hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game might be good

11:00 AM on 03.21.2013 // Steven Hansen

Non-committal, but cautiously optimistic

The abrupt and unexpected posting of art from the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game was unsettling last week. Aside from the uncanny caricatures themselves, there came a flood of remembrance; for example, that Michael Bay is still helming a live action TMNT movie in which the titular turtles are space aliens. I assume because the turtles undergoing mutation is far too unrealistic? Or less bombastic. After all, an asteroid crashing into earth carrying space turtles is more…explosive.

It's like, c'mon, guy. Just make Bad Boys III and leave 80's and 90's nostalgic properties alone, right?

Between Bay's upcoming mess and a new animated series on Nickelodeon (which I hear is good!), the turtles are making their regular resurgence. Remember the CGI TMNT of five years ago? The grittier TMNT cartoon of 10 years ago that ran for an impressive 6 years? For whatever reason, the turtles stick around. TMNT Out of the Shadows is part of an Activision effort to profit from this resurgence. Despite the guttural hiss that name evokes, I'm approaching the game with tempered optimism. I'll probably regret it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PC, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Red Fly Studios
Publisher: Activision
Release: Summer 2013

Much like the original comic, Out of the Shadows is a grittier, urban wasteland rendition of the turtles. Cues were taken from the recently popular (and, again, supposedly good!) Nickelodeon series, but you can see Red Fly has taken bits and pieces from where it likes and blended them into its own unique look. I'm surprisingly okay with Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda styled aesthetic, but the more reptilian look fits this hard-edged action game.

The best thing Out of the Shadows has going for it is its cooperative play. One to four players can play online and one to two players can play locally thanks to simply drop-in drop-out play. The reason for this is that all four turtles are always on the screen at once. With the D-pad, players can quickly swap between Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, or Raphael. Of course in cooperative play you won't be able to switch to an occupied shell.

Swapping between characters allows for a lot of coolness. The feature can be used to extend combos for greater damage or to perform team attacks, as well as diversifying play, as each turtles has his own distinct fighting style. Leonardo, sticking to the boring necessity of his character, is rather balanced. The leaner, gangly Donatello is a bit slower, but features the greatest reach and a kung fu influenced style. Raph has the least range, but is the hardest hitter, which a surprisingly nasty, almost MMA-styled moveset that incorporates knees and elbows. Mikey is the fastest, good for mashing buttons with his capoeira-tinged movements. His taunt is also him sticking his tongue out, which is great, though not as great as the group hi-five.

I was shown the first area, a small, closed off slice of urban back alleyways that was rain slicked and boasted some impressive looking glowing neon signage, which is a weakness of mine. It looked rather Arkham Asylum-inspired, albeit on a miniscule scale. I'm told it's one of seven different areas that the game will feature.

Additionally, there is the Turtles' sewer HQ, which serves as a player hub. From here, you can pick missions to advance the story or go into the practice room and take each turtle for a spin to learn their idiosyncrasies. You can also head to the single-turtle challenge room and compete on online leaderboards. There's also a mild progression system and hidden weapons for each turtle that changes the game.

From there, I was shown some combat against Foot soldiers. Aside from the differences in styles, each character boasts an impressive number of individual moves, including unique special moves that can be accessed through a chargeable meter. I'm surprised by the amount of depth that combat system seems to have and how well it responded. The enemy AI was a bit sluggish and dopey, but this is also pre-alpha, so the combat to be working as well as it seemed inspired a tinge of hope in this cynical heart.

That's the biggest fear, though. Out of the Shadows is shooting for an undefined summer release, but it's still in pre-alpha presently. Given the recent disaster known as The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, it's hard to imagine Activision giving the team enough time to get everything properly worked out. Not that I think it'll be as much of a mess as Survival Instinct, mind. Even in pre-alpha is looks superior. But the Bay film doesn't even come out until 2014. I feel like Activision could afford to give the title a bit more time.

Still, what I was privy to is promising, even if I'm terrified the end product won't live up to the lofty expectations set by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and general license appreciation. I think fan-filled Red Fly is trying to do right by the license, with its CEO throwing employees around for animation purposes or with the office-sanctioned nunchuks. We'll see what the result is this summer. Can't be worse than the eventual Bay film, right?

Photo Gallery: (4 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, an article today got me thinking about this so without further ado, whats your favorite pokemon? This is mine:
Clarence Sheridan avatarClarence Sheridan
Winter is Coming and so is the new mobile game: “Frosty The Assassin” New Mobile Game coming soon... [img][/img]
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I cast my little worm in to the pond for a topic to try to make a blog about today. I fish fish fish but nothing bites bites bites.
Perro avatarPerro
I cracked and bought Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android last night. Half off sounded like just the right price, though I wish this came out on 3DS or even the Vita but at least it gives me something to do on the porcelain throne!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Coming soon in Mortal Kombat XXX DLC - HUMILITALITY [youtube][/youtube]
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Those N64-era THQ wrestling games have actually held up really well over the years. Take that, nostalgia!
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Dear Playboy: Love your video game coverage, but how about you start making some topless unboxing videos? Seeing someone unwrap a copy of Call of Duty is boring. Seeing a topless Playmate unwrap a copy of anything is awesome!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
In happier news, Level-5 is already talking Yo-Kai Watch 2's Western release, and better/worse yet, they're considering amiibo support for the series! And hey, if they can't get Jibanyan into Smash, that'd be one way to get the West's attention.
gajknight avatargajknight
I drank a glass of Ovaltine for the first time in years today. It was nice. Like drinking a glass of my childhood, complete with ignorance, embarrassing angst, tears (so many tears) and night terrors. Ah, the good 'ol days.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] This is just depressing. Digital classics on consoles are such a great idea, but it's like not a single company wants to really go through with it.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
My heart will always be yours, Papyrus #2spoopy4me
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I recently beat Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow again, but this time I played on Hard mode from scratch. Outside of dying a few times due to me being an idiot, and enemies hitting harder, it was actually easy. Like really easy.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

  May 14

Raphael SMASH in this TMNT: Out of the Shadows trailer

Come back here! I'm not finished with you! DAAAAAAMN!

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -