Ubisoft’s Immortals Fenyx Rising rises above Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as their best 2020 game. The brand’s new IP presents itself as a fun, immersive, and smooth action-adventure title.
Needless to say, it takes its cue from Breath of the Wild. It blends the visual characteristics of Nintendo’s hit title with the mythical setting of Ancient Greece. Then, add Souls-like combat with extra fluff for a unique combination.
You play as a winged demigod on a quest to save the Olympus gods from a dangerous enemy. The storyline takes you on a consistently fun, gorgeous-looking, and challenging journey.
As a player, and an honest reviewer, and as someone weary of Ubisoft titles, I say: Immortals Fenyx Rising is perhaps a 9/10 game. We could still name a few issues here and there. Ultimately, though, perfection is a personal definition.
Immortals Fenyx Rising premiered in December 2020. It’s available for PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Windows PC.
Improving The Open-world Formula
Immortals Fenyx Rising brings a new style to the company. It uses cartoony graphics, a rich color palette, and strong particle FXs for its rich look.
Also, it uses the grassy and bright fields common in Nintendo’s game. Not only that, but it also includes physics-based puzzles and gliding as part of the core gameplay.
It’s still a Ubisoft game, though. That means a vast open-world scenario, much like previous AC titles. The map is also full of markers with things to do and explore, without meaningful activities and dull experiences.
That way, the visuals, and the open-world formula come together. Everything that’s part of the game makes sense. So, although Fenyx Rising follows a safe formula, it progresses the genre while reducing the bloat and the tedium.
In other words, it makes its open-world shine, both in terms of visuals and exploration. There’s a fun adventure to discover at the top of every mountain and beneath every bright sky.
It works as follows. Imagine you’re free to explore anything you want, although your character’s physical prowess limit’s your exploration.
Then, you see something interesting on the lake beyond. Once you get there, there’s a sense of awe because of what you found.
For the most part, traversing the game is easy. It’s fantastic, and Ubisoft knows it’s fantastic. That means you won’t even know where to go most of the time because everything you see on the horizon looks like it holds a secret to uncover.
The map is vast and full of secrets. However, it’s still reasonable, and thus it will never overwhelm you.
Unique Visual Storytelling
Immortals Fenyx Rising takes its visual style from Zelda: Breath of the Wilde. However, it does more to deliver 10/10 visuals.
Every weapon you swing and every ability you use feels explosive but yet cute; it’s dangerous and yet fun.
The draw distance is also impressive on Fenyx rising. Similarly, the world is so colorful you’ll be grasping the sights along your journey.
The game doesn’t have the most detail, and the character faces look somehow ugly. However, compared to most titles’ dull and “realistic” color schemes, Fenyx Rising looks like what it is: a videogame.
Additionally, its artistic style doesn’t ask much from your PC rig. You could comfortably play Immortals: Fenyx Rising on your budget PC with ultra graphics. The GTX 1660 line-up should be more than enough.
All of these elements serve the purpose of setting the scene. You’re a demigod on a magical, mythical, and sometimes whimsical adventure. Its visual style was a great way to paint it.
There’re temples, vaults, and puzzles all over the world you can solve at any time.
Although there’re some issues, the sound design is consistent and solid.
Environmental sounds, FX sounds, and combat sounds are excellent. There’s nothing to complain about here. There’re even sounds that reveal enemies’ location.
The OST is at the top of its game. It’s beautiful and immersive but also quick to fill the room with epic orchestral melodies. Even the main menu music is amazing.
Moreover, the soundtrack changes depending on the region you’re exploring. Sometimes it’s percussive and robust music. Other times, it’s a single instrument following you as a haunting melody.
Notably, the music comes from the same composers of the Ori franchise music, so Ubisoft worked with some of the best composers in the industry.
A Challenging World To Discover
Your only restrain is the stamina bar. Otherwise, the world welcomes you to play and explore with increasing challenges.
But it’s a hindrance either way. Perhaps you need pockets full of stamina potions before climbing a mountain and reaching a temple.
In other words, depending on your stamina, there’re some jumps you can’t make. This makes the game’s progression feel more organic and tied to character growth.
Combat challenges don’t rely on bullet-sponge enemies. These come from various categories. For example, you might not have the gear or the abilities to take on a particular enemy.
More importantly, you need stamina to dodge enemy attacks, as well as performing certain abilities. And, believe me: playing on Nightmare difficulty requires you to master dodges and parries.
You could not also have the skill to engage in group combat yet. Enemy AI is strategic and mischievous, so you need to approach each combat with both skill and witts.
Plus, these are mythical creatures far stronger than you. The odds are against the demigod. For example, you have to evade the mighty cyclops rather than face him. This makes combat fast, agile, acrobatic, and frequently against bulky creatures.
The stamina is the blue bar at the left of your character.
Then come the puzzles. You need your physical abilities to complete the puzzle to either advance the story, get gear, or collectibles. You need to understand and dominate your abilities before you engage in these quests. Otherwise, you will be lost.
Overall, the game’s design shows courage from Ubisoft. You can spend dozens of hours exploring and forget about the main quest without getting bored.
There’re no tutorials, no hand-outs, and no easy parts. The game asks you to fight for the world. Seeing both yourself and your character grow is the only motivation you need to go on.
But after many hours of progress, you’ll finally feel like the God you’re supposed to be.
A Core Design Downside
But here’s where we find a critical mistake, one that’s enough to erase some points from its perfect mark.
There’s a point in the game where you’re too powerful, so the world is no longer challenging. You became a God through effort and courage, yes, but now you’re also a God, and thus creatures can only hope to scratch you.
Combat will still be satisfying, though. Engagements transform to behave more akin to Bayonetta or Devil May Cry. It happens around 3/4th of your playthrough.
The downgraded difficulty happens because the powers you unlock are broken. For example, you unlock the ability to stun your enemies in place, which can turn any fight into a chore.
In Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you mostly unlock minor stamina upgrades, increased HP, slightly better gear, and some abilities.
Fenyx rising, though, offers six Godly powers to use on top of your abilities. Unlocking these powers is a success that eventually makes the game easier.
A Dynamic Main Plot
Fenyx Rising is full of secrets, hidden quests, and easter eggs to discover. There are even hidden cutscenes, stores, abilities, and sites all over its open world.
Aside from the secrets, the story quests are dynamic. This means random map events can interrupt your journey at any moment. For example, a miniboss could randomly chase to make simple tasks increasingly difficult.
This works because your character gathers “good deeds” as you do heroic things in the world. Once you’ve got enough positive karma, Typhon will send shades to hunt you down.
These shades can come at you at any moment, a feature that makes the game progressively complex and challenging.
You can customize some aspects of your main character, Fenyx, on the game’s creation skin. This includes skin color, hairstyle, facial hair, and genre.
Main Story Arc
The story starts when Typhon, a powerful monster, escapes from prison. The messenger God Hermes asks for your help to start the mythical creature.
Your character, Fenyx, must gather the power he needs to face the powerful monster. In doing so, he journeys across the land, temples, vaults, and mythical places.
The story missions pop up around the map, but you’ll need to improve your character before moving the story forward.
To improve your character, you’ll want to explore to find gear and resources. You can then use those resources to improve your gear, your HP, and passive stats.
This takes work; you have to earn it. However, the loot is reasonable, neither too much nor too little. It’s just enough to get excited about something new.
Zeus and Prometheus serve as the game’s narrators. The tale follows your character, Fenyx, as he collects the power he needs to take out Typhon.
The story is pretty tongue-in-cheek. There are narrations and voice-over commentary all over the place, and the general tone of the game is silly and fun.
You’ll find it either entertaining or cringe. Most people find it entertaining, though.
But because Fenyx can do anywhere since the game starts, the narration can feel out of place and without urgency. I think both narration and an open-world design don’t work together.
Progressively Fun Gameplay
The game’s design is addictive, meaningful, and fun. There’s always a random building with an environmental puzzle, a random pack of enemies with unique, challenging strategies, and more.
Puzzles are a hit or miss for me. Whereas some look hand-crafted, these range from mindless puzzles to overly complex situations.
Combat is fun. You have various magic weapons, bows & arrows, plus the standard action-adventure movements. This means dodges, parries, attacks, knockdowns, and heavy attacks.
These mechanics get better as you “level up” your character and earn skill points to spend. There’s quite a lot to choose from as you progress, with satisfying and colorful active abilities you can map on your controller or keyboard.
However, there’s not a standard level-up system. Instead, you gather collectibles to spend on various benches at the Hall of the Gods. For example, you spend Coins of Charon to improve your Godly Powers and skills.
You improve other aspects of your character similarly, like your Stamina, potions, and gear.
Finding resources depends on how much you explore the map.
Then, the skill three has a lot. It has passive abilities, sprint attacks, combos, swimming, efficiencies, climbing, and more. It makes the game get more satisfying as you put points into it.
Enemies will grow in the challenge until the latter portion of the game. But once you start unlocking your six Godly powers, they become easier to beat. Godly powers drain your stamina bar, though, so you should still fight with strategy.
Overall, the combat mixes classic RPG elements with Dark Souls challenging combat and Bayonetta’s super-fast action.
The Game Nobody is Talking About
There’s no parkour, stealth take-outs, large-scale conflicts, or sea exploration on Immortals Fenyx Rising. You can easily think it’s not as “cool” as an Assassin’s Creed title.
In other words, Fenyx competes with one of the most popular franchises in the world. It doesn’t enjoy the same level of popularity or marketing.
On top of that, the original name of the title was “Gods & Monsters.” They registered the patent in June 2019 and began a teaser campaign. However, the campaign halted when a legal feud against Monster Energy started in January 2020.
Monster Energy company already had connections with the gaming world by being the sponsor of several eSports athletes. They wanted to avoid any confusion on their clients by the existence of a game with the word “Monster” in its name.
It wasn’t a strong case, but Ubisoft decided to change the name by May 2020 either way. Needless to say, the company had a few months to market the game with the new title.
The game debuted as the 11th best-selling game of 2021. In the meantime, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is still the title that made the most revenue for the company in 2020.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is the game no one was expecting. Coming from a developer with a negative reputation, no one expected the game to be good either.
It is good, almost perfect. Even though it looks like a copycat, it has a distinct, nice feeling to it.
It thrives on the sense of discovery, fun, and exploration. All the while, it delivers smooth and addictive combat without any kind of performance issues. You can lose yourself in this game for hours without a single crash or a frame drop.
Ubisoft’s action-adventure game is fun, whimsical, challenging, and gorgeous looking. If you like Breath of The Wild, you’re going to like this one. If you like Dark Souls and similar games, you’re also going to like this game as well.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a light, open-world experience that doesn’t take a great deal of time from you, Fenyx Rising is the game to pick. It’s light, easy to grasp, but challenging enough to stay engaged all until the end.
And although the story arc looks and feels like a silly cartoon, you might actually find yourself laughing as you go along the journey.
Ubisoft’s Immortals Fenyx Rising is a 9/10 title. It’s an open-world action-adventure RPG without any bloat and full of awesome content to play.
Immortals Fenyx Rising, unlike other Ubisoft games, doesn’t have any glitches or bugs.
Is There a Multiplayer Feature in Immortals Fenyx Rising?
There is not. This is a single-player-only experience.
How Long Is Fenyx Rising?
The game takes about 40 hours to complete, albeit the main plot takes about 25 hours.
Are There Microtransactions?
There’re custom skins in the microtransaction store, but they’re no character bonuses to buy with real money.
Does Immortals Fenyx Rising Has a DLC?
Fenyx Rising has three DLCs thus far. These are “A New God,” “Myths of the Eastern,” and “The Lost Gods.”
Myths of the Eastern Realm has a new character and a new adventure revolving around Chinese mythology.
What Are the Minimum PC Requirements?
The minimum specs are:
- OS: Windows 7
- CPU: AMD FX 6300 at 3.5 Ghz / Intel Core i5-2400 at 3.1 Ghz
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 (dual-channel)
- GPU: AMD R9 280x 3GB / Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2 GB
- Storage: 33 GB