PAX East 2014: Y2K is a blast to the past

 

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Atlus’ Persona series, and Persona 4 Golden in particular, can be a difficult act to follow, with the game’s phenomenal presentation, engaging dialogue, pristine visuals, and diverse score, but one studio from New Jersey is stepping up to the plate to take a swing at it.

Your view of the world comes from that of Alex Eggleston, an unemployed recent college grad, who stumbles across the answers to the mysterious death of a stranger, while perusing 90s era message board.

For a game which was only 42 days into production, it looked fantastic. Elements of battle scenes were clearly missing, but the open world segments contained enough detail that I believed it to be a finished product.

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Developer AckkStudios previous title, Two Brothers, offered a completely different aesthetic, one where players were thrown back to the days of the original Gameboy, with its limited green color palate, before finally painting the screen with color. Y2K will also feature some subtle references to t he game as well, so fans of the studios work will have something to keep an eye out for.

Although my time with Y2K was brief, the Persona influences were apparent. Payers are free to explore the world through a third person perspective of the protagonist, and character interactions are handled through a dialogue system where 2D avatars appear on either side of the screen, swapping out animations as the context of the conversation adjusts.

The transition between the over world screen and the turn base battle system is seamless, as players duke it out with enemies while the camera continues to change toward a cinematic perspective which allows for the most engaging view available at the time.

While the completed product is at least one year away, I was still thoroughly impressed with what I saw  on the show floor at PAX, and look forward to following along as the team continues to improve an already notable experience.  

Posted on by Dave Voyles in PC Previews, Previews

About Dave Voyles

Dave is located in Philadelphia, and works as a Tech Evangelist at Microsoft. He's coordinated the Indie Games Uprisings on Xbox Live, wrote the UnrealScript Game Programming Cookbook, Made an XBLIG game, and is currently doing JS / HTML5 dev for browser base games. You can follow him on Twitter, at @DaveVoyles