Dec 18, 2012
Yesterday is a point and click mystery that keeps you on your toes from the opening cutscene through to the conclusion. It takes the requisite worldwide conspiracy and lovingly coats it with interesting characters and plot twists that would make even M. Night Shyamalan swoon.
It is a long-awaited port of a popular PC game, so it did have a bit of a reputation to live up to. I was quite pleasantly surprised.
The game graphics were uniquely utilitarian yet vibrant. Tunnels came alive, and I could almost breathe the decrepit air and whisper of fear from the great use of color alone. The motions were a bit stilted in places, but the overall look and feel mostly made up for the few non-optimal parts.
The gameplay was solid, and started with the plot that kept me guessing. The story centered around the amnesiac protagonist John Yesterday and how he deals with said amnesia and the conspiracy around him. The plot moved effortlessly from spooky to inventive, and back again. Play-wise, collecting items was the expected initial quest, but it was not spoon-fed to me; from the beginning, I had to use my wits to figure out how to retrieve one of the first objects. I could combine collected items to solve problems, and thoroughness was essential. Some items could even be broken down to effect a solution. The gameplay worked well, in my opinion, because the script made sense, and the solutions to the compartmentalized problems were mostly logical.
The dialogue was important too, as it helped me figure stuff out. I liked how the game changed character perspective to move the action along; there were three playable characters, and the switches worked well. Tapping on dialogue bubbles helped to facilitate conversation and the gathering of information.
My biggest fuss is that the game is way too short… which, again, is probably a testament to how consuming it is. I couldn’t put it down, and became easily immersed in the shadowy world the developer created. I have sensitive ears, so the one or two curse words gave me pause, but to be fair, we are dealing with murder, no?
I got dibs on the movie.