Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or you don’t follow Kickstarter games or you’re not a fan of old Rare games), you’ve probably seen the newest trailer that has the internet abuzz. That trailer is for Yooka-Laylee, which has been on a bit of a media tour just ahead of E3. Along with the trailer, developer Playtonic has also done an extensive interview with Playstation Access, and announced a release date for early 2017.

Fans and backers alike are giddy with excitement over the update, finally seeing some new gameplay footage from the hotly anticipated title. The trailer looks great, showing absolutely jaw-dropping visuals, fantastic gameplay, a bit of wonderful plot, and other generic, non-descriptive superlatives. It is a great trailer, everything we’ve seen from the game looks good, and I’m a big fan of 3D platformers.

So why am I not excited, or even all that interested in Yooka-Laylee that much? Who cares?

Instead of me rambling on about my crappy opinions, let’s instead take a look at the campaign itself. We’ve already done this several times with an episode of CAT on the game, and even in The Weaponization of Nostalgia video. But this new media blitz gives us a good chance to monetize that content even more look at it more in depth.

yooka-laylee1Yooka-Laylee was a campaign largely driven by nostalgia. It had a great foundation of gameplay and screenshots of its own, but Playtonic was also heavily trading on the fact that they used to work at Rare, and on Banjo-Kazooie. There’s nothing wrong with that when it’s clear plenty of work has already gone into the game. But for those without that experience and nostalgia to draw on, there wasn’t much to go on. That’s why I didn’t back the Kickstarter.

With this new trailer comes a needed injection of interested to a broader audience, but the old trappings of Banjo-Kazooie still linger. If you’re not a retro gamer and you didn’t have an N64, you might not have played Yooka’s predecessor, and it seems you don’t need to. If you’ll excuse my hot take, it seems Yooka-Laylee isn’t deviated that far from Banjo-Kazooie much, if at all.

yooka-laylee2In our CAT video, we talked about how much the bear and his bird friend were mentioned on the Kickstarter page. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when one game is talked about so much, it becomes obvious that it’s less about giving people an idea of what this new game will be like, and more a declaration of what it will be. Yooka isn’t inspired by Banjo so much as it is Banjo.

Now this is pretty much speculation at this point; we haven’t seen much of the game in action even with this new gameplay trailer. But everything from those short gameplay bursts, to the Kickstarter page, to interviews paints the picture of this being a remake more than an original game.

Maybe that’s why I – sorry – you, might not be so interested in Yooka-Laylee. It’s hard to get excited for this influx of HD re-releases and Definitive Editions saturating the market these days, and perhaps Yooka falls into those categories.

YookaLaylee4Still, as a fan of 3D platformers, I’m probably going to get Playtonic’s first game regardless. I didn’t say the trailer looked bad (that was you, if I recall correctly), just that it wasn’t exciting. There’s little chance it’ll be a bad game based on the talent working on it, and what we’ve seen so far. It’s a safe bet. Plus it might be getting a physical release, which is always nice.

Maybe we should wait and see more gameplay before we jump to any conclusions. The team might have some new mechanics going in they’re keeping under wraps right now, like Yooka’s chameleon abilities. Maybe we shouldn’t go writing articles declaring the game to be derivative, and little more than a remake. I can’t believe you wrote an article like that, reader. Who let you write here anyway?

Josh Griffiths

Josh Griffiths

Executive Editor
Josh Griffiths is a writer and amateur historian. He has a passion for 3D platformers, narrative-driven games, and books. Josh is also Cliqist’s video producer. He’s currently working on his first novel, and will be doing so on and off for the next decade.
Josh Griffiths