When a mighty titan defeats the Greek gods and scattered them over the Golden Island, an unproven shield-bearer named Fenyx washes himself ashore. Fenyx is more of a storyteller than a soldier. Now he must write a legend of his own, reunite the gods and challenge the evil power known as Typhon in the ultimate underdog story. Much like its protagonist, Immortals Fenyx Rising seeks to be more than a game that just repeats the glory of others. It adds its own mythical flair, in addition to Ubisoft Quebec’s earlier work on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The result is an exciting and unique open world adventure that deserves a place in the gaming pantheon.
Exploring the Golden Island is a joyful experience. Lush graphics (inspired by Studio Ghibli’s films) create lush and diverse biomes, and your traversing skills make it easy to navigate the world. Fenyx (who can be male or female) can climb almost any surface as long as he has the stamina, or jump off a mountain or statue and glide over long distances with ease. Even when I had quick travel options to get to my destination faster, I usually chose to do the trip manually. Every corner I turned or explored rewarded me with puzzles to solve or enemies vying for equipment, resources, and other rewards.
As Fenyx progresses, immortals fulfill a great power fantasy. The combat system initially emphasizes basic attacks, parries, and evasive maneuvers, but this common repertoire quickly builds into a repertoire that lets you chain together fantastic god-like powers. You can order your birdmate to rain down death from above as you summon a group of spears underground and finish the combo with a devastating swing of a giant hammer. Immortals always features stylish action that encourages you to create your combos and customize your gear to suit your play style. Unfortunately, the enemy types repeat themselves; By the end of the trip, I was fed up with fighting the usual Cyclops and gryphons, so I was actively looking for the unique optional bosses.
When I wanted an uphill battle, I took on the corrupt forms of legendary heroes like Achilles and Odysseus, or tracked down mythical forms of monsters like Medusa or Ozomene. Although you’ll gain strength quickly as the Fenyx adventure progresses, these optional battles feature a variety of battles that will test your skills and strategies – and reward you with unique equipment.
Outside of the challenging battles, my favorite tasks with immortals are the often protruding vaults of Tartaros. Much like the shrines in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, these large themed rooms pose different puzzles, each requiring a different tactic. I enjoyed the innovative ways immortals used to force me to break my brain. One hired me to activate gusts of wind to overcome obstacles while another figured out how to move boxes to push switches without being destroyed by lasers. These safes are so carefully and deliberately designed that when I finally saw the big picture, I always appreciated how clever the solutions were. Standard vaults are often short and sweet, but god vaults, which usually take place at the end of the main stories, are long, involved rooms that can take up to an hour to complete. Not only did I love working through these longer vaults, but they are the perfect way to bow down the storylines with some of the most iconic characters in Greek mythology as the lines of language play as the vault progresses, providing additional insight into the vaults true nature and motivation of this God.
With a narrative that includes a world-reshaped animal alongside the most powerful warriors, gods and monsters of Greek mythology, one might think that Immortals Fenyx Rising takes itself seriously. However, its high stakes and dark premise are punctuated by comedies, which with many of its characters deliver a light-hearted tone full of lovable moments. Although the jokes don’t always land, I appreciated the strong mix of sarcasm, self-irony, and breaking the fourth wall. While an out of nowhere joke has the potential to get you out of the action-packed story, the writing is masterfully done, keeping the tone constant throughout and neither the serious nor the comical moments are out of place.
Immortals has all the ingredients I want from an epic, cosmopolitan adventure full of mythology. Immortals Fenyx Rising uses his innumerable inspirations to discover his own identity and to offer an outstanding open world experience.