If you like samurai and Japanese culture in your video games and are looking for something beyond Ghost of Tsushima, there might be something rather interesting coming up soon. Flying Wild Hog’s side-scrolling samurai action title Trek to Yomi has looked like an exciting prospect since the day it was announced, impressive with everything from its slick-looking combat to its gorgeous black-and-white visual aesthetic. With each new showing, we’ve grown more and more curious about the game, and ahead of its imminent launch on May 5, here, we’ll be taking a look at some key points that you should know about it.
Trek to Yomi is set in Japan in the Edo period. You play as Hiroki, a young swordsman who is tasked by dying master to protect his village from looming threats. Bound by duty and honour to fulfil his master’s dying wish, Hiroki sets out on a voyage to protect those he loves. Interestingly, while Trek to Yomi is, of course, basing its setting on a historical era, the game will also rope mythological and folklore elements into its story, but the full extent of their involvement remains to be seen.
Authenticity in depiction and attention to detail are important in any story that bases itself on real-world cultures and time periods, and Trek to Yomi developer Flying Wild Hog seems to have gone to quite some lengths to ensure that the game accurately portrays what it’s been inspired by. In a recent interview with GamingBolt, game director Marcin Kryszpin explained that Flying Wild Hog worked with Aki Tabei Matsunaga – a historian who specializes in the Edo period – who helped with everything from translations and dialogue to lore and more.
Combat has to be one of the priorities for any game where you’re stepping into the shoes of a samurai, and Trek to Yomi, appropriately enough for its subject material, is looking to deliver fast and precise action on that front. In addition to light and melee attacks, players will also have to block and parry enemy attacks, with perfectly timed blocks also providing openings for quick counter-attacks. Combining attacks with directional inputs is also a key component, and players will have to observe their enemies’ stance and decide how to approach fights accordingly.
Trek to Yomi is going to be a pretty brief experience (more on that in a bit), but it’s not going to be static from start to finish. Some light progression elements are thrown in as well. Various new weapons and combo attacks will be unlocked during the course of the story, but some will be optional and, as such, completely missable, allowing players to further expand their arsenal and moveset. Throughout the course of the game, new weapons unlocked will include shurikens, an ozutsu, bows, and more.
Trek to Yomi’s take on checkpoints is quite interesting. Every so often, players will come across shrines in the world that can be used to replenish your health and stamina and all around provide a temporary safe haven for you- but there’s a catch. Each shrine can only be used just once in a single playthrough, which means you’ll always have to decide whether you want to use a shrine to replenish yourself, or hold off on doing that until later and risk pushing ahead.
How games approach difficulty is something that can often make or break an experience for different sections of the audience, so what exactly is Trek to Yomi doing on this front? The shrines, the precise combat, and boss fights collectively are promising a game that will challenge players at least on some level. That said, this is clearly a game that’s emphasizing its cinematic nature first and foremost, so those who’re looking for an easier experience can select a mode that delivers just that.
As mentioned earlier, Trek to Yomi is not going to be a very long game. Game director Marcin Kryszpin told GamingBolt in a recent interview that on normal difficulty, it will take around five hours to see to completion. “We wanted to achieve this cinematic experience in order to show the player our story and acquaint them with the Edo period via collectibles,” Kryszpin explained. “The game’s length determined many points in the game design; too many features or too difficult of combat would be hard to introduce in that short amount of time. Retaining the feeling of a classic samurai movie was key.”
Though Trek to Yomi is going to have a pretty short runtime, its developers have assured that there will be a decent amount of optional content in there for those who want to dive deeper into the game. In addition to collectibles and optional NPC conversations to seek out to learn more about the story and lore, as well as the unlockable weapons and combos we mentioned earlier, Trek to Yomi will also have four unique endings.
ONE-HIT KILL MODE
Here’s another piece of optional content for those who want to stick with the game after the credits have rolled. Once you finish Trek to Yomi, you’ll unlock a one-hit kill mode. It will feature much faster and more challenging combat, where one mistake might very likely be lethal. If you’re looking for a more challenging experience, this might be worth checking out.
PS5 AND XBOX SERIES X/S
Like most other games releasing right now, Trek to Yomi is going to be a cross-gen title, and while there’s no word yet on exactly how it’s going to run on PS4 and Xbox One, we do know what to expect from the new-gen versions. Game director Marcin Kryszpin recently confirmed to GamingBolt that Trek to Yomi will run at 4K and 60 FPS on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Meanwhile, what about the Steam Deck? Valve’s portable gaming PC doesn’t exactly have a lot of market penetration yet, given that supplies are limited and that it hasn’t been out long yet, but those who do have the device will be able to play Trek to Yomi on it. Speaking to GamingBolt, Kryszpin said that thanks to the optimization Flying Wild Hog did for the game on PS4 and Xbox, it “should work well” on the Steam Deck as well, with further optimization (if any) coming further down the line once the game has released.
Recommended system requirements for Trek to Yomi’s PC version haven’t been confirmed yet, but we do know what kind of a rig you’ll need at minimum to be able to run the game. Unsurprisingly, the requirements aren’t too demanding. On minimum settings, you’ll need 4 GB of RAM, 3 GB of storage space, a GeForce 9600 GT (512 MB), and an Intel Core i3-4160.
We’ve been seeing smaller and indie releases leveraging the benefits of Xbox Game Pass with greater frequency, with a great number of them deciding to launch on the subscription service day and date. Trek to Yomi will be another one of those, with publisher Devolver Digital confirming that the game will be available via Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass right at launch.
As an indie game, and a brief one at that, Trek to Yomi isn’t the sort of game that launches at a steep price, and Devolver, as you may have expected, isn’t going to go off course here. When the game launches for PC and consoles on May 5, if you don’t get it via Game Pass and decide to purchase it, you’ll have to shell out $19.99.
POTENTIAL SWITCH VERSION
Trek to Yomi is launching in a few days for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, but many have wondered if a Switch version is also in the pipeline, especially given the large audiences that indie games usually find on Nintendo’s hybrid platform. While that isn’t part of the plan yet, it seems it’s something Flying Wild Hog hasn’t completely ruled out. Kryszpin said to GamingBolt in an interview: “The game will be available on five platforms on its release, but we don’t exclude the possibility of there being a Switch version in the future.”