LifeisXbox’s Thymesia review | That feeling when a Football club signs a new top player, for example, Manchester City with Haaland. I’m sure publisher Team17 had that exact exciting feeling when playing and signing Thymesia. This debut game from OverBorder Studio is respectfully a Souls-clone with some personal touches that make it more unique. This small team of seven Taiwanese developers has really created something remarkable. If you know, for example, that another similar Souls game The Surge is made by a team of almost 100 people, and From Software, there are almost 350 people working on their titles. Is it as good as an Elden Ring or Sekiro? No, not quite that but I liked it a lot better than The Surge 2. But that’s obviously my personal opinion, which I’ll explain in more detail in our Thymesia review, played on Xbox Series X.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Thymesia’s combat is really fun | Combat works a little bit different in Thymesia. Your enemy’s health bar is split in two, you first do normal damage (white damage) with your blade. That done damage needs to be confirmed by doing claw damage (green damage), if not all damage you did will heal back over time. Having room for normal and claw damage in your combinations is crucial for winning fights, especially with boss fights. there are some hidden factors in play that make enemies more aggressive with counter attacks so you’ll have to balance your fighting dance to stand a chance against an overwhelming force of enemies. The dual health mechanic makes Thymesia unique but also plague weapons. Plague weapons are skills used by enemies that you can mimic, often giving you an edge against enemies. They can deal insane mixed damage, buff your attack or clear the battlefield with a small earthshake blast. You can even upgrade these attacks by defeating mini-bosses, giving it a lot of depth. There is a lot of combat customization, from the different playstyles, upgrading plague weapons and much more. For real though, hit me up to talk about Thymesia and I can speak about the combat for an hour, it is that great!
- Story and characters | You play as Corvus, not the most unique character in the gaming world but he looks pretty neat with his plague mask and cape. You try to fix the world that has been dealing with a dangerous and deadly plague. This plague mostly kills humans but in rare cases mutates them into monsters. You have the guidance of a creepy and mysterious little girl, she helps you to remember things again as your brain has suffered memory loss. There aren’t many cutscenes or dialogue but the story is very well explained through notes. More interesting, and without spoiling anything is the ending, you have a heavy decision based on everything you found from hidden collectibles how that plays out. The story might have a small impact on the overall game here, it is the combat that really makes Thymesia shine but I loved every part of it. The world is compelling and the plague and how it has an influence on many things is nice to experience.
- A talent tree that changes everything | I found my playstyle rather quickly, a fast and heavy hitter that heals back health by executing enemies. I charge in by throwing a feather, that has been upgraded with a teleport ability. Before an enemy knows what is happening I’m already chunking away lots of health. I focus on heavy Plague Weapon damage that requires energy, which I recharge by doing normal attacks. For me this playstyle seems superior towards others but I heard about many other types of playstyles. Just trust my word for it, stay away from the deflect skill tree. How do you get skillpoints? Killing enemies awards you with a souls currency, if you get killed you lose all those points. Yes, it works exactly like in Elden Ring or Dark Souls, so most of you are familiar with the upgrading system.
- Despite a budgetary limit it looks good and has a beautiful soundtrack | Thymesia looks impressive with large bosses, environments that feel real and the gore from enemies have great designs. Sometimes you get some unexpected visual pop-ups but the performance is 99% rock-solid. I said it in the introduction, only seven people created Thymesia. Crazy how they reached such high quality in visuals, sound, animations and gameplay. The size of the levels aren’t to be compared with From Software’s games but they do a remarkable job in giving you the illusion of a neverending world, it helps that they created three distinctly different level designs. They call it recalls in-game but from the main hub you can revisit levels for new sub-quests. An easy way to give more gameplay value to gamers without having to make new levels, that’s a little shame as I would have loved more brand-new levels but considering the price tag you get a lot of content for your money.
- A tough nut to crack in the beginning, pleasantly difficult after the beginning | You don’t want to know how much I cursed at Odur, the first boss in Thymesia. A terribly difficult fight that many gamers will probably give up on. This guy is lightning fast and does huge damage attacks that hurt Corvus tremendously. It sometimes felt as hopeless as humanity fighting Cylons (Battlestar Galactica) or the Planetary Union fighting the Kaylon (The Orville). After some time of perseverance, I finally succeeded and the game also becomes more enjoyable with the difficulty. It is still not a joke but more achievable and not overly difficult like Odur. It would have been a better choice if the developer had presented this guy a bit later in the game. The second main boss is a breeze, would have been better in that respect. I am convinced that OverBorder Studio has found the perfect balance in Act 2 in terms of difficulty. You stay on the edge of your seat and regularly you have that ‘I did it’ feeling! Simply wonderful!
What we Disliked
- Deflection mechanic | My one and only complaint about Thymesia, to be honest, is a rather big one too as it rules out an entire way of playing. Deflecting attacks feels like an insult to gamers, it just isn’t something you can trust as the window of using it is smaller than an amoebic parasite. Souls games are notoriously known for knowing when to attack and when to defend. With Thymesia your only option is to use the dodge functions as trusting the deflecting mechanic will get you killed.
How long to beat the story | 8 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 25 hours
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