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Thymesia heard you like Souls games dawg, so it copied all of them

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INTERIOR: TEAM 17 BOARDROOM

Man in suit: Which Souls game would we like to copy?

Everyone else: Yes!

Developer OverBorder Studio and publisher Team 17 has announced Thymesia, which is not so much a Soulslike as a Souls-very-like. Now up for wishlisting on Steam with a slated release date of December 31, 2021, Thymesia is an action-RPG with... look, it's various bits from the Souls games and Bloodborne. Hell, the lead character seems based on Eileen the Crow, and their fancy weapon is Priscilla's Lifehunt scythe.

Copying these games, as the likes of Lords of the Fallen has shown, is much easier attempted than achieved, and Thymesia is incredibly under-the-influence. Throughout the above trailer you'll see what are basically re-does of several Soulsborne locations, most obviously Bloodborne's clock interior, and it's hard to see what this is actually adding to the formula beyond a slight variation on the combat system.

The game is set in a plague-riddled world, no not Yharnam, and the player controls the character Corvus, who is "capable of seizing enemy diseases and using them as weapons against his adversaries." The trailer showcases extremely familiar 3D combat, with a slightly different dodging move, liberal use of slowdown effects, and some dodgy low-down camera angles. There are parries, there are counters, and Corvus can pull out giant glowing weapons at certain points to slam things.

There's levelling, there's multiple endings, there's everything here but a fresh idea. The Soulslike is pretty much its own genre by now, but it says everything that not a single title has got close to the inspirations. I'm sure Thymesia will be a decent game, but it's so derivative that it's hard to get excited about.

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."