Yesterday Origins (PlayStation 4) Preview

By Jamie Mercer 14.10.2016

Review for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

What happens when an immortal comes back to life but has no recollection of his previous memories and can't remember the ritual to turn himself immortal again? Yesterday Origins is the sequel to developer Pendulo Studio's 2012 graphic adventure game titled, rather predictably, Yesterday. It was a dark conspiracy thriller with racy dialogue between the two main characters, John Yesterday and his partner Pauline. With the original being well received upon release for its compelling story and beguiling characters, how is the sequel shaping up?

The Microïds office is in an industrial suburb, just outside of Paris itself, about an hour away from Charles de Gaul airport. The outside appearance is very unassuming, lots of graffiti and construction work seems to be going on, and the apparent bleakness of reality perfectly masks the creative talent inside. Cubed3 is greeted downstairs before being taken up to a bustling work space and ushered into a meeting room where some of the people who have been working on Yesterday Origins introduce themselves, eager to show off the fruits of their hard labour.

Yesterday Origins is a narrative-driven adventure game that takes place throughout multiple points in time, as gamers take on the role of John Yesterday and Pauline Petit, a couple of immortals who own an antiques shop in modern day New York City. John has lost his memory and players must help him try to remember who he is, recover his lost memories, and recall the ritual that will return him to immortality. Meanwhile, outside forces try and disrupt his progression. The demo begins in Spain, with John Yesterday - under the name Miguel de Castro - finding himself in prison, chained securely to the wall. The developers on hand demonstrate some of the changes between Yesterday and this sequel.

The game has been developed for console play, as well as PC this time, so movement is through the left analogue stick (the game is being demoed on PS4). There are some little curios with the DualShock 4 that are worth mentioning. Firstly, the light bar changes colour depending on where the character you control is standing, reflecting the mood and reinforcing the ambience. For example, if you are next to fire, the light bar might flicker reds and oranges. If you are in a prison cell, it might give off a cool greyish green. Secondly, ambient sounds are played through the small speakers in the pad - much like with the Wii Remote - which all adds to the immersion.

Screenshot for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

The gameplay mechanics have been altered, too. Every interactive item and character in the game can be viewed and examined in 3D. This addition could be used to help players find a piece of information they might have otherwise missed when looking on a 2D plane. The developers explain that everything in the game is important to solving puzzles or advancing the plot - so players must pay extra close attention through their estimated 12-14 hour journey.

The new dialogue system is interesting, as gamers need to ascertain the motives of characters to be able to justify why their actions make sense. An early scene involves discovering what a guard fears in order to combine items to exploit that fear so John Yesterday can make his escape. This Item A + Item B + Justification formula is unique enough to be intriguing and adds depth and thought to in-game actions. It's also familiar enough to not dissuade hardcore adventure gamers from taking part.

Yesterday Origins is definitely an adventure game, according to those involved in its creation, and not a point-and-click experience, with comparisons to games from publishers such as Telltale a distinct influence. The difficulty has been ramped up to provide a very challenging experience, and the mix of horror and dark humour could certainly work together well. The game features full voice acting and a neat addition of comic book style panels for conversations and examinations, indicative of developer Pendulo's finishing touches.

Screenshot for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

Final Thoughts

Yesterday Origins looks to have the right mix of interesting characters, familiar - yet done properly - gameplay, starkly different locations, and a not often explored story idea. Locations in the game include Spain, the Netherlands, Scotland, and present day New York City. Just what challenges await John and Pauline is yet to be ascertained, but this intriguing adventure title has certainly appeared on Cubed3's radar, and with an original score and fully voiced characters, could be one to watch for fans of narrative and puzzle-focused games. Yesterday Origins is released on 10th November 2016 and is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac.

Developer

Pendulo Studios

Publisher

Microids

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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