Stories Untold: Episode 2
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A good Ubisoft game? Wonders will never cease. I kid, but really, this game might just surprise you.
I was hoping to make this a full review. Unfortunately, technical issues have gotten in the way of my immortal wisdom once more. I was chugging along happily in this strange Zelda/Ubisoft themed orgy (Which already leaves some horrific mental images. Oops.) Imagine my frustration when loading up the game last week, and bang! Corrupted save. Sadly. I tried to reinstall the game, tried again. Nope, every save was corrupted. Even the cloud saves. Only option from this point was to start a new game. I have no idea what happened.
Immortals, I quite like you, I do. However, I don’t like you enough to repeat 12 hours of puns, odd dialogue choices and gameplay that, while enjoyable and exciting, isn’t something I would like to do all over again. I frankly can list nearly fifty games I still need to play over you. So unfortunately, this is a ‘work in progress’ review into Immortals Fenyx Rising rather than a full review as I intended. Still, I hope my following words will encourage you to try the game out, because it’s pretty good. I just got very unlucky and I’m not going to hold that against Immortals. Hell, for a Ubisoft game, it’s in pretty good shape! It has a few optimization issues, but it works nicely enough and I found very few bugs. So there is that! I’ve played enough of the game to get a good impression.
It has been a torrid year for the world, and Ubisoft is no exception. Inward turmoils, harassment and two controversial launches in Watchdogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla have soured Ubisofts already turbulent reputation. Sure, both are alright game, Valhalla being rather well received, but oof, Ubisoft really can’t get over the ‘let’s optimize our games to shit, make similar games every time and keep loads of bugs in that take a while to fix’ hump. Still, it’s nice to have two games that aren’t are broken as a certain game was on consoles…
So, when Immortals Fenyx Rising, previously Gods and Monsters, launched in early December, I wasn’t expecting much. It’s hard for me to get excited by any Ubisoft game anymore, or AAA games as a nutshell. I’m not the biggest fan of Ubisoft. Mostly fine games, but nothing stood out for me. I did enjoy Discovery Tour in the previous Origins and Odyssey variants of Assassin’s Creed, and I’ll be looking forward to the discovery version of Valhalla as well. Immortals launched on all consoles, as well as on PC. The Switch port seemed pretty solid as well, and I think I’ll pick it up myself. Imagine my surprise when Fenyx took me so. I can’t say I like the new name. It might just the oddest name for a video game I’ve seen. No wonder people got confused. I went into Fenyx and Pals not expecting miracles.
HOWEVER! With a weird mix of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a little bit of the new Genshin Impact inside its chunky frame, I’ve grown to rather enjoy this game so far. Sure, it does nothing different, but anyone who expected that from Ubisoft of all people was going to be disappointed. So what is Immortals? Pretty damn fun, at least for what I’ve played of it so far. I’ve described it to friends as ‘a better game than it has any right to being’, which hits the nail on the head. If you want to read more, follow down below. It’s spoiler-free, so that’s a good thing. As said previous, I wish I could delve deeper into the game for this review, so consider this as an impression.
The story doesn’t feel anything special: Prometheus and Zeus narrating over your gormless hero Fenyx in an over the top, humor-laden dialogue as you try and deal with the big bad threat Typhon. He’s imprisoned/killed the gods, and it’s up to the plucky hero to save the day. It’s corny, and at times tries too hard to be funny, but I’ve found it enjoyable nonetheless, with a few laugh out loud lines that really cheered me up. In a year like this, perhaps an amusing piece like Immortals is the way forward. Not everything has to be serious all the time. The story doesn’t do anything different, nor is it a strong point, but I can’t call it weak either. It’s the perfect ‘Dad Joke’ story. If that frustrates you, don’t play this, as it never lets up. Not once. Still, it rarely bothered me. It’s a junk food story; cosy and fills you, but isn’t particularly good for you long-term.
What really matters is the gameplay, and this is where the game begins to click. The combat doesn’t do anything particularly well, but it’s solid and fun, and the puzzles at least in the opening slice of the game feel varied enough to be interesting. It’s enough to make you think, but not too difficult. I’d testify not to attempt them after drinking, though. You may end up swearing at the computer or console like I did.
They did a great job in the exploration as well. True, like every Ubisoft game ever, the map is littered to shit with collectibles and all sorts of quest markers, just like every AAA open world game out there, but I don’t know…it just felt nicer with Immortals. Again, its nothing special or different, and you’ve done it many times if you play open world, but it feels nice exploring the map. Yes, it feels like Breath of the Wild, but why not? The exploration in that game was great, and Immortals is no slouch in that regard. You’ll have fun discovering the different things, and the game world is beautiful. The graphics are great, with a cartoony style that may throw some off, but I found it refreshing. Sure, it doesn’t do things as well, but heck, I’ll take this over another Assassin’s Creed clone any day.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is a game that is the sum of its parts. It’s nothing new, or particularly exciting. I can’t think of too many flaws with it either. Sure, the corrupted save screwed me over for now, and I will return to the game in the future. The story isn’t great, and the dialogue/writing is cheesy. That’s all fine.
It’s a cheese board experience: enjoyable, and it makes you feel warm and pudgy. I ate a lot over Christmas holidays.
I’m usually more critical on games like this, but you know what? I’ve been pleasantly surprised how nice Fenyx feels. It’s cute, amusing, doesn’t take itself seriously and comes with some pretty nice gameplay to boot. The platforming feels a little frustrating at times, and the game is a little too easy from what I played, but I have to recommend giving Immortals Fenyx Rising a solid chance. It may surprise you like it did me, and it might grow to be a sleeper hit for Ubisoft. There’s a Season Pass with DLC down the line (because every AAA game needs a Season Pass these days), so more content is coming.
[review_summary reader_ratings=”true” positives=”A vast open world
Great exploration for the reputation
Fun, enjoyable gameplay” negatives=”Sometimes aggravating platforming
Some issues with performance
Constantly cheesy dialogue may be a turn-off
Story and writing is lacking in places”]
Well done, Ubisoft. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this game’s future, especially into 2021. Oh, and a Happy New Year to you all!