Immortals: Fenyx Rising is dripping with charm, life and vibrancy that we never grew tired of. It's world is not only a joy to look at but to explore and experience. Practically soaked in engaging combat encounters, puzzles, fun collectables and a tone that's genuinely funny, we adored every second of the game. It really is something special to come out of 2020.
Ubisoft has developed a formula over the years, have you noticed? All of the open world games it’s produced over the years have followed the same structure. You either adore the check list nature of it of you’re sick of how repetitive it’s all become. Yet what’s most impressive about it Immortals: Fenyx Rising is that it manages to appeal to both schools. Not only does it cater to fans of the formula, it shakes enough things up that those left tired by Ubisoft’s rote routine will enjoy it too. After spending plenty of hours gliding, climbing and fighting around the Golden Isle we’re pleased to say that Ubisoft’s newest franchise is one of the best yet and an absolute blast from start to finish.
Folks who played Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey might scoff at the idea of Immortals. On the surface, it’s easy to write the game off as a place for Ubisoft to easily make a game that rides off the assets and successful setting of one of the more recently beloved titles. Yet while there are traces of Odyssey, alongside such Ubisoft staples as climbing towers (or statues, in this case) to remove the fog of an area, Immortals manages to bring it’s own flavour to the recipe. With a fantastic blend of combat, puzzle-solving, gorgeous open world and tongue-in-cheek writing, Immortals really never becomes boring. It’s a treat to play from start to finish.
Chiron me a River
Let’s first address the Golden Isle, the location you’ll become very familiar with while playing Immortals: Fenyx Rising. It’s utterly gorgeous with a myriad of different locales and biomes blending into one another, each offering up a unique setting with challenges to boot. It’s an expertly designed map, one overflowing with secrets to discover and views to soak in. The more cartoony style of of the game has allowed the designers to go wild with the colour too. Everything pops with a vibrancy we haven’t see all that often this year. It’s a visual feast and you should consume as much of it as you can.
We’ll be honest, starting off on Fenyx’s journey can be overwhelming. You’ll begin with a stamina bar that can barely scale the lowliest of cliffs. Yet that’s the point of the game, growing stronger to eventually destroy the big bad Typhon by the end of the game. The more you play, the strong you’ll become as you collect all the power-ups scattered around the island. The world slowly begins to grow around you as you earn the ability to scale it easier. It’s a satisfying progression curve, one that bears plenty of resemblance to certain popular Legend of Zelda game…
The more astute of you will no doubt have realised how much Fenyx Rising pulls from Nintendo’s excellent Breath of the Wild. Yet while that DNA is there (and used to an unashamed extent), Ubisoft’s attempt at the subgenre removes plenty of the inaccessible nonsense seen in BOTW. The fact that the game levels with you means that you’re not gated from certain locations which goes a long way in truly creating a world that feels “open”.
Hydra Go Seek
Let’s talk a little more about that premise which we touched on slightly earlier. Fenyx, the sibling to a great warrior, is tasked with freeing the world from the dark and oppressive corruption of Typhon. A monstrous creature that’s turned the world to stone, released hordes of monsters and entrapped the gods in a series of ironic prisons, Fenyx needs to become stronger to even stand up to the behemoth.
In order to grow their strength, you’ll need to scour the world for items that provide a permanent strength boost. Ambrosia, often located in the hardest to reach locations of the map, will increase your health while completing vaults (more on those in second) rewards a fragment of Zeus’s lightning which can be used to boost your stamina. Alongside those upgrades, there are also pieces of armour and weapons dotted about the place to improve your odds of survival even further.
It can be a little overwhelming though. When you first pull up your Far Sight ability to pin point objects of interest you’ll quickly become flooded with icons. Yet you can take your time, complete them when you want. There’s no pressure, despite the world apparently ending any time now.
Locked in the Vault
Yet maybe our favourite part of the game are the vaults sprinkled around the Golden Isle. Very similar to Breath of the Wild’s dungeons, each of these vaults (and there are plenty of them) contain an assortment of goodies and always end with Fenyx obtaining a piece of Zeus’s lightning. To get the goods, you’ll need to solve a variety of puzzles that involve rolling balls, shooting hard-to-reach targets and cracking some challenging platforming puzzles. An occasional combat gauntlet may appear but for the most part, they’re engaging puzzles.
The number of different tasks and chores you’ll solve is staggering. Every vault is different, meaning discovering and completing one feels like a reward in itself. We never grew tired of them. In actuality, we never grew tired of the entire game. It’s just so much fun from start to finish.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising Verdict
Immortals: Fenyx Rising is dripping with charm, life and vibrancy that we never grew tired of. It’s world is not only a joy to look at but to explore and experience. Practically soaked in engaging combat encounters, puzzles, fun collectables and a tone that’s genuinely funny, we adored every second of the game. It really is something special to come out of 2020.