- Developer: Pendulo Studios
- Publisher: Microids
- Genre: Violent, Adventure
- Release Date: 17th November 2016
- Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac
- Game Supplied by: HomeRun PR
Point and click fans rejoice! We’ve got yet another adventure to play through courtesy of Pendulo Studios. I’ll confess, I haven’t played the original (Yesterday) but I had read somewhere that it wouldn’t matter because Yesterday Origins fills in the blanks for you. This is true, but as with most game series I know I’d have probably got more out of Origins if I’d played the original first (there’s bound to be some references to characters, locations or items). I’ve played through the Runaway trilogy though so I’m familiar with Pendulo’s work, and jumped at the chance to review one of their games.
The plot is detailed below so I won’t go into it too much as I don’t want to spoil anything, instead I’ll just talk about the usual stuff such as graphics, sound, gameplay and so on. What I will say though is that personally I didn’t find the story very interesting, but this is surely down to my own lack of interest in things like Religion and History.
Origins looks absolutely stunning, it’s like playing through a visual novel/comic. People you talk to and interact with appear in frames, and the subtitles/speech appear in their own frames next to that person rather than just at the bottom of the screen which is a really nice touch.
The sound is great too, and helps create a really creepy atmosphere during certain parts of the game. For the most part the voice overs were well done, but some of the conversations weren’t as fluid as I was expecting based on my time with the Runaway series. I even encountered a couple of parts where dialogue was repeated which I assume was a glitch but might just have been something that slipped through the net.
Unfortunately the controls were quite a let down. You move the character around the screen with the left analog stick, then you flick the right analog stick between items in the location that appear within range, sometimes though it’s a real struggle to select the item you want and I ended up having to move the character backwards and forwards again just to get the item within the required range. Once you’ve selected an item or person you can then hold either the right trigger to select an important memory/occurrence, or the left trigger to select an item you’ve acquired. You can even use items and memories together with certain people or objects in order to solve puzzles, but the whole process just seems a little confusing at first and I’m sure they could have done something simpler. What you might not realise as well is that you can examine and use items on yourself, but that’s not made very clear, you almost have to stumble across it yourself.
Being able to switch between the two main characters is a nice touch, especially when you examine the same item with both of them and one says they don’t like it but received it as a present so didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, whereas the other says they were going to dump it but as the other person seemed to like it they gave it to them as a present. As you can imagine in most chapters you need to switch between characters to solve puzzles, and even pass items between them in order to progress.
A complete playthrough should take you around 8 hours if you’re examining everything and everyone (there are achievements for doing that kind of thing in each chapter), but there’s not much reason to go back and play it again once you’ve finished it which is quite common with point and click games as solving the puzzles is the only thing you’re tasked with, so once you know how to solve them that’s it.
Yesterday Origins is a really well put together point and click adventure game with a solid narrative and some great sound and graphics. Personally I much prefer the characters and setting of the Runaway series, but for anyone who’s the slightest bit interested in religion and occult themes and likes adventure games I’d say this is the choice for you! It is a full price game which might be a bit steep for some people considering the limited play time you’ll get out of it, so you might want to wait and grab it in a sale.