Play: “Trek To Yomi” magnificent journey on the samurai’s path

A tribute to Akira Kurosawa’s cinematography, the studio Flying Wild Hogs game unfortunately goes hara-kiri with its imprecise combat system.

Unlike “The Stanley Parable”, the ambition with “Trek To Yomi”. more cinematic than playful. And with good reason, the game is obviously inspired by the work of Akira Kurosawafamous Japanese director recognized among others for “The Seven Samurai” or “The Bodyguard”.

The tribute is clear from the game’s first shot. The use of black and white, the image in Panavision format with the distinctive black lines at the top and bottom of the screen, or the use of a Damaged film-like grain immediately gives the impression of to face a period film. As in samurai films, the raw, choppy and jerky violence gives the title an almost poetic dimension. The play of light and shadow as you travel through burning villages after being attacked by looters is sublime and oriental decorations transport.

Happy and theatrical images

These filters applied to the image are not the only references to Kurosawa’s filmographic world: the staging is full of borrowings from the 7th art. The game is not stingy in particularly polished and theatrical static recordings. For example, when faced with a handful of bandits on a bridge, the camera placed on a boat below allows you to see the enemy’s corpses fall into the water and carried by the current.

“Trek To Yomi” is a very strong contrast between the hero’s humanity and his sense of duty, the samurai’s famous way.

On a regular basis, we have the impression of replaying the legendary fight scene in the hallway to Chan-Wook Park’s masterpiece, “Old Boy”. The aesthetics and artistic direction of these scenes are without a doubt the strong point of this title.

Trailer “Trek To Yomi”

The story, though quite classic, is not left out. It takes the player on a quest that combines love, duty and revenge, while giving the folklore around Japanese warriors an honor. This “Trek To Yomi” constitutes one very strong contrast between the hero’s humanity and his sense of duty, the samurai’s famous way. It’s all sprinkled with a small dose of the supernatural and dreamlike, as Yomi is actually the world of the dead in Shinto mythology.

Behind its original artistic flair and its universe from feudal Japan, there is unfortunately not much left of this “Trek to Yomi”.

Inaccurate and repeated fights

The aesthetics of the game are impeccable and the story is pleasant to follow. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about its playful aspect. Of course, the nervousness of the duels has been a bit enjoyable. A blow or two is often enough to kill an enemy in a spray of blood. Moreover, it is a real pleasure to be able to choreograph the matches as an instructor would. The problem is that the combat system is often inaccurate, even unfair. To make matters worse, collisions can quickly recur. It’s all the more unfortunate that the game still regularly offers new weapons and techniques. Unfortunately, these attacks are often difficult to place, and most of the time it will be necessary to limit yourself to a few basic battles to send the enemies out into the afterlife.

Behind its original artistic paw, its universe from feudal Japan exploited too little in video games, there is unfortunately not much left of this “Trek to Yomi”. Its aesthetic catches. But hard to get excited about his playful proposition of an almost dull classicism.

Developed by Flying Wild Hog, published by Devolver Digital

Available on PC, PlayStation consoles and Xbox consoles

20 €

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