Next-gen Soulslike Thymesia is finally out in the wild, after a fair bit of hype building since the game's initial reveal. Well, the reviews are in, including our own PX take, ahead of public release on Thursday, August 18th.
Without further ado, here's what the critics are saying about Thymesia so far:
Pure Xbox (6/10)
Thymesia has all the ingredients necessary to make for a solid indie Soulslike experience, but it falls short due to messy implementation of mechanics, bland level design, weak lore and issues with difficulty balancing. There are some really neat ideas here, for sure, with the game's plague weapons providing lots of variety in how you go about dealing with your enemies, but unnecessary and awkward elements such as an overly tricky deflection system and dodge mechanics that need tightening up sully the overall combat experience. With a little more TLC this could have been a banger, but as things stand it's a fairly average effort that's hard to recommend if you're not a huge fan of the genre.
Still, at 10 hours, Thymesia is short enough that it doesn't overstay its welcome. You wind up feeling more like a general badass than a vastly overpowered killing machine for the most part, and the game's great ideas culminate in some intense, memorable boss fights. While a few elements of the overall experience don't gel, Thymesia understands what matters most about its inspirations, while adding a few spins of its own to create a small, smart, and rewarding Souls-like experience.
God is a Geek (8/10)
Thymesia is a confident, good-looking Soulslike that arguably ranks among the best of the non-From Software titles in the genre, but it’s let down by a few issues. The world is fun enough to explore, but a lack of proper narrative and real context harms the atmosphere. Combat, though, is exceptionally good when it works, and it works most of the time. It takes a little patience on the player’s part, but so do all games in this genre. Fans seeking that Soulslike rush will find a lot to like here, though, and it feels different enough to the usual crop to stand out and hold your attention.
By now we’re definitely starting to feel the effects of genre fatigue amongst soulslikes. And Thymesia certainly reaches a point where it can’t separate itself from the games that came before. However, there is still a lot of originality in its combat systems and world design so that the game doesn’t feel too derivative. It’s just a shame that clunky controls and awkward bugs hold it back.
Thymesia isn’t shy about its influences, an admittance that helps and harms the title when inevitably compared to its legendary brethren. But any Soulslike fan who is willing to look past the budgetary shortcomings will find this modest monster masher a fine way to spend a gloomy weekend. While Thymesia is certainly lacking in some key departments, the solid control, satisfying combat, moody atmosphere, and compelling challenge are still well worth crowing about.
You can see the make-up of a good game at the heart of Thymesia, but it seems the team was only capable of delivering a prototype; the building blocks of something greater, before it tapped out. You can easily spend ten-ish hours with the game, and potentially longer if you decide to experiment with builds, but at $25 (or $22.49 with the launch week discount), it might be a hard sell.
Thymesia certainly isn’t the worst indie Souls-like money can buy. Especially for its reasonable price point, players get a handful of really fun and challenging boss battles, but I wish the levels in between didn’t come across as filler. Thymesia ends up feeling like Bloodborne’s younger, less-gifted cousin — he may not be all that great, but he still has some redeeming qualities.
Screen Rant (3/10)
Thymesiais a shadow. It’s a word which doesn’t just describe its raven-like plague-masked protagonist Corvus, but its beholden nature to the many Soulsborne games which have come before it. It functions, moves, sounds, and reads like those titles in myriad ways, but absent of their artistic detail, careful environmental storytelling, or meaningful depth. What’s left is a bare outline, a third-person action RPG with a minimal skill tree, a slew of broken mechanics, a paltry roster of enemies, and some atrocious boss fights.
A bit of a mixed bag then, although generally, reviews are more positive than negative. Our own 6/10 scoring falls close to the MetaCritic average, currently sitting at 69 for Xbox Series X|S at the time of writing. Not too bad then, all things considered!
Will you be picking up Thymesia? Let us know in the comments below.