Styx: Master of Shadows is an infiltration game with RPG elements taking place in a dark fantasy universe, where you sneak, steal and assassinate your way through as Styx, a Goblin two-centuries of age.
User reviews: Very Positive (960 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 7, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"A genuinely impressive stealth game. Styx is a diamond in the rough! Well worth checking out for fans of stealth infiltration genre."
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December 24, 2014

STYX AND FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE WISH YOU A MERRY STYXMAS IN VIDEO!

Thank you for the beautiful year you spent with us. We wish you all a Merry Styxmas with a trailer featuring our favorite goblin! If you want a festive surprise, watch the video until the end...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITLCazCjGik

18 comments Read more

November 17, 2014

UPDATE - THE LEADERBOARDS

Hi everyone,

We’re offcially releasing a new update for Styx : Master of Shadows.

This update has been in beta mode for few days, but it's now ready to be released. We're introcuding the leaderboards where you can find the time you spent in each mission and compare it to the other people.

The Leaderboards can be found in the Steam Overlay during the game (by pressing Shift+Tab), or on the game Hub, then "View stats" (at the top right corner), and "Global leaderboards".

Here is the changelog:

  • Enabling leaderboards (visible in the Steam interface) for each mission, the fastest time for each player will be displayed on the leaderboard
  • Reducing the distance of the last-chance mode to match with the backward roll distance. (You can use the backward roll to escape from fights!)
  • Slight increase in the action area of the ledge-kill (murder when you are attached to a ledge).
  • Slight increase in the action area of the clone-trap.
  • Fixed a bug where sleeping guards awake when reloading a party in front of them: the guard now remains asleep when reload a save before him.
  • Fixed bug where two guards are close to a clone-trap: Now, the clone-trap catch only one single guard.
  • Fixed a bug with the clone-trap where the guard was not killed when he was in some state of detection: now a guard is always killed when caught by a clone-trap.

We hope that this update will please you!

Happy sneaking.

Cyanide Studios & Focus Home Interactive.

12 comments Read more

Reviews

“Styx Master of Shadows is one of the best titles the infiltration genre has to offer.”
9/10 – HardcoreGamer

“Styx is a success thanks to its extremely varied level design offering multiple ways to play and thus a great replayability. The game also offers a rich atmosphere and allows you to control a hero that does not follow nowadays stereotypes.”
8/10 – Jeuxvideo.cοm

“In a lot of ways Styx is a hardcore stealth fan’s ideal game.”
7,2/10 – MMORPG

About This Game

Styx: Master of Shadows is an infiltration game with RPG elements taking place in a dark fantasy universe, where you sneak, steal and assassinate your way through as Styx, a Goblin two-centuries of age.

Deep inside the vertiginous and multi-layered forsaken Tower of Akenash, where Humans and Elves protect the World-Tree, source of the Amber – a powerful and magical golden sap – is hidden Styx’ chance to understand his true origin... and to make a fortune at the same time.

Prowl through the huge, miles-high Tower of Akenash, completing various missions (assassination, information recovery, etc.) and avoiding detection. Progress in the shadows, assassinate your targets in close combat, or orchestrate «accidents». RPG mechanics let you unlock new powerful skills, impressive special moves, and an optimized equipment. Amber will grant you spectacular powers such as invisibility, «amber vision», and the ability to clone yourself. Explore the levels to discover every bit of information about your past, and steal prized treasures to acquire equipment upgrades. Embrace the shadows!

  • Mission areas featuring truly organic player path-finding
  • A strong focus on hardcore stealth and infiltration: progress through the shadows with a sense of verticality, and explore to find hidden treasures
  • Upgrade your skills along six unique skill-trees to improve your stealth, assassination, and technique.
  • Distract, solve, smother and prowl with your clone
  • An intricate story full of twists and revelations

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: WINDOWS VISTA SP2/WINDOWS 7/WINDOWS 8
    • Processor: AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.4 GHZ
    • Memory: 3072 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024 MB 100% DIRECTX 9 AND SHADERS 4.0 COMPATIBLE AMD RADEON HD 5850/NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 OR HIGHER
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DIRECTX 9 COMPATIBLE
    • Additional Notes: INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED FOR THE GAME ACTIVATION
Helpful customer reviews
398 of 445 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Well, long story short, this is a hardcore stealth game. Would seriously only recommend to those who like the old school stealth games, or are used to bumping up the difficulty settings in the newer ones. It's not a bad game...no, not at all. Just that anyone who's going to be playing this for anything other than stealth will have to endure a mightily frustrating time! I consider myself a semi-hardcore (if there's such a thing even) stealth gamer and I found it just a tad frustrating on Hard difficulty. No complaints though...I'm gonna man up!

Anyways, the biggest pro is that the levels are huge (like really huge...it took me just under 2.5 hours to complete the intro alone!). Lots of routes to take, and there's lots of verticality to it. There are ample number of collectibles to find, and potions to collect and conjure more magic tricks. And you are encouraged to not kill anyone, or not be detected, or steal all loot by unlocking rewards at the end of levels. AI seems to be decent too, if not unforgiving!

The stealth elements are standard from what you'd get in Thief for example. Guards can see you when you are in light and in their line of sight. They can hear you (even tripping over pails and broomsticks). And you can hide in the shadows, where a tattoo on your body will glow orange. However, you cannot abuse the shadows as much as Thief. Even when you think you are in a dark area, if a guard comes too close, he will smell you out.

Story is so-so for me. Too early to read too much into it. Visuals are just OK as well. Some textures look like they're brought right in from 1998 though. But on the plus side, I get to max out this game on my meager GTX 750 and get 60fps most of the time at 1080p. So yeah, it's not at all graphically demanding. Voice acting is mediocre as well. Nothing bad, but nothing memorable either. The same goes for the soundtrack/sound effects.

The controls are a little finicky and you will need to spend time in the early game to get used to them. Certain jumping actions are not properly explained in the tutorial. But aside from the jumping controls, the movement controls of Styx otherwise are solid.

In closing, the game feels like the most brutal stealth game I've played, and I can assure you I've played just about all of them released in the past 5 years. Still it should be a good challenge, and I assume as I progress and get used to the gameplay more, the experience will only get better.
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183 of 205 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
53.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
Has the classic vibe of a stealth game, massive maps, and an alright story behind it all.

Pros:


Lots of potential with maps.

I've a mere 4 hours and I have only completed the first mission on "Goblin" difficulty (which is the hardest of the difficulties. The maps are incredibly large. full of many possibilities of your sucess or demise; be it the convinient tunnel, heavy objecting hanging above a guard, malfunctioning machines, gob in a box, the common ledge, the miscalculation of one's eyes, and much more.

A game for nitpicking.

There's quite a handful of enemies on each map, you can keep to the shadows and aim directly to the objective, or you could just run aimlessly assassinating every living thing you can find. While I could have skipped a good 90% of enemies without killing them, I simply could not pass on finding and assassinating EVERYTHING. l got a lot more of this game trying to clear an entire map over simply running towards the next loading screen.

Smooth Graphics.

Cyanide certainly knows how to make a good optimized game with some nice graphics. It's no next gen, but I'm sure many of us care for gameplay over graphics these days. I'd say I ran at a smooth 60 FPS at the highest settings, with very little tearing. I'm using GeForce GTX 560 Ti, non overclocked with 12 RAM.

Good Handling.

Controlling Styx is quite seamless with a gaming mouse. The amount of his abilities make a gaming mouse quite useful, but for those that don't own such luxuries can change any keybind through the options. I attempted playing it with a 360 controller, and I would say I much prefer Mouse+Keyboard combo due to easy access of key binds. Let's just say Styx isn't the best at grabbing ledges sometimes...

It's better than Thief.

That poor poor franchise.

CONS:

The AI

This is a stealth game, so I constantly had many "Really?" moments. The enemy AI is no different from any other stealth game and pretty much comes in two ways: the first being "Guard notices you, you run to hide, guard can't find you despite being a few inches away with a very obvious glowing orange tattoo" or the second which is "Guard notices you, you engage, dodge, parry, counter, dead guard, move on". I noticed I went through a lot of the second way through my first playthrough on Hard. To combat the non-stealth feeling and linear gameplay, I simply switched the difficulty to the highest which is "Goblin". I would not recommend any other difficulty if you truly want the feel of a "stealth game". Getting one shot can be quite annoying, but hey, what kind of "Master of Shadows" would get caught in the act of murder?

Bugs like a Bethesda Game.

I have only experienced a few bugs, but none that made me reload. Any bugs that I did encounter were in a "Bethesda" way. Floating bodies, launching dead bodies after a kill, stretching rag dolls, teleportation when assassinating, and minor clipping. None were game breaking, and is clearly something all games these days face. I'm sure patches are to come.

A "Bioshock Infinite" feeling.

Those familiar with Bioshock Infinite might get a retaste with Styx's abilities. While Styx has several abilities, you might find yourself only using a few of them in most situations that aren't forcing you to use them.



Overall opinion:

It's definately worth the $30, but I HIGHLY recommend you play on the highest difficulty to get the real stealth feeling. You can easily make the game last a few hours if you simply run through the enemy and go for the objective; make the most of it by slaughtering everyone in the area and collecting relics/coins. Abuse the amber! Amber powers can easily be forgotten if you don't use them often, they can be quite helpful on many maps! Exploration is important. There will always be more than one way to kill an enemy. Sometimes there's ways of clearing an entire map by the push of buttons...Keep your amber vision lit... Oh and, I hope your virgin ears are ready for the constant f#cks and sh#ts both Styx and NPCs spray out like a rainy day.

I give Styx: Master of Shadows an 8/10.
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101 of 116 people (87%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2014
This is my first proper review so please forgive any armature shortcomings.

Let me start off by saying that, before buying this game I did a lot of review reading and found quite a few negative points.
The most prominent of these points being 1.Graphics 2.Game mechanics (mostly due to ledge detection) 3.Poor controls 4.The map 5.The Combat system and a few more smaller issues that I’ll get to later

1. Graphics No the graphics are not great. The general scenery I found to be appealing, but when you look a little closer you will notice how this games graphics really are a let-down. Faces are jus.... well let’s say they could be improved.
But when did a games graphics become more important than gameplay when considering buying a game?

2.Game mechanics The biggest issue people seem to have with this is ledge detection, I personally haven't missed any (well placed) jumps due to this on my end. I don't really see much of an issue with regard to ledges myself, sure Styx enjoys hovering in mid-air just off the edge of a ledge but that can be forgiven. (You can't however hang-crawl from one ledge to another...)
Other mechanics issues tend to be with shadowy spots being difficult to determine, which is true it isn't easy to tell whether Styx is hidden from view judging on whether it seems he is in a shadowy spot or not, BUT he does have a tattoo on his arm which lights up when he IS hidden (very easy to see and make use of)


3.Poor controls This seems to be causing people to miss jumps and plummet to their deaths, are they perhaps just not good at the game? I couldn't say, what I can say is that (again) I haven’t had any real issues with this, but then again I have only played the game with a (Xbox 360) controller so I don't have any real experience using a keyboard to control Styx.

4.The map It's terrible, it will NOT help you don’t use it.
That being said, it encourages the player to explore the areas a little more.
Although some navigational input via a map that actually helped would be nice.

5.The Combat system is not fun it isn’t engaging and it leaves Styx utterly useless at fighting... well pretty much anything. THIS IS A HARDCORE STEALTH GAME! If you're using the combat system you're doing it wrong

Side Notes I read that someone found it frustrating that there was no way to distract enemies.
All I have to say to this is THERE IS A WAY. Styx is able to make a noise (default is hold 'x' on the keyboard or 'down' on a gamepad) this noise will lure guards to the source of the notice. "Great" you say thinking how useful it's going to be luring all guards to your current location. But fear not! Your clone can also make a noise, in the same way Styx does. So move your clone around the other side of enemies press 'x' and boom guards walk towards the noise and out of your way.

THE PROS
-It's got an interesting story
-The Gameplay is absolutely wonderful (personal opinion here)
-It's difficult! Which leads to much planning and enjoyment of your success
-Huge maps, with multiple ways of navigating and completing levels
-STEALTH STEALTH STEALTH! This is a stealth game, it relies heavily on stealth, and stealth is needed to accomplish anything! So if you're a fan of stealth games this is for you

One last thing Quicksaving IS your friend do not be scared to use it
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81 of 91 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
After playing Styx: Master of Shadows I have to say that it is probably one of the best stealth games we've had in many years.
The game is truely challenging and offers many ways to approach each mission.
If you are like me it can get a bit save/load scummy as you struggle to go for that "no detection" mark during a mission.
The controls are for the most part very responsive but it can get a bit wonky sometimes when you are trying to drop down from platforms.
The game has that Spiders/Cyanide Studios charm with corny dialog and sometimes odd animations, I personally love it but I can see how someone used to AAA titles might find it off putting.
I think the story was solid, music is great and the gameplay very enjoyable.
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118 of 145 people (81%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
Seeing a negative review on the front page scared me into writing a positive one, as I'd really like this game to do well, though I will try my best to remain unbiased in my review.

Graphics
Well it does have them. They aren't fantastic, not by any means. I've seen quite a bit of texture pop-in, and a lot of grainy, ugly textures throughout. However, when the graphics work, they work. The outside bits are incredible, and watching the ships floating around this huge, open castle is pretty awesome. However, sadly, most of the game keeps you held up inside the castle, seeing the same damn white tiles over and over and over again. The character models are also fairly rubbish, other than Styx, the protagonist. Texture pop-in is rampant, their clothes clip through their bodies, and they just look a bit washed out and ugly. Styx, however, looks great. His glowing orange tattoo is very nice looking (it's glowing when you're in the dark, neutral when you're in the light - a cool way of telling the player whether they can be easily seen).

5/10 - serviceable

Controls
Sooo, the controls may be another downside, but not as bad as the graphics. While waddling around on the ground the game works just fine. You can move around the shadows nicely, and navigating under desks and tables is easy to do. However, platforming can be a bit tricky. For the most part, it'll work fine - until you need to jump to a ledge. The ledge detection is occasionally terrible, causing Styx to plummet to his death or clumsily crash right in front of a guard. This sort of hit-or-miss platforming wouldn't be too bad if the game didn't rely on Styx platforming so often. You will, many a times, find yourself enjoying climbing around guards, stealthily navigating the side of a building until - whoops, the game didn't detect that ledge, now you're dead.

6/10 - Good enough

Gameplay
This is where the game shines and for all intents and purposes makes up for its other shortcomings. Gameplay is more than solid, it's great. It's very much a stealth game, the focus is not at all on combat and you will almost never find yourself directly confronting guards. Other than when you're playing on Goblin (the game's hardest difficulty, which makes getting caught too close to gaurds an instant death - they pick you up and stab you), the game's combat is basically a quick time event. You parry the guard's attacks until you find an opening, where you promptly stab them in the gut. This isn't a great system, but luckily you won't be seeing it often or ever. The core of the game involves platforming around, sneaking, and stealing. You crawl under tables, up walls, and hide in shadows in order to avoid guards. Styx also has a special ability which allows the player to create clones, become invisible, or use a sort of super vision similar to the one used in the Arkham series. Clones allow you to distract guards, pull levers, and in some cases dispatch enemies. Stealth allows you to become completely invisible for a short time, though you still make sound. The super vision (forgot what it was called) allows you to spot guards, items, and places to climb on. All of these really help the game shine, and it truly feels like and old school stealth game, especially when playing on Goblin mode (recommended).

9/10 - Fantastic

Story
I won't linger on this too much, as I haven't reached the ending. So far it's pretty good, and a nice way of progressing the game. It's your basic dark fantasy universe, and it's used well.

-/10 - Will be updated in the future

TL;DR

All in all, you'll probably enjoy this game. It definitely refers back to the old school days of stealth gaming and I really appreciate that. It does have some pretty gnarly graphics, but that can be excused as they are plenty good enough to still enjoy. Its biggest issue is poor platforming controls, which will hopefully be fixed in the future. The gameplay is fantastic, and makes this game one of my favorites of the year. The story, so far, is good.

Final score
8/10 - Great

(My finally score is normally based off an average of the other scores, which would have put this game at a 6.6, rounded to 7. However, since I haven't finished the story, I gave it an extra point - as the story is good so far).
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69 of 77 people (90%) found this review helpful
40.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
Styx: Master of Shadows is a really great game and one of my favorite stealth games ever. Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect, but it entertained me really well for 40 hours and did so for a price of 22€. Even if I had payed the full 30€, I would not regret it. Let me tell you why.

There aren't many stealth games around these days and I really miss them. Styx reminded me of how fun they used to be. The gameplay mechanics work really well in this game and there are some that I haven't seen in any other stealth game, such as cloning yourself and booby trapping your clone in a chest or just use it as a distraction for guards. You can even become invisible for short time spans. These things cost you amber which is basically something like mana. You can replenish it with vials you can find during the missions or pickpocket from some of the guards. But those are rare, so don't worry, you can't just walk around the whole level invisibly.

The skill system is also a good thing. It motivated me to get all the insignias and do all the side objectives in the missions, since you get bonus skill points for doing so. With them you can unlock helpful skills such as aerial kills or the aforementioned booby trapping of your clone. You can go for stealthy skills if you like to sneak through the missions or, if you're more into clearing out whole areas, you can invest in more aggressive skills. Every type of player should be able to find some skills they think are cool.

There are also different types of enemies, such as your ordinary guard, crossbowmen, knights, which have plate armor and can only be killed through poisoning or dropping chandeliers on their head, and some more that I won't spoil now. Every enemy has its weak spots and is in his way fun to kill or sneak around.

What I think is really outstanding in Styx is the environment. The level design is just awesome. There are many routes to your destination and you almost always have a choice of how to get there. In synergy with the mostly good graphics (at least good enough for me) and the great lighting effects it often led to me just stopping and looking at the beautiful environments. It's just eye candy to sneak around in the shadows avoiding the bright sun rays falling in a room through a window or climbing a vertical wall in the sunset.

Sadly the fun exploring the levels ends with the exact half of the game. After that you will be back tracked through many levels you have already seen. In most cases this isn't that bad, because there are other guards on other positions with other routes and the levels are still awesome with all the alternative routes. But I have to say that there were one or two areas that just didn't work properly backwards, which was sometimes a little annoying. Nevertheless the back tracking wasn't so bad, although I gladly would have payed 5 or 10 more bucks to just see some more of this really great level design.

The story line was okay for me. It had its suprises and pulled me through the missions and that's all I was expecting from it. The plot is told through voice acting and comic like cutscenes with mostly static pictures of which some were reused a little too often, but that's perfectly fine thinking of the price for the title. The voice acting was good and I personally liked the fact that although the story is set in a fantasy world, the characters swear a lot and talk more like you would expect from real world rogues. That added a special feeling to it and I liked it.

As you can see I have played for 40 hours to get every insignia and every objective. Insignias are badges you get after missions for each of the following things: Staying hidden, not killing anyone, finishing the mission in a given time and collecting all 10 coins in each area of the mission (each mission has 4 areas). In the first run of each mission I killed a lot of guards, stayed hidden, gathered all the coins and did every side objective. The second run was always a speed run without killing any guards and for the fun of it also staying hidden, ignoring everything else. I would estimate that if you just play through the missions doing the side objectives and aren't perfectionistic about being seen or not, you could play through this game in 15 to 20 hours. But where's the fun in that? ;)

Overall I loved this game and though it has its flaws the whole experience is just great, because every mechanic and every element come together to form a really fun time of stealth gameplay. And since it's worth even the full 30€ in my opinion, I recommend this game to every gamer who enjoys stealth games.
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151 of 199 people (76%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Pre-Release Review
As a big fan of stealth games (the Thief series in particular,) I’ve been looking forward to Styx. I’ve not been disappointed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWN5n1lSwWo

Level design is such that it does feel like you usually have multiple ways to reach your objective. There are also areas of the map which are completely out-of-the-way of your objective which you can explore, making the areas seem more realistic.

Styx controls smoothly for the most part. Moving along cover, jumping across ledges and up walls is smooth. There are some curiosities though, such as being unable to hang-crawl from one ledge to an adjacent one. For the most part though, it feels natural.

Guard AI is my biggest gripe. Guards have some of the classic stealth game problems. For example, guards will find a dead body, go into alert, check the immediate area, but then give up fairly quickly and go back to what they were doing before. “Guard Dominos” is in full effect; kill one guard, leave him where another guard will find it. While he’s investigating the body, double back and stab the new guard. Rinse, repeat. However, they will check under tables, in chests, etc., if they are alerted so it’s nice to see that those areas aren’t magical portals to duck into when being spotted as they could be in other games.

Plotting out how to get through an area undetected and studying the patrols of guards is still an important, rewarding aspect of Styx. If you get caught by one guard on all but the hardest difficulty, you’ll probably be fine as long as you don’t alert others. 2 or more and you’re going to need to run for it… and that’s how it should be. On Goblin difficulty, getting into melee range of an alerted enemy is instant death.

If you are a stealth fan at all, I highly recommend picking this one up. Given there aren’t many games in this genre, this one is too fun to pass up and at $30 it’s a steal (no pun intended.)
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69 of 82 people (84%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
So far this is fantastic. I am about 8 hours in as of writing this and have yet to have been disapointed with any aspect of the game. If you are a fan of games like the Theif series or Dishonoured you will enjoy this. The game can be very challenging, requiring you to be aware of your surroundings at all times as well as making sure your timing is perfect with patrols and what not. You can use your abilities to create intersting and helpful combinations such as using your clone to lure gaurds underneath a crate which can then be quickly unfastened by you to kill the gaurds making it look like an accident. The story is fairly good and Styx is a very likeable witty sarcastic goblin that entertains you with his thoughts.

The game feels a bit like a hybrid between Thief and Dishonoured mixed due to the various abilities you have access to. If you enjoy all the fancy kills in Dishonoured such as drop assassinations, theres those plus more. If you enjoy skulking in the shadows avoiding gaurds and putting out torches to help you sneak around you are able to do that with the hlp of balls of sand you can replenish throughout the maps as well as moving up to them to put them out. The different skill paths create very different experiences for you such as the kill line which enables things like cover kills and aerial kills, while the clone line enhances your clones abilties to distract and harrass enemies. The AI can be tricked using various things in the environment as well as your abilities, while some say the AI is bad I have found it functions just fine and very rarely if at all messes up aside from the ocasional getting stuck on something for a moment.

Alot of reviewers haver some reason given this a low score due to issues they had with the climbing and ledge detection which is an integral part of the game. I however have had zero issues with this and found that as long as you are directly facing what your are jumping for and your jump is timed right, you will never miss a ledge grab.

All in all I would highly recomend this game especialy since the price is so low, I would give it a solid 8.5, it's a hell of a lot better than alot of the big games that have releaed this year.
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52 of 57 people (91%) found this review helpful
64.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
I'll write a proper review once I finish the game 100% but after 50 hours in I can say this game is AMAZING if you love hardcore stealth games. While some people gripe about the combat system in place I find it a refreshing pace when I rarely DO mess up and have to defend myself. I do the little parry dance/kill minigame or dodge/roll thrown knife and/or escape and see if I can successfully hide away then I load a prior save and do it again the right way... without being detected... EVER. I personally enjoy finding how to kill EVERY SINGLE enemy on a map without ever being detected. As such, it has kept me playing this game for a long time without finishing it yet. You have to use some pretty clever tactics when you start coming across multiple knight patrols (immune to takedowns) and more sinister things I won't spoil for you. While a mission will take me 4-6 hours to beat in this manner of killing every single enemy without being detected, as well as finding all the loot, it is a very enjoyable time. Then after I beat it like that I redo it in the handy 'mission replay' feature as a speed + mercy + shadow run. So I guess I can vouch for all styles of play, both the fast paced and the ridiculously slow, super careful, pace. This game is well polished all around. The freedom of movement is something to be really thankful for after seeing recent quote unquote stealth games have a push button to win method of movement. If you like to engage your enemies head on, this is NOT the game for you. This is a stealth title as they were designed decades ago, don't get caught or you lose and hit your quickload key. Story is top notch, voice acting is superb as well. Game runs extremely well and looks/sounds/feels fantastic. I use a keyboard and mouse to play and it feels very natural and fluid. Having full control over what happens in your movement is very important here. There is no "I win" button for ledge traversing and there are no defined paths... if you miss a jump, it is your own fault. Make use of your shift (slow walk) and drop/lift/jump keys to do all you need exactly how you need to do it. This is something many early reviewers did not take time to realize and as a result many people think the controls are bad when in fact they are very intuitive and responsive. You just need to be smart enough to utilize them properly. If you lack patience, you likely won't enjoy this. The original Thief games (not the remake from a few years ago) are something to compare this game's approach to. If you enjoyed those you are likely the target audience for this game. Age 30-45 gamers who grew up playing unforgiving titles that challenged you and didn't hold your hand should find this a nice nostalgic feel compared to the current trends. Well I sure dragged on and on... but:

TL;DR This game is amazing! WELL worth the price tag and then some. AAA title at a B price. You can't go wrong with that, unless of course you don't like this type of game. To each their own though!
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48 of 52 people (92%) found this review helpful
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
I was pleasantly surprised by Styx and ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

Yes, the combat system is pants... but it's a stealth game. If you want to fight things, this probably isn't the game you are looking for. The stealth and sneak attack mechanics are solid though and the upgrade mechanics are simple and well done, but keep the game stealth-focused even after you have some or all of the upgrades.

Finally, the story may seem like throwaway garbage at first, and I have to admit I almost stopped playing, but it starts to get a whole lot better part-way through and the ending is very solid.

It's the rare stealth game that actually gets better, both in game play and in story, the further along you get.
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61 of 74 people (82%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
For people saying 'the controls are terrible', they're not. It's works perfectly with mouse and keyboard, the only thing required for this game is a teeny tiny bit of motor skills.

I'm fairly certain that the people complaining about the controls have played entirely too much Assassins Creed and are used to pressing a single button, running towards a wall and letting your character climb huge buildings by himself. Styx has a much more Jump'n'Runn-y feel to it that requires precise jumps, those however are ALWAYS possible, as long as you aim correctly. It has nothing to do with bad controls, just with bad players.

Apart from that, this game is a true stealth game, meaning the combat is (luckily) virtually nonexistant. The highest difficulty is absolutely challenging and incredibly fun, the rewarding feeling of beating a level without killing anyone/being seen and grabbing all the collectibles and relic is amazing.

A definite recommendation for any fan of classic stealth games, this is pretty much the only game I have ever played to come close to the original 'Theif' series.
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95 of 131 people (73%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Pre-Release Review
Full Video Review Here - http://youtu.be/CRymjA0jxfY

The games story focuses around Styx, an ancient goblin or rakash who is unique and the first of his kind. A master of stealth, deception, thievery and murder, Styx finds himself in the dreaded giant tower of Akenash but by his own doing. The Tower is a labyrinth fortress where the humans and elves hide the mysterious world tree which produces the magical ooze known as amber. Styx wants to steal the heart of the world tree and unlock its secrets and unlock the secrets of his origin too however there’s two things in his way. First the leader of the tower governor Bariman and the second, the Governors legions that guard the giant complex.

The PC port has a good amount of graphical option settings to optimize your visual experience. In terms of controls I would recommend playing with a controller, the mouse and keyboard controls while they work don't feel as fluid or natural as a controller. It is much easier to control Styx and move around with a the thumb sticks of the controller than using the mouse and keyboard, which is very important in a stealth game.

In Styx, stealth is of the utmost importance, if your looking for a game with lots of combat, this is not for you. Styx is a goblin as thus by nature smaller and weaker than your average human soldier. This forces you to as you travel through the tower to think and plan your attacks carefully. Light is also a big factor, its important to put out sources of light such as torches to remain in the shadows. You can do this either up close or by throwing sand from range. Styx's tattoo will glow to indicate that you are fully concealed in the shadows.

You have two stances, one is your normal run stance where you will move faster but also louder. The second is your crouch stance where you move slower but you are also quieter, harder to spot and can enter crawl spaces. Not getting spotted is so important as soon as you do, nine times out of ten you'll be in a situation you can't fight out of. The game has a simple but effective cover system to help with this, you can wall hug with the press of a button and move around it easily. One thing I did notice that is absent is the ability to jump from cover to cover which seems an odd exclusion in a stealth focused game.

Styx can hide in an array of places to avoid detection, including cupboards, crawl spaces, chests even under tables. While in stealth you can take down your enemies in multiple ways. If your in melee range you can either do a instant stealth kill however it will be noisy and attract anyone who is close enough or you can do a silent kill which requires you to hold down the kill button until the target is dead however it takes more time and leaves you open to being spotted. Styx can also carry a limited number of throwing knifes which also instantly kill enemies so if you can't get close enough for a melee kill its often best to use one. Lastly some of the environment can be used to cause kills that look like accidents, stuff like pallets on cranes and such can be detached to crushed anyone below. The good thing about environment kills is that if the body is discovered enemies will not then form a search.

Should you kill an enemy directly, unless they are relatively secluded from patrols you'll have to hide the body. Places that Styx can hide such as trunks and cupboards can be used to hide bodies. Should a patrol find a killed enemy they will begin to search for the culprit. Not only this but there is a mechanic which I like in the game where by even when they go back to their guarding positions they will still have their weapon unsheathed and be more alert to their general surroundings.

Should you get caught in the act of doing anything enemies will pursue and attack you with both ranged and melee weapons. If an enemy gets close enough for close combat then you get locked into combat with that single enemy. You have a chance to win by pressing the parry button at the correct time, then pressing it again when the kill sign comes up. It can sometimes take several parries to be able to kill an enemy. This is by far the weakest and ultimately most frustrating part of the game. First pressing the parry button even a the right time can sometimes not respond and you get hit anyway, the mechanic feels very spongy on occasion. Second ranged enemies will still be doing damage to you and Styx can only take a few hits before dying. Thirdly you cannot escape once locked into close combat so you either kill them or they kill you the downside is if your surrounded by enemies you'll end one lock in just to go straight into another. Essentially if your caught and surrounded by even a few enemies unless your really, I mean really damn lucky your going to die.

Styx has many abilities to help with avoiding detection though the use of amber. One such ability is amber vision which when used briefly lights up enemies and objects of interest including special amber drawn signs to follow. Styx can also use a considerable amount of his amber bar to make himself temporarily invisible which comes in very useful for sneaking past tough rooms or making a quick escape. Finally using the power of amber Styx can clone himself creating a mindless goblin to directly control. The cloning mechanic is extremely useful, not only can you scout ahead without the consequences of getting caught but your clone can open doors for you, access areas you can't and be a decoy for enemies so you can slip around behind them. One thing I did with the clone was place him under a crate attacked to a crane cable while I had Styx on top of the crane. The enemies spotted the clone and as they came in for the kill, I released the crate killing them all below.

Styx's abilities can be upgraded as you progress in the game. Every time you complete a objective you earn skill points to spend on improving your abilities. The skills you can unlock range from improving amber based abilities such as your clones or improving your general stealth abilities such as unlocking the ability to stealth kill enemies from cover. You can only improve your skills at the skill table at your hideout in-between missions. Depending on your style of play you can mix and match on what skill trees you want to improve. If you like using clones to go through a level then improving the clones will unlock things like increased health and new abilities for them. Or if you like to go through a level without being seen once you can improve your invisibility and your movement to be quieter.


Graphically the game is fairly good but not great. While Styx looks good and some of the environments are nice the quality of some the textures isn't brilliant. There is fairly regular graphical bugs, nothing game breaking but things like objects clipping through walls is fair often occurrence. In terms of sound the game has a fairly decent soundtrack that provides a good tense atmosphere, the voice acting on the other hand is a mixed bag. Styx and the majority of the main characters are voice acted well, however when it comes to the array of enemies, not only is the voice acting bad but the script writing is cringe worthy.

In my opinion the solidity of the gameplay makes up for the disappointing graphics and voice acting. The story is good, well told and fairly engrossing, any fans of Styx from the previous game will get a kick from returning to the world and from hearing from the smart mouthed rakash. For me its a complete turn around for cyanide with Styx, of Orcs and Men was filled with great story and characters but had failings across the board with its gameplay and mechanics. In Master of Shadows they have ensured that the gameplay is solid barring a few hitches here and there. Overall its one of the most competent stealth games that has been produced in the last few years.
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41 of 46 people (89%) found this review helpful
39.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
Takes me back to good old days of thief. Quiet, composed, sneaking around.

Currently going thro the sales phase, worth picking up if you dont have it.

Similar to dishonored but with more emphasis on stealth and stealth kills and less on combat.

Heres a vid showing early gameplay:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUgNv0iILJI
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35 of 37 people (95%) found this review helpful
58.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Play Styx: Master of Shadows! It's one of the best stealth games, totally took me by surprise... Beautifully vertical environment with multiple paths that can lead to your destination, side missions and cool skills to develop, colorful main character that doesn't have moral dilemmas when killing is in question, thinking only how not to get discovered by ruthless guards and elves. Styx will remind you of Dishonored and Thief, but still bring something refreshing to stealth gaming.
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97 of 137 people (71%) found this review helpful
33.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
"Aaaa a monster!"
I'm a goblin you racist båstard

It's a pretty solid game from day one which is a surprise for an indie game.
Are there bugs? yes.
Does the AI need some rework?
yes. (gets a daily update)
Does the game offer extremely enjoyable gameplay?
yes oh yes.
Does the game offer a good story?
Somewhat but thanks to Styx he got me hooked from the beginning.
The graphics may not be that great, same goes to voice acting, but when it comes to stealth that's where it shines the best.
If you're into the stealth genre like me, then this one is worth its price.
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61 of 79 people (77%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
so good.
now this is what i call a video game.
goblin mode, no hud, no indicators makes Geno a happy gamer
more games like this please 10/10

great story, great voices, replayability, stealth, highly detailed and elaborate and huge levels. soooo many choices on how to tackle a mission

just a goblin and his dagger. goin on a murder spree. very sastifying animation and take downs from player and enemies

me rambling more game like this please 10/10
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39 of 44 people (89%) found this review helpful
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
I strongly recommend this game for people who are looking to play a stealth game.

However pure stealth games are very punishing, this is not action stealth like Splinter Cell where you can run around killing everyone and still win. The same goes for Dishonored, there is no panic action of killing an entire room of foes.

Styx is much more like Mark of the Ninja or the old Metal Gear Solid games.

If you like sneaking around, manipulating enemies, hiding bodies and having a very open ended way of problem solving areas then this game is for you.
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47 of 57 people (82%) found this review helpful
114.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
This game reminds me of the first Thief game. There is very little hand holding and you can take several routes to achieve your goal. Throw in some odd abilities like creating a clone of yourself and using it to face hug a guard while you slip past, and you end up with a fun game that feels open and interesting.

I'm about halfway through the game now and have already gone back to try different tactics through a couple of levels. I've seen a few comments on difficult controls, but I disagree. I like the fact that I have to land a jump or grab ledge instead of the game automatically performing the action for me because I held down a couple of buttons. There is no automatic parkour action. Also, your inventory is limited. So you're forced to vary your abilities and hunt for replacement items when you run out.

I like the storyline so far and the voice acting is pretty good. Especially considering the price. If I have one complaint it would be that the cursing in the game seems forced. Almost like they added it just to have it in there. I noticed the same thing in Of Orcs and Men as well.

I definitely recommend getting this if you enjoy older style stealth games. I hope they make another.
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39 of 45 people (87%) found this review helpful
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
Easy to review: If you like sneaking, this is for you.

Pros:
+Goblin mode
+Tons of sneaking
+Big and open maps
+Awesome main character
+Nice gamemechanics
+Somewhat surprising story
+Interesting style in cutscenes
+Good re-playability (because there's so many ways&styles to go through on every map)

Cons:
-Graphics are not so high
-Story will go, as it's meant to go..
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32 of 37 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
I'm playing through it on Goblin difficulty and it has been brutally unforgiving... Exactly the way I like my stealth games.

The common criticism about Styx constantly knocking into stuff like chairs and cups, thereby alerting guards, is valid. While kind of silly for a master of shadows to be walking around like a cat on a dining room table, these common obstacles are also something you're forced to consider when plotting how to get from one side of a room to another, and further increase the challenge of the game.

I'm not a huge fan of the clone related traps and puzzles, and kinda wish there was just a pure co-op option. Maybe in the next one, I hope.

I also didn't know this was sort of a sequel to another game, Of Orcs and Men. Also a great game, lots of fun, but very different to Styx, more of a tactical action RPG. Highly recommend that game as well.
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