Let us get the obvious out of the way: Immortals Fenyx Rising has some similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can climb almost every surface and you have wings to glide on, both of which use stamina, there are vaults in place of shrines, and there are a lot of puzzles to solve out in the wild. However, Immortals: Fenyx Rising is a much more focused experience that uses its base of Greek mythology to present a fun and at times humourous experience.
The tale of Fenyx begins as he or she is washed upon the Golden Isle, which was by the legendary inventor Daedalus as a home for the Greek gods, demigods, and some humans. It is not a good time to be visiting though, as Typhon, the son of the titan Gaea who was imprisoned by Zeus, has escaped and is out to take his revenge. His invasion of the Golden Isle has seen the gods Athena, Ares, Aphrodite, and Hephaestus being overpowered to the point that Zeus turns to Prometheus for help. The entire story is narrated by Prometheus with Zeus chipping in, and this narrator relationship offers some good humour while giving a crash course in Greek mythology.
The Golden Isle is split into different regions, each the domain of one of the gods. Fenyx must find the essence of the fallen gods and restore them back to power. The regions cover different biomes, from lush grasslands to arid desert and cold mountainous climes. While these areas look quite large, the map is not so big that travelling around it becomes overwhelming, and this is helped in part with the amount of content there is to discover.
Much like Ubisoft’s other open world games there are a lot of side content to tackle if you fancy taking a break from the main path of the story. A plethora of Vaults transport Fenyx to Tartaros to solve puzzles and fight enemies, the rewards for doing so typically being weapon or armour skins, and a bolt of Zeus’ lightning. Along with Ambrosia found in the world you can use these resources to improve Fenyx’s health and stamina. The difficulty of each vault is rated out of three, and vary in length. Some can be tackled in a few minutes while others will take much longer due to the multi-faceted aspect of them. The puzzles themselves vary between moving balls to sockets, stacking weights, killing enemies, and tracing a path using arrows.
Outside of the Vaults there are heroic challenges such as Odysseus’s arrow challenges where you have to thread arrows through an obstacle course, or navigation challenges to tackle within a time limit. There are also a number of treasures to simply find though exploring. Some will be sitting in the world, others will be guarded by monsters, and others will require puzzles to be completed to grab them. Not to mention you can tame mounts across the world, allowing you to traverse the ground faster.
A big part of Immortals Fenyx Rising is the combat. Early on in the game it can be a challenge as Fenyx is weak and does not have a lot of stamina to fight, but as you unlocks godly powers and abilities are upgraded the combat becomes much more satisfying. Soon enough you will be dodging enemy swipes, performing hits in the air, and stringing together lengthy combos.
You need to keep an eye on your stamina, with godly powers consuming a lot of it, but certain armours will grant stamina and health bonuses, while others will make attacks more powerful. As you gather resources in the world you will also be able to upgrade the power of Fenyx’s sword, axe, and bow as well as their armour.
You have some decent customisation options for Fenyx from the basics of skin and hair colour/styles, tattoos, choosing their gender, and whether their voice is masculine or feminine. If you can get bored of how your character looks, you can also change their appearance at any time after the prologue mission.
Immortals Fenyx Rising was not without issue while playing on Xbox Series X. There were a few occasions where the game would freeze, most notably during a cutscene when trying to upgrade my potion capacity. This forced me to restart the game, but Ubisoft will doubtless patch the game to address niggling issues. A bigger problem is that some of the vaults and pacing toward the end of the game feels drawn out. The last vault slowed things down so much, when all you want to do at that point is to get to the final boss battle.