The Thaumaturge Review | PC

That point where flaws and the otherworldly meet in a somewhat magical fusion.

By R3GR3T, Posted 04 Mar 2024

We’ve had some good releases, a few great ones, and several really bad ones over the years, but it looks like 2024 is shaping up to be the year of masterpieces. Now, new studios are always popping up and making a fairly decent name for themselves, but every now and then, we get a veteran studio that goes under the radar until they create a gem of a game. Meet Fool’s Theory; this Polish studio was founded in 2015 by former developers who worked on The Witcher 3 and, more recently, Baldur’s Gate 3. Considering that both releases were incredibly popular for their visual design, story, and mechanics, we can only expect great things from a studio like this.

The Thaumaturge, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Adventure, Story-driven, NoobFeed

Fool’s Theory started like any other studio, with a first release. Their first creation was Seven: Enhanced Edition, an isometric RPG reminiscent of the Diablo series, and it’s still somewhat popular today. Sadly, this might not be the lengthiest track record, but it goes to show just how high the standard initially was, and it doesn’t look like they’re lowering the bar; they’re actually raising it with their latest beast, The Thaumaturge, which was released on 4 March. So, buckle up and maybe get ready to take some notes; Warsaw has a mountain of stories to tell and secrets for you to uncover.

Before jumping into The Thaumaturge, you’ll be shown a quick description of the origin of the word Thaumaturge. While this might not seem all that relevant to the story, it definitely does tie in somehow when you consider that the word was derived from the Greek word ‘Thaumata’, which translates to ‘Miracles’. Now, as a Thaumaturge, you’ll be able to discover hidden secrets and lingering observations that are easily overlooked, along with being able to recognize Flaws. However, Flaws aren’t quite what they seem, and they do sometimes come with an extra passenger that could prove useful in both conversations and the battles to come. Though Thaumaturges, or Tempermancers, are also seen as magicians in a way, and while they do have power, they also carry a stigma because of it.

The world of The Thaumaturge is definitely one where you’ll need to pay attention as you get to take on the role of Wictor Szulksi. Granted, his world was thrown upside down when he took a chance at trying to tame another Salutor when he already has one, and most Thaumaturges can only have a pact with one without risking total madness. Sadly, because of his little stunt, his story starts in a distant village on the search for a man who can supposedly perform miracles. The man in question is none other than Grigori Rasputin, though he’s not seeking revenge on the Romanov family or trying to take over Russian…. He’s simply using his gifts to help those in need while exploring the world, and Wiktor will definitely need his help taming wild Salutors.

The Thaumaturge, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Adventure, Story-driven, NoobFeed

Sadly, what goes up must come down, and Wiktor’s light at the end of the tunnel is severely dimmed when he gets news that his father passed away. So, a quick trip to Warsaw and the real story really begins. Starting with the biggest driving point for The Thaumaturge, Salutors. These strange, otherworldly creatures will serve as your second teammate in just about any fight, though there’s a lot more to them than just their attacks. Your Salutors are also drawn to the various flaws you’ll encounter along with their respective dimensions, and these dimensions (Heart, Mind, Deed, and Word) are vital to uncovering more of the truth in the world around you. However, you’ll need to raise their levels, too, and capture their Salutors.

On the other side of the Salutors, leveling up and their respective dimensions comes how they play a major part in the world around you and any fight. Starting with their influence on the world, Salutors are essentially our Flaws, given a bit more form and power. They’ll latch onto a person with their respective flaw and influence the people around them, amplifying their effect. These flaws can range from Scheming to Vehemence and much more, though you’ll likely be able to pursue them as the story progresses. Once tamed you, as Wiktor, can use their dimensions to influence the people as needed in both positive and negative ways during conversations. However, Wiktor has his own Flaw of Pride that can be fed and strengthened, though it still comes down to your morals and how you want to interact with people.

Next up is combat, and as can be expected, you’d think you’d have a whole party to work with and tons of abilities or attacks to choose from. Interestingly enough, it’ll just be Wiktor and his Salutors in The Thaumaturge, and maybe the occasional guest fighter who will act on their own. This is a refreshing take on the turn-based combat system simply because of how much detail actually went into this. Wiktor has his own set of attacks that will eventually become combo attacks in a sense, meaning the next form of that attack will become available after using its parent. However, the real fun comes in with your freaky friends; you can only order one Salutor per turn, but you can also freely switch between them as you go.

The Thaumaturge, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Adventure, Story-driven, NoobFeed

Now, bear with us because this is where things take a confusing turn. The main reason why you’d need to be able to switch between Salutors is because your opponents will usually have their traits that can make any fight an absolute slog. Luckily, your freaky friends, in their terrifying but awesome ways, can disable those traits and bring their bit of damage to what will likely be many unfair fights. However, the other thing to keep in mind is that each Salutor also has its own set of unique attacks that can do or affect a myriad of things, ranging from health regen for you to building massive stacks of damage over time or even stripping focus away. Granted, this is only half the battle when it comes to combat in The Thaumaturge.

As mentioned earlier, the other half comes in with the leveling of the different dimensions and the Salutors. Now, leveling is all good and fine as this gives you access to certain actions out in the world, but the Thaumaturge skill tree (or lines) is made up of nodes, and each node will give you a new passive that you can assign to Wiktor’s abilities for some extra effects. However, these passives also come with a slot cost, and you can only have one passive per ability; so, using a one-slot passive on an ability with two slots doesn’t mean you can add a second one in for a double effect. This side of The Thaumaturge becomes important quite early on because there isn’t really a ‘one size fits all’ build; you’ll have to change it up now and then to maintain your advantage. Luckily, The Thaumaturge is somewhat forgiving in this regard, and you’ll have the opportunity to change your build before jumping into any fight and taking a closer look at what you’re dealing with.

Now, as an added cherry on top, The Thaumaturge has one extra interesting touch that might not be as unique, but it works incredibly well with the combat system in this regard. As mentioned before, Focus plays a part, too, and it serves as your mental health; losing it all means you go into a breakdown, which amplifies any damage you receive… Granted, the same rules apply to your opponents. Successfully draining your opponents’ focus will put them into the breakdown state and allow Wiktor or his Salutors to use their heavy attacks. These attacks are no joke; they typically have the sort of damage that could equate to a finishing move, and some of them come with some really nifty passive effects. Sadly, draining focus isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds.

The Thaumaturge, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Adventure, Story-driven, NoobFeed

The Thaumaturge isn’t all fighting or exploration, though; while there is a great story to follow, there’s a lot more going on in the form of side quests and Urban Secrets that can be investigated. However, some quests have a set time in which they have to be completed, and you really don’t want to miss some of these as they can affect the main story or, in some cases, open up quest lines that you might need later on. Things can become a bit trickier when you can only progress certain quests at specific times of the day, and you’ll have to wait before you can continue; the only advice for this is to lump a few quests together if needed to avoid losing the rewards from quests you might miss.

To save the best for last, The Thaumaturge already has a unique but admittedly brilliant combat system and a story that definitely deserves the title of ‘Masterpiece’, there is one more major aspect that ties it all together. The aspect in question is what might as well be the symbolic moral compass; your choices in most dialogues can affect the story and the people you interact with, and while having all the clues that tie to the people is nice, a wrong choice will still be remembered by those people. How far your moral compass skews is up to you, but it can open or close certain paths and even completely change certain encounters or how people view you. The easiest example of this involves Wiktor’s sister, Ligia. She originally knew him as a prideful bastard, but you’ve been given a chance to start over with her…. For better or worse.

With so much going on in The Thaumaturge, there is one other thing that stands above the rest but goes unnoticed: the world and character design and just how much detail there is. The character design already stands out and shows just how much love and effort went into each person, but the world itself is where you need to stop and smell the roses. It is a sight to behold for the type of game it is, and it just keeps getting better as you explore, though there’s some real artistry behind each of the Salutors as well.


The game wouldn’t be complete without sound engineering to match, and The Thaumaturge doesn’t disappoint at all. This isn’t said lightly, but between the voice acting, ambiance, and even the soundtrack, The Thaumaturge might rival Death Stranding. It’s been an absolute delight to admire and listen to how it all changes as you progress, the sudden shifts from exploring to combat while maintaining that sense of the traditional Polish folk sound with a little modern touch mixed in. Audiophiles will definitely have a blast with this one, especially when they hear the sounds from the Salutors and the phenomenal voice acting.

Overall, The Thaumaturge is one of those incredibly rare gems that looks incredibly deceiving in some aspects but ends up blowing you away with what it has to offer, putting extra emphasis on Wiktor’s abilities as a thaumaturge and showing that the truth is usually just waiting to be uncovered. Between the already captivating story, breathtaking visuals, and drool-worthy soundtrack, we seem to have one of those rare masterpieces that need to be experienced, but it also leaves us somewhat curious if Fool’s Theory’s next release will be just as great.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

The Thaumaturge


Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX
Publisher(s): 11 Bit Studios
Developer(s): Fool's Theory
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Adventure, Role-Playing
Release Date: 2024-03-04

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