Trek to Yomi review: A brutal but stunning visual spectacle with satisfying cinematic combat – Eugene Sowah

Trek to Yomi is the latest game to come from developer Flying Wild Hog and publisher Devolver Digital

Trek to Yomi

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Developer Flying Wild Hog and publisher Devolver Digital have joined forces once again, but for a title that isn’t a Shadow Warrior game.

This time around the duo are releasing Trek to Yomi which looks and feels like a love letter to classic Samurai movies.

Directed by Leonard Menchiari, Trek to Yomi follows the story of the young Samurai Hiroki who has sworn to protect his town as a vow to his late master, Sanjuro.

Years later after Sanjuro defeated the bandit Kagerou, a new merciless warlord has risen and seeks to control Hiroki’s land.

This throws Hiroki into a bloody quest to liberate his people while uncovering the mystery behind the new warlord.

Trek to Yomi’s cinematic storytelling is one of the game’s biggest strengths, with each story arc flowing effortlessly into each other for a cohesive tale.

Developers Flying Wild Hog has certainly crafted a captivating story filled with rich characters and lore that feels original while paying homage to the Samurai movie classics.

Trek to Yomi is a love letter to classic Samurai movies


Flying Wild Hog/ Devolver Digital)

Trek to Yomi is full of surprises and otherworldly experiences that don’t feel too random or out of place.

For its relatively short playthrough Trek to Yomi is a grand experience that deserves your attention, especially to witness the stellar storytelling.

Trek to Yomi’s visuals have been a major talking point since it was first announced at E3 last year.

It’s clear to see that Trek to Yomi has taken inspiration from classic Samurai films to create its Kurosawa-Esque aesthetic.

The game looks simply majestic with every scene being composed of fantastic lighting and stunning scenic backdrops.

Everything really lands well and it’s the subtle features like burning buildings, lightning strikes and collapsing structures that help to elevate the overall experience.

Character models are a bit hit and miss with their overall designs beaming with detail that looks authentic to the era they are based on.

Trek to Yomi is a visual spectacle with captivating fight sequences


Flying Wild Hog/ Devolver Digital)

The main issue with character models is that during cutscenes the lip-syncing can feel out of place and the characters can look stiff during certain moments

Fight sequences are an amazing mix of bloody battles and stylish silhouettes, it all really comes together well for such an intense experience.

Overall Trek to Yomi is a visual masterpiece that encapsulates all the great cinematics that one would expect from a Kurosawa inspired game.

Trek to Yomi features a very intricate audio build made up of several layers, with the actual soundtrack being less prominent than the sound effects.

This is a great choice as it allows the player to really feel immersed in all the intense action.

Trek to Yomi also includes incredible voice acting from famous anime actors that give top-notch performances.

It’s stunning visuals are only matched by its satisfying combat


Flying Wild Hog/ Devolver Digital)

The voice acting only comes in Japanese with English subtitles but this helps everything feel that much more authentic.

Trek to Yomi is a hack and slash adventure that shifts between 2D and 3D environments during combat and exploration.

Each level is broken down into different sections that are filled with various types of enemies and some very light puzzle solving.

When not fighting players will be able to explore each of the stages’ background and foreground looking for secrets and different pathways.

It’s great that there are a few different secrets and pathways to explore but Trek to Yomi is a pretty linear game that doesn’t really make you work for the hidden items.

What I did find interesting were the Shrines, which can replenish health and stamina but only once during each playthrough of a stage.

This adds a little risk-and-reward element to battle as players can choose to use the shrines instantly or push on and use them at a more crucial time.

Boss battles are sensational


Flying Wild Hog/ Devolver Digital)

Combat is one of the biggest features of Trek to Yomi with the gameplay mechanics allowing for an experience as close to the films as possible.

Combat will consist of players executing light and heavy attacks at different angles for variation while trying to preserve their stamina at the same time.

If Hiroki’s stamina drops to zero he can be instantly killed by a well-timed enemy attack. One of the most crucial features in combat is the parry which will help players to counter and follow with an attack.

Combat can feel pretty basic and straightforward in the early stages, but as players progress the game throws in a variation of enemies and bosses making everything that much tougher, which will result in multiple deaths.

However, alongside Hiroki’s basic skills he will be able to learn new combos and execute finishers. He will also unlock new weapons that allow for ranged fighting and more.

There are also cinematic environmental kills which can wipe out a heap of bandits and preserve health.

All of these additional attack choices will really increase the player’s strategy choices while elevating the overall experience.

Combat may be slow and methodical but it’s a very satisfying and rewarding experience where patience plays a massive role in defeating enemies.

Verdict 4/5

Trek to Yomi is a stunning homage filled with all the visceral pleasures that made us fall for directors like Kenji Mizoguchi and Akira Kurosawa.

The cinematic storytelling matched by its satisfying combat makes Trek to Yomi a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.

Trek to Yomi is out on 5 May for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S

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