Gaming and cinematic… two words that are never far away from each other, as the industry constantly pushes to create the most immersive experiences it can, to rival those seen on the silver screen. The latest title to try and blur the lines is Trek to Yomi, a side-scrolling action game developed by Polish studio Flying Wild Hog, and takes a LOT of inspiration from classic Samurai flicks. That’s not to say this is just a tribute, more a homage to its source. You’ll spot nods and winks from the get-go, but the game cuts its very own path quite quickly.
Based in Japan and set during the Edo period, Trek to Yomi follows a young warrior named Hiroki who goes on a journey to confront the people responsible for the destruction of his village. It’s a classic tale of revenge, but with a Samurai twist. You find yourself having to choose between your duties and his personal goals. Yes, it’s all a bit cliché at times and if you have seen a few Samurai movies you’ll be able to telegraph things way too easily, but it’s a solid yarn that pulls you through the jaw dropping scenes. The game is fully in black and white and oozing in style and cinematic vibes, with each new area and scene feeling like an epic action moment. From battling on huge logs in the forest, to facing off against foes as a village burns down around you – the game knows how to do epic and then some.
Being a side-scrolling affair, combat first hits you as maybe a little overly simple. You only have a handful of moves, which are buffed every so often with a new combo, but that’s about it. And to be fair that’s all you really need, as it just works and works well as you’ll often face off against enemies that require you to mix up how you fight, which helps to keep things fresh. Your real challenge in Trek to Yomi will come from the bosses – who are mega damage sponges in ways – and all have their own set ways to defeat. So timing, paying attention and knowing when and what to do are all key in these slugged out brawls.
Though some will feel it just never evolves in a way they would hope, and also given its limited move set, it does threaten on becoming a bit repetitive. Trek to Yomi dodges that bullet by having a brief run time clocking in at around the 7 hour mark to see the credits roll. It is a true love letter to classic Samurai cinema and it nails that look and vibe perfectly. It may be a little light on the combat and depth for some, but this brief adventure is well worth a journey.
An Xbox One code for Trek to Yomi was provided by Flying Wild Hog’s PR team, and the game is available now on Xbox, PC and PlayStation for around £20 depending on platform.