Thymesia (PC) REVIEW – A Bit Too Soulslike The Rest
August 18, 2022
PC, PS5, XSXS
The soulslike subgenre lends itself to interesting gameplay choices. While the hardcore nature is difficult to replicate, games such as Remnant: From Ashes and Mortal Shell are great spins on the formula. Thymesia by OverBorder Studio takes the subgenre into a space reminiscent of the 3D Ninja Gaiden games of the past by focusing on fast, multi-weapon combat with flashy finishing moves against tough enemies and bosses.
The kingdom of Hermes has fallen into chaos and you are its last hope. You are Corvus, an alchemist philosopher who relives his memories in the hopes of piecing them together to find the cure to the current plague. He does this by navigating his subconscious like a map from his home base, cutting down any enemy that enters his path. With his raven powers and plague claw attacks, he’ll harness the plague itself to carve the way to the truth.
Thymesia’s main draw is its action-packed combat. Corvus employs a wide variety of weaponry against his enemies, with most of his tools coming from his foes themselves. Using a pair of magical claws, Corvus is able to charge up an attack that reaves the plague essence of an enemy. This allows you to use their weapon once and may even cause them to drop a corresponding skill shard, which you can trade in to permanently unlock and upgrade your new “plague weapon.” This mechanic is unique since every enemy carries a weapon you can steal, providing a wide variety of attacks to incorporate into the fast and flashy combos that Corvus can perform.
Combos are how you get the most out of combat in Thymesia, and it isn’t just about how long you can make them. The vast majority of Corvus’ attacks deal “wound damage,” while your claws and certain plague weapons deal the lethal damage that drains the HP bar and leads to kills. While seemingly arbitrary at first, the action is fast and free-flowing enough that it never feels out of place. Parrying enemy attacks also applies wound damage to them, which adds to the fast and free flowing action by allowing you to deal the lethal damage even faster. Things can easily get out of hand, however, and the game never shies away from the tough-as-nails nature of the subgenre.
Enemies in Thymesia are merciless and not easy to take down, even if you know exactly what you’re doing. Corvus always takes massive damage from enemies, even late in the game, making parrying and dodging essential skills to master. Even basic enemies deal more damage in one attack than you can recover as a reward for executing them, with elite enemies and miniboss encounters sprinkled in between them to make life even tougher for the unprepared. While you have access to the classic Souls-style recovery potions to stay alive, the true equalizer in Thymesia is how you build Corvus.
Memory shards are the experience points Corvus uses to level up. While OverBorder Studio sticks to the trope of losing all unspent experience points on death, Thymesia streamlines numerical stat growth while focusing on talents that grant Corvus special abilities. Your core stats are Plague, Strength and Vitality, but putting a point into any of them gives you a talent point. These talents define the way you play the game and offer a wide variety of gameplay styles. You can be a brawler that can block instead of parry, focus on dodging away from attacks and teleporting back at the enemy when they’re open, or even double down on the strict parry timing in order to make your defense a devastating offense. Along with an interesting spread of passive abilities, Thymesia offers a ton of variety in its fun and engaging combat.
While the gameplay of Thymesia is fun and a great new spin on the soulslike subgenre, it finds itself lacking in quite a few other areas. While the graphics are solid, the medieval gothic aesthetic is one that’s very often represented in the subgenre. While Corvus, his alchemy and plague weapons are cool, the game does little to establish its own identity beyond its fast combat. This is especially apparent in the vague narrative about the plague and Corvus’ memories, which leans into personal interpretation over anything else. While this type of storytelling is common for the genre, the game lacks engaging NPCs and enemies to keep you invested in it, with most of it told through text you find on various collectibles. Combined with a lackluster soundtrack and unremarkable bosses, Thymesia’s gameplay and progression system finds itself doing a lot of heavy lifting to keep you entertained.
There’s a lot to love in Thymesia. Combat is fast, furious and engaging, with stylish combos that have a ton of customizability. The leveling and progression system have streamlined numbers, allowing you to focus on talents that lets you customize the way Corvus fights in game-defining ways. Plague weapons and the variety they offer gives you a ton of ways to create stylish and devastating combos, allowing you to further define the way you want to play.
Unfortunately, Thymesia does little to separate itself from its contemporaries. The gothic medieval aesthetic is one that’s found all over the subgenre and does nothing to push the aesthetic forward. Generic enemy designs, an unremarkable soundtrack and a vague storyline ultimately do little to give the game its own aesthetic identity. This makes Thymesia a game that will ultimately gain the respect of genre die-hards because of the unique twist on soulslike gameplay, but may not see much appeal elsewhere.
A PC key was provided by PR for the purposes of this review.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Thymesia sports fast 3D action combat that's engaging and unique to the subgenre, where flashy combos with multiple weapons lead to meaningful progression for skilled players. Unfortunately, the game does little else to separate itself from the soulslike pack.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.