Thymesia definitely wears its influences on its sleeves with Dark Souls, Sekiro and Bloodborne found throughout the sombre atmosphere to the design of some of its bosses. Where it differs though is with speed and size. Thymesia is a lot more compact and the combat is very fast paced with main character Corvus having more speed when going into battle, using a sabre in a deadly fashion when striking right.
Compared to many Souls-likes, Thymesia has a more linear level structure through the three areas. Each comes with its own main story campaign objective plus some optional sub-quests to tackle. The main story levels all end with facing off against a boss, with the optional sub-missions also having their own optional bosses to take on. The levels, while few in number, have some good contrast, going from a plague ridden town to a royal garden and greenhouse, and a fort. Unfortunately they there is quite a lot of delayed texture loading and some pop-in throughout Thymesia. Some areas do also look fairly bland.
While Corvus is a fast fighter, the enemies vary. There are some that will match his speed, while others are a bit slower as they attack with long weapons or from range. All of these weapons are usable by Corvus thanks to his own powers. Corvus wields a sabre to fight with, but also has claws that can reave weapons from enemies. These reaved plague weapons can only be used once, but there is no limit to the amount of reaving you do. Defeat enough enemies and these can also be unlocked and then equipped as an ability, though it will cost energy to use.
The claws also serve a purpose in chipping away at enemy health. Enemies have an regenerating armour bar that needs to be chipped away in order to take away health. However, the armour will only regenerate up to the enemy’s health, so as you take away armour, using the claws can take big chunks of life so the armour cannot regenerate as much. This is especially important in boss fights.
Corvus is also armed with feather darts that can be used to attack from range and interrupt critical attacks. However, the window to interrupt these attacks feels really short – by the time the green flash occurs to interrupt, the moment has often already passed. Corvus can also deflect incoming attacks, but again the window of opportunity feels erratic.
Boss fights vary with some more entertaining than others, but all of them providing a challenge. The first is Odur who definitely acts as a skill check. You will need to use Corvus’ abilities to deal with the number of attacks Odur has. Corvus’ abilities include dodging, using the claws, and feather darts to attack from range and interrupt critical attacks. These abilities can be upgraded as you level up. Your talent points can be used to upgrade Corvus’ strength, vitality, and plague, with the latter impacting the power of claws and plague weapons.
There are other bosses that are less engaging. One thankfully optional boss has an attack that is basically impossible to dodge and it takes quite a chunk of your health. Apart from that attack the boss is pretty easy to kill, making it feel quite cheap. The hitboxes for enemies against also seem overly generous, especially with bosses. In a couple, you can see an enemy’s weapon not land on Corvus, but he still takes damage.
Thymesia’s story is also not a real strong point. Each level delves into Corvus’ mind to recall memories from a plague ravaging the kingdom, but there are no characters that speak and there are so few characters that give any information. There are pieces of lore around the world that give some information, but it doesn’t draw you into the story all that well. There are several endings to Thymesia all depending on how many quests you complete, so there is a bit of replayability, though if you complete all the quests before facing the final boss, you just have to repeat the fight and make slightly different choices afterwards to get the different endings.