Styx: Master of Shadows offers vertical, goblin-based stealth

Tom Sykes

Cyanide don't have the best track record, but you can't deny that they make interesting games. Interesting, ambitious, ultimately a bit *does shaky hand thing* games. There's reason to raise an eyebrow, then, over Styx: Master of Shadows , their recently announced stealth game starring a two-centuries-old goblin named after a hellish river. And raise an eyebrow I did, before I remembered Game of Thrones: The Game of Thrones Game: The Video Game and my other eyebrow shot up as well. I now resemble Malcolm McDowell in that Clockwork Orange reprogramming scene, and it's all Cyanide (and Focus Home's) fault. Hear more about the game below.

Master of Shadows puts you in the sneaky shoes of Styx, a murderous, kleptomaniac sort and the very first goblin ever made. You're on a quest to discover your origins, which involves climbing a giant tower protected by nasty humanses and elveses and orcsess, who have presumably been shipped in from Cyanide's Of Orcs and Humans. The bullet points here are Vertical Stealth and Open Levels, words that tend to excite me regardless of which developers are involved. The other bullet point would be Whoa, It Stars a Goblin, an original and natty choice - I'm of the (correct) opinion that protagonists of stealth games should be fragile, skulking, slightly creepy creatures. There are RPG elements too, including the ability to clone or turn yourself invisible.

I'll leave you with a bunch of images, and a few words from Cyanide/Focus Home.

"Battle your way to the top of the lofty Tower of Akenash through immense and vertiginous levels that highlight the vertical perspective. You will complete numerous missions with various objectives as you climb up – murder, information recovery, theft of precious artifacts, etc – and gradually reconstruct the puzzle that provides the key to the mystery of your origins. The levels are open and the objectives can be completed in various ways: you are therefore free to choose the best way to proceed and the most suitable strategy to employ to achieve and complete your mission objectives. But remember you're a Goblin: if your target is twice your size, or more, you're better off eliminating them silently… and in the back!"

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