Murder is a right lark, I'm sure we can all agree, but there's little better murder than murder where no one sees their murder coming and their murder goes undetected. Stealth, I'm talking about. 2014 fantasy sneak 'em up Styx: Master of Shadows was fairly typical for for developers Cyanide - interesting and ambitious but flawed enough to end up frustrating, as our Graham noted in his review. Still, the goblin's sneaky adventure was promising enough that Cyanide are having another crack.
Today the French studio announced sequel Styx: Shards of Darkness [official site], slated to launch in 2016.
Cyanide and publishers Focus Home say Shards of Darkness is being made with a bigger budget, which might help with those rough edges. Styx was novel for being set in large, sprawling levels with plenty of vertical movement and a focus on pure stealth, not the fight-o-stealth the genre has slipped into over the past decade or so. This time, the game's upgraded to Unreal Engine 4 and our goblin pal will be stabbing elves and dwarves (or evading them, if you want, I guess). Here's what the announcement has to say:
"Following the fall of Akenash tower, an extraordinary matter has forced Styx out of hiding to infiltrate Körangar, the city of the Dark Elves. Supposedly impregnable, a diplomatic summit offers Styx a chance at slipping in unnoticed, as he learns that the event is nothing but a mere façade... Moreover, the Elves have joined forces with the Dwarves, and the only thing both races have in common is a mutual hatred of the Goblins...
"Embark upon a stealthy adventure with new enemies, new environments, and a plethora of new mechanics aimed at refining the abilities and movement of Styx; grappling around corners, climbing ropes, and using his trusty knife as a zip-wire. Shards of Darkness aims to offer unparalleled freedom of movement, along with refined stealth and assassination mechanics, expanding and improving on the strengths of Styx: Master of Shadows"
The game's only been in development for six months, so all we have to see is this one staged "screenshot". Also, doesn't aiming to release it in 2016 sound a bit over-ambitious? Classic Cyanide, that.
If you missed the first Styx but are now curious, a Steam sale this week brings it down to £8.49.