Whats in a name? That which we call a game by any other name would still play as sweet.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is an easy game to dismiss, wearing its inspiration of one of the games of the generation on its sleeve and made by a company infamous for its recycled open world mechanics. However Ubisoft has departed from their typical offerings of more grounded games set in the real world for Immortals, instead opting for a game set within the Greek Mythos. In this departure from form they have created a colourful and vibrant world with fun exploration and challenges with a fanciful combat system with a surprising amount of versatility.
It follows the story, as told by Prometheus to Zeus, of Fenyx, a storyteller and wannabe warrior as he washes up on the Golden Isle. Zeus returned from a party in Hades to find the Golden Isle overcome by his ancient enemy Tython and his fellow gods and family imprisoned. They then narrate Fenyx’s adventures as he explores and fights his way across the Isle and is enlisted in the fight against Tython. As Fenyx explores the isle, he meets with the imprisoned Gods and helps them to regain their essence to help in the fight. Each quest to restore the gods to their former glory offers an interesting characterisation of the gods and the stories that define their mythos, and what their essence is. Immortals is typically very light hearted in tone, with plenty of jokes and innuendo sprinkled through.
Exploring the Golden Isle rarely leaves you far from something to find, and all of it relevant to gameplay, Ambrosia to increase max health, potion ingredients, chests of loot and a variety of puzzles for gaining the skill upgrading currency. Between these there were of course enemies to fight, corrupted soldiers, minotaurs and gorgons all with scaling difficulties make up some of the array of foes to be met. Wraiths of some of the classic Greek Heroes will also hunt you until you seek out their lair to defeat them, providing challenging boss fights. The gear you have found will help in these fights, providing simple benefits to an area you want to focus, offering increased damage with the sword or improved healing as an example. Gear also offers you easy visual customisation, so you can always have your favourite buff and your favourite look. Stats are increased universally at the forge, permanently improving the slot of the item and not just the equipped item.
The combat of Immortals starts simple enough with light and heavy attacks from a sword and axe respectively and a bow for the pesky flying harpies. Soon you learn (in an order of your choosing) the special attacks that add flair and damage to your rotation. Once specials are unlocked a fun time was to be had juggling smaller enemies or slamming them into the ground with a giant hammer. The skills trees are quite shallow, and if you take your time with the game there is a good chance you will be able to unlock all the skills. However this also means that all skills you purchase have a meaningful impact on the gameplay in some way, always offering increased damage or another context to use a skill.
Puzzles are another large aspect to the game and come in a variety of styles offering different challenges. While there are plenty of pressurised plates to place rocks onto and torches to light, these still stayed varied enough through my 45 hours. There are also archery challenges, musical lyre challenges, and traversal challenges that utilise the fun movement to be had in Immortals. Puzzles also come in the form of Vaults of Tartaros, which are separate areas with more involved puzzles and the occasional combat challenges that provide you with a more prolonged challenge in different stages of difficulty.
Whilst Immortals had no points where that sent it over the edge to excellent, it was still a very enjoyable game with plenty to do. Overall I felt that Immortals Fenyx Rising largely achieved what Ubisoft was aiming for, and I am looking forward to the DLC to see how that changes up the offerings.