A long long time ago, or last week, or yesterday… who knows how time works in 2020 anymore, I was given the opportunity to go hands on with the Ubisoft’s Immortals: Fenyx Rising (Previously known as Gods and Monsters).
I’ll be honest and say I went into this hands-on session with very little knowledge of the game. I’ve not been following the development of it at all and a name-change, a few months before release, isn’t usually a good sign. I expected an open-world clone to be thrown on top of the Assassin’s Creed engine and that’s about it.
I’m glad to report, I was entirely mistaken. I’ve only had 2 hours with the game but Immortals: Fenyx Rising appears to be an absolute gem.
My time with the game started with me arriving in a new land and immediately being thrust into battle against a variety of enemies. As is standard in action games now, you have three main forms of attack: Standard heavy and light attacks, as well as a ranged attack with your bow. You also have access to a few magical abilities that you can call on at times to deliver a range of different options, such as summoning birds to attack from above or you can call forth two dozen spears to suddenly thrust up out of the ground and throw your enemies into the air.
As you become more accustomed to your abilities, you can start to chain moves together and turn your battles into a rhythmic dance by stunning enemies, spinning around, and attacking others just in time for your ability bar to recharge and then unleash hades on all those around you.
The battle mechanic feels extremely well polished, and while it sometimes looks like a button-mashing extravaganza on the screen, it definitely feels more like a musical score. If you time everything perfectly it is amazing until you miss a beat and suddenly you are on the losing end of a beatdown and it’s time to use your more defensive options of parry, dodge and run like the wind to stay alive.
During my playtime, I stumbled across a large variety of enemies and while some were easy enough to dispatch there were certain “boss” battles that I was nowhere near strong enough to complete, even though I did try. I am looking forward to leveling up my character in December and going back to take some revenge on the one ogre who I just couldn’t do any damage to.
Oh yeah the games coming out on December 3 on all platforms (I’m assuming Switch was revealed during the event just prior to this embargo.)
After the first battle, I entered down into the underworld which is a clever gameplay mechanic that not only links certain parts of the story together easily but also allows for the game to offer up some dungeon puzzles for you to try out. These range from platform-style puzzles where you need to jump between moving platforms while dodging fireballs and spikes to solving more logical problems like throwing boulders to different platforms to set off sensitivity plates or shooting arrows through targets to unlock doors.
These puzzles are just a precursor into the larger and more intricate brain-teasers that are dotted around the free-roaming, world which I found to be some of the most entertaining aspects of the game. From trying to work out how to set off five sensitivity platforms with three blocks to having to find glowing orbs and then placing them in a certain pattern to unlock new areas to explore.
I was impressed with the variety of puzzles I stumbled across in my short time with Immortals and I hope in the final release we’re going to see the richness of the environment continue with puzzles and surprises around every corner.
A lot of Immortals was understandably still locked to me on this early playthrough, but I got to see some of the abilities players will be able to unlock as well as the full inventory system, character modeling and special weapons and outfits that will be rewarded as you complete portions of the game. I will admit to feeling like a bit of a badass running around with a flaming sword.
While free-roaming a little I also found a group of wild stallions in a meadow which you can tame and then use as your trusty steed, who will magically appear whenever you call them (ala Assassin’s Creed style) for quicker traversal across the map. Or the more fun way to traverse the map is to climb the closest mountain or tower and leap off and glide through the air with your wings.
Your winged ability is also something you will need to learn to control properly as you double jump and glide to ensure you can complete a lot of the puzzles around the map, as well as giving you an upper hand when battling some of the harder enemies.
In the end, my time with Immortals: Fenyx Rising was too short and I’m itching to get back into the game and explore all the complexities and environmental interactions that are on offer.
If you’re a fan of the Zelda games then definitely add this title to your radar and if you’ve always wondered why Zelda games are so revered and you aren’t a Nintendo console owner, then you should consider adding this game to your radar.
As an ending note, the story seems like it could be very interesting and you are being led on it by two humorous Greek gods who act as narrators throughout the campaign. It’s light-hearted and jovial, and makes the game perfect for the younger crowd as well as anyone who really enjoys life and likes fun.
So pretty much everyone except Geoff.
Last Updated: September 10, 2020