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Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior Review

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The story of Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior is nothing new; you’ve got ancient, warring gods, an emerging new threat, and a legendary hero who’s ready to save the day. But forget about the story; if you’re going to play this new hack-and-slash developed by Sand Door Studio and published by Spotlight by Quantic Dream, you’re going to do so for the gameplay.

Thrust into the shoes of Imë, Lysfanga of the New Kingdom and Protector of the Realm, The Time Shift Warrior tasks you with combating the Raxes. These demonic creatures have started to take over beautiful cities all across Antala, and only you have the power to stop them. You’ll soon discover, however, that there’s perhaps more going on behind the scenes. But with your time-shifting powers, persist and you should overcome any adversity.

Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior may be a hack-and-slash game, but it’s thanks to your extraordinary powers that’s it’s also a puzzle game with speed-running elements. You see, as you explore its wonderfully-crafted environments, you’ll frequently find yourself in battle, trapped inside an arena until you’re victorious. And there’s another catch – a rupture in time means you can only battle for so long before you’re sucked in and spat back out at the start again. But here’s the clever part that changes everything: your previous self will still exist in this new cycle, performing your actions as if they were recorded.

Lysfanga review screenshot
Spotlight by Quantic Dream

Key to success in Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior, then, is working alongside your clone to dismiss all enemies in an arena as fast as you possibly can. And you’re not just limited to one clone, either; eventually you have access to a small army of them. A clone will be created every time you run out of time, when you get hit too many times and die, or when you manually decide to by pressing a button. You just need to keep track of how many you have available, and their actions; it’s possible to interfere with what they achieve after all, breaking past events.

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Initially, combat encounters start out pretty easy; it’s often just a case of taking a few routes through an fairly open environment, ensuring that all enemies are killed along the way. Soon enough, though, new mechanics are added into the game, making your exploits much more tricky. You’ll start to encounter twin enemies spread across arenas, for example, that need to be killed at the same time to be put down for good. There are enemies with hulking great shields, too, that you’ll need to keep occupied with one clone while you then assault them from the rear with another.

These complexities keep adding up, until completing an arena is a mighty challenge indeed, let alone completing it in the target time. Thankfully those target times are just for those who want an extra sense of accomplishment – you’re free to progress through the game just by completing arenas with whichever number of clones you have available. This number can be increased, too, by exploring locations in between bouts of combat and opening chests. You’ll also find other collectibles, including new colour schemes for Imë.

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Throughout the course of the game, you’re given further abilities and tools to overcome the challenges ahead of you, too. You have access to a range of spells that grow over time, for example, and can equip one of a range of runes that have a variety of effects. New weapons are also acquired that you can easily switch between to make use of their unique moveset. They all help keep the gameplay feeling somewhat fresh while also allowing you to find your own style.

With a runtime of around eight to ten hours, Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior can eventually start to feel a little drawn out, however. But for those who really do get on with its unique brand of action there’s plenty of hours of fun here even beyond the campaign. As already mentioned, completing any arena can be challenging, and doing so in the target time even more. Later in the game you can introduce modifiers and more into the mix, too, further testing your timeshifting abilities.

For hack-and-slash fans looking for something a little bit different, there’s a hell of a lot to like about Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior. Its puzzle-like nature adds another dimension to the action, making you think before you charge headfirst into combat. It’s just a shame that the story isn’t a little more engaging, and that even with new mechanics and elements being added frequently, it still becomes a little repetitive after a while.


Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior was facilitated by a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PC.
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!