Immortals: Fenyx Rising is an open-world action-adventure game from Ubisoft, the developers of everything from Assassins Creed to Rayman. I remember seeing a couple of pictures from the game a few months before it was released and, honestly, I was not impressed. It looked like something from the early 2000’s with updated graphics. So, I mostly ignored anything to do with it.
Then, shortly after its release, I read a short review that compared it to Breath of the Wild—one of my all time favorite games. I was still a little hesitant, but I had just managed to secure a PS5…
I needed a couple of launch titles to test the system out, so I grabbed Immortals: Fenyx Rising on a lark.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve made (game wise) in a long time.
So, if you were on the fence, as I once was, let me try and convince you that the grass is indeed much greener on this side.
A Mythic Tale…
The story of Immortals: Fenyx Rising begins with Typhon—the biggest, scariest monster in all of Greek Mythology—being released from his subterranean prison. He subsequently defeats all the gods standing in his way and begins gathering power so that he can corrupt the world and remake it in his image.
Zeus, the last remaining holdout of the gods, goes to seek help from Prometheus.
Now, Prometheus isn’t in any kind of mood to help Zeus, especially since Zeus chained him to a rock to suffer for all eternity.
He does, however, propose a wager: If a mortal hero can defeat Typhon, then Zeus has to release Prometheus. If the mortal is unsuccessful, then Prometheus will help Zeus by speaking to the Titans.
Zeus takes the bet because he has no faith in mortals, and either way it’s a win for him. So, Prometheus begins the “Tale of Fenyx, the mortal who will defeat Typhon.”
..And A Godly Heckler
The whole game is, therefore, a story being told.
This is one of my favorite aspects of the game for a number of reasons. The first is that, while Prometheus is trying to tell his story, Zeus continuously interrupts with little asides and anecdotes about how awesome he is and how terrible everyone else is. He constantly questions why mortals suck so hard…
…and he’s pretty much out to ruin a good story in the most hilarious way possible.
This dynamic is also an interesting way to introduce the various myths and legends of ancient Greek mythology. Prometheus usually gives you the standard version of whichever myth you happen to stumble upon, and then Zeus will chime in with his two cents. This injects a huge amount of personality into the story, which it would have lacked otherwise.
More Than a Copy
The gameplay in Immortals: Fenyx Rising is eerily similar to Breath of the Wild In a lot of ways. You can climb just about anything, you have a depleting stamina gauge, you have a set of wings that are functionally the hang-glider that Link uses, and I could add about a dozen other ways in which it is similar. However for all the ways it imitates Breath of the Wild, there are a dozen more in which it sets itself apart.
The first is combat. In BOTW, fighting enemies required an amount of strategy and preparation that wasn’t exactly tedious, but could border on it from time to time. This was especially true since your weapons could break.
Fenyx dumps all the tedium and focuses on letting you run wild. The parry and dodge mechanics coupled with your godly powers and rudimentary skill trees make combat an ever evolving ballet of blades.
The second way Fenyx separates itself from BOTW is the previously-mentioned skill trees. While Link is basically the same throughout BOTW, Fenyx is constantly improving in significant ways. Her progression is similar to that of a Metroidvania protagonist, except your new skills aren’t required to beat the game. Her glide gets a movement speed increase. You even get a double jump.
The last difference (that I’ll bother to mention) is the potion system. While BOTW had a staggering amount of potions to make and foods to cook, which had varying effects, Fenyx opted to streamline this process. There are only four items you need to gather in order to create the potions that sustain you.
You don’t have to remember any complicated recipes or spend your time trying to figure out the right amount of ingredients. You simply take one of your four ingredients and create a potion out of it. You can increase the potion’s effectiveness by upgrading your cauldrons, but it is simple and wildly effective.
Got My Mind on My Puzzles and My Puzzles on My Mind
My absolute favorite aspect of Immortals: Fenyx Rising is the puzzles—and there are a lot of them.
The most fun I had in the game was going up to a high point, locating all the nearby challenges and puzzles, and then systematically completing each one.
Sometimes a puzzle was as simple as pushing a block onto a switch. Other times you’d face an interconnected series of puzzles, each of which required you to scour an entire area for every rock, tree, and block in order to solve them.
Now, I will say that the variation on puzzles wasn’t extensive by any definition of the word. They were essentially the same handful of mechanics over and over. However, what they lacked in variety they made up for in execution.
Sure, most puzzles involved moving blocks or shooting arrows, but the amount of diversity that was displayed within these confines was enough to keep me searching for more.
I also found that there was, sometimes, more than one solution to a puzzle. While most were straightforward, others allowed for wiggle room. Can’t find the block that you’re clearly missing to hold down a pressure plate? Look for some rocks nearby and use them instead. Can’t find a large block to stand on to make a high jump? Exploiting your Ares’s wrath ability could give you the boost you need.
This leniency where puzzles were involved led me to try increasingly obtuse methods to solve them… and it was an absolute blast.
A Hero Risen
Overall, Immortals: Fenyx Rising is an amazing game. The story, while simple, is entertaining, and the characters are hilarious and quirky. The combat is fast paced—even if it does eventually get a little stale once your enemies reach their difficulty cap—and the puzzles are plentiful and on-point.
So, if you are looking for a game to really sink your teeth into, I recommend you do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
I’m giving Immortals: Fenyx Rising an epic 9/10.
Zeus: What? you couldn’t just give a ten.
I mean, it was really really good, but it wasn’t perfect.
Zeus: Well, we’ll see how you feel once I turn you into a swan or a tree or something.