Trek to Yomi is a dull blade Verification
Games

Trek to Yomi is a dull blade. Verification

played on Xbox series S

Some games make you fall in love at first sight. In the watercolor delicacy of Gris, in the riot of color of The Artful Escape, in the comfort of Tunic. Trek to Yomi from the same number, although the black and white samurai action doesn’t look as fresh after Ghost of Tsushima – the PlayStation exclusive already had such a filter. But if he just changes color there, then the Poles at Flying Wild Hog have made him an integral part of their novelty. They tried to create a game in the spirit of Akira Kurosawa’s films, the great director whose films about samurai went down in cinema history forever.

style above all

So the low-color palette is not an attempt to stand out, but an artistic technique without which Trek to Yomi would not have existed. The authors have significantly revised the entire filmography of the classic, paying special attention to the camera work – the camera often shows the events from non-banal angles. There are many memorable episodes and I want to take screenshots all the time – both for myself and to show someone else, including people who are far from video games.

    Don't talk to the main character like that.

Don’t talk to the main character like that.

At the same time, the plot of the game is banal, to put it mildly – we have already seen a hundred times the story of a student who wants to avenge his teacher. The supernatural elements mixed in here, such as ghosts or infected people who behave like zombies, do not save either. The story isn’t engaging, and you don’t want to go through the levels for any plot twists, but to see what other colorful scenes await us.

Unfortunately, Trek to Yomi’s gameplay is not to be commended. In action scenes, it’s kind of a beat ’em up, but instead of fists, we use a katana. And outside of the battles, you can move around the game a little more freely, although the locations remain the same chambers – only sometimes you find yourself at a fork in the road, or you can turn off the road and go into someone’s house.

    Fighting is always from the side

Fighting is always from the side

The area is worth exploring. First, you can find stamina and health upgrades, mostly hidden in optional areas. There are also collectibles, but the menu with them is even reluctant to open. Secondly, you can either shorten the path to the next story scene, or activate a trap for opponents and not fight them face to face. Damaging a dam, dropping something from above, destroying a bridge – it’s not necessary and doesn’t save much time, but it always looks great.

The hard way of the samurai

However, the game in no way tells you which path will lead you to the next story episode and which one is optional. And in contrast to the visual style, this no longer seems like an intentional decision, but more like a mistake. Such misunderstandings leading to confusion are common. For example, you don’t unlock new abilities in the skill tree – they’re regularly given to you just like that, showing combinations of punches in the corner. But why use them when you’ve done an excellent job with the simplest combination so far?

    Not everyone immediately recognizes their hero in

Not everyone immediately recognizes their hero in

And indeed – almost the entire game can be completed by doing the same thing: Parrying and countering blows. This is how common opponents and their armored versions, archers, ghosts and infected are defeated. The difference between the opponents is insignificant – whether the opponent is armed with a spear or a katana, all attacks can be parried. The only exception are the somewhat more active bosses, with whom there will not be a single exciting duel.

As a result, the gameplay contrasts too much with the visual design. On one side of the scale is a luxurious graphic style that is firmly engraved in the memory. It’s like the film The Artist in 2011 – would it have won an Oscar if a film like this kept coming out? Absolutely not. That’s how it is here: black and white palette, authentic effects from the old film and transitions between some scenes, brilliant camera work – all very high quality and unusual. And on the other hand – mediocre and for this type of game even fatal gameplay, so unsightly that you try to quickly slip through the fight for the next scene.

    Oh, this game might turn out...

Oh, this game might turn out…

At the same time, it’s hard to imagine how this gameplay could be fixed. As we have already found out, receptions do not have to be used. And the point is not only the simplicity of parries, but also the reaction of enemies to normal attacks – they are not stunned and continue to torment you as if nothing happened, and you need to press three or four buttons in a row to complete the combination, what is impossible. There is no danger per se, as opponents always attack one at a time – even if you are surrounded on all sides, you will only fight with one opponent. As soon as he dies, the second decides to attack. In general, the gameplay seemed to have been screwed into Trek to Yomi at the last moment.

***

The developers of Trek to Yomi paid too much attention to the visual part, atmosphere and authenticity and thought that all this would pull the game out of the passerby category. However, this is not the case when the picture can completely mask the game’s flaws – it’s hard to turn a blind eye to flaws when they spoil the fun of the game. Viewing the game from the outside can give you aesthetic pleasure – it’s like a lost Kurosawa film, brilliantly voiced in Japanese too. But unfortunately it is difficult to play.

Advantages:

  • great atmosphere in the spirit of old samurai movies;
  • well voiced characters.

Disadvantages:

  • banal action;
  • primitive combat system;
  • Gameplay repetitive too quickly;
  • many game bugs.

graphic

Visual design is Trek to Yomi’s strongest point. Thanks to the combination of color palette, camera work and vintage filters, almost every shot is beautiful.

sound

Simple but pleasant music and coherent characters – it’s hard to find fault with the sound either.

single player game

Watching Trek to Yomi is enjoyable, but as a game it gets tiresome very quickly. New skills do not save because they are not needed, and you can fall asleep from the monotony.

Estimated travel time

5 o’clock.

collective game

Not provided.

overall impression

A beautiful exhibit for a video games museum that is much more interesting to look at than to walk through.

Rating: 5.0/10

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About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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