Immortals Fenyx Rising – Review

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Immortals Fenyx Rising
Release Date
December 3, 2020
Publisher
Ubisoft
Developer
Ubisoft Quebec
Platform
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on
PS4 (Pro)
Review copy provided by
Ubisoft

Stories and pieces of fiction revolving around mythology are becoming more and more rampant. Its appeal has also risen to a commensurate degree. We’ve had games about Greek mythology, Norse mythology, Egyptian, and more. Just because they’re popular, however, it does not mean all of them are good games. Immortals Fenyx Rising takes this formula and spins it around to create a very tantalizing take, and the end result is nothing but magical.

The developer behind Immortals Fenyx Rising is the one that’s responsible for perhaps 75% of the games you’ve played that tackles ancient mythology. This studio in question is none other than Ubisoft. In this game, more specifically, Ubisoft Quebec.

Ubisoft Quebec is the studio behind Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which this game is extremely reminiscent of. From horseback riding to traversal to combat mechanics, a lot of things in this game will be familiar to you if you’ve played any or all of the latest trilogy of AC games. If you loved those games, you’ll fall head over heels for this one.

The most crystalline difference between this game and the aforementioned Assassin’s Creed games, however, is the art direction. From this point of view, the game is more reminiscent of modern Nintendo titles. It’s colorful, vibrant, everything you see on screen is like a moving watercolor portrait. Quite frankly, this choice in art direction is very befitting of the game’s overall tone. Despite its seemingly serious and tragic thematic, the way the game goes about the plot is fairly light, heartwarming, and playful. Immortals Fenyx Rising is the perfect game to play if you simply want to have a good time after a long day.

Just because the game feels lighthearted, however, doesn’t mean the gameplay is. Immortals Fenyx Rising’s combat and traversal mechanic is both challenging when it needs to be and engaging all around. The combat is your typical hack-and-slash, dodging at the right moment, with the ability to parry incoming strikes. The combat feels smooth overall, aside from a couple of enemies who have attack patterns that are so quick and unpredictable that they’re almost hard to anticipate and react to.

The world of Immortals Fenyx Rising is massive. There are a total of five areas you can explore—six if you count the final level—and moving from one to another requires time. Thankfully, you have mounts and wings to help you move around more quickly. The former is relatively familiar, but the latter is very satisfying. Gliding around from one peak to your desired location feels very smooth and fun. I just couldn’t get enough of it. Movement can be limited, though, because of the incorporation of stamina drain.

This factor actually forces you to play better. You won’t be able to climb a mountain from the bottom to the peak in one go, which in truth is a boring way of climbing anyway, you’ll have to spot ledges and resting areas so you can gather up the stamina to keep on climbing instead of mindlessly moving up. The same goes for gliding. You can’t simply glide from one area to another at your discretion, you’ll have to plan where to land and if your stamina is sufficient enough for you to get there.

True to its RPG element, you can improve your stamina and health as you play through the game. This is done by upgrading using collectibles. Skills are also earned and upgraded using collectibles scattered around the world. This aspect, while not necessarily a problem, disrupts the flow of the main campaign.

The main missions will only rarely, and I mean extremely rarely, provide you with the rewards necessary to earn and upgrade skills, health, and stamina. A few of the collectibles also require certain skills for you to be able to gain access to them. With this in mind, you’ll need to do a lot of griding if you want to properly advance in the game. Grinding can be done by completing side quests, challenges, tasks, and more. Disappointingly, the rewards you get from these activities don’t coincide with the level of difficulty they’re in. One challenge may be more difficult to complete than the other but that doesn’t mean it will give you more reward than the easier one, which doesn’t really make sense to me.

For as long as you take the time to explore the world, though, you should be able to breeze through the campaign without trouble. Many of the side missions are also very interesting and fun to do. Some will give you items that can provide boosts to help you on your journey, and give you a glimpse of the game’s world, lore, and story as a whole. The various puzzles and challenges are also very well done. Engaging, challenging, mentally stimulating, and once you complete them, highly satisfying.

There are occasional frame rate dips and delays in environmental rendering that will be very evident to keener eyes. They’ll happen every once in a while, but it’s not really that game-breaking. The game’s draw distance is spectacular, though, which is almost a necessity now for games that let you scout the map from a section’s highest peak.

The main story of the game itself is fairly decent. You play as Fenyx, a seemingly average mortal at first glance, but with the fighting ability that may surprise you, or anyone else for that matter. After being struck by a storm while voyaging at sea, Fenyx finds the ship he’s on completely wrecked and upon washing up ashore, he finds everyone that was with him either turned to stone or disappeared. This then marks the journey of our hero as he journeys across the Golden Isle to combat the titan responsible for the island’s tragedy and help his world’s gods after they’ve been stripped of their essence.

The entire game is narrated by Prometheus, the kind god who gave humankind the power of fire, and the daddy of the gods himself, Zeus. The interaction between the two keeps the game very lighthearted. Their jabs at each other are humorous and so are the comments they frequently make as you move forward with the game.

Immortal Fenyx Rising is very forthcoming with its attempt at humor, and it succeeds most of the time. I found myself laughing and giggling quite often while playing this game. The humor also isn’t always direct and upfront, like in one example where a character’s dubbed name changes according to your perception of them, from Helpless Stranger to Strange Thief. It’s subtle, but it’s effective.

The world design of the game as a whole is nothing short of phenomenal. The different sections within the game are tied to a specific Greek god. These areas are incredibly designed to feel familiar with the god they’re tied to. You will also immediately feel when you’ve moved from one section to another from the landscape design, enemy variations, and occasional shift in filter and weather conditions.

Your journey as you complete the main campaign is linked to a certain god, and therefore a specific section of the map. While the main point of each section is the same, the game keeps the campaign non-repetitive. The way you acquire a vital item for one god won’t be the same manner you acquire the same item for another. The game steers away from the monotony and your immersion is all the better for it.

We’ve already established that this game looks and feels good, let’s talk about how it sounds. Everything under the audio spectrum in this game, from music to sound effects to voice acting, all of it is very well done. The god’s voices sound exactly as you’d expect them to, save for Zeus, perhaps. At first, I was taken aback by how the game decided Zeus should sound like, but as you discover more about his character in this game and not how he is in the mythology, you will realize that the voice given to him is just about the right one. RPGs in the fantasy genre should also have the proper music to keep you engaged, albeit subconsciously. The game’s music, as with most games nowadays, is spectacular. They’re never out of place and they coincide with the tone a certain moment or a location is trying to invoke.

Before I end this review, one very important thing I want to talk about is the game’s very end section. The final section of this game is very, very, incredible. It will force you to remember everything you’ve learned about the game thus far. Every mechanic, every puzzle solved, every enemy encountered. It’s a very fantastic way of closing off a fantastic game. I had an incredible time playing this game, and I can say with confidence that if you enjoy RPGs that put forth exploration and have great campaigns, you will have an incredible time playing this game too.

Immortals Fenyx Rising – Review
Score Definition
When the issues of a game are rolled and stomped by its greatness, then it’s something to invest on if you have some spare.
Pros
Each section is incredibly designed to look and feel exactly like the god that belongs in that section. Overall world design is phenomenal as well.
The combat and traversal mechanic is very decent. It’s familiar most of the time and challenging at certain moments.
Challenging puzzles, side missions, and challenges if you want to take a break from the main campaign.
The humor is on point.
Sound and music are done really well.
Cons
Rewards don’t feel consistent with a task’s degree of difficulty.
Minor frame rate dips.
Occasional render delay.
8
Great