hardly ever glitch throughout the course of the game. While some camera angles certainly take some time to get used to, and the frequncey of button response time is slightly delayed, the technical aspect to Out Of The Shadows is for all intents and purposes solid.
This leads us to the sound of the game, which simply put is interesting and entertaining albeit repetitive. The main theme to the combat is a dub hip-hop song, with the rest of the soundtrack relying mainly on electronics. The sound effects throughout the games loading screens and fight sequences are presented nicely, along with the vocal delivery. As visible through the storytelling and dialogue, the script is nicely structured throughout the course of the gameplay, and is separated delicately against the cutscenes.
The artwork to the game is where I fell it is going to lose the most marks. While it is indeed quite blocky, with low amounts of shading and tonality, it must be remembered that this is an arcade game. Though the four chapters that make up this game are quite varied and challenging, they are still too few in number to necessitate a larger art palette. I feel that this is an aspect to the game that many are going to be quick to criticise, but I feel that that’s a narrow minded approach to analysing the game. What should be remembered from the game is the interesting aesthetic that is created, along with the care and attention to detail that has taken place for the creation of the cutscenes and the costume design. Enemies and attacks look larger and more engaging than ever, creating an altogether enjoyable experience.
So where does this leave us in terms of a campaign? Overall it is an excellent story that is told brilliantly through elaborate combat sequences and entertaining cutscenes. What’s most impressive to me is the ability to switch characters mid-way through the fighting sequences, and the detailed inclusion of upgradable attributes. Though it may not be the perfect TMNT game we’ve been looking for these last few years, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. And more to the point, Out Of The Shadows is an enjoyable experience start to finish.
(Reviewed on Xbox 360. Thank you to Activison for the review code.)
ONLY SINGLE PLAYER SCORE
Story – 7/10
Gameplay/Design – 8.5/10
Visuals – 7/10
Sound – 8/10
Lasting Appeal – 8/10
Overall – 8/10
(Not an average)
Platform: Available on Xbox 360, PC and Playstation 3