Trek to Yomi by Leonard Menchiari, Flying Wild Hog, and Devolver Digital is an action game that puts you in control of a samurai on a quest to protect his village from bandits. Find out more in our Trek to Yomi review!
Trek to Yomi by Leonard Menchiari, Flying Wild Hog, and Devolver Digital is an action game that puts you in control of a samurai on a quest to protect his village from bandits. The story starts with young Hiroki as he trains with his sensei Sanjuro, learning the basics of combat and also the importance of balance and focus in life. After the training ends, a villager comes rushing in to ask for sensei Sanjuro’s assistance. As he leaves, you briefly talk with Sanjuro’s daughter Aiko, and you both decide to follow him to help. After finding him, you confront the thief Kagerou, and after striking him, Sanjuro takes your place and ends up being killed. The story then fast forwards a few years with Aiko as the village leader and you by her side as you go out on a mission to help villagers from Kamikawamura that were attacked by what they call demons. After helping them, you realize that this was only a decoy in order to attack your village, and this is where your quest for vengeance will begin.
The game plays from two perspectives depending if you’re exploring or in combat. When exploring, you can freely move around each environment with the left analog stick as you navigate through the levels. The Circle button will allow you to sprint, while the X button will allow you to interact with certain elements such as collectibles, items to expand your stamina or health, puzzles, or environmental traps. You’ll also encounter shrines that serve as save points that refill your health and stamina – shrines that can only be used once.
When in combat, the game shifts to a 2D side perspective. The Circle button will still allow you to sprint or roll, which will consume some stamina. The Square and Triangle buttons will be used for light and heavy attacks, respectively, which can be used to unleash combos. The L1 button will be used to block or parry attacks if you can time it just right. Stunned enemies can be finished with the R1 button, which has the added bonus of restoring some health. Finally, the L2 or R2 buttons can be used for your ranged weapons, which will be a bow, shurikens, or a cannon-like Ozutsu that you will unlock as you progress through the game.
The game’s visuals are, without a doubt, one of its strongest aspects. It is completely in black and white, with a filter that adds a grainy aspect to the presentation – which you can turn off in the options, but I’d recommend keeping it – so it makes you feel like you’re watching an old movie. The soundtrack is a subtle one, with some light music and sound effects, and the game features fully-voiced dialogue in Japanese. Something that did bother me was that the subtitles, which are displayed in white font, would sometimes display over a white part on the screen, making them difficult to read them.
Being a fan of samurai games – looking at you, Ghost of Tsushima – I was all in for another samurai game on PlayStation 5. In terms of the story, I really enjoyed going through the 5-6 hours of the story campaign to reach the end of the game. What started as a simple desire to help transforms itself as you progress through the game because of the different events and choices you make along the way, which I won’t spoil here.
The only thing I ended up not being a huge fan of is the combat. The combat is fun, but having to parry attacks for all battles got to feel a bit repetitive. Sure, there are new enemy types introduced as you progress through the story, but nothing to boost the variety in combat. Also, the block, parry, and attack animations felt a bit off at first, forcing you to press the L1 button a bit before the actual attack animation starts, which does not feel natural. This has been addressed by way of a Day One patch.
As for the trophies, there’s good variety in the list. There are trophies related to the story, and since there are three occasions where you can branch-off in the game’s story, you can expect to have a few trophies related to those moments. There are also the collectibles, and the team did a great job hiding them. You can also expect to end up having to complete a challenging trophy during your run since you’ll have to play in the hardest difficulty setting, where one hit kills you.
Trek to Yomi is a good game that’s definitely worth checking out on PlayStation 5. The combat system might not be for everyone, but the game’s story and the gorgeous black and white presentation will keep you coming back for more. Trek to Yomi is out today on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 with a $19.99 asking price.
This Trek to Yomi review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Devolver Digital.