Immortals Fenyx Rising, formerly known as Gods & Monsters, is a new action and adventure game, with RPG elements, from Ubisoft. The game is an open-world sandbox inspired by the legends of Greek mythology and tells the saga of the warrior Fenyx and her journey to defeat Typhon – the fearsome destroyer of gods. THE Tecnoblog played the title for two hours and you can check the first impressions below.
Greek mythology lightly told
The game takes place in a fictional region called Forjalis, where in the control of young Fenyx you must reach Olympus and defeat Typhon, the destroyer of all gods. At launch, it will be possible to customize the appearance of Fenyx, including choosing the gender of the character.
There are references to Greek mythology in all aspects of history, starting with the narrator of his journey: Prometheus, who is known in Greek legends for his intelligence and for being a defender of humanity.
Always very concerned with how the story is being told and giving dramatic weight to the narrative, he is constantly interrupted by none other than Zeus, who takes on the role of “impatient player”, instigating Prometheus to summarize things because he “wants to return to play”.
At least in this preview, the conversations between both characters (which only appeared by voice) give the game’s comic tone, with Zeus breaking the game’s own barrier and making up what a player would feel when a cutscene is too long, or when there is lots of explanation for simple things and etc.
The chat between these two very different profiles was a surprise, which even earned me a few laughs, and was also what stood out the most in the game’s history in this preview. Because, let’s face it, the journey of a hero raised as a champion of the gods to save the world is not something new. But then again, I only played for two hours.
This is not the first time that Ubisoft breaks the game’s barrier to chat directly with the player. In Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, best standalone game released by the French company (in my opinion), this was seen almost all the time. Of course, in a much more debauched and hilarious way than I realized in Immortals Fenyx Rising, but the effort is valid and went well with the narrative style shown.
I say this because this is a game with a light footprint, in the sense that it will apparently not instigate deep reflections or heavier moral decisions. It is Greek mythology told as if it were an adventure cartoon. Some information is there, but duly scripted in a more informal tone.
Combats, puzzles and exploration
Immortals Fenyx Rising it is essentially an open world sandbox. Nothing new under the Sun so far. For those who like the genre, there is much to explore, for example. In the tests, I only had access to a small region of the map and yet I found several activities available, such as a vortex that took me to another dimension to solve puzzles and win a prize.
In fact, there are many puzzles scattered almost everywhere. Some are very simple to solve and others are really hard work, especially when it is necessary to search a whole mountain or ruin for answers, or activate levers at the right time (having to go up and down walls, fly over arches, etc.).
So, here’s the warning: if you hate puzzles, you probably won’t enjoy the game much. I like it, so come on, I’ll give you that positive point. Still talking about exploration, in Immortals Fenyx Rising you will be able to explore seven large regions with different environments.
I still have mixed feelings about the combat, but about what I experienced until I found it pleasant – despite the little variety of enemies. For testing purposes, the demo used in the preview already had several abilities unlocked. It took me a while to get used to all of them, after all there were many new scams at the same time.
Once I learned to combine the skills, divine powers and make combos (both on the ground and in the air) I didn’t feel so much more difficult in the fights, even against the bigger opponents (there is a challenge from the gods on the map too). I was playing at the normal level and it was the maximum available in the preview. According to Ubisoft, more challenging levels will be available at launch.
Featured in the combat gameplay for your phoenix, which is your companion bird of the time. It really does powerful attacks against enemies, under your command, and it doesn’t just map the region or hinder the opponents’ vision, as in Assassins Creed. Well, it’s a phoenix and not an ordinary eagle, let’s agree.
I believe that to give a greater degree of difficulty, both to exploration and combat, the developers have implemented a stamina management system for running, flying (using their divine wings), climbing, dodging and blocking. Not paying attention to your stamina is what can most complicate you in a fight. Especially against several opponents at the same time.
You will not be able, for example, to climb an entire mountain in one breath or fly an entire map. Over time, it will be necessary to find places to rest and recover stamina. It is also worth storing a lot of potions to help with this (it is possible to make different potions in specific locations on the map). Also try to tame a horse. Depending on the rarity of the animal, they may have almost a stamina tank attached.
Character progression and skill tree
Immortals Fenyx Rising has a clear focus on gameplay at the expense of status and levels. The progression system is a very light version of an RPG. There is a skill tree for investing points in skills and improving them, but nothing too complex. I even found it simpler than the skill tree of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey, which was also not that difficult to manage.
As you progress through the adventure, you’ll also be able to find more powerful equipment that, as expected, will give you more boosts in battle as well as allowing you to customize your look. There is grinding to do, especially to collect (or earn) resources for various uses, such as unlocking and making upgrades.
Cartoon look and very colorful
Because it was a remote test, I played from my PC accessing an Ubisoft server, it would not be fair (at this moment) to visually evaluate the game in depth. However, aesthetically speaking, Immortals Fenyx Rising it’s kind of a hybrid between Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Fortnite.
AC Odyssey for the setting inspired by the gods of Greek mythology, Breath Of The Wild for the panoramic and Fortnite by the artistic style of the characters and objects. All of this very colorful, but in the right measure.
Being 100% sincere, I had fun playing Immortals Fenyx Rising. I really like sandbox games. The two hours of testing flew by and I hardly noticed. The game is entertaining, but not surprising to the point of being something unforgettable. It’s that bean and rice that a lot of people like, but they already know exactly what to expect (even with a different flavor from time to time).
As this is a preview, there is no way I’m going to hit the hammer definitively. I want to play more and see if, at some point, I will notice something that marks me in some way. It doesn’t even have to be anything revolutionary, but it reminds me of this game just like I remembered Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon in this text.
Immortals Fenyx Rising arrives on December 3, 2020 for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC. The game will also be present on the new generation consoles and will have audio and subtitle options in Brazilian Portuguese.