“Solve the murder. Stop the killer. Don’t get caught.”
There has been a murder in the town of August and it is down to us, a shapeshifting detective called ‘Sam’, to catch the killer & prevent this tragedy from happening again and it is with those three sentences in mind we begin our investigation into a world like no other in D’Avekkis ‘The Shapeshifting Detective’.
Released November 6th 2018, this FMV by D’Avekki Studios & Wales Interactive takes the player through a compelling story where our every choice has an impact, leaving the door open for several endings and repercussions we may not realise until the end.
Available on multiple platforms, (Xbox One, PS4, PC, MAC & Switch) this game may not be for everyone, the mechanics are simple which some may find tedious & repetitive but for me personally, it enabled me to enjoy the story more without the need for complex levelling systems or a tutorial.
The physical gameplay requires little effort on our part, we are just clicking questions for them to answer, shapeshifting between characters or moving between various locations but this title requires you to think more than act so the lack of physical action by the player is appropriate.
In terms of game time, you can play from start to finish within 3 hours, making this a very easy game to replay & change your choices to see what differences you can make, satisfying your curiosity & unlocking its 21 achievements along the way.
The story is where the beauty of ‘The Shapeshifting Detective’ lies.
Wonderfully acted, this game has a very strong cast which, as an FMV, it needs to engage the gamer and D’Avekki certainly provide here with 1600+ HD video reactions, each of which draws you in with its slightly odd feel, everything looks normal but isn’t.
The characters are bought to life by a very talented cast, any fans of their previous work will recognise Aislinn M De’Ath as Violet and will also fall in love with their new ones such as the very charming radio hosts Poe (Klemens Koehring) & Munro (Leah Cunard).
The ‘normality’ of the guesthouse gives an interesting contrast to the esoteric and sometimes weird storyline and each location can be slightly odd in its own way.
This strange world is further enhanced by a radio soundtrack featuring a good cast of voice actors; such as The Raw Geek & Laceya Finley, telling stories which drawn you into your environment further and are every bit as interesting as the main story itself.
Rated Teen, there are some sexual references in the story and things can get tense in a way a none FMV title may not so this really isn’t the best title for younger gamers to enjoy.
‘The Shapeshifting Detective’ is not a loud, AAA title, instead, it is a quiet, indie game which will require you to think and will appeal to those who like to play detective or wish to try something new after watching Charlie Brookers ‘Bandersnatch’.
Available on the Xbox store for $12.99, this is a very reasonable price for a game that you can replay multiple times & change in the way you see fit and whilst it does not appeal to everyone, it is popular amongst those that love FMV.
I do recommend that others try this title and dive into the eerie town of August to see what ending they get as they try to save the redhead in “The Shapeshifting Detective”.
The Shapeshifting Detective Review
On the surface, a very simple detective story until you get deeper in and there you will find a world of travellers, very well researched tarot & chobs.