Thymesia (PC) Review

By Athanasios 24.10.2022

Review for Thymesia on PC

From the first day it was revealed, Thymesia felt like a soulslike that had the potential to be good. Now, after its release, it is easy to see that it's definitely good… but maybe not much besides that. What Taiwanese developer OverBorder Studio offers here is a challenging action-RPG that mostly focused on being a worthy homage, rather than a worthy game that can stand on its own.

Corvus, the subtly named, plague doctor-looking protagonist of this tale is thrown into the alchemy-gone-wrong Kingdom of Hermes, with the task of picking up his "memories," which is basically the way the game handles the whole death and rebirth of soulslikes. Rather than being reborn, you just retrace your steps up until the spot your memory was broken (aka, Corvus died in-game) in order to continue. This is one of the many ways Thymesia tries to be Dark Souls. The world has fallen to chaos and decay; the lore is given to the player in small, obscure fragments; the enemies pack a punch, the bosses even more so, and you are forced to "read" the enemy in order to win. By avoiding being something original, though, it makes it easier for anyone to see that this isn't Dark Souls - just a weak copy of it.

Screenshot for Thymesia on PC

As a starting point, take the world at hand. It's dark, it's bleak, it's dying… but never really feels like a real place that once was something else. It is, for a lack of a better word, fake. An attempt to recreate the magic of FromSoftware's deeply atmospheric microcosms. It's also extremely linear. Those expecting twists and turns, hidden pathways, and secret areas will be disappointed, as at best Corvus might unlock a door or throw down a ladder in order to reach an area a bit faster than before. As for the plot, its problems again stem from how this is a failed copy of Dark Souls, as it is mysterious and cryptic for the sake of being so, struggling with making you care about anything that happens on screen.

Thankfully, the central focus of the game, combat, is much more enjoyable. Oh, sure, Corvus is basically a Bloodborne/Sekiro type hero that relies in speed, dodges, parries, and so on and forth, and the control scheme is almost identical to the soulsborne "formula," but there are some new things to talk about here. The most important one is that enemies kind of have two health bars. The first is basically the wounds Corvus inflicts on them. Marked as green, this part of the HP bar slowly refills. In order to actually kill someone, he must use some of his plague abilities, and "eat" that green part completely, with the main tool of the trade being his plague claw, which immediately eats a chunk of the wounds bar.

Screenshot for Thymesia on PC

This fits thematically with Corvus' plague doctor look, and while it turns some otherwise weak mobs into bullet spongier versions of themselves, it's a neat mechanic. There are more tricks up his sleeve as well. Corvus can throw feathers that temporary slowdown the regeneration process, and the claw can be used to "steal" an enemy's weapon, turning it into a single-use magic spell which can be used alongside his permanent spells (again, summoned weapons), which just require some of his energy in order to be cast. Pretty much all abilities can be upgraded, which can change the game significantly. The character crafted for the sake of this review, for example, never had to use a health item again, as it was a build focused on regaining health and energy via attacks and dodges, turning the whole experience into an intense, high risk, high reward kind of deal.

Screenshot for Thymesia on PC

Sadly, fun as combat is, it lacks a couple of things that keep it from being something other than adequate. There are various talents than never really get a chance to shine, and the replay value decreases by tenfold the moment you realise that, like in Skyrim, you can't really create any original builds, as you have just a few modifiers to play with in order to differentiate yours - and not that vastly, to be honest. The fact that there's no stamina bar is great, as you can dodge and parry to your heart's content, but the timing for both (and especially parrying) is a bit off - and when you parry the enemy continues with the rest of the move set, which can be quite annoying on some occasions. Oh, and by the way, the game is easy…

No, that last bit isn't bragging. In fact, yours truly sucks at these games. However, once one learns how the whole wound-then-plague-then-hit thingy works, and once one gets a hang of the timing of dodges, Thymesia becomes a walk in the park. The only challenging bit are the bosses, simply because you have been fighting the same "undead" peasants and knights for an hour or so, and you have become kind of rusty. Finally, the game is quite small. There's just a handful of areas to "explore," and once done you can only go back to do simplistic side-quests whose only purpose is to strengthen Corvus. Sadly, after defeating the first boss, most will be left severely overpowered, which in turn makes subsequent backtrackings a bit tedious.

Screenshot for Thymesia on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Thymesia is a nice diversion - something that can keep you occupied until the next great soulsborne game gets released. That is its curse. It's a good game, with fast and enjoyable action, but lacks the immersive story and atmosphere, as well as the quality of level design and combat finesse that is expected from such titles.

Developer

OverBorder

Publisher

Team17

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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