Trek to Yomi Preview: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Preview Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Announced during the Devolver Digital gaming segment at E3 2021, Trek to Yomi intrigued with its special DA and atypical approach. It must be said that the old-school style and laid back side are deeply broken with the crazy atmosphere of Shadow Warrior (also designed by Flying Wild Hog). The Polish studio, managed by Leonard Menchiari, presents us with Trek to Yomi a completely new vision of feudal Japan, which we were able to discover in an hour.

Preview Conditions

Devolver Digital gave us access to a preview of Trek to Yomi on PC. Therefore, we did not try the final version of the game, but a build that allows you to view the first two chapters of the game in two of the four difficulty modes. Please note that these two chapters correspond to approximately forty minutes of play.


In the heart of feudal Japan lives Hiroki, a young samurai in the making who diligently follows the lessons of his sensei. But when his village is suddenly attacked, everything changes. Deprived of his sensei, Hiroki must now learn to become stronger on his own. Especially since he has a promise that he will keep: to protect the village and its inhabitants at all costs. But the threats are many and a sharp blade is not always enough to ward off evil.


Ghost of Tsushima in black and white 2D?

If Trek to Yomi has a strong point, it’s the vibe it puts out. As soon as we launched the game, we got into the special atmosphere of Japan of the past. Audiously, the title takes us right into the gut, which is nice. Whether it’s because of the music or the very good Japanese dubbing, it feels like you’re there. A feeling that grows as the game unfolds visually.

The paintings in Trek to Yomi have a certain charm. Even if most of them show scenes of war and massacre with torn bodies lying on the ground, one cannot help but admire the rural or natural scenery of this ancient Japan. And to emphasize this age-old side, everything is done in black and white and decorated with a grainy filter that has little effect. Note that it can also be removed if it bothers you.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

You can add to this well-designed and changing (fixed) camera shots. The game oscillates between areas that need to be completed horizontally. (plus 2D during fights) and others a little more open (in full 3D for exploration). It should be recognized that the transition from one dimension to another is not always smooth and consistent. But in general, it energizes and allows Flying Wild Hog to surprise us even more with just great shots. Skillfully playing with shadows and environments, they offer us images worthy of cinema.

By mixing all these little dots, you get the same addictive atmosphere as in Ghost of Tsushima. This is a real initiatory journey to Japan of the samurai and the myths of that time. bears a unique and noticeable graphic touch. The latter skillfully combines horror and serenity, wise spirituality and fighting fervor.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

samurai blade

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Much of the gameplay consists of facing waves of enemies or bosses. And the samurai obliges, the battles are fought with a katana. They take the form of horizontal faceoffs where you can move left and right, parry and, of course, attack. The attacks are different too. If they are controlled by two keys (fast and heavy attack), several combinations possible in order to shake your opponent and knock him down. Combinations that are revealed as you progress through the game.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Would you understand Trek to Yomi offers a progression system that allows you to flesh out fights as the story progresses. This ranges from acquiring new weapons (bo shurikens) to acquiring various abilities, both defensive and offensive. This makes it possible to diversify the fights that are in great need of it. Because during our little quarantine game, they are quite repetitive.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Once we understand sample quite simple of various enemies, it is enough to parry and then link up quick attacks to overcome the threat. So of course the sound of the blade finally piercing the enemy is a certain satisfaction, and the feeling of combat is there. But little by little opening gives way to automatism which can be boring in the long run. We will have to see what happens in the next chapters, which should give us other surprises.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

We also expect a higher level of difficulty. If anyone was hoping for demanding gameplay, then at this level we are very, very far from Sekiro Shadows Die Twice. The introduction obliges, the first chapter frankly does not pose big problems. It’s a little more about the end of the last level, the game turns out to be quite punitive as soon as one lowers their guard a little. However, if you stay focused, it’s unlikely that “Journey to Yomi” will be a big challenge for you.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Of course, there are several levels of difficulty. But if you play on the damage dealt and the lives of your enemies, then the difference is not very noticeable. Especially since the game regularly (perhaps even too much) offers checkpoint resetting your life and stamina. But the difficulty is already stated as gradual, you can expect a correction of this point in the following chapters. Unlike other faults, which are unlikely to be fixed.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Old indie game

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

If we welcome the overall rendering of the game, graphically, it’s still quite dated, especially during cutscenes. Very stiff animation is enough to cringe and spoil the depth of some scenes. This is contrary to the immersive atmosphere we described above and may completely deprive some players of the experience.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

The same goes for the rhythm, which is difficult to pick up at the beginning. After what acts as a tutorial, the first ten minutes of the game have us traversing the entire village before we can finally fight. Of course, it is noticeable to detect it, like its inhabitants and habits, but this whole walkthrough is still quite long and does not necessarily allow the player to figure out the rest in better conditions (depending on his level of patience). But this is not a general shortcoming of the game, as it offers a good rhythm between small exploration phases and big fights.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Note also that this whole rather unexpected stage still matters in game design. It’s a way for Trek to Yomi to introduce the second part of its gameplay, which is exploration. During these phases, your katana is sheathed and you can move around more freely. Target ? Find a few collectible, but above all interact with objects and people around you. Two points that may seem optional, but which will help you better understand some of the fights.

Trek to Yomi: A Samurai Adventure As Exciting as Ghost of Tsushima?

Our impressions

As it stands, it’s difficult to form a firm opinion on the title, especially since it won’t show the tip of its nose for several months. However, the art direction and atypical atmosphere is enough to make us want to see more. Throw in some fun and aesthetically pleasing 2D katana duels and you have a promising title. The gameplay can certainly be improved, but the structure of the game suggests that there is still a lot of room for improvement. We can’t wait to get our hands on the full game to see if Trek to Yomi manages to erase its flaws and keep that refreshing aspect throughout.

Meakai profile

jeuxvideo.com journalist

March 18, 2022, 05:00:02 PM

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