Styx: Master of Shadows – Review
Follow Genre: Stealth game
Developer: Cyanide Studio.
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation4, PC

Styx: Master of Shadows – Review

Site Score
7.9
Good: beautiful buildings, lots of ways to complete your missions, every decision has an impact
Bad: Not much variations in killing animations
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It has been a while since a real stealth game has been released, so in the midst of all the big releases like Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolations, the people of Cyanide Studio present to you Styx: Master of Shadows. Stalking your enemies, killing them quietly and hiding their bodies. That is what this game is all about.

Story

In this game you’ll be playing as Styx, a 200 year old Goblin assassin and thief, who’s plan is to steal Amber from the WorldTree. This WorldTree is an enormous golden tree that stands in the middle of the great tower of Akenash. From its roots pours a peculiar sap called Amber, a source of incredible powers. Both humans and elves stand watch over this tree, but this does not form a problem for our hero. He will stop at nothing to commit the robbery of the century. His plan is simple: discover the secret plans of the tower, infiltrate and grab the key which gives him access to the WorldTree. However, it quickly becomes clear he has lost some portion of his memory and that the Amber from the tree is the key to unlocking his past.

After each level you’ll get a short cutscene, every cutscene tells you a bit more about Styx’s plan. This keeps you glued to the game.

Graphics

Styx: Master of Shadows is set in an ancient medieval wonderland. Overall the visuals of this game are good, but there are as always, positive and negative points. Positive points being that the buildings in Styx: Master of Shadows are beautifully designed and are amazing to look at. That doesn’t change when you enter those buildings: big rooms, long hallways and terraces which give you an amazing view over the area.

Then the negative points. Even though the buildings look amazing, you will often get the feeling that a lot of those buildings look an awful lot alike and the same goes for your enemies. Namely a lot of your enemies all look and act the same way. Seeing you will have to kill a lot of your enemies, a lot of animations happen during these murderous actions. Sadly, these don’t always end up as they should. For example, certain animations aren’t ‘smooth’ or at all realistic. Sometimes when killing someone, Styx holds his hand on the victims stomach, instead of the zone he should normally do so. Sadly there aren’t that much different animations during killing enemies, a lot of killing animations will be repeated throughout the game. This can get quite annoying to look at.

Sound

When playing the game there is no music, except for when you are in the progress of killing an enemy. Otherwise the only thing that you’ll be hearing are noises that are coming from Styx’s surroundings. This creates the perfect atmosphere for a stealth game like this.

Something that stands out in the game is the voice acting of both Styx himself and his enemies. While playing you can overhear different conversations between guards about how much their lives suck and you can also hear Styx make sarcastic jokes along the way.

Gameplay

Styx: Master of Shadows is a stealth game, through and through. In each level you have a different goal to complete: finding a key, stealing a valuable object, killing someone,… To do all this Styx is able to use a set of different abilities, for example turning invisible for a brief moment, which is enough to evade guards most of the time. Styx is also able to make clones of himself. He can use these clones to distract enemies so that he may sneak past them. Another Styx is also able to use, is Amber vision, this lets him see where his enemies are located and where there are treasures hidden. Throughout the game you will sometimes come across a plate of food, which you can poison and then wait for the guards to eat it.

In Styx: Master of Shadows you will get rewarded if you show skill in stealth and a watchful eye. This means you’ll be able to complete each level from a different angle. The environment is also very important, seeing you are able to distract or kill guards by unhooking one of the chandeliers. While doing all of this it is very important that you keep yourself and the corpses of your victims hidden. Leaving corpses lying around will result in the guards being more cautious than they usually are. You can hide corpses in containers or you can hide them in places where it’s dark.

After each level you’ll get the opportunity to upgrade your skills with skill points, which you earn while playing. By upgrading your skills you will be able to kill enemies from around a corner, killing them by jumping on them out of the air,…

All of that is what makes this game a lot of fun, everything you do has a consequence. So you better think twice before you do something because it will eventually make the difference between life and death.

If some of you think that the game is still to easy in hard mode, then you might want to try out the Goblin Mode. When you are spotted in this mode you won’t have the opportunity to parry attacks to avoid being killed, which will make the game more tense and set the stakes higher.

Conclusion

Styx: Master of Shadows is a surprisingly good stealth game, it will offer you hours of stealthy action. It is also fun to replay your missions several times, because there are countless of ways to complete your mission. Will you kill every enemy on your path, or will you sneak past them, the choice is completely yours.

Little tip, keep your F5 finger at the ready.

 

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Styx: Master of Shadows - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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I lift heavy stuff up and put it back down

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