Mr Shifty review – action that goes downhill

Overview

Hm, where to start with Mr Shifty. It’s a stylistic, top-down action game that has you teleporting and punching (and occasionally whacking with objects) through 18 levels filled with enemies. The teleporting and punching is great fun, and I had a blast, for all of act one. Then, the second act started, and it immediately went downhill.

The story is extremely forgettable, even in the annals of forgettable stories. You’re after a thing called mega plutonium for some reason, and the enemy is trying to stop you. Such a unique tale. It’s also full of plot holes. The enemy wonders why you’re there and how you can teleport like you do, then a few levels later he’s somehow converted his entire building into a defense, and also has the same ability, except with more powers. There’s really not much to say about it aside from that.

Graphically, the game has a great style, the explosions are excellent and the overall polish of the game is good. The world is decent, but as you’ll be spending the entire game in one of three types of environment (fancy office, underground, fancy office with underground parts), there really isn’t much variety.

Sound design is alright. The explosions and punches are great at first, but as there’s extremely limited variety, they get old. Music never changes, and remains the same fast paced, techno garbage that is apparently a necessity in these types of games. No audio for the game dialogue, but Nyx isn’t funny, even when she’s supposed to be, and the bad guy has your typically cliche bad guy lines.

As I said at the beginning, act two is an immediate downhill slope. You begin act two by having the game take away the ability after which the game is named, thereby artificially creating difficulty without actually making it more difficult. Rooms are longer, enemies are more numerous, and that’s about it.

You’ll encounter several different enemy types throughout the game, but you yourself never change. While you’ll be up against machine guns, turrets, lasers, rocket launchers, grenadiers, rocket launching turrets and more, you never get anything besides your teleporting and punching, and a slo-mo that’s automatically activated when a bullet gets close to you.

Pros

  • Very stylish
  • Excellent first half, you’ll have a blast
  • Combat is exciting

Cons

  • Short
  • Repetitive in every way imaginable
  • Music and sound has very limited variety
  • No significant difference in environments
  • Enemies are all basically the same, just with different weapons
  • Forgettable story that you won’t even care about as you play

Summary

I wanted to like Mr Shifty, and I did for the first 45 minutes. Then act two started and I found myself caring about the game less and less. It is by no means a terrible game, it’s just too much of the same, spread too thinly, that you never encounter much variety, and it’s the same basic gameplay for the entire 2.5 hour experience.

Recommend/Not Recommend: Not Recommended

Read more of my reviews here, or head on over to Steam to check them out.