Thymesia Review – Bloodborne Gear Rising: Revengeance
Developed by OverBorder Studio
Published by Team17
Available on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S
Scientists and philosophers alike have long questioned; what if Eileen the Crow from Bloodborne could have a game of her own? Developer Overborder Digital has attempted to answer that question. Taking the aesthetics of Bloodborne and the fast-paced frantic hack and slashing of your favorite Platinum game of choice, Thymesia is a frantic and fun take on the soulslike genre.
Thymesia takes place in the great kingdom of Hermes inside a massive tree called. Hermes is the last bastion against a plague ravaging the land, in no small part because it is the capital of alchemical scientists. You play as Corvus, a plague doctor who at one point may have found the cure, but has since had that knowledge taken from him.
After a brief tutorial level, Thymesia truly begins with Corvus’ wig being split by an inhumanly large sword. Waking up in a house reminiscent of Bloodborne’s Hunter’s Dream, you find yourself in the presence of a child who can help you recall the memories that were surgically removed by a gargantuan knight’s school bus-sized blade. From there, you may enter Corvus’ memories, playing the levels in which you find the key ingredients for the plague’s cure.
As you might have guessed, Thymesia is a soulslike game. You already know the deal. Go out, hack and slash, and collect plague souls to spend on plague levels (and even some plague perks). Enemies respawn when you rest at a bonfire, or in this case, a bon-chair. If you die, you need to hack and slash your way back to your souls in order to reclaim them. Standard stuff.
What Thymesia adds is a few new mechanics. First off, you only have one true weapon. A sword and a parrying dagger, which I recognize is two weapons but I don’t care. In this context, it’s one. Much like Sekiro, you don’t get to really choose a loadout like most other Souls games. However, Thymesia adds in the plague weapon mechanic.
By using a dash attack called your plague claw, which I suppose is another weapon, you can gouge out the weapons of your enemies to use for yourself. Plague-claw a guy with a knife, and in your back pocket you can shake up a combo by pulling out an ethereal blade that cuts through armor. Claw a guy with a hammer, and you’re able to stun even the largest of enemies. If you kill enough enemies of the same type, you can unlock and upgrade these plague weapons in to take one on the road, no killing is needed. Thymesia has something like thirty of these plague weapons, which functionally act like a special power rather than a reliable weapon, but they’re still fun.
Indeed, it is a lot of fun to experiment with different plague weapons. But for the most part, you will be using your primary sword and the claw itself to gouge your way through the denizens of Thymesia. Thankfully, there are a lot of cool upgrades you can unlock to make the base weapons more interesting. Focus on defense and make your parrying dagger a blocking dagger. Unlock a perk to give you Devil May Cry air combo attacks. The flexibility is great.
Unfortunately, there are some aspects of Thymesia that are a little bit lacking. Most notably, level design. The levels are a bit underwhelming. It is almost entirely linear, which is not a terrible flaw but, but combined with a lack of secrets or interactable things does not make for much good replayability. The enemies are heavily reused as the levels go on as well, and the bonus missions you get are generally just the same zone level played in reverse. But beyond that, I struggle to find any serious flaws with the game.
Thymesia, of course, is no Bloodborne. None others ever will be. But what Thymesia does is its own, and it’s a whole lot of fun. It is thoroughly enjoyable to hack and slash your way through the enemies and learn about the bizarre world in which the game takes place. For $25, it will most certainly scratch that soulslike itch.
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