So Far, Immortals Fenyx Rising Is More Than Just Ubisoft’s Take On Breath of the Wild

Illustration for article titled So Far,i Immortals Fenyx Rising/i Is More Than Just Ubisoft’s Take On iBreath of the Wild/i

Image: Ubisoft

I like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey quite a bit; in fact, I think it’s the second-best game in the entire franchise. Immortals Fenyx Rising seems to be a natural evolution of Odyssey, and also makes it seem like some folks at Ubisoft have played a lot of Breath of the Wild. After spending an hour or so with a free, Google Stadia-exclusive demo of Immortals available today, I’m excited by the way this combination works.

Immortals Fenyx Rising (originally announced in 2019 as Gods and Monsters) is an open-world third-person action-adventure game, similar to Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey. The demo contains a small section of the game’s map, as well as one side quest about unthawing a cyclops with a magical harp and a few collectibles and puzzles. Visually, it looks more like that beloved Zelda game than most Ubisoft games, with bright colors and vibrant environments. It uses similar stamina and climbing mechanics as Breath of The Wild, features gliding, the ability to pick up objects using energy, and even does a little musical diddy when you solve a puzzle.

Illustration for article titled So Far,i Immortals Fenyx Rising/i Is More Than Just Ubisoft’s Take On iBreath of the Wild/i

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

But calling this a straight-up copy of Breath of the Wild isn’t fair, at least based on what I’ve played. For one thing, you can still feel the DNA of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey while playing Immortals. The combat is similar, using the triggers and bumpers for most attacks, abilities, and parries. Items and weapons you pick up have stats and traits to think about when equipping different gear. There’s also a large skill tree, which in the demo has been partially filled in, allowing you to unlock new passive and active abilities and attacks, such as one that shoots a ton of spears up from the ground, sending your enemies flying into the air. Stealth is a viable option too: Sneaking from bush to bush to ambush a lone enemy is something anyone who’s played recent Assassin’s Creed games will instantly find familiar.

Combat and exploration are extremely satisfying in Immortals, and things feel big and over-the-top. For example, when you stun an enemy and finish them off with a big, heavy attack, they will often rocket up into the air and disappear in a small puff of smoke. Each time it happened I cackled a bit. Climbing and flying are similar to Breath of the Wild but more forgiving, letting you fall from greater heights safely and move around the world quickly and easily.

Illustration for article titled So Far,i Immortals Fenyx Rising/i Is More Than Just Ubisoft’s Take On iBreath of the Wild/i

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Immortals, like Odyssey, is set in ancient Greece, but this is a more fantastical and cartoonish version of the world. In the demo, I fought skeletons, harpies, and a giant cyclops. Ubisoft is clearly having fun with this era of history and the myths that surround it. Your narrators in the game are Zeus and Prometheus, who bicker with each other constantly and change the story as you play. At one point I came face to face with Cerberus, but then Zeus changed the story and said it was a large lion, then it changed a few more times before settling on a large group of roosters.

The more comedic writing doesn’t always work, but it helped keep the game from feeling too serious. A nice touch is the way your main character reacts to these changes, often looking confused and impatient.

So far, I’m impressed with what I’ve played. The demo contained an exciting mix of colorful, fun visuals and storytelling, simple puzzles, and satisfying combat and exploration. Immortals Fenyx Rising comes out December 3 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC, and Stadia. The current Stadia demo will be available until October 29.

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