I have a lot of fond memories of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I’m sure that’s so very true of many of you. So it’s awesome to see the foursome back in the public eye.
What’s quite surprising is that Out of The Shadows doesn’t really hold any relation to the latest TV series over at Nikelodeon. For one thing the art style is completely different, going for a more textured approach compared to TMNT’s cartoony, phong shading, which is more akin to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series or Team Fortress 2.
Not to mention that it’s aiming for a PEGI 12 rating too, so a more teenage affair. At its heart, it’s a fairly straight forward third person brawler, but there are quite a few rather unique ideas built into it.
It naturally centres around the four turtles, and they all have their appropriate weaponry, Leonardo with his Katanas, Raphael with his Sai and so on. Their personalities are the same, as Donatello can slave away in his lab to create technological wonders, and Michaelangelo is obsessed with pizza.
The game takes these core attributes and crafts their individual play styles around it, so Mikey is easily the fastest of the four, but what’s fairly unique is that all four characters are playing at all times. If you’re on your own, then AI will take over the other three and you can switch character on the fly in a mission, but you can team up with other people to play as a foursome over the internet or two locally.
This game’s particular twist is that, because all four characters are always in a particular arena, you can perform plenty of combo attacks. It expands upon the familiar Batman: Arkham Asylum style of brawling combat, letting you switch targets fluidly and acrobatically fly around the fight, with moves seeing you fly over your comrades, or combining for spinning kicks that take out those around you, and so on.
The main plot will see you battling through several locations, from the back alleys of New York to the sewers and robotic lairs, as your battle takes you from fighting the Purple Dragons street gang up the foodchain of crime. Though nothing’s being confirmed at the moment, it would be a safe bet to say that Shredder will appear, and hopefully those two loveable henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady.
Away from that, you can retreat to the turtles’ sewer base (which is really just a neat main menu system) and chill out at a few in-game arcade machines.
Hopefully they’ll include some classic TMNT games to while away the time waiting for buddies to join you online, or you can hop into the dojo to practice your combat moves, even practice in co-op to perfect those combos. Donatello’s lab also houses the character upgrades, for a little ability progression, tailored to each character.
Unfortunately there’s not a lot more I can say. I only had a rather brief glance at the game, and it was a guided tour due to the game having only just hit beta. For a budget and downloadable title, it promises to hold a decent amount of content, and with the emphasis on deeply ingrained co-operative play, it could be a good laugh with a few mates.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows is currently set for a tentative release in late June on PSN and XBLA.