Formerly Gods and Monster, Immortals Fenyx Rising is Ubisoft's new action-adventure license. This open-world does not hide its influences and happily draws on other productions from the French publisher and in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to offer a hybrid gaming experience. The formula struggled to surprise me during my preview sessions, but what is the adventure worth overall?
WE ENJAILLE FENYX
Taking place in Greek mythology, Immortals Fenyx Rising tells the story of Fenyx. This avatar, whose gender and appearance can be chosen, washes up on an unknown beach and discovers the petrified body of his brother Lygiron. In search of an answer, he or she crosses paths with a mysterious young man who seems well aware of events unfolding in these lands. Mandated by the latter, Fenyx is entrusted with the difficult task of rescuing 4 Olympian Deities to prepare for the ineluctable battle that will oppose him to the titan Typhon. Our protagonist will also have to travel to the four corners of Olympus to meet each of the Gods and thus gain power. This structure will probably be familiar to you, because it is simply modeled on that of Zelda Breath of the Wild. This isn't the only facet of BOTW that Immortals Fenyx Rising borrows, as it also takes over most of the exploration mechanics. So you can climb any surface, spot and mark features on the map once atop a mountain, and soar long distances with Daedalus' wings. These movement options are subject to a stamina gauge that can be extended in exchange for resources gleaned here and there. So lately Genshin Impact had borrowed some of these codes, he put them to the service of an experience that ultimately had little to do with Nintendo's title. Immortals, on the other hand, don't go that far and offers nothing more or less than a “BOTW-Like”.
Once all of their basic tools have been collected, the player is dropped into the open world and can also go wherever they want, with a few exceptions. Impossible to face Typhon from the first moments of the adventure, for example. To achieve his goals, our hero will have to climb statues bearing the effigies of the gods to be saved and thus recover information on the surrounding places. It will also allow him to discover the location of the nearest deity. On his way, he will come across many rifts leading to Tartarus where he will have to solve riddles and puzzles to collect Zeus lightning bolts and other resources to improve his stamina or health. These puzzles are fun to solve and need not be ashamed of the game as a model. We regret, however, that most of these challenges only offer one solution and are based on the same two powers. The tools offered to the player here are primarily offensive, so they can only interact with the world by moving objects or igniting torches and roots with flaming arrows. The puzzles are also locked and, like the open world, do not leave room for any emerging gameplay.
Resources gleaned here and there are also used to unlock techniques and improve weapons. If this skill tree of modest size allows you to develop your character and increase the damage of your 4 special moves, it does not drastically influence the game experience. The first abilities unlocked will allow you to face more situations, including being able to fight more easily in the air, but the majority of the points of improvement represent a gross gain of power. Thus the player will not have to make drastic choices orienting his character towards a precise style of play. This point is not necessarily damaging and shows certain accessibility conducive to the discovery of the genre, but this system may lack depth for those who have already touched a new Assassin's Creed for example. These players will recognize the identical allocation of keys and several skills directly borrowed from the flagship license of Ubisoft. This makes sense because the team behind Odyssey is in charge of Immortals. The two games share a few game systems while Greek mythology supports the two adventures.
The bases of the clashes are identical, however, there is an emphasis on aerial combat with several attacks allowing to launch into a targeted enemy. Add to that the perfect dodges and counters of BOTW and AC Odyssey, and you end up with gameplay that is accessible, efficient, and far from obnoxious but struggles to fully engage seasoned players. The particularly wide execution windows of the defensive options make them overpowering, even against a supposedly too tough enemy. It is also easy, to avoid a blow, to slow down time and to pulverize the unfortunate one who dared to challenge you. Going the game hard doesn't really fix this lack of challenge, as it primarily affects damage dealt and damage received and not dodge or counterbalance. Finally, there is a combo system that increases the damage inflicted and the range of hits once certain levels are exceeded.
A BEAUTIFUL, DENSE AND FUN OPEN WORLD TO EXPLORE
While it is not original in its structure or in its combat system, Immortals Fenyx Rising still manages to offer something new. Its open world is based on a known formula, of course, but by offering a smaller than average playing area and a relatively short experience, count twenty hours of straight-line play, it manages to stand out from the crowd. Using the verticality offered by its climbing system, the open world of Immortals is very pleasant to navigate. As said before, each section of Olympus is dedicated to a deity. The latter's identity is heightened and shines through in every element placed on its land. The meadows of the lands of Aphrodite are lush and full of vivid, saturated color, while the Temple of Ares is surrounded by ancient desert battlefields. If this environmental storytelling is not subtle, it is clear that it works well. The density and verticality of the open-world offer pretty panoramas and particularly well-composed reliefs. The many peaks overlooking the valleys and the sharp splits between biomes sometimes make the player feel like they are walking through an amusement park designed especially for them. The game systems invite exploration, as the pieces of armor and resources needed to upgrade Fenyx can be obtained by solving micro-puzzles scattered around the world. While they integrate well into the open world in terms of play, these puzzles have no scriptwriting justification and only serve the gameplay. The weapons and armor collected unfortunately have little effect on the gameplay, slightly altering our hero's stats. Ultimately, while this world doesn't reinvent the wheel, it's undeniably fun to walk around while its reasonable scale and density will do good to those who find BOTW too empty or Assassin's Creed Odyssey too rich.
What about the technique?
Immortals Fenyx Rising is a game straddling several generations and must, in addition, make concessions to hold on to the Nintendo hybrid. The least we can say is that the title comes out with honors. While not a technical stallion, Immortals is far from naughty during the gameplay phases. It spins like a charm in dynamic 4K 60 FPS on new generation consoles in Performance mode and the viewing distance is a pleasure to see. No aliasing is to be deplored and the colors are vibrant. Although it does not offer a Waow effect like Demon's Souls or Assassin's Creed Valhalla can, it's hard to fault the technique of Ubisoft's latest game on Next Gen consoles. We may regret a certain lack of details or facial animations from another age on the models of the protagonists during the cut-scenes. But once in play, Immortals is very solid visually. We of course take advantage of very short loading times, thanks to the machines' SSD, which makes Fast Travel particularly pleasant. The PS4 and One versions do not have to be ashamed and display a completely correct rendering without achieving the visual comfort of the next gen versions. Even on the "Fat" versions, the game is doing admirably well and we only regret the textures a little less fine and aliasing more present than on their little sisters. Running at a steady 30 FPS on first-gen PS4 and Xbox One, Immortals isn't much less enjoyable to pick up, as the title requires little keen camera movement and the action doesn't require out-of-the-box precision. common. The open world of Immortals draws its beauty from its architecture and artistic direction which works very well in-game. The rare technical concessions made by these versions also do not tarnish the pleasure we have in traveling the plains.
On Switch, it is complicated to work miracles, the display distance and the resolution take a hit and there are occasional drops in framerate. The game is much less beautiful, but nothing crippling that could spoil the experience is to be noted. Below is an early game footage captured on Nintendo Switch to help you make up your own mind. We may recommend that you play in portable mode more readily to mitigate the technical flaws inherent in less powerful support. Finally, we will notice a few bugs causing enemies to leave the combat area or physical problems forcing us to load a save to start a puzzle again. Nothing too dramatic, but it's worth noting.
THE TWO-MEN SHOW
Its open world is engaging, but the same can't be said for its storyline. The story isn't particularly bad to follow, but the storytelling and cut-scenes are regularly laughable. The story of Fenyx is the materialization of a discussion between Zeus and Prometheus, who do not hesitate to influence events or comment on our every move. If the rise of the "Big Hammer of Hephaestus" makes our narrators laugh, unfortunately, this is not the case. Often heavy and mishandled, the incessant jokes and lines of Zeus and Prometheus detract from the immersion more than anything else and the cutscenes sometimes seem endless. Sad to say, but Immortals Fenyx Rising never shines brighter than when the narrator duo are silent and let us enjoy the very well-dosed soundtrack and ambient sounds. Obviously, as the appreciation of a galéjade is highly subjective, everyone will make their own opinion, but unfortunately, we were not charmed by the writing of Immortals. In short, while the script is fine, the storytelling is far from free from flaws. Immortals continually tries to get a smile out of us, but never succeeds, all due to a poorly mastered pace, terribly flat lines, and an exhibition that is too functional not to seem artificial. The fields and setbacks follow one another tirelessly and if sometimes the camera tries a few flashes, it is very quickly defused by a lack of sound design or free movements that add nothing to the narration. Not all of this is helped by facial animations from another age and artistic direction that is much less successful in cut-scenes than in game.
Immortals Fenyx Rising Review Conclusion
Whether in its gameplay or its structure, Immortals Fenyx Rising will not surprise anyone who has touched a recent open-world, to be sure. His borrowings from the last Zelda are numerous and glaring but in the service of a pleasant adventure. Its open world is dense, well built and its scale makes it particularly pleasant to walk. Taking between 20 and 25 hours to see the end of it in a straight line, Immortals does good by providing a pressure-free experience. We will also easily recommend it to those who want to discover the game in the open world. Too bad his sometimes catastrophic storytelling interferes with the immersion. In case you need more information, well I invite you to visit the Immortals Fenyx Rising official website for all details about this game, if you have any comments, please feel free to write down below what you think about the game.