[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Pendulo Studios” publishers=”Focus Home Interactive” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”March 22. 2012″]
The studios known for the adventure games have changed over the years. At their birth, the parents of the genre were companies like Lucas Arts and Sierra. Today, Telltale Games and Pendulo Studios are the ones you look to for an AAA adventure title. Yesterday, published by Focus Home Interactive, is the next title from the Spain based developer Pendulo Studios famous for their runaway series appropriately named Runaway. Yesterday follows John Yesterday who is trying to piece together his past after a failed suicide attempt that left him with amnesia. John goes back to an investigation into the torture and burning of homeless people, the same investigation that lead to the suicide attempt. Does Yesterday continue the string of hit titles for Pendulo or is there a huge case of ball dropping to investigate?
With hand drawn backgrounds, distinctly styled characters, and animations, Yesterday is full of high production values that are proof that high fidelity 3D graphics are not the only way to go in a game and that the cell shaded cartoon style can look great too. The dialogue animations in the game do seem a bit quirky since almost nothing else moves while the jaw is. This effect is similar to the old late night skits where they would take a picture of someone and put someone elses mouth on them moving. Once you get used to that bit of strangeness, the art will impress and draw you into the atmosphere of abandoned subway tunnels and dark corners.
Do not let the graphics fool you into thinking Yesterday is made for children or that it is a lighthearted PG-rated romp for the family. Yesterday’s plot is right out of any Dean Koontz or Stephen King book. While still bringing the humor that made Pendulo famous, there is murder, language, sex, and just about everything else found a solid R-rated movie or book about serial killing. Every time you think that you have the level of violence figured out, Pendulo pulls the rug out and goes to the next level. It is a very interesting way of storytelling that leaves the player with no preconceived boundaries on where the story could go next.
As with all point and click adventures, Yesterday will have you clicking to inspect and/or pick up a variety of items to solve puzzles. Pendulo included two features that help make this tedious task more bearable. With a click of a single button, all of the hotspots or places you can inspect are flashed on the screen briefly. There is also a hint system that gets recharged as you try things yourself. These two features keep the player from getting frustrated which happened quite often in the old school adventure titles.
Yesterday is a point and click adventure game and it plays as such. Outside of a couple of tweaks to make the gameplay more accessible, don’t expect a revolution in gameplay. What you can expect is a beautifully styled game that will throw the player through the twists and turns of a highly engaging plot.