Immortals Fenyx Rising Review: A Punishing Puzzle
Immortals Fenyx Rising. The game was first showcased at Ubisoft Conference during E3 2019 under the name of Gods and Monsters and since then this game had my attention. This game is developed by Ubisoft Quebec, the studio behind Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have spent 66hours in Odyssey and when I heard the developers were the same, I was intrigued. However, I should have contained my excitement because the game has many ups and downs, and it’s far from smooth sailing.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is out on 3rd December, available on Amazon Luna, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One S, X, Xbox Series S, X, and Stadia. The main story is about 15-20hours long (I clocked around 18hours + 5-10hours of the game punishing in form of boss battles), depending on your playstyle & costs about Rs 3999 on console & Rs 2999 on the Epic Store. The game also has in-game cosmetics only (at least at the time of writing) microtransactions. This review was done on PC using RTX 3080 & Ryzen 3700x.
The Game has an in-game photo mode.
After an accident stranded Greek soldier Fenyx on the Golden Isle, they must rescue the Greek gods from the titan Typhon, who seeks revenge after he was banished by Zeus and the Greek gods to Tartaros. Typhon, the big baddie aka the god-killer of the Immortal Fenyx Rising, has been released and wreaking havoc, he has taken away Zeus’ power and Prometheus’ ability to see the future. Now it’s on Fenyx a nobody-storyteller, to stop Typhoon and save the world. Everyone including Fenyx’s brother has turned into stone and the gods have been turned into their worst nightmares.
Let me get this out of the way first, The story of Immortals Fenyx Rising is a twenty-hour drag, bloated up which is totally unnecessary. If the game was about 7-10 hours long, it would still be fine as the game has many things to offer to the player, some less rewarding and some more. Apart from the length, the story has its own highs and lows, the ending pays off, and there are some twist and turns that I wouldn’t spoil it here for you. There is this anecdote I would like to share, What I really liked about the whole Story & Game is the banter between Zeus & Prometheus. You can hear them arguing and debating throughout the game, and it is well done and that’s easily my favorite part of the game. They comment almost about each and every action Fenyx performs.
Immortals Fenyx Rising offers multiple things, It has the main story which is progressed as you go. It has “vaults” that are like Shrines from BoTW. An area with different types of puzzles that you progress through and then at the end receive a bolt that can be used for the upgrades. Then it has “Myth Challenges“, which is basically speedrun from one point to another, Arrow challenges, and such. On top of all these, there are chests and upgrade points (Ambrosia) hidden all over the map that you can explore and find. Sadly, the whole game feels like one giant fetch quest, because each and every mission is basically you go from one place to another to get something for the mission-giver. Overall there is a lot of content that the player can go through. If you are into the grind then this game can take easily 40-50 hours.
The game is very linear and goes on as Prometheus tells Zeus & the player, the story. It does change a little depending on the actions performed by the player, like jumping into a vault, but overall it does not change anything related to the main story. You also have a stamina meter, that is used when you climb or glide, and that’s it. It does not extinguish when you are fighting (at least in normal difficulty) which is fantastic as you can do unlimited heavy attacks and dodges. The enemy also has friendly fire which is helpful at times as while attacking Fenyx, they end up attacking each other and in turn, helps Fenyx.
However, these enemies feel very spongy to attack. At least in the starting phase, where you have low power Axe & Sword. It gets very boring & repetitive. All you have to do is dodge and attack. The weapons provided in the first five hours of the game are the only weapon you get throughout the game. You can upgrade them as you progress but there is a huge grind to it, as you have to finish chests and vaults all around the world, which is time-consuming. Also word of advice, Please do grind a lot before going to meet the end boss, as if you do not have enough power for the weapon and potions then it would be next to impossible to defeat the guy. The battle is really long, can take up to 30-45mins and I had to play through it about 9-10 times because I simply did not grind enough, even though my total playtime was close to 20 hours (plus 5-10 hours dying with different bosses initially, again due to low power weapon). The game has a slight power balancing issue, where the weapon is either too weak or too powerful for the enemy.
The vaults are great, puzzle platform that you jump through, and solve. At the end of each vault, you get bolts. Which can be used for upgrading the stamina of Fenyx. The vaults also have hidden chests that you need to find in order to upgrade weapons. Even thought the puzzles in the vault are great at times it does feel unfinished and half-baked the other times, wish they put more focus on this as well. However, it is kinda hard to blame them because the game is riddled with puzzles. I think if you just end up solving the puzzles (and not the main story or anything). You can easily spend about 20 hours in. It has a wide range of puzzles and I really liked how they have tried to make each one unique.
There is also this random even where different wraith attacks the world and try to hunt you down. It’s mostly random and has happened 6-7 times in my playthrough, but it is easy to ditch them and run for it. Does not change the world in any way.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is overall too long and full of fillers. It does get boring at times as the gameplay does not change that drastically over the period of the game. It remains a hack n slash through and through.
Also, there is a scouting system in the game, which I really hated. You need to climb statues and then scout the region, like in AC & FC series, but here you have to manually search the are for points of interest and chests and such. It is very irritating and time-consuming. You get feedback on the controller and then you have to press the RT button to scan it. On mouse and keyboard, it would just show up on the screen icons but as there is no vibration, it gets hard to detect.
There are only 3 weapons in the game, Axe, Sword, and Bow & Arrow. You get them in the starting 3-5hours itself and those are your final weapon, you do get some skins if you complete side challenges and/or find chests. However, the skins just change the weapon skins and give you certain buffs, like extra health slot, or extra damage. There is no wide range of weapons, which is kind of a shame. They could have delayed the game instead of releasing it in such a short time from the announcement and added more weapons and enhanced the gameplay.
You can also upgrade these weapons by going to Hall of the God (kind of a hub). To upgrade you need shards that can be gained by opening chests. And you require a lot of shards. I was able to upgrade only about 30-50% after 20 hours of gameplay. You have to grind. A lot.
There are not many skills in Immortals Fenyx Rising. I think there might be 2 or 3 sub-skills for the main skills (Main skills are the skills that you acquire when you start playing the game and unlock the weapons or wing). You need Charon Coins to redeem them and to earn Charon Coins you have to complete Myth Challenges. Also, the only way to redeem them is to go back to Hall of the Gods (kind of a hub), and then there you will be able to redeem it, you cannot redeem it on the go. You have to go back. Also, you won’t be able to redeem skills for the first 4 hours.
The Skills in Immortals overall are pretty basic but do change the way you play the game. Like the ability to dodge mid-air or dodges and attack. Overall it feels pretty basic and an afterthought.
Just like Skills, this feels very basic too and again can only be done at Hall of the Gods. The only thing you can craft are potions, four to be specific. Health, Stamina, Attack & Defense potion. You cannot craft anything else. Again these things feel like an afterthought and just there to justify the grind. Without the help of the potion or skills or weapon upgrades, you will not be able to beat the bosses in the game.
Character customization in Immortals Fenyx Rising does not have many options either. 4 face types with 10 eye colors, 12 hair types again with 10 colors, 10 tattoos, 9 eyebrows style, 13 facial hair with 10 colors & 2 voice options (at least we have full dialogues for each). It’s pretty basic and makes do. Your character won’t look much different than mine.
Skins for Gears
You can find a lot of skins, spread around the world inside the chest. Armors & Weapons can be found, along with wings. They do change the way you look and also give a slight buff as aforementioned. As far as I remember they do not give an edge in combat apart from the buffs. No point or score system for your gears or anything like that.
The game has only 10 characters including the main character. There is a constant banter between Prometheus & Zeus is really funny. All the character voices are done well, however, due to the stretched out story, the characters at times feel like they are overstaying their welcome. Overall each arc/biome belongs to a certain character which gives a very well, and in-depth insight into that character’s motivation and personality. You can really connect with the characters
Graphics & Optimization
The game graphically looks gorgeous, the art style they are going for suits the theme of the game and looks really good. At 4K the game runs well and is very crisp. Ram utilization is only about 2.5-3GB, which is terrific and a rare sight to see, at least in 2020. The game, however, has the same CPU issue as Watch_Dogs, but not to that extent that it’s almost unplayable or below 40fps. The game runs well at 60fps and above for most of the time, I usually lock down the fps to 58 for Freesync to kick in and smooth out the game, so usually I have 10-50% headroom on the GPU.
Immortals Fenyx Rising does not have many graphics options. There are 5 presets and adaptive resolution for stable framerate. AFAIK the game does not have any in-game benchmark, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and do it by myself.
There is a myth challenge, for navigation in the clashing rocks. I have performed tests over there, repeating the same scenario for each and every test. I run from one end to another with no fps cap and come back. After each test the game was reset to the checkpoint, to maintain the test bench as well as to apply the setting. There might be some margin of error, but overall, it should be fine.
I have done all the below tests in 4K. (shouldn’t matter much as I have added % diff for each preset.)
Adaptive Quality is set to off in all the below runs.
Very Low Preset – 88fps low, 107 avg. (50.7%)
Low Preset – 71fps lows, 92 avg (29.5%)
Medium Preset – 72fps lows, 83 avg (17%)
High Preset – 54 lows, 73 avg – CPU – 70-85% (3%)
Very High Preset – 60fps lows 71 avg (Baseline)
Anti-Aliasing, when set to off, Gives no extra fps, I would suggest keeping it at High, as it doesn’t matter much for performance.
Overall the game optimization is passable. The game uses a lot of CPU. 30-70% CPU usage isn’t good especially for 3700x. It’s quite shocking that ACV uses only 24-30% of the CPU and this game uses more of the CPU than that. Ubisoft really have to sort out their compression system.
Immortals Fenyx Rising has it, as it is a Ubisoft game after all. They have to have Microtransactions in a single-player game after all. It sports a whole Character Pack, where you get the skin for your Horse, Pheonix, Helmet, Wings & Armor. It looks really cool, but it is costly. About 650-700Rs for 1 character pack, going all the way to 1000Rs.
They also have Weapon Pack, where you get Bow, Axe & Sword. Again the only weapon. I didn’t purchase any of them, so I cannot comment if they give buff or not, but they really do look cool. It costs about 500-600Rs.
To purchase the packs in Immortals, you need to purchase the Credit Packs which cost as such.
All and all, the cosmetics look good, but it is very costly, and there is no way to get around the Credit system or even earn the points doing in-game chores.
NOTE: Huge shout-out to Ubisoft India and e-xpressgames for providing us with a PC game code for Immortal Fenyx Rising for this Review.
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Immortal Fenyx Rising Review
Immortal Fenyx Rising is riddled with puzzles which is easily the USP of the game. The game has a lot to offer but that often works to the detriment of the game itself. The story itself is bloated up and could have easily finished within 7-10 hours, which would have been better because it really does go somewhere. The game lacks in the gameplay department as it gets repetitive and there is only a small room for the gameplay to improve throughout the game. It does look beautiful and that works in the favour of the game’s art style. Overall I am quite pleased with the game, as this is the first outing, I will give it a pass and I can really see a franchise happening here.