Courtesy of Ubisoft

February 9, 2021

Immortals Fenyx Rising Offers a Riveting Gaming Experience

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Immortals Fenyx Rising, Ubisoft’s first original intellectual property in years, launched Dec. 3. Originally revealed under the title Gods and Monsters, Immortals Fenyx Rising brings players on a fun-filled ride into a world bursting with magic, monsters and, of course, the Greek gods of myth and legend.

Like many games over the past few years, Immortals draws on a painterly art-style to create its fantastic visuals. The lushly rendered imagery plunges you into the otherworldly nature of the island of the gods. For those that have played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Immortals’ beautifully painted, cel-shaded art style will be familiar — perhaps overly so — but the mountains, monsters and rivers of Immortals are breathtaking all the same. I played Immortals on the Switch, and even with its lackluster hardware, the visuals in Immortals are captivating on screen. 

As a third-person, exploration-based action role-playing game, Immortals places you in the shoes of Fenyx, the hero/heroine of Immortals, as they battle various mythical monsters with a combination of swords, axes, arrows and four activated abilities called godly powers. The gameplay seamlessly merges third-person melee combat and puzzle-solving areas, throwing players into the vaults of Tartarus to complete objectives or simply to earn more rewards.

Though the map of Immortals is relatively small compared to many of the sprawling oaking pen-world games that dominate the market today, it is packed with monsters, vaults and puzzles that will have completionists playing for well over 70 hours. To those familiar with Breath of the Wild, these gameplay elements will likely look very familiar. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing. If you enjoyed playing Breath of the Wild, Immortals offers a fresh story to go along with the similar mechanics.

The game takes a very hands-off approach, giving players almost free-reign in exploring the virtual world at their leisure. As a result of this hands-off approach, however, I did find that some elements of the gameplay — especially in the beginning — were not fully explained. Another minor, though still annoying, issue is the lack of a mini-map. A bar with the featured objectives works fine with games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey — where you can climb literally anything with impunity. However, in a game like Immortals where your climbing ability is limited by a stamina bar, a mini-map would have been useful in helping to navigate around unscalable cliffs and figure out the terrain before you blunder into it. 

Where the game really shines, however, is in its plot and characters. Cast onto a beach in the middle of a storm, Fenyx wakes to a world in which everyone around them — from the inhabitants of the island to their brother — has been turned to stone. With Prometheus and Zeus taking turns narrating their story, Fenyx travels deeper into the island of the gods — taking on perilous monsters, running into mythical heroes, and learning how to become as great of a warrior as their older brother, Ligyron.

For me, the biggest highlights of the game are the characters of Fenyx, Zeus, and Prometheus. Fenyx in particular bursts with personality and heart. Some of my favorite moments in the game are just Fenyx’s reactions to the gods and monsters they encounter.

Fenyx is always ready with a quip or joke — injecting humor into every situation. Even the way they open chests — drumming their hands excitedly on the lid or kicking at it only to clutch their foot in pain and hop around before trying again — works to showcase their fun-loving personality and the attention to detail placed into each character. 

Fenyx tackles every new adventure with unabashed glee, facing even the grandest and most terrifying of foes with a laugh and unshakeable optimism. The narrators, Prometheus and Zeus, also add to the game’s jovial atmosphere. Their witty banter helps provide context for the myths and legends that Fenyx encounters and shapes the story in often hilarious ways. Truly funny games are often hard to come by, but Prometheus and Zeus’ snide commentary often had me laughing out loud — which was not always helpful while I was battling a cyclops or minotaur.

On the whole, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a perfectly fun, satisfying game — perhaps a bit too similar to other successful games of the past few years. Personally, I loved the use of Greek mythology, and the characters of Fenyx, Prometheus, and Zeus created a lovely, light-hearted atmosphere that was enjoyable to sink into. If you are a fan of Breath of the Wild or Greek mythology and are looking for a refreshingly fun gaming experience, Immortals Fenyx Rising is well worth picking up if you can find a good price.

Jessica Lussier is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]