Starting off my Trek to Yomi preview, if you’re looking at this you’ll immediately think this is simply trying to recapture that Kurosawa “feel” with its visuals. I’m here to say that what Flying Wild Hog has created is actually more than that – this is a real homage in the truest sense to legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from its visuals to its combat all the way to its entire vision.
The brief time I had for our Trek to Yomi preview left me flabbergasted, the boys at Flying Wild Hog could convince anyone that this is a Japanese game made by a big Japanese media company as a tribute to Kurosawa. I can honestly say that I am dying to see more of Trek to Yomi, read on with my thorough preview to learn why this is one of the most promising games of 2022 – or recent times.
Trek to Yomi
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform: Windows PC (Previewed), Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5
Release Date: 2022
From the beginnings in our Trek to Yomi preview, you’re immediately thrust into an authentic, populated, feudal Japanese world. Everything in the game has been meticulously looked at and crafted to be as close to historical structures, clothing, and life as possible.
The beginning village is abound with villagers, chatting, people just going about their daily lives in feudal Japan. The visuals in Trek to Yomi are just -chefs kiss- masterclass.
If you’re a fan of Kurosawa or older film, you’ll be absolutely astonished at how much attention to detail Flying Wild Hog put into Trek to Yomi’s masterful cinematic presentation.
While most big budget games attempt to create a “cinematic” experience, Trek to Yomi has a truly mesmerizing and authentic look of an actual movie Kurosawa himself could have made in his lifetime.
For our Trek to Yomi preview, running on my decent rig the game automatically chose “Epic” settings, and it doesn’t disappoint with that setting. The god rays, the high 16mm contrast, the darkened out of focus foreground, even the god rays..
Everything in our Trek to Yomi preview was absolutely mind-blowing with how good this game looks and plays. I will note there were some tiny hiccups in the beginning village, likely due to the sheer bananas number of NPCs, objects, and things going on.
One thing I want to really put attention to is Trek to Yomi’s focus on actual cinematic presentation with its set camera angles. This is a truly cinematic experience, where literally every single scene and location has been thought about, planned, and put into the most focused look.
With Trek to Yomi, Flying Wild Hog has presented not only a game but an honest to goodness playable movie that big budget developers can only dream of and haven’t really come anything close to achieving.
With gameplay in Trek to Yomi, I can soundly say that Flying Wild Hog didn’t disappoint – this is a visceral, brutal, and unrelenting experience. I tried out both its standard and above-standard difficulties and the challenge is just right.
You learn quick how to attack, block, parry, and more. From humble beginnings protagonist Hiroki becomes a full-fledged samurai, a follower of bushido, and the combat had me coming back for more.
The animations in Trek to Yomi are spectacular, the body and hand movements, the way Hiroki, allies, and enemies move and run, everything looks so good when in action.
All of the above iconic visuals in Trek to Yomi compounded with its perfected combat provide a stunning experience, even when dying a few times I just wanted to see more and fight off more enemies.
A big note in our Trek to Yomi preview with combat is that the parrying is absolutely solid, because the combat is so fast and so kinetic, it took me a bit to actually get the timing down but it’s honestly one of the best combat engines I’ve ever played.
Whether fighting off a solo enemy or an entire group, even the way enemy AI behaves has been carefully looked at, fights actually feel and look authentic to something you’d see in a period film.
At times the combat felt a bit touch off and on, because you really do only have a couple hits before you die – but so do your enemies.
There’s a nicely varied combo system that you slowly begin to unlock new abilities for, starting with your standard quick attack and heavy attack combos, leading up to running attacks, reversals, and of course – bloody finishers.
The sound and music in Trek to Yomi is naturally masterclass as well – with how much attention to detail has been put into the game’s visuals and gameplay, how could Flying Wild Hog disappoint with its music and voice cast?
The entire experience from startup to the end of my Trek to Yomi preview had me on the edge of my seat between its visuals, gameplay, and its pounding classical Japanese musical score. The music and sound effects really bring everything together in a complete and immersive cinematic presentation.
The music in Trek to Yomi ranges from its more ethereal wind pieces with subtle drumming here and there to its pounding, exhilarating moments that perfectly highlight its combat scenes.
Everything in Trek to Yomi feels just right and perfectly sets the mood, whether its a dialogue scene, an exploration segment, or those consistent battles you run into.
The voice cast in Trek to Yomi is especially solid, with its main cast of characters with protagonist Hiroki, the female lead Aiko, and its several supporting characters and villains are all great.
The multitude of NPCs in the game are all voiced in Japanese, this is really like an actual film production where literally every NPC you run into is saying or doing something. Some NPCs were chatting about how a girl keeps turning them down, while lots of them are sadly dying from murderous bandits.
Sound effects when doing our Trek to Yomi preview are also, naturally, extremely authentic and visceral – ranging from bone-crunching sword attacks to its denizens all doing various things, to its environmental sound effects.
There is so much attention to detail in Trek to Yomi it’s honestly astonishing, there were times I stood in a windswept forest just listening to things and the minute soundtrack because of how awestruck I was.
In closing with our Trek to Yomi preview, I was actually shocked when the demo ended because it reverted back to the title screen – and I was literally begging to see more.
It’s been awhile since a game has had me completely hooked like this but Trek to Yomi has me absolutely blown away with its masterful entrance.
Trek to Yomi is a game that cannot be missed when it releases (hopefully) soon, because I’ll be thinking about it and wanting to play more.
Trek to Yomi launches 2022 on Windows PC (via Steam), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S, including Game Pass.