The DRM-free platform has recently seen quite a few releases of Focus Home Interactive, and it’s great that their back catalogue is slowly being completed. What all these three new games have in common is a fantasy setting and RPG elements with a clear focus on stealth gameplay. Of Orcs and Men is about elite Orc soldier Arkail’s and goblin Styx’s attempt to assassinate the human Emperor. The reason for this is that the Empire of Men tries to take over territories of orcs and goblins by systematically persecuting, enslaving and even massacring them. Being part action-RPG and stealth title, it’s certainly a unique take on the genre that usually relies on playing the good humans who are portrayed in a more brutal way here.
Styx: Master of Shards again mixes stealth and RPG elements, but only has Styx as a playable character. By focusing on this single character, the player learns more about his true origin. The gameplay is as varied as one expects it to be, depending on a wide selection of abilities one can choose from and level up to progress in the levels. With even darker humor and a good amount of violence thrown in, it might not be for those who like their fantasy atmosphere cleaner.
Styx: Shards of Darkness again puts the player in the stealthy shoes or feet of the titular goblin who has to sneak past humans, elves and dwarves or silently killing them. Bad language and bloodshed make this another alternative version of fantasy, although the fine line between being cool and delivering some lines that come across rather forced seems to be crossed a few too many times.
Of Orcs and Men was originally released in 2012, Styx: Master of Shards in 2014, and Styx: Shards of Darkness in 2017. Now they’re all available DRM-free on GOG, with the first two games having an 80% launch discount and the third one being 60% off the regular price. Unfortunately, Styx: Shards of Darkness doesn’t include the option to play co-operatively. Instead the GOG version has the DLC Akenash set, namely a new outfit and dagger. All discounts are valid until January 31, 2020, at 2 PM UTC.
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