Thymesia Hands-on First Impressions
Join us as we explore the murky streets of Hermes and face the plague!
We start off by learning about a mysterious plague that is running rampant and causing countless kingdoms to crumble. The kingdom of Hermes, however, is one of the few to withstand due to its use of alchemy. However, it’s not long before the alchemy backfires, corrupting the citizens and letting monsters loose on the city. Corvus is the last hope, and he must venture through his memories to find the secret of Hermes’ Answer; a concoction which seems to be the only way to end the chaos.
The first level starts with us wandering the streets of Hermes, and we’re taught the basic combat mechanics against maddened citizens who lurch and lunge at Corvus. The mechanics and controls should be mostly familiar to those who are fans of the soulslike genre, but we also learn of some fresh abilities, such as being able to shoot feathers like a dart to parry an enemy’s unblockable power attack, or using a powered claw attack to harness the weapon an enemy is using. All of these skills culminate in our first challenging enemy, a corrupted knight that slowly stumbles forwards before charging us with his large sword. Well-utilised dodges, parries, and claw attacks help make short work of this opponent, but he’s just a minor taste of the challenges ahead.
Another mechanic we’re taught is how Thymesia handles enemy health. Basic sabre attacks will wound enemies, who can recover that wounded health if left alone for too long, so you have to follow up slashes with claw attacks to permanently knock that wounded health off their health bar. You can also do this through the use of plague weapons. As mentioned, you can use a charged claw attack to steal an enemy’s plague weapon for a single-use attack, however, you can also loot fallen foes to find pieces of their weapons to craft your own. These permanent plague weapons are reusable but cost energy to use, a separate bar under your health similar to mana which can be recharged with the help of your claw attacks.
The levelling aspect of Thymesia is deeply rewarding, with each level not only allowing you to buff your stats, but providing a talent point for use on the skill tree. You’re given a great deal of flexibility with these skills to make them work with your playstyle, whether you want to have longer combos, more powerful plague weapon attacks, or even just prefer a more offence- or defence-heavy style of combat.
Thymesia is a challenging yet satisfying title that is bound to have both seasoned soulslike players and those new to the genre lost in its grim and dark world. Launching on the 18th of August 2022, will you be able to face the horrors ahead and save Hermes?