Alex Lynch Reviews: TMNT: OUT OF THE SHADOWS - [Windows/PC]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out Of The Shadows is a video game by Red Fly Studios and Activision which is available for a mere 15$ on Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and soon, Playstation Network. It features four playable Ninja Turtles – Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael – as they investigate mysterious gang activity which, ultimately, ends up getting them in a conflict with none other than The Shredder. This game is quite boring playing by yourself, and that’s why it encourages you to play co-op…but that’s where it ultimately fails.
Red Fly Studios and Activision took on the Nickelodeon's highly popular TMNT television show and gave birth to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows but is this game any really good? Check out my take after the jump!
On the PC version at least, co-op is broken and Activision has promised a “huge patch” that would fix everything, but it hasn’t even seen the light of day yet and neither Red Fly nor Activision have commented further on the bug. What’s the bug, exactly? Basically, you cannot create a private match and invite or join a friends’ game. You have to be in a public game, which is alright but not fun to those who want a little privacy. It’s also interesting that you can’t do the Challenge Maps with friends which would have made everything all the more interesting. That, my friends, is the VERY reason this review was delayed – I wanted to try out all parts of the game, but I couldn’t. For PC users, TMNT: Out Of The Shadows is unfortunately restricted to 32-bit and DirectX9 and has absolutely no graphic settings in-game to change. Not even Vsync, so you’re stuck searching the Unreal Engine 3 config files to change that stuff up. For PC users, this is an extremely rushed port, but at least it runs at 60FPS for me (Core 2 Duo, AMD 7750 HD).
TMNT’s Campaign/Story Mode has about six chapters that are separated by comic-book like cut scenes with voice acting which was a nice touch considering the art-style really works for the turtles. The dialogue is very cheeky and clever and often times the Turtles will break out into random conversation while on missions which definitely get the characters down. However, this is sort-of ruined by the voice actors not being top-notch or reused from the Nickelodeon television show from which this game is based on, but I guess they didn’t use them due to the fact that they wanted to be more “realistic” and “grounded” as you can see by the designs. The story is pretty linear and features a playable April O’Neil in the beginning but I’m not going to go too far in-depth with the story because it’s not complex or anything but it does use a lot of the characters from the television show such as Karai, Baxter Stockman and his mousers as well as the villainous Shredder who sports a very similar design from the television show.
Out Of The Shadows’ gameplay is very simple but feels incredibly clunky. Often times it is hard to navigate from enemy-to-enemy due to slow response time and the animations being developed at 30fps really makes it hard for someone playing at 60fps to get what’s going on. Speaking of the animations, they’re also incredibly stiff and repetitive so at times it’s hard to tell whether or not you’ve actually hit a guy, especially with the really boring/bad block mechanic that’s hard to control. We also shouldn’t forget about TMNT OOTS’ horrible camera which often goes into walls during combat which is incredibly annoying, but thanks to the power of PC mods, this is easily fixed.
In summary, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows is an alright, but obviously rushed game. You shouldn’t be pre-ordering or losing sleep over the PSN release trying to anticipate it, but it is some incredible fan-service as the people who created it definitely know their turtle-trivia. There is lots to see and fanboy over in it, but at the end of the day it’s just not that great of a game, even though it’s only 15$, there are some higher quality games available at that price these days.
[Alex Lynch of ComicBookMovie.com received the PC version of TMNT: OOTS to review from Activision. I used an Xbox 360 Controller while playing]
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