Writer: Jeffrey Yohalem
Genre: Action-adventure game
Composer: Gareth Coker
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Amazon Luna, Microsoft Windows, Stadia
Developers: Ubisoft, Ubisoft Quebec
"Review Code Provided by UbiSoft"
In a year of countless remakes, remasters, and sequels to existing franchises; it’s refreshing to see new games being made by our favorite gaming companies that aren’t afraid to take some chances and bring us some new experiments in the gaming forefront. We typically see new games being made by indie developers but rarely from established gaming juggernauts and here we are with a new game from a new intellectual property in the form of Immortals Fenyx Rising made by none other than Ubisoft. Does this new game deliver on it’s promise of an amazing new gaming experience mixed in with some Greek mythology or does it fail to deliver and brings another by the book experience? Let’s find out!
Zeus, the leader of Olympus and King of the Gods, imprisoned the monster known as Typhon by banishing him to Tartaros. Typhon breaks free and goes on to imprison all of the Greek Gods and turns all the humans to stone in an act of revenge with the exception of Zeus who flees to seek assistance from Prometheus to stop Typhon. Later, we find Fenyx, a stranded Greek soldier, washed up on the Golden Isle unaware of what the Fates have in store for them.
This game is a JOY to play! What does it play like? Well the most common thing it will be compared to is Breath of the Wild but think of the gameplay as an amalgamation of Breath of The Wild, Assassin’s Creed, and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor/War with this being not only an open-world game begging to be explored but effectively an open world action RPG.
As in Breath of the Wild; if you can see it you can climb it as this game wants you to explore it and find all the various nooks and crannies which can lead to new items and equipment such as new weapons, armor, and even items. You even have the ability to use the wings of Icarus to glide around similarly to how link could glide and even the wings of gliding in Genshin Impact with a decreasing stamina bar as you glide. Climbing, sprinting, and double jumping all decrease your stamina gauge which can be increased as you upgrade your traits in Olympus. Where this game differs from the previously mentioned games and what makes it more inline with a game such as the Middle-Earth: Shadow of games and the more recent Assassin’s Creeds where you gain new abilities that you can unlock with the use of whats called Charon Coins. You can gain new abilities such the ability to slowdown time to fire off an arrow in mid air or do a devastating high jump which creates an AOE that damages those around you. The gaining of new abilities is all under this games’ skill tree system which has branching paths that are more than worth your while.
Want to do more damage with your sword, axe, and bow? Then go to the tempering station and temper your weapon to do more damage than normal with the ability to upgrade your weapons several levels based on how many materials you have to be able to temper them. Worried about what happens if you pick up a new weapon and not wanting to give it an upgrade over the weapon you currently have equipped for fear of wasting resources? Well Don’t worry, because when upgrading your weapons all weapons gain from the upgrade as does all the equipment you gain from helmets and armors and more.
Do you prefer the look of a particular piece of equipment over another and want your character to have it instead? Well you’re in luck because you can change the cosmetic look of all your gear to whatever you want Fenyx to be wearing. The same can be said of the customization of Fenyx because when you start the game you get to customize Fenyx to be either a Female or Male and can select the skin color, hair and facial hair, eyes and eye color, scars and tattoos, and also your voice. If you aren’t satisfied with how Fenyx looks then at any point in the game you can go to Mt. Olympus and change everything again at no cost to you.
Items and materials are gathered in the fields and from the defeat of enemies and clearing of shrines and opening of chests. Items are mapped to the D-Pad such as health and stamina restoratives and attack and defense buffs as well. Like equipment, you can upgrade and mix your items to gain better versions of what you get.
Akin to Assassin’s Creed and the Middle-Earth games, you can approach situations with enemies by either going in Swords swinging OR you can use stealth and do a stealth attack which will do a lot of damage if not outright killing some enemies. Of course if you go this route and do a stealth attack you will alert the surrounding enemies to your presence and you’ll need to take them out. Another alternative is to just stealth around the enemies and get to your destination although by doing that you’ll miss out on the resource materials they drop.
In combat you have a ton of ways to approach fighting such as the direct button mashing approach OR learning the mechanics of the combat system which are fairly deep and robust. Your standard attack is mapped to the Right Bumper button (or R1 on PS4/5 or R on Nintendo Switch) which you can press in rapid succession which does decent damage and is fairly quick. Pressing Right Trigger (or R2 on on PS4/5 or ZR on Nintendo Switch) has you swinging your axe/hammer which does much more damage than the sword, albeit, at a much slower speed leaving you open for counter attacks if you aren’t careful. You can Press Left Trigger to aim your Bow and fire off arrows if you want to take down enemies from afar; if you aim the bow and press Right bumper (after an upgrade you get) then you’ll be able to shoot an arrow and be able to guide it with the Right Stick and also control the speed of it if you have the upgrade to this ability.
There’s the ability to dodge attacks and double jump to maneuver about the battlefield which is critical for combat and the one thing that’s crucial to learn is dodging enemy attacks at the last minute will activate a time slowdown similar to Bayonetta’s Witch Time ability where you’ve essentially got a few seconds allowing you to get in some quick hits to damage the enemy or reposition yourself on the battlefield. Many of the larger enemies and bosses will use attacks which are unlockable are telegraphed with a red aura or red glow so dodging last minute is usually your best bet.
There’s also the ability to parry attacks by pressing Left Bumper and Right Bumper at the same time which will lead to Fenyx spinning the sword in place for a few seconds allowing you to parry enemy attacks and even knock back projectiles shot at you such as the feathers thrown by Harpies or the stone blast from gorgons or arrows from archers which will end up hitting them. This is an effective method as you’ll be able to not only open up an enemy to attack such as the shield wielding centurions, but also be effective against bosses as it can knock them both off guard and off balance allowing you to beat them down.
Enemies also have stun meters based on how many times you hit them or parry their attacks which when filled up will lead to them being stunned and allowing you to attack them freely until their regain their composure. The more you hit them the more the stun bar goes down so make sure you’re hitting them with your strongest attacks. Many enemies such as the cyclops, have weak points that if you target attacks on that specific area will make them get into a stunned state faster and may even knock them over.
The game has another thing in common with Breath of the Wild is the focus on puzzle-based shrines/dungeons that have a strong emphasis on physics manipulation and platforming. If you thought the puzzles in BoTW would have you stumped then you haven’t seen anything yet as this game will have you having to use your brain to solve some massive room puzzles. One that comes to mind is a puzzle in a ruin that has you needing to move several big and small boxes around a massive room needing to place them on switches that are designated with either a leaf letting you know it needs a light weight box or a anvil telling you that you need to use one of the big boxes. You’ll find that you need to find a way to get the boxes to the top of the broken structures that normally would require you to climb up them but in this case you’ll need to grab the boxes in a way that’s similar to BoTW’s Magnesis to move and throw them up the structure. You can even activate some of the boxes to make them float and use physics to move about the shrines. There are tons of dungeons and shrines all about the map and they are all a lot of fun forcing you to be as creative as possible to clear them of which will get you various power ups and abilities and items as you clear them.
Also, last thing I will touch on is the various mounts that you can get in the game from horses, to elks and more. All you’ll need to do in most cases is crouch and slowly and calmly approach the creatures and then press the Y button when the prompt appears and you’ll be able to tame the animals and add them to your stable of readily available mounts. You can call your mounts in an instant by holding down the Y button on the field and it’ll materialize right in front of you.
So all in all, just explore the world and have as much fun as possible.
This game looks like you’re watching a Disney/Pixar movie with how well the characters animate and are detailed. Fenyx looks amazing no matter how you customize them, Zeus in particular looks like a good combination of his God of War as well as his Disney’s Hercules incarnations and Prometheus looks like every bit as run down as someone who’s been chained to a freezing mountain for eons would look (I think?). The main villain himself, Typhon, looks intensely intimidating and goes to great lengths through out the game to taunt and instill fear in you that he is a massive threat to you and the world at large.
The world of the Golden Isle is breathtaking. Like seriously, take a minute and just drink it in maaaaannnnn. The world is just gorgeous with the high vistas and rolling rivers and sea with the flora and fauna and the amazing Greek structures all just take your breath away. Looking at this game in 4K is truly a sight to behold
This games audio is just fantastic! The OST is just spot on for every moment that and area that you are in and especially the battle theme for field battles, wraith battles, and boss battles are just energy infusing!
The voice acting, my god is the voice acting in this game awesome! The voice of Fenyx, be the male or female or other, sounds as comedically heroic as they come. The back and forth banter between Zeus and Prometheus will have you laughing out loud as Zeus is such an arrogant idiotic douche bag with some of the worst takes and dumbest hilarious moments in the game. The back and forth between Fenyx and Apollo and Fenyx and Ares will have you in tears especially when you first meet Ares as the voice actors really sell that interaction.
All in all there’s not much to say here and a lot to take in and love.
The only downside I can even bring up here is the fact that I ran into a few times where the game would either crash randomly and I’d have to relaunch the game and on one instance where the game crashed my Xbox Series X causing it to power off and need to be manually powered back on.
These were few and far between but still downsides overall. Aside from that no real issues to report here.
Immortals Fenyx Rising was a game that completely took me by surprise as I’ll admit that I never thought it would be as good as it is and honestly it’s one of the greatest games of 2020 which overall has been a stacked year for gaming. This game could easily be up there with being a strong contender for not only action game of the year but literally game of the year for how amazing this game is. With an amazing cast of characters, an amazing backdrop for a story with a great plot, insanely good graphics, gut busting humor, fantastically tight gameplay, and a massive world that’s one of the best open-orld sandboxes to be explored: Immortals Fenyx Rising is a game YOU NEED to add to your gaming collection and no matter what platform you play it on just know that you’re playing one of the greatest and creative games of the year that won’t let you down.