GAME NAME: Styx: Master of Shadows
PUBLISHER(S): Focus Home Interactive
PLATFORM(S): PC (Reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
RELEASE DATE(S): October 7, 2014
Styx: Master of Shadows is a title developed by Cyanide and published by Focus Home Interactive, it’s a stealth genre game that has a feeling of Assassin’s Creed but with a little bit more of a Dungeons & Dragons feel to it.
Styx is a goblin who is known to be a master of thievery, stealth and murder. As the story goes, humans and elves although in conflict with themselves, hide and protect a tree which is the source of Amber and is also their own power source that everybody else wants. Styx comes in where he’s trying to locate the source of the Amber steal some for himself while creating a fortune and also possibly discovering his true origins along the way.
Unlike a lot of stealth and assassination games like the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Styx Master of Shadows actually has some unique features. While normally in titles like these you’ll encounter bugs that will affect you walking on ledges or climbing buildings. Bugs like this don’t actually occur in this game. Cyanide does an awesome job at creating a unique fluid experience. There are only a few times I had issues with minor hit detection bugs or framerate stutters. Other than that I had a very smooth experience.
This isn’t a title that you can just hack and slash your way through though, you actually have to be cunning and use stealth. Since, Styx is a goblin he is smaller than humans and can easily get stomped on if discovered. The key to survival is definitely by using stealth and trickery. To do this Styx is equipped with quite a few awesome features. Styx can make himself invisible and also has the ability to use Amber vision to detect hidden enemies and areas within levels. One of the coolest abilities is that he can actually create clone of himself and you can use that clone to scout other areas without any risk to being seen or discovered. You can also create a diversion with your clone so you can slip by. This by far is one of the coolest abilities that Styx can utilize and it comes in handy later on in more advanced levels. The controls for Styx are actually pretty straightforward and are easy to learn. It’s really fun to be able to turn yourself invisible and sneak behind an enemy and then muffle grab someone and slit their throat. Even though that does sound brutal it’s quite cool to see it executed in gameplay because of the smooth animation and gaming mechanics.
Even though this is an indie game the graphics are quite great. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t super realistic but there are good enough stand out. The music creates the type of atmosphere that is conducive to being stealthy and striking down your foes. If anything it holds close to this fantasy world and keeps you involved in what you’re doing.
Cyanide actually did a great job on the character of Styx, he has quite a personality and I was pleased to see the story as it developed. I was surprised that it sucked me in and made me want to play more. This is definitely a bit more of a mature game as there are F bombs dropped once in a while and more mature tone develops throughout the story later on, it didn’t bother me but it’s just something to keep note of if you have kids around.
Styx: Masters of Shadows is a great stealth game, while only suffers from a few minor bugs it doesn’t take away from the experience. Styx is developed in a way where the game is solid to the point where I would consider this game a Triple A title instead of an indie game. In fact it had way less bugs than any Assassin’s Creed game. If you’re into stealth challenges and a great story, I highly recommend playing Styx: Master of Shadows. You won’t be disappointed. Priced at $30, Styx feels like a steal.