Styx: Shards of Darkness is a Stealth-Based Game developed by Cyanide Studio for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, released on March 2017. The game is an interquel to Styx: Master of Shadows and Of Orcs and Men.
Set months after Master of Shadows, Styx is now a thief-for-hire in the shanty town of Thoben. The land has now been ravaged by the Goblin infestation to the point that an organization dubbed "CARNAGE Team" has been formed to hunt them down. After a typical job, Styx has been hired by Helledryn, captain of CARNAGE to steal a scepter, which sends the two on an adventure to deal with a diplomatic meeting within the Dark Elf city of Korrangar.
The game boasts several new features, such as the ability to craft items and even a new Co-Op mode.
Styx: Shards of Darkness contains examples of:
- Abandoned Mine: Not really abandoned since the elves use roabies to excavate Quartz.
- Action Girl: Helledryn, leader of C.A.R.N.A.G.E p. qualifies, and looks the part too.
- Arm Cannon: Styx uses an arm-mounted crossbow which replaces the throwing knives of the previous game.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: The dwarven ambassador to Korrangar is willing to deal in shady business (out of boredom no less) and comments in private how the entire elven city should be torn down.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The roabies are back, and come in a brand new, seeker-hatchling spawning variety.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Styx does this a lot in the post-death sequences where he insults you and mocks your lack of skill, among other things.
- The Cameo: Arkail and Marhlok appear as part of the diplomatic meeting.
- Continuity Nod: The events of 'Master of Shadows' are mentioned, and you even get to meet Barimen, who is an optional assasination objective.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Styx seems to have the uncanny ability to screw up whenever the player is not directly in control of him. He constantly gets caught, ambushed, captured, or simply trips over things. He might be the self-proclaimed "Master of Shadows" when the player is in control, but he gets caught in every other story cutscene.
- Cut Short: The story ends with Styx returning to his airship after beating the dwarven golem, only to see Djarak at the helm, as he inserts a bolt in his mini crossbow, he says Djarak, this is the fucking last time you are ever gonna bug me, cut to credits.
- Cool Airship: Airships seen in previously seen in Akenash take a more prominent role in the second game. The majority of your time between missions is spent on Helledryn's airship, and you get to see and infiltrate a enormous airship of the human ambassador in an early mission.
- Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Done in the fight against the Roabie Queen and the Golem. Styx has to find cover to avoid the their periodic Breath Weapon attacks, and for the latter, there's also sections where you need to avoid its line of sight (indicated by the light from its eyes) via hiding behind pillars.
- Creature-Hunter Organization: CARNAGE, which was formed to hunt down Goblins.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In 'Master of Shadows', the directional pad had its down button assigned to a shrill whistle to lure people to your (or a clones) current position. It made you extremely weary to not ever press that button unless your reeeeeally wanted to. In 'Shards of Darkness', the down button is instead assigned to open your inventory and the up button is instead the whistle. One might be caught accidentally pushing up to try and open the inventory because the down button is still a no-no, only to alert everyone in their surroundings of the grave mistake.
- Defector from Decadence: Djarak is an outcast from the elven society and wishes to free them from the addictive influence of Amber and their servitude to the high priestess Lyssril.
- Divide and Conquer: In order to prevent Lyssril from obtaining more Amber from the dwarves with which to keep the elves enslyved to her, Styx and Djarak plan on breaking the fragile alliance between the two by assasinating the dwarven ambassador and framing Lyssril.
- Duel to the Death: The elves practice this to appease their god. The loser gets to be looser; the winner, however...brrrr.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: The dwarves and the elves don't exactly like each other initially, but after Styx assasinates the dwarven ambassador, the dwarves are quick to start preparing for war.
- Enemy Mine: Helldryn, captain of a goblin-hunting organization, is hiring Styx in exchange for a large stash of Amber.
- Expendable Clone: Styx's ability to barf up clones returns, now with the ability to spawn them at a distance using craftable sacs.
- Full-Body Disguise: You steal an elven heavy armor for Helledryn to disguise herself in.
- The Fundamentalist: The elves are really... devout to their religion, to say the least.
- Golem: The giant statue that the dwarves gave to Korrangar elves is actually a 100 foot tall war machine which proceeds to wreck the city. Styx naturally takes it down with a bit of effort.
- Have a Nice Death: Anytime you die, Styx shows up to mock and belittle you for getting him killed.Styx: Did you stream that? I want a percentage on your BEST GOBLIN DEATH COMPILATION!Styx: You know using the controller with your feet ain't gonna get you an achievement, right?
- Heavily Armored Mook: Comes in elven and human varieties, you cannot pick up their bodies, but you can dissolve them completely if you have the right equipment.
- Human Resources: Well, more like Goblin Resources; the elves produce ther own Amber by capturing goblins, grinding them to mush, and extracting raw Amber that courses through their veins.
- Insect Queen: The roabies have a huge worm-like queen which, among other things, is the deity of Kastasil/elves, and also the source of Quartz.
- Living Motion Detector: Roabies have terrible eyesight and cannot see Styx unless he's in close distance... but they have exceptional hearing. As such, it's a terrible idea to move quickly when around them.
- Medium Awareness: Styx is now aware that he's a video game character. As well as taunting players after death, he occasionally addresses the player in the game and comments on the writers.
- Mineral Macguffin: The Quartz, a crystalline substance that enables the control of goblins, and grants Styx new powers. There are several types such as mineral, which is inert and needs to be activated into pure state, and also the one used in the weapons.
- The Nose Knows: Dwarves have keen smell and can sniff out goblins at some distance.
- Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: One of the belittling lines that Styx uses when you die goes like this:
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Grumpy - check, drunk - check, love shiny valuable things - check, axe/hammer weapons - double check. They are, however, unique in the sense of having a keen sense of smell and can sniff out goblins (Styx included) if he doesn't camouflage his odour.
- Pretext for War: The assasination of the dwarven ambassador is apparently taken only as an excusatory causus belli, since the dwarves essentially smuggled a 100ft tall golem war machine as a gift sometime earlier into Korrangar, and Djarrak even remarks how the dwarves have planned to attack the elves all along.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Kastasil (elves) are very much this, with an added fun flavor of fanaticism and religious zealotry.
- Rite of Passage: The Elven adolescents have to navigate a dangerous proving ground full of various traps designed to test their courage, strength, wisdom etc. Styx gets locked in and has to do the trials, as the tokens collected at the end are the only way out.
- Scenery Porn: Oh yes, tops the previous game to boot.
- Sequel Hook: The ending positively screams this.
- Shout-Out: Some Game Over scenes pay homage to films, such as Styx crying "Game Over, man!", or saying "I'll be back!" before sinking to the floor and Flipping the Bird.
Styx: You're bringing dishonor on the name, dude.
- One side mission has you stealing badges from C.A.R.N.A.G.E deserters. One's name is "Carvo Attona".
- Sinister Minister: The Elven high priestess qualifies.
- Underground City: The city of Korrangar, home of the elves, is partially built in a huge canyon, and part of it is underground.
- Wretched Hive: Thoben, City of Hunters, Korrangar (in its own way), Styx even funnily remarks at one point how he could write a travel guide of all the wretched places he visited.