Trek to Yomi PC Review

User Rating: 8.5
Trek to Yomi

Trek to Yomi is a side view action-adventure game created by Shadow Warrior series creator, Flying Wild Hog Leonard Menchiari. The recipients take on the role of a young samurai Hiroki who embarks on a path of vengeance against those who take responsibility for the destruction of his home and the loss of his acquaintances. The game about samurai in black and white takes place during the Edo period when samurai were still actively roaming Japan.

Published by Devolver Digital (which also publishes Weird West, the upcoming cowboy-themed RPG), Trek to Yomi takes inspiration from Kurosawa even more than Ghost of Tsushima and is due to launch in early May 2022. This game was somewhat shrouded in moments of alleged coverage during the publisher’s presentation at E3 2021, for an almost exclusively arcane 20-minute gameplay.

The entire game is black and white, and its camera creates a signature style by switching between different types of sensations. From my brief hands-on review of Trek to Yomi, this is obvious, but it doesn’t sound like anything too new will be coming from a gameplay perspective.

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History and gameplay

In Trek to Yomi, you are a samurai who, as a child, witnesses burglars attack and destroy your home. You take your teacher’s sword and wield it dexterously, though you are much weaker than the adult rogues you encounter. But no matter how hard we try, our master dies.

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Combat is very simple at a glance, you attack with X on a standard Xbox controller, and Y as it is in all games is a heavy attack. You also have dodge bursts B, you can block and parry with LB and quickly turn left and navigate with A.

You also have the ability to attack from above and below and wait for the enemy to finish attacking or stagger before continuing. New combos and moves are unlocked as you progress, including the ability to finish off a stunned enemy that has been hit. Compared to the recently released Sifu, everything is not so smooth here, although it’s nice to kill enemies for another, in each battle you are attacked by 3 or more enemies, and from different sides, so you won’t have to relax.

In the second chapter, your main character Hiroki is already a young man. When you drift away from a group of samurai you’re traveling with because a group of bandits is taking over the nearby area, you soon discover that they’ve been kidnapped by bandits and must be freed.

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In the first few chapters, combat is fundamental. Most low-level opponents can be defeated with a single strike or strike, others must be deflected or blocked and here you will quickly learn to attack from above and below and wait for the opponent to complete the attack or stagger before striking again. As you progress, more combos and moves become available, including the ability to instantly finish off a hit opponent.

Stamina and health upgrades constantly increase each bar, which can often change the outcome of individual fights, while upgrade rewards are periodically given out for defeating new opponents or completing certain tasks.

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The game has a relative living world. Those who survived can tell you where to go next. You may even be able to help them in need. There are also many additional and hidden locations here, you can always deviate from the main road, and who knows what you will find. So you can find resources that will make it easier for you to pass or a small storyline or just a hint. So one day I ran inside the house, and killed a couple of rogues who were harassing the girl, and was rewarded with many flick blades that later helped me defeat one particularly strong enemy.

When we first saw Trek to Yomi, many people, myself included, assumed that it would be a Sifu-like anti-kill fighting game. But everything turned out to be much more complicated and cinematic. After spending a few hours with the first two chapters of Trek to Yomi, I can safely say that this is a very standalone thing. It is certainly not as difficult as Sifu.

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Game pass

The new samurai game will be available on Xbox Game Pass as a day one release. Trek to Yomi was released May 5 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

What do we end up with

Actually playing Trek to Yomi is not as much fun as just looking at it. Combat turns the game’s 3D world into 2D, forcing you to fight on a single axis. You can move left or right, rotate to collide with enemies, attack or block, and that’s pretty much it.

Most of the enemies I fought in the first two chapters of Trek to Yomi weren’t so many humans as brutal creatures filled with sacks of blood. With two simple swings of the sword, they are cut and bled, again straight out of Kurosawa’s visual repertoire. In this game, fighting waves of ordinary opponents, you will get to fight with multi-level villains, including bosses and people with supernatural powers, so you won’t get bored.

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In terms of game length, there will be approximately five to six hours of gameplay on normal difficulty. However, this does not include the many secrets scattered throughout the game, nor does it enable the post-game “one-hit” mode. In addition, the game rewards players for exploring a world full of collectibles, secrets and upgrades for the samurai, sometimes with an additional path that can greatly facilitate your passage. Depending on how fast or slow players travel through Japan in Trek to Yomi, gameplay can last anywhere from five to 10 hours.

The game is breathtaking, but the combat is not innovative. For example, it reminded me a bit of the original Prince of Persia‘s moment of combat. Like Ghost of Tsushima or other samurai games, the idea behind these duels is not to tap the attack button pointlessly – the stamina bar also prevents this – but to measure distances, know when to block, attack with fast movement or strong.

These are normal hits, and on normal difficulty, you won’t need more than two hits to take out the easiest of enemies, so you have to think. Of course, we will find warriors with slightly more elaborate strategies, samurai with defense and bosses, but as far as we have seen, a generous checkpoint system that restores all health does not allow us to find insurmountable blockades. For those who want more or less challenge, there is a difficulty selector.

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Right now, Trek to Yomi feels well done. It’s a pleasure to play, a pleasure to watch and listen to, and moments when you realize that it’s like watching a good old movie, it has enough history to at least grab your attention.

Actually playing Trek to Yomi is not as much fun as just looking at it. Combat turns the game's 3D world into 2D, forcing you to fight on a single axis. You can move left or right, rotate to collide with enemies, attack or block, and that's pretty much it. Those expecting a super-difficult task might be disappointed, but with the developers going down the path of getting attention rather than creating a new Sifu and Devolver Digital doing the publishing duties, it's certainly going to be an interesting project nonetheless. I think Wild Flying Hog has done an excellent job of helping the player go from a beginner swordsman to an experienced samurai.
  • Great visual style
  • Great locations
  • Intriguing plot and additional areas
  • Cinematic gameplay experience
  • Localization into different languages
  • Interesting bosses
  • Monotonous fights
  • Combat delays
  • Short duration

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