Game Review of Immortals Fenyx Rising

Immortals Fenyx Rising clearly draws a huge amount of inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW). From the Universal climbing mechanic to the scattered puzzle spaces, many of the gameplay elements and mechanics come straight from BotW. Even the musical cues of the game are familiar; successfully solving a puzzle triggers a bright musical riff that sounds almost identical to that at the end of BotW puzzles. Immortals has taken the essence of BotW and added a layer of Greek mythology that helps the game stand apart.

You play as Fenyx, a humble Greek soldier who is suddenly the only one who can save the world from evil. The gods are all defeated and it’s up to Fenyx to pick up their weapons and finish their action. Fenyx’s quest is told by two gods, Zeus and Prometheus, who inject a comic element into the game. The tone is pretty lighthearted overall, despite being about the end of the world. The mythological elements that are there serve to keep Immortals somewhat interesting, but it doesn’t last long because of its repetitive nature: although the game looks and feels massive, it plays small and is much shorter than similar open-world games.

Graphics

Immortals is a wonderful game. What immediately catches your eye is the excellent particle work. Fenyx is often covered head to toe in various effects of collecting items or using powers. Enemies satisfactorily break into hundreds of particles and cascade into the distance at pass away. Golden kidneys sparkle to life when Fenyx jumps on the back of their mount. Shiny wings burst from their backs when they activate the glider. The texture work is simplistic, but it fits the overall art style. Immortals looks like the after end of the PS4/Xbox One generation as it should. The trek distance is excellent and you can see destinations far across the map. Seeing all of the locations you can travel to from a high point of the map is hugely entertaining.

Game

The core gameplay loop is the standard open-world Ubisoft affair. There are a ton of different collectibles on the map that all lead to different upgrades you can make to fenyx’s gear and powers. There are an awesome twelve total currencies: four types that go to improve equipment and weapons, four types to make different potions, two types that go to upgrade health or stamina, one type that goes to powers, and one that is linked to daily quests and used for cosmetic upgrades. The number of currencies in Immortals is too high, making the upgrade system overwhelming. You have an abundance of these different currencies and it is not clear what they are used for until you are back at your home base. Most of the currencies are from opening the chests that unlock after defeating groups of enemies. The coin for upgrading health can be found scattered throughout the open world, while the one for stamina is located at the end of the many small dungeons called vaults of Tartarus.

All these upgrades go towards strengthening Fenyx in their action against the main villain, Typhoon. When the game begins, Typhoon has already defeated most of the gods. Your mission is to find four of the gods and save them from the spells Typhoon has placed on them. All four gods have their own questlines and large dungeons in their unique area. It’s fun to find the gods, discover their unique personalities and explore their surroundings. Each seeking zone is distinctly different: Aphrodite’s is lush and overgrown with plants, and Ares’ is rocky and filled with an immense fortress. All four zones are filled with items to collect and a few side quests to complete. The mythological premise is expanded throughout the game. It’s not just important characters and names, references to famous Greek myths are scattered in all aspects of Immortals. For example, there is a “legendary meeting” where you action against the boar that finished Adonis. Players knowledgeable in Greek mythology will enjoy how Immortals contain the Legends.

As Fenyx, you run and slide around the map, picking up hundreds of collectibles, action a small number of enemy types, solving puzzles, and completing vaults. The safes seem like they would be a pleasant side activity, solving a few puzzles and collecting a coin at the end. Usually they contain a series of basic puzzles that revolve around either fenyx’s powers or the pressing of various buttons. However, these puzzles range from boring and simple to frustratingly gimmicky; either they are able to be blitzed in an instant or they come down to repetitive button-pushing if you hope that the physics objects do what they are supposed to do. One puzzle, in particular, made me press buttons to roll balls off a ramp where they would rest on a switch. I got stuck on this puzzle because the ball kept bouncing off the track it was supposed to follow. I pressed the button and saw the ball roll dozens of times before it finally landed on the Switch. This problem with an unwilling physics object kept popping up in my playthrough.

The way the powers of Fenyx are introduced to you is interesting because they are not introduced to you at all. The powers are accessed by unlocking them in a menu on Fenyx’s home base. There is no indication of where these powers come from and it is daunting to unlock them without earning them through the story. Some puzzles and main story quests require specific skills, but it is not clear that they are needed. At one point, I needed a giant hammer to break a statue, and I happened to come across it. The game made no mention of needing the ability for the quest, and it wasn’t clear that I even needed it. The interaction between the hammer and the statue also failed a few times. It’s easy to imagine that a player tries the hammer once and just move on if it didn’t work, thinking they need another option. It leads to frustration with the game and a disconnect with Fenyx as a character. They are becoming more and more powerful, but it is not clear why or how other than that they have accumulated enough money.

Action

The action itself also has a few problems. action is initially fun and engaging but eventually turns into boredom. Fenyx has many different options available to them in a action. They have a light strike with a sword, a heavy strike with an ax, a bow and a set of forces, such as a giant hammer or a shield charge. Fenix can dodge or parry strikes, which rewards you with a burst of slow motion upon achieving perfect timing. You can try to knock enemies in the air, parry any strike they throw, or deftly dodge around them. There is also a sneak strike, although in my experience it is somewhat difficult to sneak up on enemies because they are usually in groups. It’s nice that there is not one most effective way to action. The action begins to drag on when the lack of enemy variety becomes apparent and grinding side quests become mandatory.

Statement

Despite all these flaws, I still had the urge to return to Immortals. Traveling across a vast open world and witnessing Greek legends come to life is captivating for short bursts of time. That’s what intrigued me enough to progress through the game: seeing and interacting with the mythological characters I’ve read about for years. Immortals is boring and frustrating at times, but just interesting enough to be worth a recommendation if you enjoy some light mythology and open-world collections.

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