E3 2016 – Yesterday Origins Preview – Immortality Issues (PS4)

Péndulo Studios is best known for its Runaway series of adventure games, which saw success in the German and French markets. Following in that series’ footsteps is the Yesterday series, starring the immortal John Yesterday. Publisher Microïds showed PSLS a hands-off demo of the sequel Yesterday Origins, and we have our preview ready to read.

500 Years Ago…

Yesterday Origins begins with our hero, John Yesterday, imprisoned during the Spanish Inquisition some five centuries ago. What heinous crime has this immortal man committed to deserve being locked up? Why, speaking more than one language, of course. I suppose being immortal had to have had its downsides during some of humanity’s less-than-spectacular moments. The story will also switch perspective at certain points in time, and you will then play as Pauline Petit in a more contemporary time, who is also Mr. Yesterday’s girlfriend, as well as a fellow immortal.

Since Yesterday Origins is a point-and-click game on PC platforms, the control scheme had to be adapted for the console controllers. So, much like Syberia 3 or The Walking Dead, you can move your character with the left stick, interact with items using the face buttons, and manage an inventory with L2. As an adventure game, it likely won’t require twitch-type reactions, and is a game you are free to explore and enjoy as quickly or as methodically as you prefer.

Unity Does Well

The Unity engine is Péndulo Studios’ game engine of choice for Yesterday Origins, and appears to run just swimmingly on the PlayStation 4. The engine really has come a long way in recent years; if they had not told me, I would not have guessed that the developer was using the Unity engine. The world has a cel-shaded look and feel to it, and generally moving from place to place was quick and seamless.

Yesterday Origins is being billed as a game for adults. It will touch on adult themes, include “saucy dialog,” and incorporate black humor – during our demo, for instance, the player framed a pig for murder using various tools found around the jail cell. Péndulo Studios also promises that this will not be an easy game, and you’ll be scratching your head as you work out some of the game’s more challenging puzzles.

The adventure genre is a reliable one. While not as action-packed as other genres, sometimes you want to play a game that allows you to play at your own pace, and doesn’t involve mindlessly killing henchman after henchman. Yesterday Origins invites you to explore the world that has been artfully crafted, and to become involved in a story that spans centuries. We will see if Péndulo Studios can deliver the good when Yesterday Origins launches on September 29, 2016 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, and Mac platforms.