Sneaky Sneaky: 13 Minutes Of Styx Gameplay

By Alice O'Connor on June 27th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Hanging with Styx.

We’ve cast our shared eye over Styx: Master of Shadows before (I’m scheduled for another five minutes with the eye before Adam takes it to look at a football), our collective mouth muttering that an open-level stealth game sounds nice but its heritage makes us sceptical (I’ve got 15 minutes with the mouth before Graham needs to “holler at a lad”). See, it’s a spin-off from Of Orcs & Men, a game which paired stealth bits with action stuff, only our Jim found the stealth “terrible.”

But that was then, this is now, and this game isn’t trying to do two things at once. What happens when Cyanide Studio focus on stealth? Have a gander in 13 of minutes of gameplay footage.

Without a giant orc pal to stomp in and start clobbering men when stealth goes wrong this time, Styx needs to be better. As well as the climbing and choking and jumping and crouching and crouching and crouching one excepts from a stealth game, he’s got a fair few tricks. These include snuffing out torches with hurled sand, vomiting into water supplies, (very) briefly highlighting people with a special vision mode, and summoning, in the words of the narrator, a “wretched clone.”

The clone seems key. A separate goblin you can switch back and forth between, he can scout ahead, distract enemies by leaping upon them, hide in chests as a trap to snatch passing guards, and explode in a cloud of obscuring smoke. So that’s why human cloning is so controversial.

It doesn’t look hugely difficult, and the guards do still suffer some of the hearing difficulties Jim disliked in Orcs & Men, though these demos are never played on super-tough settings.

I did also enjoy how Styx’s smaller stature means he can squeeze into unexpected places. He kept ducking under or into furniture and fittings I would not expect a video game to allow, surprising me and making me reconsider a space I’d normally mentally map with a glance. Video games teach us to understand virtual spaces as a human standing six feet tall. And in first-person games, with our eyeballs pulled out their sockets then balanced on top of our head and our hands scrunched up in front of our face too.

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31 Comments »

  1. derbefrier says:

    I think it looks rather promising.

  2. Keyrock says:

    That actually looks pretty cool.

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  3. Stevostin says:

    Will there be first person view ? Not mandatory but I’d love it.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I trust Cyanide to snatch disappointment from the jaws of excellence at the very last second, as usual.

  5. dontnormally says:

    Well, this looks pretty excellent if I do say so myself.

  6. rikpro says:

    I don’t know…The crates strategically placed within spitting distance of any guard susceptible of being slaughtered speak to me of lazy gameplay design.

  7. XhomeB says:

    Of Orcs & Men was supposedly average at best, so I never got around to picking it up, but this… looks really, really cool in a lot of ways. The level on display here seems to be rather non-linear as well, consider me very interested. We need a WOT of the game as soon as it comes out, definitely.

    • Keyrock says:

      Like all Cyanide games, Of Orcs and Men had a great concept and some really good ideas, but not nearly fleshed out enough and not implemented well. Pretty much all their games have tons of potential but could use another year baking in the oven.

  8. Lemming says:

    I think the fact that I passed on the last Thief game and have ignored All the Ass Creed games except for no. 2 means I’m going to enjoy this one rather a lot. The chance to play a sneaky Gobbo is just too tempting to pass up.

    It looks like I’ll have to ignore some of the immersion-breaking elements though, judging by that trailer.

  9. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    Wow. You know, I think this demonstration could have done with a bit less flowery prose.

    • zebramatt says:

      I was just thinking it could have done with someone actually able to deliver spoken word in anything approaching a dramatic fashion.

      • Niko says:

        I don’t know, I liked this sort of toned-down approach and want this gentleman to narrate games.

        • Arona Daal says:

          A gameplay Trailer with actual Gameplay,and some dry and entertaining Narration.

          If only moreTrailers were like this.
          Beats the usual pseudobombastic Marketingcrap which does not dare to show the actual Game.

      • foop says:

        The narration was really weird. It had intonation, but it the wrong places. It was like he could pronounce English perfectly but didn’t know what any of it meant. And most of the time it felt like he was rushing towards the end of the (admittedly very long) sentences so that he could stop talking for a bit.

  10. racccoon says:

    Very cool,
    Great introduction.
    Excellent choice of character :)

  11. Stardreamer says:

    “Goblin” + “Garrett” = Goblet.

    I look forward to seeing young Goblet’s adventures reach our beloved machines. Getting a strong Dishonoured vibe from this, which is no bad thing.

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    tigerfort says:

    Why is it guards are only ever upset about torches going out when they’re actually next to them, but unconcernedly wander into areas that have been mysteriously rendered pitch black in the few minutes since they last patrolled that way?

    • YeGoblynQueenne says:

      Er, because game AI (or AI in general) has extremely high costs and gamers are already used to bad game AI and don’t seem to mind it that much?

  13. skyturnedred says:

    LEDGEND!

  14. fenriz says:

    I don’t see anything interesting about this game. Except ofc multipaths.

    Best hypothesis? F.Deus ex. Chances of this being real? 8%

  15. knowitall011 says:

    ok, uncut gameplay that is kinda impressive. i am sold.