Co-Optimus: The “Dimension Shellshock” DLC arrives alongside the new selectable character color palettes feature that allows players to customize the look of their heroes. Can you tell us about the work that went into selecting and implementing all those cool colors and skins?
Frederic: Having different color palettes was something we wanted to do with the main game for the release, but couldn’t get the results we wanted. Our artists came up with a pipeline that would not only produce amazing results, but literally could bring to life many iterations of the TMNT characters themselves! They ended up spending a lot of time with our narrative designer to identify the best homages we could find for the different versions of these characters, and what was planned as 3 or 4 palettes actually became a whopping 10 palettes for each character!
Co-Optimus: Karai and Usagi Yojimbo are the two new playable characters that come with “Dimension Shellshock.” Karai is a super rad addition since the 1987 animated Turtles never got to meet her. How did you select these two characters over other candidates, and did Usagi involve any extra licensing work since he’s not native to the Turtles universe?
Frederic: As soon as the idea for a new DLC was realized, we reviewed player and fan feedback to determine who were the most popular picks! Usagi was the number one request, so it made sense to reach out and have him in the game: he’s always been a visitor within the TMNT universe, so we were excited to see him in Shredder’s Revenge! And since we opened the door to having visitors from other dimensions, we thought we should go all-in in this direction. That led us to not only visiting different universes in the Survival Mode, but having another fan-favorite character from outside the 1987 cartoon that was heavily requested as well: Karai. We thought she’d made a great addition since fans that grew up with the TMNT 2003 cartoon series would be happy, but old-school TMNT fans would remember her from the comics and the Tournament Fighters video game!
Co-Optimus: The DLC’s Survival Mode is an exciting addition to the game. One thing we noticed is that it feels extra-tough in single-player and a bit more manageable in co-op. Does the balance change depending on the number of players, and do you have any advice for players who brave Survival Mode alone?
Frederic: Survival Mode is quite a challenge indeed! The challenge does increase based on the number of players, as the encounters will have more enemies, but the possibility of reviving knocked down players or bringing everyone back upon collecting a crystal actually makes the challenge more accessible! Playing in multiplayer is definitely a good way for players struggling at first to collect a few crystals and get some precious upgrades for their favorite characters, like the extra life. Afterward, if you decide to venture into the mode alone and aim for a spot on the leaderboards, keep in mind that the rewards you select do impact the challenge. If you want to work on a high score, try to avoid progressing too fast through each dimension, as the challenge will increase every time you visit a new dimension!
Co-Optimus: A fun part of the Survival Mode experience is choosing between two different rewards whenever you clear a screen and move on to the next one, much like in Streets of Rage 4’s Survival Mode. However, the game doesn’t display a description of the rewards before they’ve been chosen, so it’s sometimes hard to know what you’re picking. Any chance we could see the descriptions on-screen in the future?
Frederic: We talked about it internally and decided not to display the actual definitions before picking the rewards for multiple reasons. First, we love to reward exploration and even if some of the perks might come with steep negative effects, we think that every time you pick one, you are in for a surprise or a memorable moment! Second, it makes it interesting to try each of them in order to find which ones are useful rather than skipping some that look less compelling; you might end up with completely new strategies in your later runs based on these discoveries. And finally, in order to keep the reward selection fast and multiplayer-friendly, we wanted to avoid having text to read and rather focus on quickly voting, even if it might come with couch drama for the next round!
Co-Optimus: We noticed that “Dimension Shellshock” didn’t arrive with new Achievements or Trophies. Do you have any plans to add new Achievements to Shredder’s Revenge in the future?
Frederic: I do love achievements and trophies, and we discussed about having new ones for the DLC but decided otherwise after a few discussions. When you add achievements to a DLC, it actually changes the total for the whole game, meaning that players who would have reached 100% would now lose this completion unless they buy and complete the DLC. We didn’t want to force anyone to purchase the DLC to keep their score, so instead, we decided to offer unique color palettes for the DLC players to unlock, so at least this way they can show their accomplishments online!
Co-Optimus: Finally, is there anything you’re proud of about “Dimension Shellshock” and Shredder’s Revenge that we haven’t already touched on?
Frederic: With “Dimension Shellshock,” we wanted to give players a good reason to come back to the game and provide a fresh new way to play that would be both great for casual multiplayer and for hardcore players looking for a challenge! Whatever the type of player you are, you’ll get a blast with our two new characters, with the new dimensions you visit in Survival Mode, and with Tee Lopes’ rocking new soundtrack!
"Dimension Shellshock" costs $7.99 on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and Steam. It requires Shredder's Revenge to play. The game itself supports up to 6-player local and online co-op. See our Shredder's Revenge co-op review and "Dimension Shellshock" co-op impressions for all the details.
TMNT: Shredder's Revenge sells digitally for $24.99 on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and Steam. The Steam version is fully Steam Deck compatible. Physical copies from Merge Games are available on Xbox, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Switch for $29.99 each.