GREEK CHIC
PC Gamer US Edition|March 2021
A puny mortal embarks on a quest to save the gods in IMMORTALS FENYX RISING, and finds yet another massive Ubisoft open world game.
Andy Kelly

When Zeus banished the evil titan Typhon to Tartaros, an infinite abyss of torture and suffering, he thought that would be the end of it. But Typhon has escaped, stripping the gods who imprisoned him of their powers and wreaking havoc on their home, the Golden Isle. And so it falls to Fenyx, a lowly Greek soldier, to save them. Why? Because it’s a good story. Fenyx is a normal person suddenly thrust into an outrageous world of gods and monsters. This grounds things nicely and makes for an enjoyable, and extreme, fish out of water story.

Immortals tells a big story with big stakes, but it’s no Greek tragedy. It’s a comedy, taking well-worn elements of Greek mythology and giving them a light-hearted, self-aware spin. The dialogue pokes fun at the legends, repaints familiar characters in amusing ways, and throws in anachronistic pop culture references. It’s charming and often funny, if occasionally a little grating. Prometheus narrates as you play, with a goofy Zeus rudely butting in to mock his storytelling ability or demand he make things more exciting. This frequently results in things changing around Fenyx, like a cyclops suddenly doubling in size.

The mythical Golden Isle is a vivid, beautifully realized setting, with each region reflecting the god who lives there. Love goddess Aphrodite’s corner of the island, the Valley of Eternal Spring, is an idyllic paradise of sparkling rivers, gleaming temples, frolicking animals, and colorful flora. The Forgelands, home to metalworking god Hephaestus, is a mountainous, autumnal landscape littered with crumbling ruins, workshops, and rusted automata. And at the heart of the island are the Gates of Tartaros, a lava-spewing volcanic fissure where, once you’ve rescued all four gods, you’ll confront Typhon for a final showdown.

This is one of Ubisoft’s prettiest open worlds, and a nice alternative to the subdued realism of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It’s bright and striking, like a Saturday-morning cartoon, and the swaying grass and petals blowing in the wind have a real Studio Ghibli feel. Climb to the top of one of the many colossal statues on the island, and the sense of scale is impressive. The breezy art style is a perfect fit for the game’s light-hearted tone, and there’s something really inviting about the world. You just want to dive in and explore every inch of it.

There are a few ways to get around the Golden Isle, all governed by a stamina system. You can climb on pretty much any surface for as long as your stamina meter holds out. If it gets dangerously low, drinking a potion will let you keep going a little while longer. You can creep up on animals—including a blue unicorn and a horse made of solid gold—and tame them, turning them into mounts. They have their own stamina meter, which varies in size from beast to beast. And when you discover the wings of Icarus early in the game, you can glide for long distances—again, for as long as you have stamina left.

But my biggest problem with Immortals is that none of these modes of navigation feel particularly good. The jumping is some of the worst I’ve experienced in a third-person game. It’s frustratingly floaty and imprecise, making leaping between small platforms a chore. Gliding with the wings doesn’t feel as graceful and smooth as it should. And when you gallop on a mount, the screen is smeared with way too much motion blur, and you feel like you have to fight the controls to take a turn. It just never felt nice in my hands, even with a gamepad.

NEED TO KNOW

WHAT IS IT?

An open-world game based on Greek mythology

EXPECT TO PAY $60

DEVELOPER Ubisoft Quebec

PUBLISHER Ubisoft

REVIEWED ON RTX 2080 Super, Intel i7-9700K, 16GB RAM

MULTIPLAYER No

LINK immortalsfenyxrising.com

GODS AND MONSTERS

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