A couple of days after its Deadpool-vibe-giving launch trailer, Styx: Shards of Darkness has now become available. It's Styx's second solo stealth outing, but does the stealth sequel improve upon its predecessor in practice as well as on paper? And perhaps more importantly, does Styx's Deadpool-like quips and fourth-wall breaking hit the mark?
Read ahead to see what critics think of Goblin Deadpool 2.
Destructoid - And really, pleasant surprises are what we're talking about with Styx: Shards of Darkness. Don't let the reduced price tag or the fact that Styx's previous titles aren't exactly household names fool you. Once you get past the slightly budget look of the UI and occasional control jank, there is a solid core of a pretty damn good stealth game here. Give him a chance, and Styx might just steal your heart (only to pawn it at a fraction of its value, the little bastard).
Game Revolution - There is a certain familiarity to the formula Styx uses, but at the same time it improves oldschool stealth concepts and brings new ideas to the table. The series has come a long way from Of Orcs and Men, with its smooth animations, clever gameplay design and an assorted mix of levels. My instincts tell me the series will only improve over time, as Cyanide Studios seems highly passionate about creating a true to form stealth experience that caters to a global audience. It’s safe to say Styx: Shards of Darkness is nothing short of a spectacular stealth game that brings the genre back to its roots and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
GameSpot - The better moments of Styx: Shards of Darkness are confined to a path that has already been tread in the stealth-action genre, but that doesn't mean they aren't valuable here. The thrill of pulling off a flawless assassination as you smoothly sneak off with valuable artifacts is what makes these types of games worth playing. But its detractors--cliche writing, unsophisticated AI, and arbitrary quests--culminate to an experience that feels like it's stuck in the past.
GameZone - If you’re in the market for a pure Stealth game, particularly one that doesn’t retail for full price ($39.99), Styx: Shards of Dmarkness certainly does its best to appeal to this demographic as an under-the-radar type game. The game excels at its focus, and improves on its established formula, but struggles in its secondary offerings. Suffice it to say; if you can overlook its flaws, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Styx: Shards of Darkness. You will also get a pretty nice amount of value regarding game time, as most playthroughs should last you above the 20-hour mark, at least on the first run. This is dramatically reduced once you have an idea about how to get through each level, and your death count plummets.
Ultimately, Styx: Shards of Darkness should please fans of the original, but its improvements are closer to marginal rather than revolutionary.
IGN - Styx: Shards of Darkness greatly resembles the earlier Styx: Master of Shadows from 2014, but Cyanide improved the gameplay this time around with the inclusion of craftable weapons, the lack of a lock-on in combat, and expanded abilities. It presents an interesting world to explore but wastes its potential by recycling environments from early missions late in the game. Co-op mode is fun, too, but only selectively as some stealth-only missions seem far more manageable on one's own.
PC Gamer - Shards of Darkness presents like a further episode of Styx’s adventures rather than any great leap forward from Master of Shadows. But this is a generous game with a huge amount of stuff to do, some wonderfully realised levels, all of it augmented with an admirably flexible skill system that encourages and rewards creative thinking. And while Styx’s sarcastic and belligerent shtick makes him hard to love, in terms of player agency and agility, if you have to usher anybody through this challenging world it’s probably best that it’s this disagreeable little green shit. See? Not big and not clever.