Yooka-Laylee is the biggest disappointment in Kickstarter history. There might be worse games the crowdfunding platform has churned out, in fact, there have been. But Yooka-Laylee had the weight of the world on its shoulders. The entire 3D platformer genre needed it to be good, as did Kickstarter. Not being able to handle all that weight wasn’t surprising. What is surprising is just how little of that weight it took for Playtonic’s rookie outing to fold like a poker player building a house of cards out of a terrible analogy.
Luckily, Playtonic heard our cries of agony and frustration, and promised a patch to fix the game. Given the game’s “humor,” you’d think they’d just link you to a picture of a watermelon patch and an internet troll face. But to their credit, Playtonic announced yesterday a full list of fixes in what they’re calling the “Green and Purple” patch. I’ll warn you now, the quizzes that you have to pass to simply progress in the game are still present.
This update, which doesn’t have a release date, contains 28 different fixes. The biggest hitters are the ability to lower the volume of the voice acting, better camera controls, and improved flying controls. Best of all, they’re “improving” the Rampo boss fight, which is entirely luck based.
What’s most notable about this list is what’s missing, however. As well as lacking any changes to the dread quiz shows, there’s also no mention of improved physics. One of the biggest problems with Yooka-Laylee is that the jumping physics are totally broken. The jump is super loose and floaty, but normal movement like walking and turning feels like driving a dump truck.
Like most patch notes, these are also pretty vague. At the bottom of the list you’ll find “performance” and “audio improvements” without any indication what that’s supposed to mean. There’s also “design tweaks to all arcade games” and “minecart control improvements and new visual effects,” which are just too vague. One improvement, “camera design improvements throughout game” includes a helpful note about what it does “less scripted cameras, door cams now appear behind player etc,” but it’s the only one. It would have been nice if there were detailed notes on all of these changes, or at least the big stuff.
Yooka-Laylee is a fundamentally broken game. The humor doesn’t work, the level design is bland, and the platforming isn’t fun. No amount of patches can ever make Yooka-Laylee good. Still, it’s nice to see Playtonic isn’t giving up on it. They owe it to their backers and whatever fans they have left to keep trying to make the game better. It shouldn’t have released in the state that it did, but at least now it’s getting better. It certainly can’t get any worse.