Thymesia Review – In this Thymesia Review, we will take a deep dive into the Soulsbourne hack and slash action RPG, which boasts vast improvements since the last time we tried it back in December 2021. Thymesia features familiar gameplay mechanics and fast-paced combat like in Bloodborne but it also introduces streamlined systems that are not only unique in their own right but also thrilling to experiment with, regardless of whether or not you are new to the genre. Is this worth buying on day 1? How does it compare to Bloodborne? We will answer these questions and more in this Thymesia Review!
Thymesia is developed by OverBorder Studio and published by Team17. The game will be released on August 18, 2022, via PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.
- Genre: Soulsbourne/Soulslike Action RPG, Hack and Slash
- Developed by: OverBorder Studio
- Published by: Team17
- Release date: August 18th, 2022
- Platforms: PC (Steam and GOG), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S.
- Price at the time of review: TBD
Thymesia Review – Story and Setting
Thymesia is set in an unknown continent, which has been beset by a deadly plague, rapidly spreading and infecting its citizens and their livestock. However, one such nation that stood out from the rest in terms of how they have ‘successfully’ dealt with this catastrophe is the Hermes Kingdom. This is a powerful and flourishing city due to its reliance on alchemy to heal people of the plague. But it is not as simple as it sounds as some of their experiments resulted in mutating the affected into unrecognizable monsters. What’s more, is that the kingdom’s officials have enacted questionable methods in how they handled this hysteria.
In this Soulslike Action RPG and years after the devastation took place, you take on the role of the plague doctor Corvus with no recollections of who you were and what you stood for. As you play through the game, you will slowly piece together fractured memories in the form of notes and exposition with the intent of understanding the reasons behind this madness, which has ravaged the continent. Hopefully, by then, you will be prepared to destroy anything that comes your way.
Unlike Bloodborne, Thymesia is not as enigmatic and mysterious because right from the start, you have a firm grasp of where the narrative is headed. You won’t have to constantly dig deep to get to the bottom of things, nor do you have to thoroughly unpack one storyline after the next to understand what’s really going on. But these qualities are not bad either, especially if you are searching for a game that features linear storytelling and one which is not as lore-heavy.
Thymesia Review – Gameplay and Combat
More than the story, Thymesia shines because of its gameplay elements. There is no character creation in which you would have chosen a class or specific playstyle. Instead, you instantly go face-to-face against mutated beings, all while learning the mechanics as you trudge along. Similar to Bloodborne’s Hunter’s Dream, you gain access to Philosopher’s Hill, which is the game’s haven. This place lets you level up Corvus, switch between Plague Weapons, invest in certain Talents, and choose the right potion for you. It is also where you get to speak with Aisemy to piece together memories from the items you have gathered as you explore Hermes Kingdom.
Quests and Exploration
From Philosopher’s Hill, you are able to choose the locations you wish to visit or as the game refers to as ‘Recall’. You can opt to do main quests or side missions, which will have you investigate specific areas of those that you have already visited to complete objectives. Note that these side missions only appear after you have completed their corresponding initial questlines. Overall, what makes exploration in Thymesia entertaining is the absence of maps. The places may be small compared to other RPGs but getting lost in them in an attempt to understand your character more, all while improving your capabilities, makes the experience worthwhile.
In true Soulslike fashion, you have your usual rest points or Beacons, allowing you to restore your health, potions, and Feathers while upgrading your Plague Weapons. However, doing so also respawns enemies, except for the mini and major bosses you have slain beforehand. As you go about and defeat these monsters, you acquire Memory Shards, which is the in-game currency for character progression.
Character Progression (Attributes and Talents)
In Thymesia, character progression up to the max level of 25 is pretty straightforward. You use Memory Shards either by killing foes or by using Collection of Memories, the latter of which you gain when you pick up lore items. Leveling up can be done in Philosopher’s Hill or rest points. This will not only increase Corvus’ stats or Attributes but also improve his Talents.
For Attributes, there are only three to be mindful of, namely, Strength, Vitality, and Plague. Strength refers to the damage you deal with normal attacks and the amount of temporary armor or ‘Wounds’ you chip away to eventually lower the enemy’s health. Vitality pertains to your HP, and Plague denotes the amount of Claw Damage you deal together with the associated Energy consumed when activating Plague Weapons. Unlike in the preview, you can no longer reset Attributes for free instead, you will need to use Forgotten Feathers.
As Corvus levels up, he also receives 1 Talent point each. There are several trees to consider such as Saber, Deflect, Dodge, Claw, Feather, and Strategies. Saber, Deflect, and Dodge are your classic actions corresponding to normal attacks and movements. For instance, you can deal a 5-hit combo Saber Attack to effectively stagger the enemy. Or if you are having a tough time parrying their attacks, you can opt to invest in Defence Lv1 in which you enter Defense Mode to substantially reduce the damage you take by more than 50%.
These are just some of the things you are able to mix and match for the first three Talents. Meanwhile, Claw and Feather are heavy attacks that pertain to your “Raven Form”. These allow you to efficiently whittle away at the enemy’s health to eventually execute them. Some examples include boosting the damage you deal with Claw Attacks as well as raising the number of Feathers you carry to freely interrupt their Critical Attacks.
And finally, we have Strategies, which are additional perks to improve Corvus’ ability to fight well. Here, you can increase the number of Plague Weapons you wield or even buff yourself to reduce the damage received from the opponents’ succeeding attacks. What’s great with Talents is unlike Attributes, you can respec them for free. There are several to choose from so it is best to take your time to experiment with every one of them, considering that you will be creating your very own playstyle.
Going against specific enemy types the first time around potentially lets you gather Skill Shards. Skill Shards is another in-game currency that lets you invest in and upgrade Plague Weapons. Plague Weapons are highly potent because they not only inflict massive damage, but they add flavor and variety to the way you play in Thymesia. It is basically your only equipment in the game since there are no armors or other special accessories to further improve Corvus. In total, there are 21 Plague Weapons to unlock as long as you obtain the Skill Shards associated with them.
The drop rate from special enemies as well as mini and major bosses is fairly high but you can increase this by investing in Talents or farming levels to acquire more shards. For instance, the Bow is one of the best weapons out there because it lets you interrupt Critical Attacks, which is crucial especially if you have run out of Feathers. The damage potential is also considerable, allowing you to harm foes from a safer distance before dashing in for the kill.
What makes Plague Weapons particularly useful is in addition to equipping two of these at the same time upon investing in the right Talent, you can technically steal the target’s special attack thanks to Reave. So you essentially charge Corvus’ Claw to hit in order to weaponize and use their moves against them, which is pretty cool even if it is temporary. You also gain Super Armor in the process.
In Thymesia, fast-paced combat will feel familiar to fans of Soulslike titles. This is not only exhilarating but also satisfying, especially when you beat bosses given how challenging these encounters are. Enemy AI has notably improved where they would no longer bug out and idly watch by without engaging with you.
This game features the usual light attacks, heavy attacks, dodge, and parry or deflect. Think of Saber Attacks as your light and quick attacks that ‘Wound’ enemies. Wounds correspond to white bars, which heal after a short period of time so you cannot fully depend on Saber Attacks to eliminate tougher enemies quickly. Meanwhile, green bars represent their HP so attacking it repeatedly using a combination of Saber Attacks, Claw Attacks, and Plague Weapons significantly diminishes their lives. When both bars are zero, they do not die immediately, instead, they will be dazed and subject to execution.
Back in the preview, deflecting incoming attacks was essential to your survival but this has since changed. You are no longer boxed into mastering this move when you invest in certain Talents. So now, you have the option to utilize deflection to additionally damage the enemy or to rely on Defense Mode and dodging as a means of staying alive. Should you decide on the former, practicing the perfect timing is crucial, otherwise, you run the risk of taking way more damage than anticipated.
Thymesia utilizes a different Stamina System such that dodging, deflecting, and activating light and heavy attacks will not necessarily deplete Corvus’ resources. The only specialized attack that does is the one coming from Plague Weapons where Energy is consumed. To maintain a healthy amount of it in combat, you will often have to deal damage through Claw Attacks paired with potions.
Like other Soulslike games, Memory Shards can easily be lost when you die. It is for this reason that you must go back to your place of death to reclaim them, otherwise, these shards will need to be farmed again. Now when it comes to health restoration, you have several choices in the form of General, Long-lasting, and Fast-acting Potions, each with its own perks such as recovering HP instantly or boosting the number of potions you carry. These function like Estus Flasks in Dark Souls where they get replenished at rest points.
Audio, Visual, and Design
Thymesia’s visuals have markedly improved over the last couple of months, particularly when it comes to the swift combat animations and user interface. The latter looks polished and fresh in relation to the game’s art style and identity, which is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s haunting ambiance. The atmosphere is darker and more detailed this time around, depicting the traumatizing effects of the plague mixed with alchemy that turned people into abominations.
In terms of the audio, the sound effects continue to be excellent since you can hear the distinctions between every Plague Weapon and attack type, denoting how every attack has weight, thereby making combat way more exciting. However, the music fades into the background and could therefore benefit from variety, especially when you are facing major bosses. There is also a noticeable absence of voice acting, which could add to the game’s overall aesthetics and grim theme.
From a technical standpoint, there were stutters but these were no longer as prominent as before when the framerate would significantly drop and substantially affect combat. Other than this, I did not encounter bugs throughout my playthrough.
Replayability and Pricepoint
Thymesia stretches from 10 to 15 hours depending on your progress when it comes to experimenting with the different Plague Weapons and if you do all of the associated side missions. Although no price has been provided as of this review, my guess is it would probably be within the USD 20 to 30 range, which is decent should you complete the game in its entirety.
Thymesia features exciting gameplay and combat, leaving your heart pounding even after successfully defeating tough bosses. Enemy AIs and controls have gone through numerous enhancements as well, and although it is not as nuanced and in-depth as Bloodborne, encounters continue to feel snappy and very satisfying. The Plague Weapon System is particularly interesting because of your ability to weaponize the disease that has raptured the continent. However, I would have wished to experience a similar mechanic for armor and accessories to considerably improve build diversity.
Thymesia is a Soulslike Action RPG that you will keep coming back to because of how engaging the boss fights and combat encounters are, making it a nice and fun alternative to Bloodborne. If you are itching to try a decent and lighter version of Soulslike games, then Thymesia is definitely worth investing some time into!