Styx: Shards of Darkness review

Written by Jake Tucker

March 21, 2017 | 13:16

Tags: #cyanide #stealth

Companies: #focus #focus-home-interactive

Styx: Shards of Darkness review


How about vomiting up a clone of yourself to take basic actions though? This is Styx's big skill, allowing you to clone yourself as a distraction, to manipulate items, or to die on your behalf. You can reassign all of your skill points any time you're at the Skills Bench between levels in Styx, and eventually I came to reassign all of my skills towards this discipline, and I had a bit of fun tossing cocooned clones of myself down to inhabit later, breaking into impossible locations to grab what I needed and then switching places with a clone in a safe location at the push of a button.
This probably made the game a little bit too easy, but thematically the shift between silently prowling forwards to get to a well-guarded haul of treasure, and then blitzing your way through it grabbing as much treasure as possible before you have to punch out and eject to a clone was a satisfying loop.

The alternative on being discovered would be to try and run away — also a solid solution — or fight, with fighting being fairly terrible in this game, offering just the chance to parry a single enemy’s attack, with a successful attack offering you the chance to kill the enemy with a button press. It's not supposed to be a combat game, and wisely it doesn't put energy into making that combat compelling. No concerns on my part, but be warned that pulling your dagger in anger is just going to end up with Styx making a terrible joke about your parents or something.

Styx: Shards of Darkness review


The game looks nice, when you're not playing with Amber Vision turned on perpetually, and the environments are actually quite detailed. There's a lot of verticality to the maps, so you'll be shimmying up and down on ropes, scaling cranes, dashing over rooftops and generally doing some parkour as much as possible. With this in mind, the amount of fall damage you take in conjunction with how hard it is to regain health often feels a little harsh, but it's a learning curve and I quickly got used to it and stopped tossing myself from rooftops quite so much. Thing is, I like tossing myself from rooftops

Styx isn't a bad game. The stealth is good and the occasional puzzle is well-timed enough to give you a break from the skulduggery. Much like its predecessor, Styx: Shards of Darkness isn't likely to win any awards, but it does what it sets out to do elegantly and doesn't have too many jarring flaws. If you can look past the annoyance of its titular character, that is.
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