There are two sayings that come to mind when I think of Immortals Fenyx Rising: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. When you start playing, you’ll immediately know why.
Here’s the opener for a game I’ve played, let’s see if you can work out which one I’m talking about:
Your character wakes up and finds that the world around them is under attack from something evil. After beating some bad guys and climbing up a tall structure to map your surrounding area, you’re eventually greeted by someone who seems unassuming at first, but then turns out to be a special character. This character then gives you an item that allows you to jump off the starting area and land in the “main area”. The game then allows you to fight the world’s bosses in any order you like. There are also these little sub-levels throughout the map that you can enter and these have their own challenges and puzzles. There are other tall structures around the map that you have to climb in order to uncover the fog for that area on the map screen.
Anyone who has owned a Nintendo Switch in the last couple of years should be screaming Breath of the Wild, and you’d be right. And I kid you not, this is also the opening for Immortals Fenyx Rising. This is effectively a Greek mythology Breath of the Wild and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. As far as plot goes, Typhon, one of Greek mythology’s biggest bad guys, has managed to escape from his imprisonment and starts to take his revenge on the Greek Gods. After many have fallen, Zeus retreats and meets Prometheus, asking for his help.
It’s at this point that you realise that the script seems to have been written by a bunch of Dads trying to squeeze in Dad-jokes wherever they can. Unfortunately, it only gets worse. Prometheus and Zeus both narrate the story as you’re playing, adding in quips that are worthy of many facepalms. It doesn’t just stop at Prometheus and Zeus either. Even Fenyx and (the worst offender of all) Hermes’ lines are just as bad. Not to mention the over use of zoom-ins whenever someone says anything with even the tiniest bit of shock. Thankfully though, this is my only major gripe with the game.
As you explore the world of the Golden Isles, you’ll find a plethora of things to distract you from the main story quest. From challenges to collectables to puzzles and mini-bosses; where you can test your combat skills. There is always something to do no matter where you are on the map. Even if it’s just exploring every nook and cranny.
Combat is an absolute delight unlike the previous game I reviewed (see Godfall), you have your stock-standard light attack, heavy attack, dodge and parry. All of which feel excellent to use. The parry window is large enough that it feels good when you nail the timing but not as punishing as something like Dark Souls. Unblockable attacks are simply signaled by the enemy flashing red, giving you enough warning to dodge out of the way. You can eventually level up different skills and abilities, allowing you to craft a play style that suits you. Unlike Breath of the Wild, not all of your skills are unlocked at the start and you do need to find a certain number of collectables to unlock them. While this does seem tedious, you do naturally collect these items and more as you explore the island. Among the collectables around the island, you’ll find an assortment of enemies to fight, bears, boars and even cyclopes and minotaurs. You can even find different friendly creatures to use as a mount to get around quicker!
A nice touch to the game is Hermes’ quest board. This is a list of challenges that you need to complete in order to unlock some crafting/leveling items. An interesting spin on this is that there is a ‘timed’ section of quests to complete. These are generally harder challenges that range from obstacle races to defeating multiple difficult enemies. These quests will only be available on the board for a couple of days before they’re swapped out with something else.
Once you do manage to beat the game, there is still a surprising amount of things to do and collect. Not to mention a ‘New Game +’ mode and harder difficulties. There’s also 3 announced DLCs on the way, with what looks to be one based on Chinese mythology. I’m really looking forward to it.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Immortals Fenyx Rising despite it being a Zelda clone and the cringy script. And while the open-world exploration formula is nothing new, I still want to find every secret and complete all the challenges. This game is great for anyone who enjoyed Breath of the Wild or someone who’s always wanted to get into the Souls series (Demon Souls, Dark Souls) and wants a bit of a warm up before tackling something really challenging (I mean there is a ‘Nightmare’ mode after you beat the main game).
It’s also perfect for anyone who wanted to play Breath of the Wild but couldn’t due to not having a Switch. Immortals Fenyx Rising is available on practically every platform. There’s no way to miss this awesome title!