Going into Immortals Fenyx Rising it was clear a lot of effort was put into it. From lush visuals, neat trailers, and even a Stadia demo, it looked to be one of the last exciting games of 2020. However, with COVID-19 resulting in rushed products, major releases being forced out for next-generation sales, and a general sense of sell now, fix later, a new franchise like this can be scary. Between these good and bad points there is a lot of things to consider with Immortals Fenyx Rising, but which path does this legend take? Here’s our Immortals Fenyx Rising review.
At its core, the story of Immortals Fenyx Rising is pretty simple. Typhon, one of the titans in Greek mythology, has escaped and Zeus needs to defeat him again. In his journey to find aid in the upcoming battle, he asks Prometheus, who you might recall was punished for giving humans fire, for help who offers a deal. If Typhon is defeated by a mortal, Zeus will free him and if the mortal falls, Prometheus will aid Zeus in battle. This prompts the story of the player-created character Fenyx.
The story of Fenyx is really nothing unexpected from one set in Greek mythology. Each of the gods needs help, you’re tasked with helping them and ultimately build your power and resources to defeat a larger than life threat. Most of the gods are portrayed in a familiar, yet interesting way, each offering some charm, with Zeus offering abundant commentary of dubious quality. It makes for a thrilling adventure, one that is really brought to life by the world and combat system.
A lot of people compare Immortals Fenyx Rising to Assassin’s Creed, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and similar experiences, which isn’t exactly surprising. These concepts are present in look, presentation, combat, and even side tasks. It makes for a thrilling experience, assuming you’re willing to invest the time.
Combat starts by being a simple action-adventure game, but there are deeper elements. Well-timed dodges will slow time down, nearby objects can be thrown at enemies, there is a parry function and even certain attacks can be countered with good tactics. Simplicity is often masked by the more resourceful elements. Less worrying about how to defeat current foes and more realizing rocks, sneak attacks, or simply baiting enemies is the way to play. Success will vary but abundant healing items and forgiving, yet still challenging, mechanics make it easy to learn and hard to master.
Outside of combat, there is a shockingly high number of puzzles and things to explore on the island. It seems like every corner has a new puzzle and while a lot of them have their own take on a central idea, it adds a lot to the exploration elements. Best of all, a lot of them actually give various elements a point.
Sometimes a puzzle is as simple as finding resources to drop on a plate to open doors and other times they’re complicated engagements that require multiple attempts to master. Many of the arrow puzzles ride that line between frustrating and engaging by asking players to guide an arrow through a maze of obstacles. For example, one I did start with me standing on a plate, shooting it through a flame, going through a crack in the wall, turning it back to that room, and then curving it just right to light a flame. It was far from impossible, though it took multiple attempts, at least it was fun.
In addition to having plenty to do, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a pretty game with vibrant colors and plenty of striking visuals. A lot is done with the world of creatures and gods, often causing locations to stand out and photos to look, at least on the Xbox Series X, stunning. That alone is enough to make exploring fun, given secrets, lovely settings, and dynamic area.
Just like in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, players will have an option to whether to choose between performance or quality mode. With performance mode, the game runs at sixty frames per second, which runs the game silky smooth, while the quality mode runs at solid 4K resolution but capped at thirty frames per second. Between the two, I went with the performance mode, which makes the journey with Fenyx a satisfying one.
All of this, unfortunately, comes at a cost and that is the high investment Immortals Fenyx Rising asks. There is no point where things ever really feel simple. There are seemingly endless tasks, objectives, and things to figure out, all of which give you resources to boost your attacks and powers, ultimately leading to a better overall experience. For many, this can be overwhelming, but for anyone looking for a larger and engaging experience, it’s great.
Don’t be surprised if all the optional stuff causes some delays. Often times I would find a cool hallway, explore it, and spend 20 minutes doing a puzzle over saving Ares or caught up with other tasks along the way. Not really a downside, just something to consider.
Immortals Fenyx Rising Review – Verdict
Overall, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a fantastic game and one of the better open-world exploration titles in recent memory. Combat is great, puzzles are fun and there is so much to see and experience that it’s easy to get sidetracked. It would be nice if some of the puzzles were a bit less tedious, but I can hardly fault them for trying to offer a more engaging experience. So if you want a lovely world to explore, look no further than Immortals Fenyx Rising.
[Editor’s Note: Immortals Fenyx Rising was reviewed on Xbox Series X platform and a copy was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]