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Playtonic says Yooka-Laylee isn’t just a Banjo-Kazooie clone


The Kickstarter for Yooka-Laylee managed to gather just over £2 million pounds in funds, making it one of the most successful gaming Kickstarters to date. There’s tremendous pressure to deliver a game that captures the spirit of the classic Nintendo 64-era 3D platformers, but Playtonic says they’re doing much more than just making a Banjo-Kazooie clone when it comes to Yooka-Laylee.

In a recent interview with Polygon, Playtonic’s Andy Robinson says the game may appear to be a Banjo-Kazooie clone on the surface, because they team is focused on marketing the buddy duo aspect of the gameplay. It was front and center in their Kickstarter campaign and updates that showcased new art and music often exuded the Banjo-Kazooie vibe. But Playtonic is doing more than creating the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.

But the team isn’t satisfied to trade on nostalgia. We don’t want to make a knockoff. It’s about capturing a tone and a style of game more than it’s about just replicating everything. They want to do new stuff now.

The collectibles in the game need to be meaningful. Play Tonics bring in a player choice element. You can equip one or two of them and they’ll have game-changing properties. You might go for more damage or be able to glide further or swim for longer. Not only does that have a player choice impact on how you play, but you could have some secrets in the game that you’ll only be able to get with those choices.

Grant Kirkhope chimed in on the successor aspect as well, stating that while the music in Yooka-Laylee may seem similar to Banjo-Kazooie, modern technology allows him a lot more creative freedom when it comes to creating sounds for the game.

We’re picking out the best bits of the Banjo games and bringing them forward, adding new ideas. There’s tons of stuff I couldn’t do then that I can do now. Back then you only had 16 tracks of music. Now I can just do what I like. It’ll be way more vibrant and way more interactive.

If you missed backing Yooka-Laylee on Kickstarter during its funding period, you’ll be happy to know that the team is still accepting backer pledges through PayPal for now.

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