Immortals Fenyx Rising wasn’t on my radar until shortly before release. A new action-adventure IP by Ubisoft with mythology themes and gameplay that many have compared to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It certainly sounds like a winning formula, so I had to check it out.
Shipmates of Stone
You play the game as Fenyx. A beginner who has to rise to a challenge, rather than someone who starts as a hero. And they are certainly challenged early on – their shipmates are all turned to stone, including their much more accomplished brother. This leaves Fenyx on their own.
It turns out that an evil known as Typhon has escaped its confinement and is causing problems. Not only have humans been turned to stone, but even the gods themselves have been attacked with four of them losing their strengths. Along with Hermes, you need to travel the seven regions of the Golden Isles to rescue the gods themselves and make things right again.
While some liberties are taken, Immortals Fenyx Rising does reference the mythology it is based upon well. Typhon for example is said to be confined and associated with the Earth element in some versions of the mythology.
Despite the source material being filled with some fairly dark topics, the story stays fairly light and includes quite a few jokes. Some of them are pretty cringy. We’re talking fourth-wall breaks and dad-joke level here. I enjoy that type of humor sometimes and feel that it pulls it off well, but I know not everyone will.
Create A Fenyx
You may note that I’ve been using ‘their’ rather than his or her. Immortals Fenyx Rising offers a character creator that allows you to choose a male or female looking body. In a welcome but unusual choice, you are not limited on what customization choices you make based on the body type. I went through the game with a typical looking male, but the choice to have a female body with facial hair is there. There was also a very wide range of skin tones. It has taken quite a few steps to be inclusive in this way and generally has a good selection of parts to build your character how you would like.
Fenyx can run, climb, glide, and even ride animals around the world to discover new sights. There is quite a wide world to explore, though I can’t say that any of it was too unique. Being able to see and mark targets from high up did make things feel a bit too easy as well. I would have preferred to have to explore the world more myself, rather than just looking from up high. I tried to do this where possible, but it’s easy to give in to the temptation of just scanning to progress more quickly.
I enjoyed the fast hack and slash gameplay here. Knocking a few heads around always put me in a good mood and there was a skill to it, with dodging emphasized. Admittedly I rarely ended up using the bow because it felt too slow in comparison to other options. This might be my musou bias coming through though.
There is a skill tree with quite a selection of different areas that you can improve. Aside from the skill tree, as you rescue the gods, you can earn blessings depending on which god you rescue. As one example, Hephaistos can grant you extra damage and an extra move on your combo. Some blessings will help people who use melee more, some are for the bow and some are more defensive in nature. Between all the combat options, you can customize your experience quite a bit and it’s surprisingly deep.
I never really found the combat in Immortals Fenyx Rising challenging, but it was always fun and there was always something new to unlock to change things up.
What I didn’t realize starting Immortals Fenyx Rising was that I’d actually have to use my brain. This isn’t just a case of exploring and taking down enemies. There are some genuinely difficult puzzles in the game.
There’s a good variety of puzzles. Some initially seem to be fairly standard switch puzzles, but involve additional factors such as the weight of the item placed on them. These can become easier when you pick up a certain power. Some puzzles involve rolling a ball around and some involve needing to light the correct torches to progress.
Puzzles are a huge part of the gameplay. I enjoyed them, but they did start to feel somewhat repetitive as time went on. Despite the variety, they were very frequent.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is incredibly bright and colorful. It hasn’t gone for the realistic look as many of the other Ubisoft games do and I feel that it was the right choice for the type of game. Despite this, it includes a good amount of detail and some of the environments are particularly beautiful.
The voice acting is worth pointing out here too. There are some great performances used to deliver some hilarious lines.
Taking about twenty-five hours to complete, Immortals Fenyx Rising was a fun experience with some enjoyable combat, great humor, and some interesting puzzles. While I do wish it was a little less heavy on the puzzle side of things, it is refreshing to see compared to the standard combat-heavy games of this type.
I had a great time with this. I do think that the humor will make or break it for some people, but as long as no-one goes into this expecting something similar to one of Ubisoft’s more serious titles, I doubt they’ll be disappointed.
IMMORTALS FENYX RISING IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to Ubisoft for a PlayStation 4 review copy of this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.