Review: Immortals Fenyx Rising (PS4/PS5)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 5
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Google Stadia
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS5 & PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • DualSense (PS5) Required (1)
  • DualShock 4 (PS4) Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Immortals Fenyx Rising
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (21.14 GB)
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Original MSRP: $59.99 (USD)
ESRB Rating: T
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

 

Video Review:

Gameplay:
They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. In the world of video games, I’d have to agree with them.

When I started playing Immortals Fenyx Rising, I couldn’t help but think of the many hours I spent with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but then I’d also get some flashbacks of my time with the recent Assassin’s Creed games.

Taking cues from some of the most popular and successful games in the industry and concocting your own brew makes Immortals Fenyx Rising one of the best surprises this year, even if it does all feel a little familiar.

Right off the bat, Fenyx makes it clear that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In fact, if something about this game sets it apart from its inspirations, it’s the clever writing.

Fenyx begins with a conversation between Zeus and Prometheus, with the latter making a claim as to why he believes that a mortal can save them all from a looming evil. Prometheus does this by narrating the game you will be playing, so there is a little meta aspect to the whole thing, with Zeus constantly interrupting in ways that sometimes affect the game itself.

Towards the beginning of the game, I jumped into one of the vaults scattered throughout the world. These vaults serve the same purpose as the shrines in Breath of the Wild. They are small, challenging, mini dungeons, with rewards awaiting at the end.

As soon as I jumped into the chasm, Zeus decides that Fenyx has died and rolls the ending credits to the game, listing himself as every developer.

This type of exchange follows the entire adventure, including some modern references and hilarious exchanges between the characters. Writing like this is not often seen in video games, which is interesting since another very Greek-mythology-inspired game released recently, with a similar sarcastic writing style. I’m talking about Hades on PC and Switch. With the world the way it is right now (look up 2020 if you are reading this in the future), a lighter take on good versus evil is very welcomed.

Fenyx Rising gives you plenty to do. If you choose to stray off the beaten path of the narrative, you will have a giant world to explore, filled with treasure, puzzles, challenges, and evil creatures waiting to test your skills.

The game has various difficulty levels to choose between, but I found the normal setting to be just the right level of challenge.

I guess there is a new standard being established, where the shoulder buttons are used for swords and melee (as opposed to the old face buttons). I first experienced this with God of War. Immortals Fenyx Rising allows you to customize every button, but everything I tried ended up cancelling other button functions, so stuck with the default and learning their intended controls.

Loot is also a thing here, much like in the Assassin’s Creed games, so keeping your eyes open for hidden treasure rewards you with added perks in combat. All of your weapons and armor can be upgraded in the Hall of the Gods. But it’s more of a universal upgrade, meaning your overall stats update regardless of what weapon you choose.

It all seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but that’s not even remotely a negative. I just didn’t expect this much content when I started playing it. It truly is a combination of the games I mentioned above. In fact, it’s the Kid Icarus follow-up I always wanted.

Even if you choose to follow the story, you will have plenty to keep you busy, but we all know that if you are reading this review, and enjoy open world games, you will likely spend more time exploring the world before even trying to get into the story.

Zeus even makes note of the extensive prologue, something that has become a trait for Ubisoft games.

Ubisoft has always been an example of how best to do this microtransaction stuff. I hate the concept of charging people for this superficial nonsense, but I have never spent a dime on a Ubisoft game, beyond the initial purchase of the game, yet I have earned some goodies from my time spent with the South Park games. None of this content is required to enjoy the game, and all of the in-game stuff is amazing on its own.

Visuals:
Immortals Fenyx Rising is available on all the modern consoles, including the Nintendo Switch. So, the visuals on the PlayStation 5 do not represent something that could only be achieved on Sony’s new console.

Despite this, the game looks absolutely gorgeous in performance mode. Incredible draw distance welcomes exploration, and while the art style is more reminiscent of a Dreamworks movie like How to Train Your Dragon, the expression behind it is fluid and very expressive.

There were some very minor standouts in the visual departments, but nothing that remotely affected gameplay: things like character limbs piercing geometry when Fenyx was climbing stairs or near walls.

If I could guess on a few elements that perhaps benefited from the PlayStation 5, it would be the lighting and ambiance. There really wasn’t any standout use of ray tracing, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Ray tracing can be used subtly and not intentionally reflect everything.

Audio:
Oh Boy, not only does Immortals Fenyx Rising welcome you with some epic music, but it also has a cast of very talented voice actors. As I mentioned prior, the game contains some hilarious writing, and it’s sold through the excellent use of voice and narration.

You have a choice of playing a male or female character and both come packed with just the right tone for audibly telling this story of heroes and monsters, with a slight touch of levity. The characters are in peril, but they’re perfectly fine with it.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
It’s been a helluva year for gaming. We got new consoles, but even before that happened, we had some amazing games released, and yet, still more to come before the year is over.

Immortals Fenyx Rising is an incredibly awesome surprise. Not only did it come right at the end of this crazy year, but it also comes with a brilliantly positive and hilarious personality. Its huge open world beckons exploration, and its story is simple, yet intriguing, enough to keep me busy when I’ve exhausted exploring every vault and looting every chest.

It doesn’t invent anything new, and it is an accumulation of familiar titles from this generation. But what Fenyx brings to the table is personality and charm, making it one of my favorite titles this year.

Score:
9.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Create functionality on the PlayStation 5.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook