Styx: Master of Shadows Review
This was a game that was unknown to me. I didnt know much about it, and what the main aim of the game was about.
I didnt really know what to expect rom the game. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised in the detail of the game. Graphically it’s a very nice looking game, there is plenty of detail in each of the areas, so I was very impressed with that.
The music and sounds within the game are also lovely and compliment the game well. Specially the music at the main menu, I loved starting this game up just so I could listen to that. The sounds and music within the game are well balanced and accompany the situation you are in really well.
The battle system within the game, is to be polite, awful. I have never played with a battle system as bad as this before. Basically you have to let the guards or whoever is attacking, attack you, and hope that the ‘parry’ which you have to do registers and you block their swing. Do this 3 times and the guy is dead… Rinse and repeat for other people. Seriously? What’s wrong with letting me just swing at the guys? Yes, I can stealth kill, which I found to be as rare as rocking horse poo. Well, no saying that, I could stealth kill one, but the others around would see and I would be dead, because fighting more than one, and you are royally screwed.
I also found that tutorials were not always clear. Because they were stuck in the top left corner of the screen, and could be dismissed, I found that in button pressing furies, I would miss them, or I would be concentrating on the middle of the screen and my peripheral vision wouldn’t pick it up. I feel the tutorials may have been better served along the bottom of the screen, that way, should something pop up, it would no doubt catch the eye line. OK, you could go into the menus to read the tutorials again, but I should be able to see them on a first go!
The loading screens, while they were very nice, and had beautiful graphics on them, that were very eye catching, I found the loading screen to be another annoyance with this game. Normally when you’re playing a game and a loading screen comes up, you would be taken to where the game is loading. Then you would know that it has loaded, and happy days, you can carry on playing. However with Styx, the loading screen does the loading, then with no warning will change the loading writing in the bottom corner to ‘Press A to continue’. There is no warning, nothing audible to say it’s loaded, that little bit just changes. If you’re like me as well and don’t pay much attention to the loading screen, you will overlook this and wonder why your game isn’t loading. This may not bug alot of people, but for me, its a hell of a gripe!
Another thing I’ve noticed as well is that the AI in the game isn’t very intelligent. They’re set to certain patterns and their reactions can be tame. Such as the video I’ve put below, you can see the guy dead on the floor, but that’s alright, they saw me run into the hole, instead of trying their hardest to get me, they gave up and walked off…. Forgot I was there. Bonus for me, as I watched their patrol patterns and now one of them was out of the way, I walked straight past. Good times.
This game though, is one that depends alot on stealth, putting out lights etc. However, there are times you can put out lights, and walk past someone, and think, ‘Surely they can still see me?!’
Overall though, I did enjoy certain elements of the game, such as the level design and the music, there were just a few other gripes in there that have put me off the game. Fix those and get more intelligent AI and this will be a very good game!