Open world samurai game Rōnin Trail officially announced. Wander Edo-period Japan fighting to survive

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-06-19 17:42 JST)

Indie game developer Danny Park officially announced their open world adventure game Rōnin Trail on June 19. The game is planned to release on Steam in 2023.

Rōnin Trail is an open world adventure game where players take on the role of a samurai in Japan. The game takes place during Japan’s Edo-period where a masterless samurai, or rōnin, is left to wander the countryside searching for their purpose. It’s a world full of nature with forests, grassy meadows, and flowing rivers.

There are also survival elements where players will have to live off the land. Fish in rivers, gather edible mushrooms, and collect firewood to cook meals. Your hunger is related to your health regeneration and thirst will impact your stamina recovery. There are also snowy environments which will require thicker clothing to survive.

Players will encounter a variety of people on their journey and quests to take on like helping a lost girl find her parents, helping a village elder collect medicinal herbs, and chasing off bandits. Players are free to select the quests they want to do, naturally building their own story. As your legend grows and you show your strength, characters will also want to be your ally.

Battles use a skill-based system. Equipped with a katana and wakizashi, players will have to learn and master the use of multiple combat techniques and stances. A split-second mistake could lead to your death, so spacing and timing are vital for claiming victory.

The game has a distinct voxel art style, but with free and flexible action that aims for realism. There’s also plenty of blood which players will have to clean off their swords after battle, along with other sword maintenance.

Developer Danny Park studies kendo and says they are using that experience to design Rōnin Trail’s swordplay. Park says the game design is inspired by titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The exploration is inspired by Animal Crossing and Made in Abyss with story and action inspired by Demon Slayer and Samurai Champloo. In addition, Park looks to films by Kurosawa and games like Ghost of Tsushima for realism, and studies Studio Ghibli movies for how to beautifully express environments.

Rōnin Trail is planned to release on PC (Steam) in 2023. The game is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter with a demo available for backers.