Developed by Playtonic Games, a European independent studio comprised of some of the creative talent behind Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country, brings old school sensibilities to a new generation of gamers. The game launches today on via the same day the PC edition hits Steam. If you own an NVIDIA SHIELD device, you can purchase and stream Yooka-Laylee via GeForce NOW.
In Yooka-Laylee, players take on the role of a talking chameleon name Yooka and his smart-mouthed sidekick, Laylee the bat. Or is it the other way around? The sassy duo was clearly inspired by the bear and bird in Banjo-Kazooie, and should give players a familiar thrill as they roam vibrant environments that are every bit as memorable as those you once may have explored near Grunty's mountain. The heroes utilize some of the most creative moves you'll see in a platformer. You'll get to use sonar blasts, glide over long distances, and even lash adversaries with a lightning-quick tongue.
Speaking of vibrant worlds, there's a lot of that going around in Yooka-Laylee. Polygon counts have gone through the roof over the last two decades, and that means foliage that looks like foliage, not muddy textures on construction paper. You'll have ample reason to thoroughly explore every cranny as you search for Pagies that unlock and expand new worlds, so the adventure can keep going. There are other trinkets, too, and you'll have to wander all over your virtual playground if you mean to see absolutely everything.
The game introduces the cleverly named "play tonics," which give players better stats that make it easier to see the journey through to its conclusion. Run faster. Fly further. Hit harder. You get to choose where to spend those precious resources, and then you decide how to make the most of them as you journey to new heights.
Yooka-Laylee is a welcome invitation to return to an era when games simply felt different. A lot of what made Rare games so unique was their charming aesthetic, and Playtonic has worked hard to channel that allure. You'll enjoy thrills and spills while musical selections composed by Grant Kirkhope (Banjo-Kazooie) and David Wise (Donkey Kong Country) keep you moving. And the cast of bizarre characters you meet are every bit as interesting as anyone you met in previous games, thanks to voice work that is once again delivered by the inimitable Chris Sutherland.
There's no shortage of reasons to be excited for Yooka-Laylee. And happily, you'll now be able to play it in your living room on NVIDIA SHIELD. Experience this new adventure the way it is meant to be experienced: on a large TV, with snacks by your side and your feet up on the furniture.
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