More details about Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair‘s level and overworld design have been revealed.
In an interview with Gamereactor, developer Playtonic’s Harry Robinson explained that players can think of the game as two separate parts, the 2D levels and the 3D overworld, saying that “on first glances, you might think okay, this is a map screen, but actually the overworld is so much more than that and we are actually calling it a mini-adventure game because there’s just so much to see and do there.”
Robinson elaborated on how the team did not want to insert characters into the 2D gameplay levels, as they could be annoyances or distractions. The 3D overworld, however, provides a great place for the player to interact with the characters and offers a more relaxed experience by solving puzzles and finding secrets, contrasting and complimenting to the hectic gameplay of the 2D levels.
He also spoke about how the Pagies mechanic from the previous Yooka-Laylee game is utilized differently for the Impossible Lair. Whereas before the Pagies were used to expand the game world, the Pagies this time around will transform the overworld. By completing the challenges that Pagies offer, new paths and new levels will unlock. Robinson noted “although there’s 20 levels in the game, each level having a separate second version, it’s really like there’s 40 levels in the game.” He stated that Playtonic made sure that these levels were truly transformed, and not simply just a color pallet switch. For example, one level is initially played horizontally, but its transformed version becomes a vertical climbing level.
Lastly Robinson emphasized the importance of fluidity and responsiveness of the game, noting that it runs at 60 FPS on all platforms. He added that the game has a boosted roll mechanic, where the player can roll consecutively for speed increases. The mechanic will boost the player to speeds faster than can normally be achieved through running and keeping the momentum to quickly and fluidly progress through the levels.
At E3 2019, the game was revealed to be a 2D platformer, a departure from the 3D platformer style of the original Yooka-Laylee.
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is set to release in 2019 on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.
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