It isn’t news to gamers that some developers will slap a new year number on the same old game and expect you to pay out with hard-earned cash. That isn’t the case with Flying Wild Hog’s scheduled release. With the artwork alone, Trek To Yomi shows prospective users a cinematic experience set in what appears to be feudal Japan. On the publisher’s website, Devolver Digital, there is a bright “TL;DR” that states the following “As a vow to his dying Master, the young swordsman Hiroki is sworn to protect his town and the people he loves against all threats.”
Trek to Yomi’s style
Almost anyone with a fondness for Japanese culture can pick out the common styles found in the late feudal period in Japan. It is in almost every anime, videogame, and manga that has something to do with the era. Combining that with monochrome coloring and some fixed camera angles two things come to mind.
First, the 1954 classic, Seven Samurai. A movie that took filmmaking in the action and drama categories to the next level. Second, early action-adventure games like the first Resident Evil games. Some of these games are still masterworks today.
So far, the sound design is doing it no disservice either. Somber tones play as the master speaks. This is followed by dramatic cuts and screams. Subsequently, it all sets a tone for the drama without giving away more than an assumption of what’s to come.
Brutal samurai battles
Yomi-no-Kuni is the Japanese word for the land of the dead that translates to “World of Darkness”. Many compare it, mythologically, to Hades. Naturally, this sets the tone of the journey for the player. Hiroki, the main protagonist, will be forced to engage in brutal battles against other swordsmen. The weapons of the samurai are making an appearance in the historical setting. However, supernatural beings will also be making their way into the gameplay. With bloody beheadings and skulls on sticks being a part of the introduction, players are in for a bloody good time.
The ambiance is something video games can take their time with. Since players get to exist in the world and not simply watch it, missing the mark on feeling is rare. Games like Trek To Yomi double down on this boon. The rise and fall of heroes is nothing without the context of their adventures.
From the first sword-pass to the cosmic storm with a glowing eye, the foreboding impression is evident. The duty of a samurai is paramount. Following along with Hiroki as he ventures beyond life to make choices regarding himself and his way forward is sure to make the adventure compelling.
Trek To Yomi releases in 2022.