Thymesia – Review
Follow Genre: Souls-like, Action-adventure
Developer: OverBorder Studio
Publisher: Team 17
Platform: Switch, PC, PS5, Xbox series X|S
Tested on: PC

Thymesia – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: The best indie "copy" of a souls-like you will find
Bad: The arsenal stays the same, so the way you fight also largely stays unchanged
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Souls-like games are rising from game development grounds everywhere. It’s a genre that became so popular, that one can only wonder what a new game can bring to the table that others didn’t. In many cases, a new Souls-like is mostly a chance for creators to show what “their” Dark Souls would look like, often inspired by the excellent grim atmosphere of the original. Thymesia also brings its own unique style to the player, which is reminiscent of Bloodborne, a favorite among the Souls-like player base.

Story

Like most Souls-like games, the initial story is rather vague but accompanied by great visuals. The main character, Corvus, doesn’t have his memories in order and relives them piece by piece, telling them to a girl in a red hood. Every new memory is a new level or quest for the player. By looking around you in these levels, you learn that in the world of Thymesia, there is a plague strongly present. This plague deformed many characters and the landscape itself, transforming it into a dark fantasy world. Aside from this visual information, there is also some written lore present, scattered across the levels you run around in. This lore gives you little bits of information about the environment you currently find yourself in, but also about the world of Thymesia in general. Thymesia gives the players a choice: Do you want to read up for yourself or skip to the gameplay, just enjoying the visuals?

Graphics

Each Souls-like has its own strong visual approach. It feels like games such as Steelrising build their entire marketing on it and this is the case for Thymesia as well. Thymesia looks amazing and it doesn’t hold back in terms of graphics. If you are looking for any main reason to play this game as a Souls-like veteran, the graphics are probably it. We thoroughly enjoyed the environments, as they are rich in detail, and you quickly shift between them while playing too. The environments become an experience like a safari expedition, leaving room to revisit previous locations and discover new details. The animations and special effects are also done very well, altogether making Thymesia stand tall among others.

Sound

A good grim game has good music. A good Souls-like has wet-sounding hit effects, slashes, and sword sounds. Thymesia has all of those things and it’s a great indie copy of those bigger games. If anything, it might even be the best indie copy we have seen in a long while. Thymesia uses the choirs and orchestral music that you would also find in Dark Souls but gives it an edge in storytelling too. Some music is extravagant that fits areas such as the first world very well, where you find a plagued circus in the tree tops. It has something theatrical and an edge of classical music, like the famous song named Danse MacabreWe feel that Thymesia generally knows very well what it’s doing.

Gameplay

Thymesia is a third-person action-adventure game that largely copies the Dark Souls gameplay mechanics. The mechanics include killing enemies to harvest their essence, needing to find back your gathered essence if you died, and losing it all if you die before you can retrieve it. You use this essence to level up and grow stronger by putting points in your vitality, strength, and plague. Vitality decides your hit points among other things, strength will increase your damage with your regular sword, and plague increases the damage you deal with your “claw”. In this game, enemies have two health bars on top of each other. The white bar gets depleted with regular attack hits, but it will heal back over time unless you also deplete the green bar below it with plague attacks.

Some enemies you simply slice through like hot butter. Others are tougher. It can be worth it to study attack patterns, as regular attacks can be parried with the right timing, dealing massive damage back to the enemy. If you know Dark Souls, you know parrying can be the key to staggering enemies, and moving around depends on how clunky your build is. Thymesia is a wet dream for those who like to be fast in Dark Souls. Instead of parrying to stagger your opponent, you parry simply to not take damage yourself but also inflict it back to the enemy. Besides that, you dodge if you can’t parry an attack, and use so-called “plague weapons”. These are a variety of weapons that you can borrow from enemies by using a charged attack on them, allowing you a singular special attack every now and then. Ultimately you can also unlock these borrowed weapons, upgrade them, and bring your favorite ones along at all times.

While these borrowed weapons are fun as an extra attack, your regular arsenal stays the same. You can modify it by choosing a path in the available skill tree as your progress, making it easier to i.e. bring down enemies before they heal. This does not change that the game could have used a bit more diversity. Where you in a Dark Souls game get a large fantasy arsenal to approach foes in your own kind of ways, Thymesia is straightforward in its approach. Perhaps a bit too straightforward. We were also confused about the difficulty of enemies. The first boss (which is still classified as the tutorial!) took us about 40 (!) tries to beat and asked a lot of attention. This actually got us excited for the challenges ahead. The second boss, however, we defeated in a single go and was no challenge at all. While the game is great, these were the things that annoyed us most.

Conclusion

Thymesia is a great Souls-like with its own unique twists and turns. The fighting mechanics are faster-paced than the combat in Dark Souls, but all in all, the game still remains a copy of the original and this remains noticeable throughout. We still enjoyed ourselves a lot though, and the game has a great atmosphere, amazing visuals, and very good sound design. So far, this might be the best indie copy of a Souls-like on the market.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Thymesia - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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