Thymesia is a terror-strewn, face-paced action RPG with intricate weapon systems set in a kingdom infected by a mysterious ever-spreading plague.
You take on the role of a character known only by his code name: Karbus. In his plague-doctored shoes, you prey upon enemies, harness the powers of the weapons you acquire, and find the hidden truths behind your memories.
First Impressions Of Thymesia
The first thing that will catch your eye is the aesthetic. This strange world that a plague has twisted reflects this theme throughout my experience and is one of my favorite aspects of this new game. Each area has its unique setting, but they are linked by the fact that a plague has changed them and twisted the world.
You take on the role of a plague doctor reliving his memories of past events. Starting with only a pair of swords and a claw ability, you are tasked with exploring the pestilent world while discovering new abilities and items. You travel through a short tutorial area that ends in a mini-boss fight and then takes you to the hub area.
The game plays much like modern action-adventure titles; there is no stamina bar which is refreshing for a game like this. Many have compared Thymesia to games like Elden Ring or Darksouls, but the simple fact that the game lacks a stamina bar is a defining difference between the two, in my opinion (and for the better).
As usual, you are killed in just a few hits, but much like the community favorite Bloodborne, there are ways to heal yourself in combat, which is a nice touch.
Horror Combat Like This Needs A Dark Playlist: So Here You Go!
As you level up, you are given a skill point, the skill range from essential damage upgrades for your attacks to new mechanics being added. One example would be discovering a new way to counter attacks that opens you up to an even more comprehensive array of combo options. As you continue to get used to the combat system, you can eventually get to a point where you can heal back any damage you have taken by using specific combos and skills in conjunction.
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Exploring The World Of Thymesia
The hub of Thymesia’s world is an old castle, offering a workshop and courtyard open to exploring. There isn’t much to find here, but you can visit a workshop for customizing your health potion, which I found interesting and will explain later.
Combat Mechanics In Thymesia
The mechanic that makes this game unique is the plague weapons. The plague weapon system allows you to steal a weapon from your enemies, which can be done by charging an attack and an action sequence in which you can still be damaged.
Once this is done, you can access a one-time use attack sequence that will differ depending on the weapon you stole. Each weapon has its sequence and effects that can be upgraded by finding sets of three crystals of a weapon type. This allows many different combos to make on your own, offering new levels of customization to your character and build.
The enemies vary significantly from area to area and bring new challenges and weapons for you to steal.
The starting enemies are just villagers and a few knights, but as you progress, you will fight circus freaks, undead warriors, strange experiments, and monsters from the plague. You will have to adapt to each type of enemy and form new strategies and try new skills.
After you complete your first mission in each area, you will have several side missions that will change the area and give you a new mission to complete there. These range from easy to somewhat complicated and are worth the time it takes to complete them as you progress. With all of this at your fingertips, you are ready to fight against the plague and find the mystery waiting in your memories.
The visual aspects of this game are incredible.
Despite the game’s grueling and dark aesthetic, the colors pop with a morose intensity that feels right at home for the game’s vibe. Having played on both PC and console at this point, I can say that the graphics look smooth across the board.
One complaint I would level against the game is that some rooms may be dark, making it difficult to tell exactly what’s happening in the heat of battle. But after I took some time to get used to this approach, I found it endearing as it helped elevate the game’s horror qualities.