Yesterday Origins (PlayStation 4) Review

By Josh Di Falco 24.02.2017

Review for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

Yesterday Origins tells the story about the curious character of John Yesterday, who is a 500-year old immortal. Linked to a pivotal moment of his life, his immortality grants him the ability to resurrect from the dead at the age that he was when he first died. The only catch to all of this is that his memory of his previous incarnations is wiped. With chapters recounting the various incarnations from different eras, Pendulo Studios' point-and-click sequel to the original Yesterday aims to further the legend around an unlikely hero.

While conceived as a point-and-click styled game, the PS4 version does away with the on-screen mouse cursor, and instead passes over all control of John over to the controller. This is a convenient move that works quite well, as controlling John is as fluent as any third-person game. The game is made up of a series of screens, with fixed camera angles that is quick to get used to. Navigating John through each screen to try to solve the puzzles and find solutions to further the story is not unlike many other traditional point-and-click adventures.

Screenshot for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

Made up of a series of chapters, the story starts with John being imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition for his supposed use of sorcery due to him knowing many different languages. After some unlikely help to escape, John is caught up in a dangerous game that plays with cheating death by gaining the ability to be immortal. The tale is a mystifying one, and after a curious start to the game, it quickly ramps up the plot into new and uncharted territories. Revisiting John's many previous incarnations and playing out the scenes that tell those tales while unlocking another part of the overall mystery is fascinating in of itself.

Pauline is introduced as John's, also immortal, girlfriend. Her introduction and the pulsating scene that quickly follows is the entire introduction one needs to her character. Her hardened exterior reflected by her rough earlier years, results in a tough character that is the perfect no-nonsense opposite to John's naivety. Where John takes things at face-value, Pauline can generally see through them to find something wrong or noticeable.

Screenshot for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

Scenes have a large quantity of "hot spots" that can be interacted with. Whether they are items for John to pick up and use in some way, or merely just observation-based interactions, most of the hot spots has some part to play in the overall scheme of things. Each of the questions that the game asks has cleverly crafted answers that take a lot of thinking and fiddling around to try and solve. This is where the challenges come from, and trying to figure out what answers the game wants can be a fun and satisfying experience, while other times it becomes tedious and cumbersome.

While Yesterday Origins isn't overly difficult to try and figure out how to solve the puzzles, sometimes the game can be a bit nit-picky with how it wants the items to be used. Items that are collected can also be used together to create a new item, and this is where the challenges ramp up in difficulty. However, while some answers are pretty obvious to solve, sometimes they aren't as obvious to solve in terms of finding the correct combination of items. While it's obvious that John needs to pour his blood onto a dead body in order to trick a wild pig into eating him, the game just won't move ahead unless that rag to put the blood onto is found. Rather than just allowing John to pour his blood on the body anyway.

Screenshot for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

Those moments aren't common however, but when they are encountered, a sudden sense of "players block" can stop any momentum of launching the story forward. Fiddling around with different items on each other to see what works or using them on every single hot spot to see what happens can sometimes occur when an answer isn't so obvious. Though John has an internal monologue that plays on every item found that may drop very subtle hints of how they could be used, piecing these things together can sometimes take a lot longer than it really should. However, each puzzle made complete sense once the solution was discovered, and nothing felt cheap or unfair.

The artwork is crafted to perfection, with its doll-like drawings of the characters and vibrant but equally dark colours that display a subtle hint of mystery. Whether it's an antique store, or a high-rise apartment room, no scene ever displays comfort or sureness. Instead, the colour palette's and art style has a constant sense of unease, or that nothing is really as it seems. This pours over into the story as well, as everyone seems to be suspicious or untrustworthy, and it is a credit to the development team for tying everything together in a satisfying and heart-pounding way.

Screenshot for Yesterday Origins on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Yesterday Origins is a fantastic point-and-click adventure that features comic-styled panels to showcase the story of John trying to find a cure for his memory loss. This game shows that being immortal clearly isn't everything sometimes, and the characters met along the way, combined with the retelling of some of John's incarnations, peel back the layers of the events that lead to that fateful day of when he became immortal. While it is just a standard point-and-click adventure title that has the genre's usual flaws and limitations, the eerie art design, with the wondrous music tracks that feature, make for an exciting adventure that fans of the genre will enjoy.

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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