Styx Master of Shadows Review

Styx Master Of Shadows Review

Styx: Master of Shadows is a new fantasy based stealth game developed by Cyanide Studios for Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 and Xbox One, the game takes place in the universe of ‘Of Orcs and Men’ (the game’s sequel) and inside the ominous Tower of Akenash. Players take control of the first goblin, Styx, as he tries to steal the heart of The World Tree in order to earn himself a small fortune and in the hopes of discovering his origins as the first goblin. Styx is described as being a master of stealth, thievery and murder… How original.

I had high hopes for Styx: Master of Shadows as I personally had become slightly tired of the generic FPS titles churned out year after year, and I yearned for some innovation, for something refreshing and imaginative. However I was soon to be let down.
With clumsy AI, repetitive scenery and objectives and rage inducing gameplay mechanics Styx: Master of Shadows becomes very unenjoyable, very quickly. I found myself having to take breaks every ten minutes or so as I found myself becoming increasingly agitated at the poor execution of the combat system and the ridiculous ways in which the AI characters operate. This type of reaction is not what we play video games for at all and it must stand as a sign that something is very wrong with this game.

Now before I completely write the game off as a tool in which players can raise their blood pressure at will in short periods of time, I will give the game credit where it is due. Despite the clumsy AI and absolutely frustrating combat mechanics, the game is actually quite visually appealing.
The scenery and ambiance of the levels are engaging and atmospheric and at times you do find yourself looking at the view and saying “wow”. You do also find yourself looking at the little things that contribute to the mise en scene, as it were, of the level designs, the detailed set pieces like portraits and book stacks that really do make you feel immersed in the world of Styx and make it all the more atmospheric.

I want to say the game is almost charming, beautifully presented and masterfully immersive it takes you into the world and it tries its best to make you laugh with character dialogue. However it feels like the developers are trying to hard to emulate other titles and their charm, Styx does appear to have a distinct artistic likeness to the Fable series for example.
Where Styx falls short, and falls hard, is in two distinct areas; the combat and the genre. First of all the combat is highly repetitive and unless you are absolutely stellar at the stealth genre you may find yourself frustrated at the title quite often. The quick time parry sequence which appears to be the only non stealth attack option is incredibly frustrating and is the cause of many occasions where I’ve quit the game and went to actually have fun on another title.

Finally the genre I feel is a large downfall for Styx. The title brings nothing to the genre and so instantly falls victim to offering the players a repetitive and forgettable experience. The game features the usual fantasy stealth abilities like invisibility, foresight (Batman’s Detective Mode etc) and decoy. The game has the same go here get this, objective formula and becomes stale and dull very quickly and does little to hold the players attention.

Review code provided.
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