It’s very sad to say, but 3D platformers have become a nearly extinct genre in modern gaming. There may be some titles that still fit the criteria for that style of game, but a lot of the charm that made the genre special had been lost to gaming’s past. At least, that was the case until Playtonic Games announced their plans to have a Kickstarter campaign for a game they called Yooka-Laylee.
Dubbed the spiritual successor to the classic Banjo-Kazooie from the Nintendo 64, many veterans from the once beloved gaming studio Rare planned to rekindle everyone’s interest in the genre. The response they received since the beginning of the campaign has been positively overwhelming to say the least.
A lot of what has made Yooka-Laylee special in its reception is the level of care Playtonic Games has taken in remaining faithful to what made Banjo-Kazooie so popular. Everything from the gameplay, to the art style, and even the music is being made with a very astute level of detail that appeals to everyone’s nostalgia and appreciation of 3D platformers. The symbiotic relationship between two characters that made something like Banjo-Kazooie unique continues here in Yooka-Laylee, despite it being between a lizard and a bat. The skins and shaders may have a totally different look now, but the core design and drive to excel in the genre from back then remains the same.
Yooka-Laylee is a prime example of how much the demand for 3D platformers is burning as bright as ever. In the past, various statements from Microsoft have claimed that the desire for classic takes on Rare IPs like Banjo-Kazooie just wasn’t there, hence the under-utilization of Banjo and other RARE titles like Conker’s Bad Fur Day. This has since been completely shattered by Yooka-Laylee’s Kickstarter campaign being funded in less than an hour (40 minutes to be exact) from when it first opened. While a lot of this was attributed to many reasons, including many long-time RARE employees working on the game, it brings to light how impactful 3D platformers had been in many gamers’ lives.
In a gaming landscape that is overly saturated by shooters, fighters, and action-titles; Yooka-Laylee is the kind of game that everyone has desperately needed. A lot of the charm that came from exploring dynamic and unique worlds, as well as collecting things towards a big goal, had been lost in favor of games trying to emulate other experiences. Yooka-Laylee seems to be a return to a simpler approach of gaming, where you can be immersed in a memorable world full of colorful characters and pure simple fun. It’s what many gamers believed they were always getting every time they played a RARE title, and it’s the same thing those who backed the Kickstarter have wanted for a long time.
From the look of things, the momentum behind Yooka-Laylee isn’t going to slow down any time soon. The Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee has continued to skyrocket with support way beyond the original goals. It’s likely that more will be done for the game to compensate for the incredibly positive reception from gamers around the world by the time campaign ends in June. And while the hard-working folks at Playtonic Games have yet to reveal all of Yooka-Laylee intricate details, the level of impact their game will have upon release is definitely certain.
What are your thoughts on Yooka-Laylee? Think Playtonic Games can make something special for the gaming world? Leave us a comment below and tell us how you feel!