Even though Yooka-Laylee is inspired by the collectathon platformers of 90s, it boasts better graphics than any nostalgic title. However, Playtonic Games is almost ready to remedy its “shortcomings” with a free update.
During the summer, Playtonic teased a free update for Yooka-Laylee in the form of a 64-Bit shader that would make the game look like a Nintendo 64 title. The teaser only consisted of a still image, but it showed promise. Today, after several long months of development, the studio has released a trailer that displays the shader in action, and it’s quite an eyeful.
While the shader doesn’t replace character models with the polygonal caricatures associated with the Nintendo 64 (and PlayStation), it blurs textures to a ridiculous degree, lowers the framerate, and simulates the display of a cathode ray tube television screen. To that end, the shader crops out the edges of the screen to mimic the curvature of CRT televisions, splatters the game with CRT dots, and makes everything look like a fuzzy, low-definition mess (in a good way).
Sadly, the shader isn’t perfect, and I’m not just talking about the aforementioned character models. The Nintendo 64-themed illusion is kinda ruined by dynamic lighting effects, a crisp HUD, and widescreen resolutions that were impossible for the console.
Judging by the comments section of the announcement video, many gamers might not take to the upcoming shader. Plenty of viewers complain that the shader doesn’t do enough to simulate Nintendo-64 graphics, and more than a few claim A Hat in Time’s retro shader is superior. A few viewers even agree with a fake quote from the trailer that calls the shader “rubbish.” What was meant to be lighthearted, self-deprecating humor has backfired for Playtonic.
We don’t know when Playtonic will release the 64-Bit shader for Yooka-Laylee, but it will be available for the PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch versions of the game.