Yesterday – A Review (PC)
I was fortunate enough to get to play the preview for Yesterday and in a very short section of the game I learned it was one of the most twisted point and click games I have ever seen. The characters were disturbed at best, the items you point and clicked together were unusual and it didn’t take long to realize that the subject of who was the “good guys” was blurry at best. And the preview left off at a total “wtf?” moment that had me playing through a few more times to make sure I saw what I thought I saw. So when my esteemed Editor In Chief asked if I might want to play the game itself I jumped at it and had it downloading before the email could go through.
The game is a point and click, picking up items from your environment, combining them or using them on each other, then trying to figure out what to do with them next. There are also dialogue choices for the storyline to click on with different responses for each. Figuring out what to click on can sometimes be the hardest part because some objects you click on multiple times to interact with them in different ways. And sometimes items are just red herrings, you can pick them up but they wind up serving no purpose other than to fill your inventory. Point and click games can vary from obvious choices aimed at a younger audience to real puzzlers that have you scratching your head for quite a while before the cartoon light bulb appears over your head. This one is harder and for good reason, this games puzzles and most definitely it’s themes are aimed at an older audience and your actions as well as the storyline can be downright disturbing.
The story revolves around a few main characters and even divulging who they are would give too much of it away. But you find out in the beginning 30 seconds of the game that homeless people are being burned alive and the first character you are going to play is a volunteer for a reach out program trying to get the homeless off the streets so they aren’t murdered. All normalcy is lost around this point as a story of lunacy, Satan worship and post traumatic stress disorder all work together to create a very messed up story. Though certain elements can be said to have been seen in this movie or this other game there is some very original story telling going on with excellent twists. For every plot development you guess another will hit you out of the blue and some are sheer stunners. I locked myself in a room with no interruptions and played the game on a marathon run in the same night, not because of deadlines or distractions but because I wanted to make sure I was getting the full experience because it became obvious early on that things weren’t as they seemed and plot twists might hang on the simplest of statements. I think I could have enjoyed this as well if I had watched somebody else play it or even if it had been turned into a movie or a mini series because the story is just that strong.
One last thing that needs to be noted and might slip past the casual observer is the very nicely stylistic artwork used in the graphics. The game seems to purposely stay away from straight lines, even in the sides of buildings or door jams as if not only are all the characters in the game slightly off or plain twisted so is everything in the very world they inhabit. The voice acting is great, music is good but next to the storyline it is the twists in graphic style that I think is most notable.
It is hard to write a review about a mystery game where the twists start right at the beginning and keep up until the end leaving very little to talk about that isn’t a spoiler. This is a great story, an excellent game and a challenging point and click puzzler where you really need to pay attention if you want to get through the game without using the hints. The answers are there but you have to be to to get them. When it came to Yesterday I started for the game but marathon played for the storyline.