True story, prior to the Adventure Time crossover, I’ve not heard of Immortals Fenyx Rising…well, I’ve heard of it but didn’t pay much attention to it.
I mean compared to the other juggernauts in Ubisoft’s lineup (Watchdogs Legion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and the upcoming FarCry 6), Immortals Fenyx Rising doesn’t really command much attention.
It’s a new I.P. and there’s not been much noise in gaming world about it.
Well…noise or not, it’s finally here.
Is Immortals Fenyx Rising worth it?
Find out by reading on.
What is Immortals Fenyx Rising?
Immortals Fenyx Rising is an open world action RPG from Ubisoft. It’s available on the PC, Xbox One/ Series SX, Google Stadia and the Playstation 4/ 5. The version I’m reviewing is the Xbox One version, played on the Xbox Series X.
In the game, you’re the titular Fenyx a demigod who’s reluctantly called upon to save the Greek Gods from the wrath of the Titan Typhon, who’s managed to escape his shackles and is out for blood.
With much of the Greek Pantheon missing, dead or cursed, Fenyx is literally the last demigod in existence that’s free from Typhon’s influence. With Hermes as their guide (Fenyx can be either Male or Female, player’s choice), Fenyx sets out to free the cursed Gods, and with the eventual goal of taking on Typhon.
Right off the bat, you’ll find that Immortals Fenyx Rising has all the Ubisoft trappings. There’s a huge open world to explore, tons of stuff to collect and find and a lengthy quest filled with subquests and other diversions. It’s just like Assassin’s Creed, Farcry, Ghost Recon or Watchdogs in that regard.
However, there’s a different type of personality at work at the core of the game. While it does share the trademarks of Ubisoft’s famous I.P.s, Immortals Fenyx Rising shares none of the seriousness and grimness that permeate the more mature titles.
Yes, Fenyx’s quest is dire, but it’s also filled with humor (as Prometheus and Zeus give color commentary) which lighten the atmosphere immensely. It also helps that the character designs are more in line with lighthearted fare like Disney’s Hercules.
Enemies are distinctively evil and hostile looking but not scary or hyper-realistic. It all dovetails nicely into making Fenyx something of an outlier in Ubisoft’s mature oriented stable.
Seems Very Familiar…
At its core, Immortal Fenyx Rising shares much themetically with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Wide open vistas, dungeons to explore, enemies to vanquish and a healthy dose of mythology.
The game also plays similarly. You’ll grow stronger by getting new equipment as well as resources that’ll buff up your life meter and stamina. Gliding is also a big part of the deal, with Fenyx getting Icarus’ wings early in the game. Sadly, the wings can’t be used to fly…that’d make the game a bit too easy I suspect.
I really love the tons of mini dungeons (called Vaults of Tartaros) littered throughout the game. Each is self-contained, with it own set of puzzles (and optional rewards) you’ll need to solve to get to the end. Success rewards you with a bolt of Zeus’ lighting, which you’ll need to increase your stamina.
The reward aside, the puzzles themselves are worth the visit. Some of them are really ingenious, making liberal use of the game’s impressive physics engine. The ones with the rolling balls (and wind) are some of my favorites and are a definite highlight of the game.
Dungeons aside, exploration is a bit clunkily handed in-game.
Not All Good.
Unlike the recent Assassin’s Creed games (where locations of interests are highlighted), you’ll need to scout (by pressing in the Right Analog) to bring up the game’s discovery mode. Then you’ll need to slowly move your reticule along, until you get a rumble from the controller. The stronger the rumble, the nearer your cursor is to an object of interest.
It’s interesting at first but quickly grows incredibly repetitive and boring. It’s definitely one of the worst things about the game.
Stamina is also another issue. It’s especially frustrating in the early going when you don’t have a ton of bars. Since you need stamina to climb, not having enough basically means you’re stuck going the long way around.
Also, the game is rife with high peaks, deep valleys and other stuff to climb. Even when I have a substantial amount of stamina, I still found myself wondering if I’ll have enough. That’s not something I want to feel!
I want climbing to be fun, like in the Assassin’s Creed games, not a stressful guessing game of ‘Will I or Won’t I Make it?’ every time I decide to climb something huge.
Another issue I have is with the Lyre puzzles.
These are basically memorization puzzles. Find a lyre, remember the tune played and then replay it at a huge lyre to reap rewards. The game seriously expects you to listen to a tune, remember it (or take notes) and then replay it later without a hint. It’s beyond stupid. I just found myself looking at FAQs for the solutions instead.
Initially, combat is pretty much the same too. It feels clunky and isn’t as fun as it could be.
Stick with it though and you’ll find that it gets much, much more interesting. You’ll get more powers and moves that allow you to stun enemies on a regular basis eventually. Soon, you’ll be able to do air combos, charging shield bashes, shoot guided arrows and more!
I especially love the slow-mo finishers, as defeated enemies are sent cartwheeling through the sky as they slowly dissolve. It’s so over the top ridiculous it’s actually cool.
That’s pretty much true for the game in general.
The Bottom Line.
Immortals Fenyx Rising isn’t a particular exciting or innovative title. That said, its dogged persistence in incorporating fun bits and pieces from a variety of titles won out in the end.
You won’t find anything that’s jawdropping or new in the game. Still, it’s a very solid and fun (if overly familiar) game that shows that Ubisoft’s magic formula still works.
I really hope that the success of this game will fuel Ubisoft to create a sequel that builds upon all the foundation this game’s laid and fleshes out everything…and then some!
Perhaps then, we’ll really get a chance to see what this new I.P. is capable of.
Fun game but borrows too heavily from blockbusters like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Breath of the Wild.
- Huge open world.
- Fun gameplay.
- Vaults of Tartaros are fun!
- Too reminiscent of other games.
- Stamina system a hindrance when climbing.
- Can’t fly.
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