It is easy to describe Immortals Fenyx Rising to an ordinary player. Ubisoft will soon give us an action adventure from a third-person perspective in a large open world with RPG elements, loot, quests, environmental puzzles and all the necessities of games of this type.
Immortals take you into a stylized fantasy world based on Greek mythology. The main heroine Fenyx is in the name of the game, but she is almost arbitrarily editable and something tells me that the game does not cost so much in the psychological depth of her personality. Phenyxin and at the same time your task is nothing more complicated than protecting the Greek gods from the dark curse of the negative Typhon, who looks like the tougher brother of the main boss from Ring Fit Adventure.
The vast majority of the game takes place on the relatively large island of Golden Isle, which consists of seven unique regions. Each of them is strongly inspired by one Greek god, which affects not only the appearance of the region, but also its inhabitants. We had the opportunity to run around The Forgelands, which are modeled by Hephaestus. In addition to classic fantasy monsters, we fought a lot of automatons, sailed around the statues of blacksmiths, saw a lot of iron and various mechanical gadgets.
Golden Isle is definitely not afraid of styling, and as you can see from the surrounding pictures, the graphic designers went for it. Immortals are thus very far from the graphic point of view in the Greek (and also a bit fantasy) Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. We had to get used to the visual styling for a while, but a few tens of minutes were enough and we tuned in to it without any major problems.
But what we probably don’t just tune into is the style of storytelling. You are accompanied by two narrators: Prometheus and Zeus. Although the creators emphasized to us before the start of the demo, the upcoming announcements of both narrators were recorded only for the demo and will not be in full play, but they added with one breath that the storytelling style is representative for the full game. We acknowledge that, like visual stylization, humor is a sovereignly subjective thing, but the chatter of both masters did not really suit us much.
Prometheus and Zeus are narrators who break the fourth wall in every second sentence, but they are damn far from the ingenuity of Metal Gear or the wit of Reynolds’ Deadpool, and rather border on embarrassment. For us, we just hope that they will not speak very often in full play.
Hooray for the action
Unsurprisingly, one of the main pillars of Immortals is combat. And you entertained us from the first minutes. At a basic level, they are relatively simple, but as more monsters run into you or you challenge a miniboss, you have to start thinking, paying attention and, most importantly, using the whole repertoire of movements and abilities.
In addition to the classic heavy ax attack and light sword attack, you also have archery plus the ability to repel or dodge attacks. And you can do all this both on the ground and in the air. You can even start a duel on the ground, move into the air and then back to the ground. It’s all pretty nimble and it’s going to drain, but don’t expect Devil May Cry or Bayonetta-style wilderness.
There are also combos, including a typical Godofwar triple one-button attack. The combo didn’t seem complicated to us, but we definitely didn’t unlock everything on offer. Nevertheless, after a few tens of minutes, the fights passed into our blood and we began to actively search for them and enjoy them.
Although your weapons do not fall regularly from your enemies, you still often get to new pieces, for example through tasks. In any case, you can improve and modify the weapons by collecting raw materials and simply crafting.
Classic thrashing is enriched by special abilities with which the gods help you. Suddenly, you can slam into the ground with a giant magic hammer or summon a pile of arrows from the underground, which pierce them all in a certain area and throw them into the air.
The abilities look good, the fights are pleasantly seasoned and you can also improve them through the ability tree (s). The question is how many will be available in the full version of the game, how often you will be able to change them and so on, but it will be seen.
Immortals is primarily an action adventure, but of course RPG elements cannot be missing. You are almost everywhere today and who else is better than Ubisoft at zRPG. Well, the RPG in his submission means numbers. A pile of numbers that go up, which is always nice to watch. But it seems that the local RPG system focuses more on the action fights themselves than on rummaging through the tables.
Instead of too complex systems and menus, it is more of a straightforward RPG, and from that moment we got the impression that we would deal with statistics and menus much less than in the last Assassins. And you definitely didn’t have to bother with any Excel spreadsheets there either.
What, on the other hand, is not straightforward is the movement around the environment. He relies on the creator as another of the main pillars of the gameplay and consists of several elements: walking, running, jumping, double jumping, climbing practically anything, sailing, hovering and riding on a mount. By the way, you can conjure it up from the air whenever you want.
Breath of the Creed
As mentioned at the beginning, it is easy to describe Immortals to an ordinary player. But describing Immortals to an experienced player is even easier: Suffice it to say that the game mixes elements of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey with the last Zelda. The “joke” is that the creators’ hands were a little lost when they were cooking the Selda in the pot.
The inspiration for one of the best games of all time is palpable at almost every step, and if you’ve played Breath of the Wild, you’ll be amazed at how Ubisoft copies it bluntly and openly. We are not saying that it is detrimental, it is too early for such courts. But we say that by doing so, Immortals loses their unique personalities. Who knows, maybe the game will be able to create its own image after the release, but now it looks like two templates glued together with a carpet.
Where the Shrines are in Zelda, the Vaults are here. But they work exactly the same, so in one of them we played a big, physics-based version of pinball. In the second, we used the bow to access the new parts, and there are even the hidden chests.
But you will also encounter various puzzles in the open world, and yes, even then it is quite reminiscent of some Zelda puzzles – after all, just manipulating objects looks almost identical to the rune of Magnesis. Some puzzles are tiny and simple, others more extensive.
And the similarities are still not over. Instead of Sheikah Slate from Zelda, there is something in Immortals that works practically the same – on some elevated point you turn on this “telescope”, look around you, place different colored pins in the environment and then you can go to them.
Just like in Zelda, the stamina works here – when you run out, you drown, you fall off a rock, you can’t run. But in about half of the game during which the demo took place, we found stamina useful only in the context of fights, or the use of some special abilities. For example, climbing has come to the point of uselessness due to other possibilities of movement (mount, sailing, double jump, lunge …).
The end is good, everything is good?
We do not want to make any radical judgments over Immortals Fenyx Rising, and we repeat: We only played for two hours. In addition, we were thrown somewhere in the middle of a game we don’t know and we have in our hands for the first time. If someone threw us in the middle of Zelda for the first time and gave us two hours for her, her spell probably wouldn’t have a chance to breathe on us and we wouldn’t enjoy it as if we were playing it at our own pace from the beginning.
If you force us, we will tell you that Immortals does not seem like the game of the year to us at first. But we would be lying to say that we didn’t talk to her and that the two hours didn’t go too fast. It was fun and we are now more curious about what the beginning of the game, the progress and the whole “natural” gameplay looks like. Gameplay where we have to figure everything out ourselves, we have to get everything ourselves and none of the creators will talk to us in the headset with advice.
We’ll find out soon enough how it all turns out. Immortals Fenyx Rising will be released on December 3, on all relevant platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, Stage, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One X / S.