Before we start our Thymesia review, let’s talk a bit about the games that inspired it. The Souls-Like genre was established and quickly gained popularity due to the release of extremely high-quality games released by the studio FromSoftware, which all follow an extremely specific template. And over the years, we have seen a great many games within that genre, and Thymesia is only the most recent addition to that list. However, it is not a perfect Souls-Like title, and we will get into that a bit more in our review.
Games that take inspiration from the gameplay of the Dark Souls Trilogy are considered to be Souls-Like titles. Not every game is able to mimic a perfect challenging yet rewarding experience that is also paired with top-tier level design, difficult boss battles, and amazing soundtracks. Some do manage to perfectly encapture the core mechanics, but others fail to deliver on even the basics of the FromSoft titles.
This game, however, is an overall average title that exceeds in some aspects but is subpar in certain other areas of gameplay, and our Thymesia review will entail both the pros and cons of the game. It should be noted, however, that the game takes most of its inspiration from Bloodborne and Sekiro, both of which specialize in delivering fast-paced action combat.
- Developer: OverBorder Studio
- Publisher: Team 17
- Release Date: August 18, 2022
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Playstation and PC
- Predecessor: None
Story And Setting
The story and setting of the game are heavily inspired by Bloodborne. The references that this game makes will be obvious to any FromSoftware fans.
Another world is destroyed by a plague that has mutated people into living bloodthirsty monsters. The virus not only affects humans but also causes horrible mutations in animals. That is the core premise of the game. The story is set in the vast kingdom of Hermes, which successfully fended off the plague for quite a while, but it was destined to fall eventually.
The whole narrative is quite vague, but you can find multiple pieces of information about what’s happening all around you as you explore the game world. It is you, the player, who will fit all the lore pieces together and carve out a narrative for yourself. This will in turn help you better understand the ending of the game, which can change based on the choices that you make.
You play as a man named Corvus, who is an extremely well-equipped combatant. His design will once again remind you of the hunters from Bloodborne. When the protagonist wakes up in the beginning, you find out that the kingdom has fallen and the virus has affected almost everyone. Your job is to work with the Alchemists of Hermes and find a cure to this horrifying situation.
While playing through the game, we noticed that the story is not the key highlight of this game, rather it is the gameplay.
The fast-paced adrenaline-rushing gameplay of Thymesia is a direct inspiration from both Sekiro and Bloodborne. Unfortunately, there is no character creation in the game. But you do get access to a hub area where you can perform upgrades and level up what is known as the Philosopher’s Hill.
Right from the get-go, you can explore three major levels in the game while doing main quests and side missions at your leisure. Levels have certain checkpoints known as Beacons, and these are similar to the Bonfires from the Dark Soul series. These checkpoints restore your health when you are injured, and let you perform some upgrades.
Similar to the Souls in Darks Souls and Blood Echoes in Bloodborne, you receive a currency known as Memory Shards by defeating enemies and bosses in this game. You can use these Memory Shards in order to level up your character and improve your stats as a result. So far our Thymesia review has covered all of the basics, but now lets dive into some aspects that make this game unique.
There are three different stats that you can level up, namely Strength, Vitality, and Plague. Strength affects the damage dealt by normal weapons, whereas Plague increases the power of plague weapons. Vitality on the other hand corresponds to the HP or health points of your character.
Respecing your stats is also available if you want to avail that feature, but it requires the use of an in-game item known as the Forgotten Feather.
Talent Points are also rewarded for leveling up in the game, and these can be used to learn different skills from within the skill tree.
However, the gameplay is not all that complex in the game. It lets you play with the same main weapons for the entirety of the game, however, you can also choose to switch the Plague weapons with one of the 21 other available options.
Both parrying and dodging are available here. You can either decide to perform fast dodges in the face of your enemy or take them head-on in a duel and parry their attacks. Parrying requires quick timing and is harder to learn, whereas dodging is much more forgiving in the game.
Potions are your healing items and they are replenished at the various checkpoints in the levels, exactly like how bonfires replenish your Estus Flasks in Dark Souls. Boss Battles are also extremely challenging, which is expected from a Souls-Like, but it is really rewarding to learn their movesets and develop creative methods of defeating them.
Enemies and Bosses in the game have two different health bars, one is white while the other is green. Normal attacks from your sword only deal wound damage which drains the white health bar. However, doing that is not enough as the green health bar can regenerate the white one if not drained equally. Special Claw attacks are used to lower the green health of your foes.
Overall, the gameplay forces you to play in a more aggressive fashion against distinct bosses. It is the greatest strength of the game that it managed to pull off such an amazing combat system.
However, there are certain drawbacks here as well. The level design of the game is average at best and doesn’t reward you with enough shortcuts for exploring the world. Most areas can get confusing to traverse and are filled with repetitive enemies which decreases the overall quality of the levels. As good as the combat is, the game fails to deliver in the level design department and enemy variety.
Visuals And Performance
The game is a visual treat and is filled with aesthetics straight out of a Lovecraftian nightmare. The environments and the boss design all depict a horrifying narrative, but the scale of this game is not as huge as something like Bloodborne. There are only 3 major levels that we were able to truly experience, but at least the haunting art design was great.
Performance-wise, Thymesia seems to be optimized fairly well since we faced a handful of framerate stutters and almost no crashes while playing the game. There are some minor bugs that are a bit annoying, but they can be easily fixed within the coming days via patches.
Thymesia is a solid Souls-Like title that exceeds in certain areas but isn’t quite up to par in some of its world design when compared to other games in the genre. The gameplay is extremely addictive, challenging, and rewarding. The animations are also really well done and the controls are responsive.
However, the levels and exploration are not as great as the gameplay. The amount of content in terms of maps and regions is also fairly limited. Repetition in terms of enemy variety also drops the quality of the product greatly. Aside from that, Thymesia is an overall good game, and fans of this style of combat should enjoy thier time.
We hope that you enjoyed reading our Thymesia Review. Hopefully it will help you make an informed decision on whether this game is for you.
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