Ancient Greece is so rich when it comes to its mythology, that it’s no surprise that many a video game has taken to using it to create some seriously great adventures. The most recent title to do this is Immortals Fenyx Rising, an adventure game created by the same team behind Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, a title which also took place in Ancient Greece. However, Immortals Fenyx Rising tends to focus more on fantastical elements and aims for a more light-hearted experience.
Immortals Fenyx Rising follows the story of Fenyx, a young shield-bearer who is washed up on the shore of a mysterious place called the Golden Isle. After waking up and attempting to find the remainder of their crew, Fenyx finds that a good number of them have been turned to stone. While they search for the reason that the world has been plunged into chaos, they end up coming across Hermes, who informs them that the Olympian Gods have been defeated by Typhon and that Fenyx is the only one who can save them and defeat this deadly enemy.
The story is incredibly entertaining and has you interacting with gods and heroes alike from Greek Mythology as you continue on your adventure. Fenyx is also quite likeable. Starting as a reluctant underdog with little to no combat experience, they quickly take up the challenge and will attempt to overcome any obstacle they come across. The storytelling is pretty great too with Prometheus and Zeus handling the narration. Despite the situation being quite dire, the tone is still pretty light-hearted and there’s a fair amount of humorous dialogue. Prometheus and Zeus constantly bickering while they narrate every part of your story is pretty funny and had me snickering throughout. The comedic approach is pretty entertaining, but it does fall flat here and there.
When initially starting the game, you’ll be given the opportunity to create your own character. The options are a bit limited but you’re able to customise anything from face markings to hair.
If you’ve ever played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, then Immortals Fenyx Rising will instantly feel familiar to you. It makes use of a similar stamina system for traversal, there’s a gliding mechanic and even the climbing feels familiar. Immortals does do some things a little differently and also does them pretty well. Combat is mapped to the shoulder buttons, allowing you to execute a light attack with your sword, a heavy attack with your axe, parry, and aim and fire a bow. Not to mention that you are able to unlock different Godly powers which can be used with a combination of a shoulder button and one of the face buttons. Bringing some of the Assassin’s Creed flair into the mix, you can also sneak up on your enemies to deliver a stealth attack, removing a sizeable chunk from their health bar.
Combat is an over-the-top experience featuring big finishers and slow-mo on perfect dodges. Finishing off an enemy with a final blow usually sends them hurtling through the air and disappearing in a puff of smoke. Combat encounters can go either way if you’re not careful, however, as you’ll need to keep an eye out for unparryable attacks. Traversal is also fantastic. Climbing up cliff faces, swimming through tunnels and gliding feels great. Fenyx is equipped with the wings of Daedelus, allowing them to glide and create openings for aerial attacks. The gameplay loop is so satisfying and also downright addictive. I loved getting into fights with enemies both big and small just so that I could master my parrying and dodging or even try out a new ability.
Speaking of abilities, Fenyx has access to a number of different abilities throughout the game Some are unlocked through the story while others will need to be purchased through the skill tree using Coins of Charon. These can be earned by completing challenges that are placed all over the map. There are also some upgrades available, which can enhance abilities, both for combat and traversal.
There are a plethora of items to find on your adventure and each item offers different benefits. Some can be used to upgrade your weapons, some form part of a puzzle and then you can also find some weapons and armour. These don’t vary in power, but instead offer certain perks such as giving you an extra stamina segment or having a chance to do extra damage if conditions are met. Additionally, Hermes has a list of tasks for you to complete. These range from defeating a certain enemy to collecting an oversized fruit. These are pretty easy to knock off and for the most part, happen organically while you’re just playing the game. The rewards are pretty cool too, including cosmetic skins for your weapons or upgrade materials. The only thing that bugged me about these quests, however, is that I had to return to the tasks board to turn in a completed task to claim my rewards, as opposed to them turning in automatically. It’s a small annoyance, but it is one that breaks up the action a little.
Immortals Fenyx Rising does feature some microtransactions; based on what I’ve seen though, these are only for cosmetic items not generally found in-game. You’re initially given 300 credits when first checking out the store, which appears to give you access to one skin. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the prices attached to the credit packs as they weren’t live before launch.
Visually, Immortals Fenyx Rising looks great. It features a distinct art style that has vibrant colours that are pleasing to the eye. The character design is great, both for the characters you meet and the enemies you encounter. Some enemies also come in different variants but are mostly visible as a colour change. The different areas on the map are tied to a certain god and their appearance will be reflected as such. For example, Aphrodite’s section features lush flora with an abundance of wildlife while Ares’ area is desolate and ravaged by war.
It also runs fantastically on the PS5 at a very smooth 60FPS with load times being a manner of seconds from the main menu to a saved game. This is also true when making use of the game’s fast travel; both clock in at about 6 seconds of loading.
There’s also some really great voice acting for different characters. Prometheus and Zeus are great at helping the story along and I absolutely love that there are some authentic Greek accents on show as it makes the storytelling that much more entertaining.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is a fantastic adventure. There’s a great story to be enjoyed here and some seriously addictive gameplay too. The comedic writing does fall a bit flat here and there but it’s such a small issue, it’ll mostly be overlooked. I had such an amazing time exploring the world and its different areas. The map is also so populated that the world feels alive, with the possibility of making new discoveries over every hill. It’s also such a beautiful game to get lost in and runs incredibly smoothly. Immortals Fenyx Rising is an awesome new take on Greek Mythology which is sure to keep you entertained for tens of hours.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Google Stadia, Xbox and PC
This review is based on the Xbox Version of the game.
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