Chinese developer miHoYo has been doing pretty well for itself since its founding in 2012, with its most notable success being the spectacular free-to-play open-world title Genshin Impact.
Now, the company is turning its attention to lovers of otome titles and mystery thrillers with its new iOS and Android title Tears of Themis, which is set to launch later in 2021. And for those who already like the sound of this, you can sign up for the new game’s closed beta by clicking here; applications are open until May 6, 2021, and the beta will run between May 8 and May 18, 2021.
In Tears of Themis, you take on the role of a female lawyer who, presumably, you can name as you see fit. Themis is the name of the law firm she works for, and over the course of the game she will have to question witnesses and suspects, conduct investigations on location, examine evidence and head to court for the inevitable showdowns.
There are four main male characters named Luke Pearce, Marius von Hagen, Vyn Richter and Artem Wing, and they can accompany Tears of Themis’ player-protagonist on her investigations. As you work alongside them, you’ll develop your relationships with them and take on various missions. Not only is it up to you to discover the mysteries of Stellis City’s criminal underbelly, but also to find out more about these dashing gentlemen, too. Who knows where things might lead?
Each of Tears of Themis’ characters has their own background and specialisms: Luke is a private investigator, Marius is the heir to a successful business conglomerate, Vyn is a psychiatrist and Artem is a fellow lawyer. You’ll be able to interact with them in various ways, including virtual text messages, dates and collectible scenes; judging by the early screenshots we have, it looks as if there will be some sort of gacha element in the latter regard.
As the closed beta for Tears of Themis gets closer, we’re starting to get a bit more information about the characters and setting, too. So far we’ve learned that Luke is experienced in seemingly everything except “expressing his love for the girl he grew up with” — who is presumably the player character, otherwise that’s pretty harsh.
Artem, meanwhile, is described as an “emotionless robot defense attorney”, but naturally this is only because he has learned to “suppress his emotions and impulses” because “no-one can even begin to imagine the kind of past he bears” — there’s always got to be at least one dark past in there, hasn’t there?
Marius, inevitably, yearns for freedom from the corporate shackles that have been placed on him since birth and does everything he can to project the image of someone who is emphatically not a good fit for inheriting a business empire.
And finally, Vyn is a talented psychiatrist who “always observed the volatile human emotions from the outside, but never expected himself to become one with the same emotions.” Intriguing!
It’s encouraging that it looks like there’s going to be some interesting investigation and puzzle-solving gameplay in Tears of Themis. Many otome titles offer compelling mystery stories but leave players’ input relatively minimal; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course, but it’s always a pleasure when you get to take a bit more of a “hands-on” approach to solving cases. The comparisons to Ace Attorney will be inevitable, but so far this looks like a somewhat darker, more mature take on solving mysteries than Ace Attorney’s charming, exaggerated and often comedic action.
The game features a solid Japanese voice cast, including Junichi Suwabe (Yuri!!! on Ice, Fate/stay night, Space Dandy), Kaito Ishikawa (Atelier Escha & Logy, How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?, The Rising of the Shield Hero), Jun Fukuyama (Persona 5, Code Geass, Assassination Classroom) and Yuki Kaji (Attack on Titan, High School DxD, Collar x Malice). Like Genshin Impact, the game will offer voiceovers in multiple languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean — sounds like there’s no English dub this time around, though, at least not initially.
The closed beta test begins on May 8, 2021, and we’ll do our best to provide some front-line coverage from the mean streets of Stellis City once it’s underway! In the meantime, if you want to get involved, you can sign up for the closed beta by clicking here; just make sure you get in before May 6, 2021 otherwise you’ll have missed your chance.
Tears of Themis is set for full release on iOS and Android later in 2021. Find out more on the official website.
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