Picture Credit: Ubisoft
Picture Credit: Ubisoft

Fenyx may not be the hero the Greek Gods want, but she (or he if you so desire) are the hero they need right now. With the deadliest Titan of all time, Typhon, having escaped from his prison, Zeus and the rest of the mythological Gods are forced to rely on the efforts of the young warrior-turned-demigod if they wish to see their world survive.

Formerly known as Gods and Monsters, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a brand new property, inspired by the love that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey saw upon its release. A lot of the inspiration for the game’s mechanics come from the Assassin’s Creed franchise because of this, and you’d be forgiven for pointing out the glaringly-obvious comparisons that can be made with Nintendo Switch exclusive The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

It’s because of all of this that despite the open world here being a new one, that those diving into the game who are seasoned gamers may find it easier than complete newcomers or casual gamers to find their feet.

A wider range of difficulty options than ever are now available so that all types of players can approach the game with confidence, tailoring the experience to their needs and changing it along the way where necessary. Enemy damage, puzzles and challenges are all affected by the difficulty level, so make sure to adapt it to cater to your gameplay.

With Olympos on the line, Fenyx is granted a number of unique gifts by the Gods who hope to once again call the land their home. Whilst some of them are under Typhon’s spell and susceptible more than others to the curse plaguing their land, those who want to ensure Fenyx’s legend is a strong one will offer help to each of them.

King of the Gods Zeus may have imprisoned the titan Prometheus on the snowy cliffs many moons ago, but it is he who he turns to at his time of his need. Don’t expect a strong and confident leader here; Zeus is an egotistical and childish man baby with a short attention span and plethora of corny jokes. You’ll hear plenty of those as he interrupts the narration of the story from Prometheus; also the man who insists that Fenyx is the only way the Gods survive.

Picture Credit: Ubisoft
Picture Credit: Ubisoft

In other games, this sort of back-and-forth narration would be distracting, but in the colourful world of Immortals, it only adds to the overall experience; and what an experience it is!

The lush and vibrant landscapes vary as you traverse from one God’s designated area to the next, each offering up some stunning scenery and high points you’ll be able to climb to, before scouting the area with a zoom ability that drops pins onto the map for areas of interest. 

Though you can visit these locations by following the 25-hour-or-so campaign from start to finish, you’re also able to move to them whenever you like, picking up mini quests and challenges along the way. It’s up to you to shape your own journey.

You’re not going to want to rush through so you can see each and every region, however. Mastering your Stamina bar is one of the most important aspects of playing; you don’t want to be scaling a mountain and suddenly run out of stamina before plunging to an untimely death. Sprinting and parrying attacks will also see your stamina bar take a hit, so make sure to find your balance early on.

Aphrodite, Ares, Hermes and Athena are just some of the Gods you'll meet throughout the game, each with their own motivations and ambition. Tracking each of them is just the start; you'll be tasked with restoring their essence if you wish to gain their blessings and recruit them in the fight against Typhon.

This isn’t an easy ride. In making his escape, Typhon has ripped apart the veil that separated the world of humanity from the underworld of Tartaros, unleashing powerful monsters and beasts throughout the Golden Isle. It was in taking these enemies on where I found myself struggling the most.

Picture Credit: Ubisoft
Picture Credit: Ubisoft

Let me be clear, I’m not the best when it comes to in-game combat and I do like playing on baby mode whenever possible. The battles in Immortals however did feel a little unbalanced from time to time. Though I timed my dodges to slow time, parry and respond with my own attacks, there were points where it didn’t seem to be enough to turn the tides in my favour.

My favourite part of the game was coming across random puzzles inspired by some of the most famous - and even some relatively unknown - Greek tales. The way in which developers had combined these stories with challenging puzzles kept on surprising me, allowing me to learn a little mythology whilst enjoying my adventure.

Then there were the Vaults of Tartaros. These offered up more puzzles, or combat challenges, with varying degrees of difficulty. It’s in these areas that you can pick up new abilities and Zeus’ lightning bolts, the latter of which can be used to upgrade your Stamina bar and improve your overall experience. Your health bar can also be upgrading, through the Ambrosia you can collect throughout Olympos.

As one of the most-anticipated games of the year, Immortals Fenyx Rising had high expectations to live up to. With writing that you’ll either love or hate (there really is no in-between when using this sort of humour) and a steep learning curve for casual gamers when it comes to combat, it may not be for everybody.

Miss out at your peril however. It’s absolutely one I’d recommend experiencing upon release.

Immortals Fenyx Rising is officially released on December 3rd 2020, available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and Microsoft Windows.

A code for the game on Xbox Series X was given to Female First in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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