Things sometimes are not what they seem: neither having superpowers makes you immortal, nor having a seemingly puzzle mechanic prevents you from being an arcade action game. Because beyond comparisons with other titles for its graphic aspect or playability, Mr Shifty stands out for having that arcade touch that makes you try again and again that section that resists you . The game over is your friend, the one who slaps you on the back and reminds you that you can, you just need to try it one more time.
The gameplay commands
Although reminiscent of fast-action proposals like Hotline Miami or the Nakatomi Plaza section of Die Hard Trilogy , here the pace of action is generally devilish, as we are literally dodging bullets whistling above our heads (and in the case of large machine guns , not a small amount). Added to this is dodging laser beams in motion, automatic machine guns …
Luckily sometimes we can stop for a moment before launching to massacre our enemies, but once the brawl begins, our precision at the time of teleporting before we reach full a bullet will make the difference between life and death . And is that our character has no life bar: any blow is death, and that in turn repeat from the last point of control.
Neither can we use firearms and we will have to conform either with our fists or with various utensils such as brooms, sticks, statues heads, fire extinguishers and even cans of soda. We will also have the ability to name our protagonist: his ability to teleport up to five consecutive times (it is reloaded when we are not using it).
To obtain the latter in many cases we must break elements of the stage, which is almost fully destructible , from tables and boxes to windows and even walls. We can also use elements of the environment, such as stamping closed doors in the face of enemies stationed on the other side, or windows that face the street to throw our enemies into the void.
Artificial intelligence is quite achieved , so that not only are they limited to persecuting us, but if we disappear behind a wall they will try to
deduce where we are, or divide to ambush us. This plays in our favor if we know how to organize ourselves to apply the old divide and conquer technique.
They will also be alerted if we make noise when breaking something, even behind walls, which we can use to our benefit .
But despite this, the game does not take advantage of these stealth mechanics since to advance to the next section we must always finish all the enemies, and once we start attacking one, the rest will react automatically.
To help us when things get tough, the game also has a slow-motion mode that automatically activates when a bullet whistles by Mr. Shifty’s ears if we’ve chained enough attacks before. A skill that will get us out of more than one trouble but that would have been even more useful could have been manually chosen when to use.
The controls themselves seek maximum simplicity , with just three buttons (teleportation, punch and catch / use weapon) with which it costs no effort to get used from the first moment.
Leaving aside the gameplay, graphics and sound are dedicated exclusively to fulfill their role , without bragging in either case but without also suppose a burden for the experience. It highlights how fluid everything moves, which in this case is important in terms of gameplay.
The levels are distributed in chapters of about ten minutes or so in duration, with increasing difficulty but a similar development . Among them (and during, thanks to the messages of a hacker who supports us remotely) we are told a forgettable story full of clichés that nevertheless fulfills its purpose of setting the title without further pretensions.