Immortals: Fenyx Rising Review (PS5)
Developed: Ubisoft Quebec
Genre: Open World Action Adventure
Release Date: December 3rd, 2020
Platform: Playstation 5
*Key provided for this review by publisher
''The Gods Amongst Us''
Immortals Fenyx Rising is an open world action adventure game developed by Ubisoft Quebec and published by, you guessed it, Ubisoft. Like their previous title, Assassins Creed Odyssey, released in 2018, Ubisoft Quebec takes us back to the setting of Greek Mythology, only this time, in a much more light hearted tone and a less serious way. Taking inspiration from many other properties of entertainment such as their own series, Assassins Creed, Nintendo's Breath Of The Wild, and even the Naked Gun and Airplane movies serving as inspiration for tone and humor, Ubisoft Quebec attempts to give us something both new and familiar. But does this title live up to being both new and familiar as promised or is it like eating a spoonful of drain-o? sure it will clean you out, but it will leave you hollow inside. Join me as we find out those answers! so, lets go!
The evil titan known as Typhon has come back after his defeat by Zeus and the rest of the gods and now seeks revenge on those that have wronged him. Upon making his return, Typhon defeats each god and steals their essence, robbing them of their once great glory and sending them to be abandoned alone on the golden Isle. Now with all humans turned to stone, only one hero is left to stand up Typhon and his mythological beasts and save not only the gods themselves, but the entire world as well. The battle for TarTaros begins now.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising is a light hearted take on the greek mythology setting, In which everything in this game is either being mocked, made fun of or exaggerated to the point of hilarity. The story as you progress through your adventure is narrated by both Prometheus and Zeus as they tell the tale of your travels and at times offer up a play by play of what you're doing, explaining the story in an exposition fashion, cracking a joke about your character being too weak or about how the Phoenix fire bird got its name, which is actually pretty funny and gave me a good chuckle. In this story you play as a character named Fenyx who is tasked by the gods themselves to not only free them from their curse, but to save the land from all Typhons minions and monsters that terrorize any remaining inhabitants. You're TarTaros's last hope and should you fail, the world goes with it. No pressure right?
Right from the get go, you're thrusted into the game and its open world setting and you are allowed to go wherever you want. However, you might not get too far since you do not have the needed upgrades to your stamina or other abilities just yet, so don't get TOO carried away now. But this is where the addiction starts to eat at you, much like Breath Of The Wild does, Fenyx Rising also gives you the sense of exploration that feels both awe inspiring and daunting, you KNOW you have to do the story and narrative the game wants you to follow, but gosh dangit, what the heck is that over there? I just want to wander off and explore. The funniest shocker I had when experiencing this game in the first few hours was myself being under the assumption I had already started the game, when in actuality, the first 4 hours of the game served as just the prologue and THEN I got the title screen, the hell?. That's when I knew, oh boy, this game is gonna be massive and I was not wrong.
When I state this game is massive, Its not an exaggeration, in my own opinion, I feel that this is not only Ubisoft's most detailed word they've created so far, but also its most unique. As you push through the game, you will travel across 7 different regions, if you count the early hub area and final boss section. But those 7 regions are subjected to 4 different actual areas, that all have their own unique theme and design based off a God you must rescue. For instance one area requires you to save Athena so that she may aid you in your quest. Her area of the game is full of temples and even libraries and books as a theme and it looks pretty awesome. The same holds true for the other gods as well, all their regions are distinct and are just different enough to warrant at least one or two ''wow'' or ''coooool'' moments.
But enough talking about the scenery, I could make an entire video just based off the sights to see, so lets say we get into what makes the game truly interesting, Its game play. Fenyx Rising at its core when you start your game feels like it could just be your run of the mill action adventure game with the use of weak attacks and heavy attacks with your sword and axe, but looks here are definitely deceiving, because the further you get into the game, the more deep the combat tends to get and this is in large part thanks to the plethora of powers you get at your disposal from the gods themselves. These powers range from Icarus's wings for flight, a magnesus like ability, that allows you to take control of objects such as rocks and boulders to use in combat or puzzles, bow of odysseus that allows you to use arrows in both the traditional sense, but also as homing missile to find new secrets, solve puzzles or new ways to annoy your enemy.
The combat in this game can get super quick and fast paced and never really gets boring, whether its versus a smaller enemy or even a big boss fight, each situation can get tense, so you can never let your guard down. When getting into a situation against 2-3 enemies at a time, I knew, like a midget in a urinal, I was gonna have to stay on my toes. But its not too frustrating when going against multiple enemies due to the games lock on system, which you can use with the right stick to move with ease from enemy to enemy at a fast and fluid pace that never takes you out of the action, its one of the few times where I've actually said ''well by golly,pah, that sure is some good lock on system''. But easily one of my favorite aspects of the game is actually one of your more defensive skills, parrying.
Parrying in this game just feels so satisfying when timed right. If timed right, then any melee attack will be blocked and stopped dead in its tracks, while a projectile from someone on the ground or a monster flying in the sky will get their own attack sent straight back into their face with a big boom. It makes you feel like a total bad ass when you take on multiple baddies and just parry back and forth between the two. I know, its very basic, but it just feels so good to do. Besides stringing together combos using your weak and heavy sword and axe attacks, you also are able to use god powers that I mentioned before to incorporate into your arsenal, should you choose to do so. For instance, while fighting enemies on the ground, you may use your bow to slow motion kill a flying enemy so you may concentrate on the monsters in front of you on the ground or using your magnesus like ability to play a friendly game of catch with a neighborhood monster with a giant boulder to see who wins this epic game of hot potato. ''But wait a second, like oh my god, hold up'', you say, ''how do you even get these god powers to begin with? you don't just start with them''. Ease up there a little. Yes that is correct, you have to work for your powers and working for those powers and exploring the world to get them is the biggest aspect in which makes this game absolutely amazing to journey through.
As you venture across the land, you're going to find various paths to take, secret caves and many puzzles to solve, but none of them are more important than Vaults. Think of vaults like Shrines from The Legend Of Zelda Breath Of The Wild, except to me, more fun and a tad more creative. Each vault you enter, while aesthetically they look look similar, they all play relatively different, with each vault offering a different puzzle or reward to be obtained. Some puzzles you encounter asks you to use your wits and requires you to use your magnetic like ability to roll boulders into their respective slots to open doors, make use of blocks and crates to hold down pressure plates to reveal a new path, and others will require you to make really tight jumps across platforms and use your wings to hover via the use of wind. But the best part of some of the later vaults is the actual difficulty spike that occurs. Some of the harder vaults pits you against multiple enemies and most of the time not only are they better geared than you, they're way stronger too. These should not be attempted until you go to the hall of the gods and upgrade your equipment, stamina or create potent potions. Only then will you stand a chance of surviving the onslaught. So what is Hall Of The Gods exactly?
Think of Hall Of The Gods as your upgrade hub. It is here where you can change your characters customization, create potent potions, level up a specific skill or give yourself a boost of stamina by offering up bolts of zeus's lighting that you receive as a reward for beating vaults. Upgrading your stamina is absolutely mandatory if you want to keep exploring this vast open world and finding all its secrets and extra powers because you will be doing a lot of climbing and gliding, and I mean, A LOT. Once you feel you are strong enough to continue your adventure its time to set off once more.
As you climb up every mountain top you see and use your farsight like ability to look out into the distance, you will unlock each individual region and see them expand one by one. If you think this looks familiar then you're absolutely right because Assassins Creed uses this same mechanic, only its not as over done here in Fenyx Rising as those games, which is a blessing because it makes it feel like an event rather than a chore. Once you activate your farsight like ability you will be able to reveal all the secrets the world has to offer you. These secrets ranging from brand new vaults to find, hidden treasure chests that contain items and gear needed to upgrade your character, new abilities or new puzzles to solve. The amount of content this game has to offer the player is absolutely absurd and it's exactly what makes it so hard for someone like me who gets distracted very easily, especially with animal friends that can be tamed. That's right, this game even has mounts, I'm telling you, It's never ending.
One of the key things to keep in mind in this game is exploration is key to making yourself stronger, if you just push your way through the roughly 15-20hr storyline, you will miss out on more than half of the content this game has in store for you because there are many other challenges that face you and more puzzles to be found that you will miss if you do not take your time and search every corner of the earth to find them, literally. Some secrets will require you to climb up a mountain till you find a cave, others will require you to climb to the top of a mountain, swim across the ocean to a boat holding a treasure chest and some of the secrets being locked behind puzzles that you need to solve, which we will dive into shortly in our extra stuff section of the review as they aren't 100% mandatory to do, so some can be completed after the main story, should you miss any.
If you're worried about the difficulty of the game, I don't think you will be disappointed. It offers just enough test of skill to make the game enough of a challenge to where its not overly easily but also isn't souls like rage inducing. The biggest challenge I actually ran into it during my time with the game, never came from its combat, but instead came from some of the dang puzzles that I found, like legit some puzzles I came across had me confused for a decent amount of time, but I didn't give up on them because I knew, like a blind man in an orgy, I was going to have to feel things out. Which I of course figured it out in the end and in true GameNChick fashion, it was the most basic way to solve the puzzle. Like usual, I overthink everything I do when it comes to puzzle solving and it always ends up being the easiest and most basic solution. Good job me, you are winner.
After completing the main game, you aren't done yet, not by a long shot because you still have quite a few challenges left to tackle, which doesn't even take into account the hundreds of landmarks and treasures to find, but I don't want to be here for 50 hours telling you where to find them all. Because by doing this would be a huge disservice to not only you, but the game itself by robbing you of the chance to discover all the cool stuff yourself.
Once you've decided you want to keep playing the game, you will have multiple challenges to take up, such as, Lyre Challenges which requires you to connect blocks to form a picture like puzzle, Constellation challenges which involves you finding scattered constellation orbs spread out around the nearby area and matching them up with their constellation in order to get the hidden item, which is usually a power up or one of zeus's bolt of lighting to upgrade your skills, and even challenges related to Odysseus that require precision skill with your bow and arrows. There are many more, but you should really experience them all yourself first hand, they are that good and that addicting.
At the end of the day, the devs at Ubisoft Quebec set their minds of making a game that does not take itself too seriously. Instead of the usual doom and gloom, dark and gritty or overly serious tone, they decided to have fun with it and it definitely shows. As stated earlier, they took inspiration from movies such as Naked Gun, Airplane and Princess Bride and it definitely shows, because the game can get very weird and very whacky extremely quick and that's one part of the game I absolutely adore. But that's not all they got right. From the big open world to explore, mythological beasts like minotaurs to fight, addicting combat that lets you deplete your opponents stamina bar and then send them soaring 100mph far off into the sky, Fenyx Rising has went from a title I was looking forward to this year to one of my favorite titles of 2020 altogether. ''What? best of 2020'' you say? ''Surely you can't be serious!?''. Well. I am serious and don't call me shirley.
And with that verdict, GameNChick says BUY NOW.