Our Styx: Shards Of Darkness Review Unveils A Great Game That Doesn’t Quite Reach It’s Full Potential
Attention to detail, a cunning ferocity and a love of chaos is all that’s required to make the most of Styx: Shards of Darkness. When all the above ingredients are present, it’s an absolute pleasure to play. When missing though, you’ll always feel as if something is amiss. The gameplay just won’t click as much as it once had.
Don’t get me wrong, the moment-to-moment gameplay is beautiful to be a part of. I have yet to experience the same feeling in other games as sneaking up on and annihilating an enemy in absolute silence to then sulk off to the shadows undetected. If you’re able to achieve the same result without, say, planning your meticulous killing-orientated route, your time with Styx will never feel quite so rewarding. These moments were far too common for my liking and, for all the wrong reasons. It was able to shine a light on the specific parts of your journey that were able to provide you with everything needed. As and when you start to feel just that bit too comfortable in your skills. The game will throw new enemy types at you to change the pace. While they never varied enough to rethink your game style, that were appreciated nonetheless.
RPG Elements Freshen Up The Combat
Styx’s full potential, however, was never quite realised when it came to both the story telling and the lore. The writing and plot were often inconsequential and occasionally unnecessary. The much-beloved but equally frustrating fourth-wall breaking references would often fall flat. Elements outside of direct storytelling are present that are constantly downplayed when, really, more would have been appreciated in such a potentially lore-heavy universe.
Styx: Shards of Darkness is very much alike it’s predecessor, Master of Shadows, with just a bit added on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having enjoyed the balls off of the original 2014 title, it wouldn’t have gone amiss to have some more love and care, that’s quite so obviously present, added throughout. I hope that, if Cyanide have the opportunity to create more games in this up and coming series. That they can truly achieve what they so clearly envision. That will be something truly special.
Nick Hanchet | @NickHanchet