There is no doubt that Ubisoft tends to put out a certain kind of game when it involves a big, open world. We have already gotten a taste of futuristic London in Watch Dogs: Legion, and of course, the massive worlds do not stop when you have Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. That consistency rears its head once again with Immortals Fenyx Rising, the company’s take on Greek Mythology.
The action-adventure is clearly inspired by a famous Nintendo counterpart that propelled the Nintendo Switch to its enduring success, and that is not a bad thing. Immortals Fenyx Rising does enough on its own to differentiate itself through its gameplay systems and story, but you can definitely see where the inspiration comes from.
That said, the way Ubisoft tells its story, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek references and unexpected takes on the more recognisable Greek gods and legends, make for a jolly good time. Together with all of the other elements, you are looking at a vibrant world full of colour, cheeky stories, fun combat, and freedom of movement. However, the puzzle elements of Immortals Fenyx Rising leave much to be desired.
Granted, they are not exactly badly designed or frustrating, but more of chores rather than entertaining diversions. It usually revolves around a few core elements, either you are moving stuff about, finding a missing object, or destroying targets. For a game so centred around the mystical nature of deities, this is hardly a proper use of the source material.
By providing players even more of a challenge would have made Immortals Fenyx Rising an even better experience as a whole. After all, one would rather be intrigued by the potential of such mysteries rather than just be compelled just for the sake of a reward. New gear, loot, and upgrades are fine, but they can be made much more rewarding with the puzzle process.
At least, the narrative is a good hook for players looking for a more meaningful time. Revolving around the revenge of the monster that is Typhon, players play a central role in saving the world as Fenyx, a supposed mortal soldier that somehow gets shipwrecked on this particular, magical island.
With the improbable pair of Zeus and the captive Prometheus acting as our storytelling narrators, the bantering makes up for most of the funny moments in Immortals Fenyx Rising. Ridiculous accents aside, the dynamic between the two is always worth a chuckle.
Throughout your journey from soldier to saviour, there are plenty of barbs and interjections thrown in just to remind you of what is at stake. Be it a plot device, godly backstories, or just dad jokes thrown in for good measure, the pair is here to help drive things along.
Even the villain Typhon cuts in every once in a while. With you looking to thwart his plans of overthrowing the gods, prepare yourself for some harsh words. Immortals Fenyx Rising definitely banks hard on the use of humour, and it works for the most part.
The way in which Ubisoft presents the gods is also worthy of mention. Typhon’s return to destroy the pantheon of gods is not presented in the darkest of manners, but more of another comedic jibe at the very idea of godhood itself. The likes of Hephaistos, Ares, Athena, and Aphrodite are all victims of Typhon, but they are transformed rather than decimated.
Take, for example, Ares, the almighty God of War. Instead of an imposing figure that strikes fear into the heart, he is now a rooster instead. Not only does this lightens the mood of Fenyx’s heroic tale, but also gives us a closer look into the backstories of these various gods.
Their stories are chocked full of really fun moments, and of course, the dialogue plays a big part as well. Even the areas in which you explore in your bid to help them are iconic and unique to them, expanding the scope of Immortals Fenyx Rising in immeasurable terms. These four are certainly not the only mythical beings that the game explores, and you can expect to come out of the 30-hour experience a lot wiser.
If you come already with intimate knowledge of these beings, Immortals Fenyx Rising becomes even more impressive in its presentation. For those of you that are not exactly familiar with the going-ons of Greek mythology, this is also a great way to spark that interest.
An adventure like Immortals Fenyx Rising will require trials and tribulations, and The Golden Isle definitely provides plenty of opportunities for that. The world is brought to life quite brilliantly with bold use of colour and lush environments. It almost feels like walking into a painting that is brimming with activity.
The sprawling lands and high points are all yours for the taking. Fenyx is able to climb any obstacle you see, as long as you have the stamina. Once you upgrade Fenyx’s stamina, and have a steady supply of stamina potions, you won’t have to worry about falling.
Once up top, you can choose to glide your way to any destination using the Wings of Daedalus, or enlist the help of the ever-useful Far Sight ability.
In contrast to its inspiration, Immortals Fenyx Rising gives players the options of marking out just what lies ahead in terms of activities and collectables. Whereas you marked interesting points in Breath of the Wild, everything is made clear to you when you come across a point of interest.. This definitely takes away the joy of discovery, but when you are looking to make yourself as powerful as you can be, it is not exactly a bad implementation of exploration.
For players more concerned about the journey than the destination, the way Far Sight is utilised might not be a good way for you to enjoy the game. You will always have the option of just taking a leap of faith and make your way around The Golden Isle.
Whether it be the open-world or the many chasms that challenges your puzzle-solving skills, there are many occasions where combat is required. On this front, Immortals Fenyx Rising succeeds in providing an excellent combat system that enhances it with a variety of gear and godly abilities.
As you progress and unlock more skills, you can make Fenyx an even more formidable force whether it be hitting harder, moving quicker, or just focus on taking advantage of your opponent’s aggression with Parrying. There is also always the option of Godly Powers as well.
This freedom to choose how you want to approach combat in Immortals Fenyx Rising is a great strength of the game. No matter how you choose to fight, there is definitely something for you. The many enemy encounters also provide a decent level of challenge, although you can always risk it by taking on legendary battles.
The only knock against the combat in Immortals Fenyx Rising is that your foes do not exactly come in many different shapes and sizes. There are only a few enemy types, and they are not brimming with personality either. The patterns of attack can be memorised quite quickly, and combat may soon lose its lustre.
On the other hand, the bosses usually give you more of a reason to utilise all of your knowledge and skills. The combat is inherently fun when the challenge is turned up, but it is a pity that does not happen too often throughout the game.
As a whole, Immortals Fenyx Rising gives us a beautiful world waiting to be explored and experienced, littered with interesting stories and sights. The combat is sounds, and the narrative is a big star of the show. However, its puzzle designs are a big letdown. If only Ubisoft chose to soar just a little closer to the sun, Immortals Fenyx Rising could have been a much more divine experience.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is available on the PSN Store for $84.90.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Myths and legends with a comedic twist, Immortals Fenyx Rising is only let down by uninspiring puzzle design that is its mortal weakness.
Gameplay - 7/10
Story - 8/10
Presentation - 8.5/10
Value - 7/10