It’s hard to truly capture the majesty and nostalgia of something as iconic as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and some may argue that the shine from the days of the original cartoon and Konami‘s Turtles In Time has been well worn off, but there is a new hope on the half-shelled horizon in the form of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows.
During my preview session it was easy to see that the developers over at Red Fly Studios are just as enamored with the reptilian teens in green as the rest of the die-hard fan base out there is. Their attention to detail and knowledge of the TMNT lore is apparent almost immediately.
If you’re a fan of the Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael, you’ll be glad to know that this game is absolutely riddled with little nuggets of turtle-culture that are going to tickle even the most hard-to-please Mutagen Ooze Aficionados. As a fan myself, I was personally elated to see that some of the love and representation from the comic books had made its way into the game.
The premise of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is simple: The streets of New York are in danger, and guess what? Yup. The Turtles are ready, willing, and able to set their pizza (hold the anchovies) down to just long enough to kick some major shell.
The aesthetic of the game is dark, gritty and beautiful, with lots of notable and interactive environmental elements. There are plenty of things to do outside of the campaign itself as well, such as combat training in Splinter’s Dojo, chilling in Turtles HQ, and smashing Foot Clan face in the throwback arcade mode. The game also allows for four-player drop in/drop out online co-op and 2 player local.
You can pick your favorite Turtle (Ahem, Donatello!) and take advantage of their unique stat and combat system to totally annihilate baddies. Each one is very different from the other – Raphael is the strongest and a excels at close quarters combat, where as Donatello is a littler slower, but has the most range. You can switch between the four at anytime during your game by using the D-Pad, and this is actually encouraged since you can build an almost limitless amount of combo points when doing so.
While this game is undoubtedly a beat em’ up, there is so much attention put into the combat system that you really feel a strong fighting game influence throughout. The dynamic of the game is extremely balanced – it’s easy for a kid to pick up but also challenging enough to keep adults entertained. You can build your Turtle up by unlocking upgrades and weapons – then take your skills to the player challenge mode to fight for your spot on the leader boards.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows was definitely made with the fans in mind, but also with accessibility for kids new to the TMNT universe. Each Turtle maintains their specific personality, from Leonardo’s fierce yet loyal bond to Michelangelo’s wise cracking and often oblivious sense of humor – it’s all there. And the Turtles aren’t the only ones making their way out of the shadows in this game either – fans can rest assured that plenty of other familiar faces will present as well.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is set to release on PSN, XBL and the PC sometime this summer. If you’re looking for something to do between now and then I suggest ordering up a couple pizzas and playing some Turtles in Time while you wait. Oh and don’t do anything Michelangelo wouldn’t do. Cowabunga!