Styx – Master of Shadows (2015) and Shards of Darkness (2017)

Styx: Master of Shadows is a stealth video game developed by Cyanide Studios for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is a prequel, and the second video game to take place in the world established by 2012’s Of Orcs and Men.

Styx infiltrates the Tower of Akenash, a massive flying fortress held aloft by the magic of the World Tree, around which the fortress was built. Styx desires to reach the heart of the World-Tree and rescue an imprisoned friend elsewhere in the fortress, but he doesn’t know why he wants to do these things: He suffers from confused memories and headaches. When he finally liberates his “friend”, he discovers that it is a goblin identical to himself. The protagonist up to this point has in fact been a clone of the real Styx, who has been held in an interrogation chamber all this time.

The original Styx was once an orc scholar who sought to study the World Tree, and somehow was transformed by the tree’s magical amber into the first goblin. He has for centuries been plagued by the voices of the elves who sleep among the roots of the World Tree. The elves share a telepathic hive mind, and because they too are creatures of the amber, Styx can hear their chattering and cannot shut it out. Stealing the heart of the World-Tree will silence the elves permanently and possibly give him a means to become an orc again.

One of the gifts that the amber gave Styx was the ability to spawn clones of himself. Usually these clones are stupid thralls, but when Styx infiltrated Akenash he created a clone with an exceptionally high degree of free will and ability so that it could accomplish more difficult tasks without guidance, such as rescuing Styx if he were captured. The original Styx still considers this clone to be a disposable tool like all the others. Furious, Clone-Styx swears to destroy Original-Styx and make a new life for himself.

Styx Shards of Darkness Game Trailer

With the help of an elf, Clone-Styx breaks the telepathic control that Original-Styx has on him, then chases Original-Styx to the Heart of the World Tree. Clone-Styx destroys the Heart, then commits suicide by leaping into the pool of amber at the base of the tree. Hordes of goblins, all imperfect clones of Styx, emerge from the amber and tear Original-Styx apart. This is the birth of the goblin race. As the World Tree dies, the magic that kept Akenash aloft fails and the tower crashes to the ground. One clone, perhaps Clone-Styx, emerges from the ruins with his memories gone but with his intellect intact and the awareness that somehow his name is “Styx”.

A sequel of the game, titled Styx: Shards of Darkness was announced on 14 October 2015. It is powered by Unreal Engine 4, and has a larger budget than the original Master of Shadows. It is set to be released in early 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Enjoy the game video trailers!

Developer(s): Cyanide
Publisher(s): Focus Home Interactive
Composer(s): Henri-Pierre Pellegrin
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release date(s): WW: 7 October 2014
Genre(s): Stealth
Mode(s): Single-player