THYMESIA, the latest in the Soulsborne genre of games and first time attempt from developer Team17 has a huge task of adding something different since the critically acclaimed other games from FromSoftware. Let’s see if this game will win over you sadistic gamers out there, shall we?
From the outset, its clear to see that Thymesia has drawn inspiration from the PlayStation exclusive Bloodborne in its world. This is obviously not a bad thing as fans of Bloodborne have been begging for a sequel for years for fans of the game, and you will not be disappointed with Thymesia’s effort; it does an amazing job with its gothic setting.
You play as Corvus, a man who has lost his memories. These serve as the game’s experience points – as you slay the plagued enemies throughout the game you will obtain memories (the game’s XP) and when you inevitably fall, you will be able to reclaim them. With the world ravaged by plague victims, there is no shortage of this.
As you play though the story, it won’t be made clear whats going on unless you read the notes scattered across the levels and though this, will be drip fed what’s happened and unravel the story.
In terms of gameplay, Thymesia’s control scheme will make fans right at home with its attacks being bound to the right triggers and defensive sets on the left, but where the game sets it apart from other games in the Soulsborne series is the ability to steal diseases from the enemies and then use them against them.
So if you encounter a diseased character who is wielding an axe, simply hold down and charge your strong attack and once you hit them with the blow, you will obtain a once off axe blow that can cause devastating effects to their health. Along with ‘Feather’ skills, as when an enemy targets you, you will notice a green beam, you you press your right trigger during this, you will knock them back and steal back the advantage of the duel.
Health of enemies comes in a two pronged approach. Normal attacks draw down their shield and if spammed can still cause damage enough to kill them, but it’s your heavy attack that will bring down the main health meter.
While your standard run of the mill enemies won’t cause you much of a challenge, there are bigger ones that will need you to think more carefully about your attack, generally requiring a lot of dodging and parrying.
Thymesia is a bit more forgiving, unlike Soulsborne games, the minibosses you encounter in the world won’t respawn. So no need to rage if you die right after that difficult encounter you just had.
This makes this game really easy to recommend to players who may not be skilled so much in other games of the genre, but don’t expect an easy walk in the park. This game is still really hard and will give me and my therapist a great talking point on why I think I’m developing anger issues.
The levelling up system is also a bit more easily accessible also, as with the previously mentioned weapon moves you can steal from enemies, you can learn to have many more at your disposal without the requirement to steal them as you will have one set aside to use as you please. While you will not need to worry about a stamina meter, these skills have their own meter which can deplete if spammed too much but will refill as you kill more. As well as your basic combat and defensive skill that can be upgraded as the game progresses.
I feel the trade off in Thymesia for the missing stamina meter is that you cant actually find more health throughout the world and will only be able to replenish these from your rest spots, although will your skills obtained are able to earn health for each kill. Although you will be able to find collectables during your playthrough that will earn you more ‘Memories’ and upgrade points.
While I’m in no way as skilled as many players from this genre of game, Thymesia is a fantastic addition. While it still poses the difficulty of the games that laid the path, its more accessible features made this game a great introduction and after walking away for five minutes after being defeated by the world’s harder enemies, I couldn’t help but want to fire the game back up and give it one more go.
I think the developers over at Team17 have done an incredible job with the game as it runs fantastically (reviewed on Xbox Series X) and does a great job as cementing its name as a serious part of the Soulsborne genre.