We had a chance to play the first two chapters of Trek To Yomi. Given what has been seen, we can say that it acts as a fun title with a lot of unpolished potential.
Fans of Eastern gaming culture have come into their own in recent years. Two years ago we got the high-budget Ghost of Tsushima title, while this year we enjoyed it indie tobacco Sifu. The trend should continue with the upcoming samurai title Trek to Yomi, and we got a chance to peek into that game before its launch.
Trek to Yomi is a title that will put you in the shoes of Hiroki, a young samurai trying to defend his village from the attacks of a ruthless and unknown army. In addition to the tribal desire to defend his fellow citizens, Hirokija pursues the thirst for revenge because those same enemies killed his teacher and father figure.
The game should take you through a journey that offers universal motives of revenge and honor, and what sets Yomi apart from similar games is its visual approach. In addition to the whole game being in black and white, the work of antique cameras was simulated on the model of Akira Kurosawa’s films. Thus, digital dust floats on the screen, and the graininess of the image is expressed. We’ve seen it in Ghost of Tsushimi too, but there it was an optional filter – here’s a game by default so presented.
In addition to the whole game being in black and white, the work of antique cameras was simulated on the model of Akira Kurosawa’s films.
The biggest special feature of Yomi will be the direction, which is also taken from Kurosawa’s achievements. The camera will change frequently and will not be in the places you expect it to be. From what I’ve seen so far, this technique results in fantastic shots. Often the camera is like that among trees or branches, behind some tree or barn; and gives you a sense of positive amazement and the impression of watching a film classic inspired by the world of the samurai.
Although I only played the first two chapters, I can say with satisfaction that this was enough for me to get a sense of travel and diversity. I fought in the streets, town squares, houses and burning roofs, country roads, woods, caves and plains. Each of these locations seemed to me a separate entity, and the impression was enhanced by the always different and innovative position of the camera, as well as the background scenery. The environment is interactive, so I threw a boulder or a boulder at my enemies a couple of times.
The environment is interactive, so I threw a boulder or a boulder at my enemies a couple of times.
An excellent visual presentation will be accompanied by an authentic soundtrack. The characters speak exclusively Japanese, so follow the dialogues subtitles. The way the characters relate to each other is also taken from Kurosawa’s cinematography, so expect long pauses and dramatic utterances of individual words and syllables.
You may be surprised to learn that Trek to Yomi is not a 2D title, as it may look in the pictures. Namely, Trek to Yomi uses a dual camera approach – when you move around the world and explore, you play it as a 3D title, and every time you enter a fight, the game automatically switches to 2D performance.
Trek to Yomi uses a dual camera approach: you explore the world as a 3D title, and in combat you switch to 2D performance.
You will explore the environment to find upgrades that permanently enhance your character. You will also look for temples that restore your health and serve to save progress in the game. The two-dimensional fight is performed in such a way that your opponents attack you one by one, usually from both sides. You have several light and heavy attacks that you can put together in combinations. When you are not tranching, you block the blows by holding the button, while repelling attacks in time and you open yourself up to a fatal blow. Of course, you have a meter for stamina which prevents you from just blocking or waving like a greyhound all the time, and there are various ones finishers.
In addition to the faithful katana, you can attack opponents with long-range weapons. Initially, only shurikens are available, but later you will be able to use other long-range weapons such as bows and arrows, even rifles. The feeling of being struck with a sword is not bad, but at times it seems completely banal if we compare it with the recent indie hit Sifu. I hope this gets better in the later part of the game.
Apart from the faithful katana, you can also attack opponents with long-range weapons.
The enemies that stand in your way are different and each of you will in theory require some adjustment. In addition to the standard wolves that you will cut while blinking, you will also encounter more special opponents that will give you a slightly bigger challenge. Some of them are very fast and skilled with a sword, others, for example, are in solid armor and require you to give them the death of a thousand cuts. In addition to more special opponents, you will also have in the game boss battles. So far, I have seen one such, excellently directed, but without any major surprises.
By the way, it seems to me that Trek to Yomi will not belong to the “git good” camp of challenging games that currently includes Sifu and Elden Ring. Although the enemies are numerous and diverse, you can defeat them all relatively easily and without too much thinking. At the normal weight setting, I went through both chapters with just a thrashing light attack without ever dying. It doesn’t have to mean that it will be the rest of the game – it may become more challenging later, but for now it doesn’t seem that way.
Judging by what we saw, we can expect a greater focus on style from Trek to Yomi, and less on substance. Unless there are unexpected delays, the game should go on sale and on the Game Pass subscription this spring. To the delight of all samurai fans who could not play Ghost of Tsushima, this samurai title will be available for the PC platform; in addition to versions for current PlayStation and Xbox consoles.