Grade: 2.5 / 5.0
Ubisoft has successfully developed the action-adventure open-world framework to death. Immortals Fenyx Rising, the developer’s third game of the same genre in less than two months, was made by the team that previously developed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and has a lot in common with the franchise.
In Immortals, players take control of Fenyx, a Greek soldier in the midst of an epic story told to Zeus by the giant Prometheus, who, according to legend, Zeus chained him to the mountain. When God of War approaches the fictional world of Greek mythology in earnest, Immortals has a refreshing sarcastic tone that mocks original myths.
Although the setting is new, Immortals nothing else. Just like Assassin’s Creed, Immortals’ open world gives way to a vertical traverse: Fenyx can climb almost anything, and by reaching the summit, players can clear and unlock the surrounding area. Her battlefield is also reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed, albeit she prefers more button presses rather than precise timing. Sneaking is also an option in both, but Immortal’s pirate and slash combat is far more polished than stealthy.
What Immortals doesn’t bring back from Assassin’s Creed, it’s taken from other open-world games, and most obviously 2017’s Nintendo’s hit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Immortals’ story itself seems to derive from Breath of the Wild: instead of Link, the protagonist is Fenyx, a lonely adventurer who must enlist the help of the fallen gods (read: Zelda heroes) in order to regain control of the world from the brutal, glowing red (Typhoon, instead of Janon).
The most fun item in Immortals is the multi-dimensional lockers. These are challenging levels that feature complex physics-based puzzles, forcing players to use different gameplay mechanics in conjunction with appropriate timing. However, Immortals’ success here also comes from their lack of anxiety. Even the best of Immortal Lockers looks like a dulled version of the completely complex, creative, and dull Zelda A native Puzzle shrines.
Aside from its dismal lack of imagination, Immortals has many elements of a competent open world game. The character’s aesthetic designs and shaded exaggerations match the game’s ironic sense of humor. Its vibrant world is full of thrilling adventures, menacing foes and enticing loot, while its battlefield, although not particularly deep, is consistently satisfying in terms of performance, Team Immortals performs better than both. Watch Dogs: Legion And the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, With some glitches and tire drops.
However, the open world issues typical of Ubisoft are still present at Immortals. The map is stuffed back to the brim with unnecessary side targets, and after a few hours, they begin to blend together. On top of that, the progression in Immortals is an enormous pain: Players can upgrade your Fenyx’s health, stamina, and special abilities, each of the four potions and four weapons. However, for each upgradeable attribute, players must collect enough of the specific acquisitions. As a result, leveling Fenyx can be a tedious and gritty affair. By the time Fenyx is fully upgraded, the main story is almost over, and there is little incentive to continue exploring the world in the post-game phase.
Ultimately, Immortals is another open-world game that would have benefited from a narrower focus. When mixed with typical cut and paste elements, much of Immortals’ charm fades before the game gets to its step. Its narration is engaging – the solo episodes are fun to play at the moment, but nothing, except for the humorous narration of Zeus and Prometheus, leaves a lasting impression. Much of the side content serves no purpose other than to extend the length of the game, with nearly every part staying for a very long time. Despite the attractive visuals, players can’t help but ultimately set the time when each combat encounter starts to feel the same.
Had Ubisoft stripped away the filler content, perhaps Immortals’ ingenious writing and puzzle-based gameplay elevated the game to a higher level than general boot status. As it stands, Ubisoft’s new non-native IP is only able to provide a less in depth version of its pre-existing experiences.
This review is based on the PlayStation 5 version of Immortals Fenyx Rising.
Neil Hymes is Deputy Editor for Arts and Entertainment. Call him at [email protected].