First off, thanks to Ubisoft for providing the game to review and my apologies for the long delay of this review, basically hospital stays suck.
Now what I’m about to say is no disrespect at all to the developers. This game reminds me a hell of a lot of Breath of the Wild as this game tends to borrow a few features of that game and I’ll go deeper into why later on but for now let us start from the beginning.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising actually used to be called Gods and Monsters. It’s an open-world game set during the Greek myths. You play as a character of your customisation called Fenyx, a demi-god who has washed up on the Golden Isle just as the monster Typhon has arrived to get revenge on the gods for his banishment. It’s a game about hitting enemies with a sword and an axe, requiring you to have a healthy relationship between using the two and you even get a bow and arrow too. The combat feeling of this game feels great and fun to get used to, as you play, you’ll know great combos for your weapons to ensure you are victorious in your battles.
The games visuals are seriously stunning, I was actually amazed to see this game available for the Switch but this review is based on the Series X. The game itself feels like Breath of the Wild but the landscape looks nothing like Hyrule with the golden buildings and lots and lots of smashed up ruins. The tone of the game itself is quite cartoony and light hearted I guess is the best way to describe it, catering to both children and adults alike so really, the art style is much like Breath of the Wild. The game’s most famous, perhaps, for having pinched The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s art style – the hills, the wavy grass, the spires in the distance along with a bunch of its core features. You are able to climb any surface here, just like Breath of the Wild. There is a stamina meter that works in a familiar way. You can lift giant objects and the visuals for this game are very similar to the visuals in Breath of the Wild. You can ride wild animals once tamed. You can glide on those wings of yours. There are dozens of little puzzle chambers dotted around the open world. I could probably go on but we should move on.
It’s actually quite intriguing while actually writing this and I’m thinking about it, that Immortals rarely feels like Zelda to me while I’m playing it, on occasion is feels like Zelda but not constantly, which is good because if I wanted to play Breath of the Wild, I’d play that. The landscape itself, for one, may have the right grass and the right lighting, the correct feeling in your hands when you’re climbing up something, but the Golden Isle of the gods is nothing like Hyrule. It feels far more compacted and surreal: it is constantly busy with individual bits and pieces – statues, caves, temples, huge pieces of machinery so the environment always has something new to see in its glory and beauty because unlike Breath of the Wild there is always something somewhere in Fenyx Rising, when you think about the large map of Breath of the Wild, a lot of areas were just baron, nothing there of use. Just landscape whereas with Fenyx the map always has something for you to check out wherever you are or decide to go and that keeps you gripped to seek out more.
However, there is another part of Fenyx that tends to remind me of Breath of the Wild (You’ll notice BotW is mentioned a lot in this review but check out other reviews, they all feel the same) Zelda’s shrines – one-shot puzzles that will reward you with something you’ll want to spend on upgrades – re-emerge as vaults. But vaults are not really Shrine feeling as they first appear to be. For one thing, Shrines had this strange, numinous feel, sheer walls and implacable surfaces that genuinely felt ancient.! The vaults are often clever puzzles – you manipulate blocks and roll boulders and fling things and fire arrows through fire to light stuff and move the wind about and all that puzzle style fun.
These vaults can vary from optional to mandatory in order to progress and I think its nice that you have the choice but if you want the best upgrades then I seriously recommend you complete all the vaults. The unfortunate thing with this game is because it borrows so much stuff from BotW I find it really hard to play this game for long sessions, moment to moment game sessions is no problem but after maybe an hour I find myself loading up another game.
Seeing other people’s reviews and opinions of this game I feel for Immortals a bit. We’ve had COVID-19 to deal with, things from Ubisoft that they are pushing for the typical open world exploration game, honestly, I would be fine if this game was a linear story game rather than open world, I wonder if the developers were pushed by their bosses to go with the higher up’s ideas rather than the creators themselves. It really feels like this is a misguided attempt at something fresh and new and we can’t say whether it’s the developer’s fault or Ubisoft’s fault, all we can do is speculate and wonder if this will be a one-off game or maybe even a sequel where it can feel like more of its own thing rather than a potential copy and paste of Breath of the Wild. So, while I do recommend this game to people, it would mainly be people that like the myth times and also people who are unable to play Breath of the Wild because they don’t have a Switch, this is the closest you are going to get to play that game.