Thymesia doesn’t cover its influences: it’s making an attempt to emulate the ambiance, exploration, and fight of FromSoftware’s Soulsborne sequence. In an period the place recent concepts are uncommon and mixed concepts are widespread, it brings collectively the mechanics of Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It’s not at all times greatest to stuff a overview with comparisons, however Thymesia’s design calls for it — and it combines all of them fairly nicely.
Go climb a tree
Thymesia is about within the Hermes Kingdom, a land constructed into an enormous tree. As you would possibly count on, there’s a social hierarchy to how the residents dwell on this tree, with the poorer people relegated to the musty roots. The dominion has been beset by a plague, wiping out residents and forcing alchemists to conduct blood experiments to search out methods to fight the illness. There’s an inescapable Bloodborne comparability there, nevertheless it serves as a high-quality setup for why this world seems the way in which it does.
You tackle the position of Corvus, a mysterious particular person who’s misplaced their reminiscence. That is the place Thymesia’s narrative stands aside from its influences: each stage is offered as considered one of Corvus’ recollections. Every time you dive in, you need to attain the tip of the stage and face a boss to recuperate a core reminiscence, slowly filling within the gaps of what occurred to Hermes Kingdom. Bits of lore are scattered all through every stage: you’ll learn quite a lot of journal entries, dropped letters, and public notices that inform tales of different people who tried to outlive the plague. Every one additionally grants you Reminiscence Shards, which serves as expertise factors. It’s an effective way to merge the sport’s story with its level-up mechanics. Not solely did I get to study concerning the king’s secret experiments or the mysterious circus that got here to city, however my character was additionally rewarded for it.
Corners and connections
You’ll discover 4 complete levels as you climb the good tree. Every is a discrete stage, in the identical manner that Demon’s Souls presents its particular person Archstones. The structure of every stage begs related comparisons. Your purpose is at all times to get from level A to level B, activating shortcuts alongside the way in which, alongside a path laden with enemies. As you discover, you’ll discover shortcuts that make it simpler to return to wherever you died, and as you would possibly count on, the Reminiscence Shards you collected are ready to be scooped again up out of your corpse once you return. The primary stage, Sea of Bushes, additionally forces you to take care of clouds of yellow poison, however traps surprisingly cease showing after that first stage. It could make sense for the Hermes Fortress to have spikes or siege weapons to make it extra of an impediment course, for instance, however that’s not the case.
Regardless of this, ranges are nonetheless neatly laid out. I felt a way of accomplishment as I unlocked shortcuts and noticed how the varied passages linked. There’s an preliminary sense of discovery, and the degrees don’t really feel needlessly difficult. Aesthetically, all of them have utterly totally different seems and feels too. Two of my favorites characteristic the roots of the tree, lined with circus tents and paraphernalia, and a dense library flooded with blood.
Upon clearing a stage, you may return to tackle sub-missions. These could provide the purpose of accumulating a sure object or going through one other boss, however in all instances, they’re recent takes on the identical stage. Merely beginning at a distinct checkpoint and going off in a brand new course feels recent sufficient, however sub-missions additionally open up beforehand locked passages to allow you to discover entire areas of the extent you didn’t see earlier than.
The dance of fight
The presentation of every stage is good, however the fights you get into in every stage are the place Thymesia actually begins to shine. Fight is a play on two key parts from Bloodborne and Sekiro: enemies can recuperate well being, they usually should be completed with a closing blow lest they rally and proceed to combat. To drag this off, Corvus is armed with a saber and a set of claws. The previous is used to whittle down enemy HP, and the latter offers wound injury that forestalls enemies from recovering well being. Thymesia forces you to remain aggressive, as not persistently attacking an enemy will give them the possibility to heal up.
This additionally encourages combos, which circulation properly and really feel unbelievable when pulled off — I notably love the rushdown leap counter that’s clearly modeled after Sekiro’s mikiri. I discovered a reliable rhythm throughout most fight encounters, making every combat really feel extra like a dance than a chore. There is no such thing as a stamina meter to talk of, so you may go from attacking to dodging to deflecting blows with out pause. Sure enemy assaults will glow a inexperienced or purple shade, indicating that they’ll’t be blocked or countered, which ensures you don’t steamroll your foes with a flurry of blows.
Unfold the an infection
Corvus also can use their claws to reave enemies, making a ghostly inexperienced copy of the opponent’s weapon. These are often known as Plague Weapons, they usually provide you with much more components to boost fight. There’s a selection to unlock and equip completely, from a knife to a halberd to a protect to a miasma that allows you to dodge in a misty cloud. All of them present new utility in fight, growing the variety of assault combos at your disposal. Upgrading them grants perks, and when mixed with the buffs you will get by yourself ability tree, the varied fight techniques begin to merge in a manner that makes you’re feeling fairly highly effective by the endgame.
These strikes are used towards quite a lot of diseased enemies, from easy troopers to greater mini-bosses to end-level bosses. Thymesia’s bosses make for difficult encounters, and there’s a robust sense of victory in overcoming every one — notably the circus grasp Odur, the sport’s first main roadblock. Sadly, boss fights are additionally the place a nitpick turns into an actual downside. Thymesia has no voice appearing, which isn’t a difficulty in and of itself. Nonetheless, bosses have traces of dialogue displayed as subtitles on the underside of the display screen, which will be very distracting once you’re making an attempt to actively combat them. If you wish to learn their taunts because the combat goes on, you must take your eyes off the motion to take action.
Thymesia wears its inspirations on its sleeve, and the remainder of its outfit screams “we want to make a Dark Souls game.” Even the messages that seems once you activate a checkpoint or die in fight carry related fonts and colours. But it feels acceptable on this occasion, as a result of regardless of the clear influences or borderline copycat mechanics, the result’s a really pleasing sport.
Thymesia’s narrative and stage construction are intriguing, telling its story by the car of misplaced recollections. It affords well-crafted levels with not solely good ground plans, but additionally attention-grabbing visuals. The enemies and executives you face in these ranges will pressure you to create combos that incorporate your commonplace assaults, claw swipes, and Plague Weapons in a manner that results in satisfying rhythms. Thymesia proves that imitation can result in an pleasing new combination.
|+||Ranges are nicely laid out and aesthetically designed|
|+||Sub-missions and shortcuts make revisiting ranges price it|
|+||Fight is filled with gratifying counters and combos|
|–||Lack of voice appearing detracts from boss battles|
|–||Traps disappear after the primary stage|