Today we review the 3D platformer everybody has been waiting for. That’s right Yooka-Laylee is finally here!
Hitting PC, PS4 and Xbox One on April 11th, the game sees you take control of the incredibly cute, Yooka (a green chameleon), and his rather rude buddy, Laylee, (a purple bat) – as they embark on an epic quest to stop the evil Capital B from stealing all the world’s books…
Of course, their journey will not be an easy one with unique and hilarious bosses waiting for you in each world you visit and a number of challenges which stand between you and the next Pagie you need for your collection.
Thankfully the duo have access to some pretty fantastic moves via the charming Trowzer, who is always willing to sell you some in exchange for some collectable quills.
The small team behind Yooka-Laylee has managed to include all of the important ingredients for a 3D Platformer: cute characters, weird, wonderful worlds, an absolutely beautiful soundtrack, tons of collectables, witty dialogue and epic boss fights. Of course, that small team had experience working on the much loved 3D platformers Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country – so we expect nothing less. The game is gorgeous, runs smoothly and will take any kid who grew up in the 90’s right back to their childhood.
Overall the worlds you explore are beautiful, a good size and packed with lots of challenges, meaning exploration never gets dull. I did, however, find myself thinking that Yooka-Laylee could really use a mini-map, it’s incredibly easy to get lost or forget which area you need to explore next. There are enemies for you take down all over the place, so you’ll be relieved to hear that while the combat is simple, it works perfectly for this type of game. New moves are introduced steadily, which keeps battling foes fresh and interesting.
Challenges and grabbing all the collectables you can find is fun for the most part and incredibly rewarding – but not all of them. Some of the more ridiculous requests will have you yelling at the screen and crying into the loving arms of your controller. Sadly challenges aren’t the only things that will cause you frustration. The shooting mechanics are clunky and you’ll be needing to use the aim feature, which is incredibly slow and restricts your movement to get a more precise shot. This can be a nightmare when you’re under a time restraint or have enemies crawling all over you. Our final issue was the camera, trying to complete a time trial or performing some of the more difficult jumps is really not an enjoyable way to pass the time and reminds you that 3D platformers will always have a few issues no matter what year it is.
Yooka-Laylee gives you a lot for your cash, as mentioned above the game has a variety of collectables and challenges, but that’s not all – you also have access to Rextro’s Arcade. Yep, that’s right, if you find yourself bored of all the collecting and adventuring, you can grab some friends or play alone in some retro style games. There are 8 minigames in total, including a racing game, Kartos Karting and Gun-let Run, which is a shoot ‘em up type game where players compete for the best score. Most of them are enjoyable and there’s no doubt they’re nice addition to the game, but it won’t keep you coming back for more.
Taking you to magical worlds filled with lovable, memorable and frankly odd characters, Yooka-Laylee captures what made us love and hate 3D Platformers. If you weren’t a fan of this type of game in the past, then it’s very doubtful this new entry in the genre will change your mind. If you were a fan, then, you’re in for a treat.