IntroductionYesterday Origins, developed by Pendulo Studios and published by Microids, is a sequel to Pendulo's 2012 release Yesterday. Play as John Yesterday, an immortal man who has lived on this world for over 500 years. Partially immortal would be better defining him and his situation; after being captured by the Spanish Inquisition all those years ago on accusations of dealing with witchcrafts (and then escaping them thanks to a little help) he underwent an alchemy-based experiment that would allow him to be resurrected into the same age he was when he died the first time.
He shares this gift with his partner Pauline, except his has some slightly different consequences that she does not have to deal with; every time he is brought back, he completely forgets all of his memories and must not only find himself, but the stories and knowledge of his prior lives. As you dive further into this title, you'll be taken all around the world throughout varies eras as John and Pauline attempt to find an artifact that will then allow them to create the potion needed to eliminate his memory losses each death.
You can buy the game on Steam or PlayStation Store (Release TBD) or Xbox Marketplace (Release TBD) for $29.99.
GameplayRegardless of which point-and-click games, you can rely on it being slow during gameplay, but pretty quick paced during the true story moments or cinematic scenes. When you're doing one, you're usually not doing the other one unless the title is slapped with a "Telltale's" somewhere. Typically as you are in an environment that needs exploring for clues or other random items of interest, you'll walk around on (for the most part) a still picture. It avoids feeling to bland though with the true 3D depth of rooms and environments that you'll walk around in as either John or Pauline. A good portion of the game is played with them working together as a team, so you'll effortlessly be able to switch between them. This is the best way to get the most out of the game due to their own unique interests and opinions on the many items or situations you'll find along your journey.
If there's an item that you can interact with, you'll simply press the required action button and it will bring it up in an almost a comic book box where you can then examine it closer. This works for the characters as well, especially when you need to examine them for a clue or item of interest (for example, glass fragments that will be used to cut). Combing items that you place in your backpack will be used to progress through some puzzles, adding a little bit more to the solving mechanics. Dialogue also plays into effect; more often than not you'll be able to decide how you wish for the characters to respond to a situation or conversation (a great touch to creating some diversity between playthroughs). It won't dramatically change the story as a whole, but it brings depth to the overall immersion.
Sound and GraphicsWhen the story moves, the era moves, and so does the music. It always fits appropriately to the world you're exploring and investigating while staying true to the dark undertone when needed. Voice acting is thoroughly placed in the game, with a lot of it to enjoy so long as you can pretend what they say has genuine emotion. Granted it's not the best voice acting in the world, it's definitely not the worst. The only major concern with it is that the lip sync is off due to the characters apparently lacking about 80 percent of their facial muscles around their lips.
The graphics are both good and bad depending on your perspective. I felt it looked really amazing, with the environments looking like bright, colorful, and crisp paintings. To say you feel immersed into the presentation is a bit of an understatement; everywhere you'll travel has a unique and special feel to it. The character models aren't too bad, and resemble something similar to the Telltale games. Performance-wise, the game runs incredibly smooth and I experienced little to no technical issues while playing.
ConclusionWhen playing any point-and-click game (if you've played one before), you have a basic understanding of how the gameplay mechanics work. They typically have greatly illustrated environments and at the core focus on a plot and/or character driven story. Yesterday Origins is no different in hitting the mark in all aspects and does it really well. Some plot points (emphasis on some) can just about be expected, but the dark humor causes for some crazy twists throughout.
Nevertheless it transitions with ease in between every fast forward or rewind on the timeline. At times it gets the humor and seriousness mixed, making you question if you're a little psycho for laughing. It has a mature rating for an arguably good reason. In total, the game is a great title with just a few minor set backs. If you're not a fan of point-and-click adventure games, it may be a little difficult to enjoy with some slowly paced moments, but if the genre fits in your category, it's definitely one to play sooner or later.
|+ Well written story with history, thriller, and cults||- Character's lack true emotional voice acting|
|+ Great soundtrack||- Nothing over-the-top new regarding gameplay|
|+ Beautiful environments|
|+ Likeable cast both protagonists and antagonists|