Ubisoft’s latest game and newest franchise is finally upon us. Immortals Fenyx Rising (formerly called “God and Monsters”) is an interesting game for the studio, with plenty of comparisons already being drawn to games both inside and outside of Ubisoft’s resume. But what’s the game like really?
Let’s Cover the Basics
While Immortals Fenyx Rising is a new IP for Ubisoft, all it takes is looking at the trailer to understand the comparisons to other games. Most notably, Ubisoft’s own Assassin’s Creed series and Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
When Breath of the Wild was released it was fairly obvious that Nintendo took some inspiration from other open-world games, including Ubisoft’s own stable. And in Immortals, you get to see Ubisoft take back that formula along with some of Nintendo’s ideas.
There’s the more obvious stuff like the art style, gliding, and ability to climb anywhere which all feel right out of Breath of the Wild—but it goes a bit deeper than that. The world design, while visually unique, takes heavy cues from Breath of the Wild in how it places large landmarks across its map. You can jump into enemy encampments and mini-boss fights at the drop of a hat while exploring, tackle areas in any order you want, and there’s a large number of items and treasures to be found throughout the world.
The main difference compared to Breath of the Wild from a design perspective is how dense everything is. You’ll constantly run into new challenges to complete and there isn’t much empty space to speak of. While that empty space was praised back in Breath of the Wild by many for making exploration feel more valuable, if you prefer your worlds more condensed then you’ll likely appreciate the change.
So at that point, your gameplay loop becomes pretty clear: Walk around the map finding cool stuff all while completing random objectives or one of the many “Vaults of Tartaros” which are totally not the shrines from Breath of the Wild. If you want to see some of this stuff in action for yourself, then this short gameplay video from GameSpot should be enough to satisfy you without spoiling anything major.
A Mythical Tale
While it’s up for debate whether or not it’s good that Immortals takes so much inspiration from other games, the story and setting are definitely a positive for the game. The game takes place in a world full of mythical Greek legends. From well-known tales and characters like Zeus to more obscure picks the game is teeming with references and reinterpretations of the classics myths. The entire game is centered around aligning yourself with four Greek gods to take down the fearsome Titan Typhon.
Immortals is aimed largely at a younger audience so some of the more gruesome tales are… altered, but it keeps the core elements of them alive. The game even manages to keep a rather humorous tone throughout with a lot of legitimately good humor mostly coming from the two narrators of the game, Zeus and Prometheus, constantly bickering with each other. The tone is a nice change of pace from the rest of the genre, which mostly focuses on realism or dramatic stories. If you know a lot about Greek mythology then there’s even more for you to enjoy here.
So, Should You Get ‘Immortals Fenyx Rising?’
While the gameplay of Immortals is very similar to games previously released, the game still has plenty of character to support itself. The story and writing are major selling points with Kotaku reviewer Zack Zwiezen calling it “one of the most entertaining games I’ve played all year.”
On the other side of the coin, while the world is beautiful and detailed it still exhibits many of the issues that Ubisoft’s open-world titles tend to have. Enemies and challenges are at set difficulty levels which means you have to try to increase your character’s power level through items and upgrades before progressing all too much. As Tyler Colp from Polygon puts it “the challenges of Immortals‘ world don’t grow with you.”
If you’re not a fan of open-world games or have been sick of Ubisoft’s general world design for years now, Immortals is unlikely to change your mind. However, if you love the genre or were a big fan of Breath of the Wild and just want something similar before the sequel comes out, then Immortals Fenyx Rising is sure to please you with its detailed world, fun story, and involved combat. You can even play the Google Stadia demo for free if you want to try it out before paying. Since Stadia is a streaming platform, it will work great on any PC regardless of specs, but if you have a weak internet connection you may run into some issues.
One More Thing
Immortals Fenyx Rising is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Google Stadia. If you’ve only got one of those systems then your choice is made for you, but if you do get to pick then it’s worth knowing a couple of things. Naturally, out of the consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions perform significantly better than the other systems, but the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One still perform well.
The Switch lags behind a bit compared to the other systems, with frame drops being frequent and loads of fog used to cover up parts of the map. You can see the difference between the PS5 and Switch versions in this comparison video from GameXplain, but be aware that some of these issues may be solved through patches post-launch.
Finally, the last thing I want to bring up is Immortal’s online saves. Regardless of the platform, you can save your playthrough to a Ubisoft account and then access it on another platform. It’s quick, convenient, and particularly great if you want to enjoy the game on the go on Switch while still having the higher-fidelity option of other consoles available.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean purchasing the game for one platform unlocks it for any others, but the feature is still useful to have around regardless.