Once again we play the role of a talking goblin. Does the adventures of Styx pull in and offer a great atmosphere this time? Let’s check.
Styx: Shards of Darkness belongs to the genre of stealth games. However, there is something that distinguishes this production from titles such as the Splinter Cell series or Dishonored. It is the purism of the game. Forget about contextual actions such as jumping or hanging off the edge. He jumps whenever he wants, and it is only our sense of distance that depends on whether we get far enough. There is also nothing to count
for the convenience of reaching the edge of the platform from a slightly incorrectly planned distance. Here, a misplaced jump means a painful downhill journey. I do not consider it a disadvantage of the reviewed game. This is a huge plus and means that all activities other than normally hidden can be very dangerous.
The exploration is not made easier for Styx also by the opponents. It is enough to extinguish the flame of the torch for them – at least on higher difficulty levels – to immediately take an interest in the place. However, it cannot be denied that, in general, their AI leaves a lot to be desired. It is true that hitting a chair or a jug immediately increases their anxiety, but it is no trick to lead them out of the way. There are tables here and there, under which we can move, and crates or barrels that we can enter. Of course, if the enemy sees us as we enter a given object, he will search it and often pull it out and kill it. However, it is very easy to avoid the searches.
The more that there is a lot to do. Our goblin has a lot of tools and skills at his disposal. We can create a clone to distract opponents or try to get to seemingly inaccessible places. We can throw glass bottles to drag our enemies into secluded areas and bypass them or kill them. There is also nothing to prevent you from temporarily turning on invisibility and sneaking right under the guards’ noses. The variety of methods of dealing with problems is one of the greatest strengths of Styx: Shards of Darkness.
Just like the amazing atmosphere. The world of dark fantasy in which the action takes place is full of charming corners, colorful markets, but also dark and treacherous alleys or gloomy, gloomy buildings. All these elements are connected by such a coherent aesthetics that it is impossible to deny some kind of magic to the presented world. The positive impressions are complemented by the humor pouring out of the production. Often, Styx makes a funny, yet blunt commentary on our fiasco, mocking us. During the game we will also come across a lot of easter eggs. There are many references to games such as Assassin’s Creed or God of War, and these references are subtle and unobtrusive.
A novelty in the second part of Styx’s adventures is the introduction of the crafting system. During our journey we will find raw materials. We can then spend them on creating things useful in Styx’s adventure – lockpicks, potions of life and resin (a kind of “mana”), acid traps, darts, and so on. There really is something to build.
Another new feature is the cooperation mode. When performing missions, we can enter the menu and enable cooperation. She will adjust our character so that her skills match those of our companion. However, I must note that joining and creating sessions leaves something to be desired. It is often unfeasible. Finding a game is definitely a component that needs to be improved.
However, this does not change the fact that Styx: Shards of Darkness is a very successful production. A good visual layer, a coherent and atmospheric vision of the world are just some of the pluses. If you are a sneaky purist who doesn’t mind controversial AI, Styx is a game worth checking out. I recommend.
Portal rating: 8.0
We thank CDP for providing the review code.