This is the latest open world RPG action game from Ubisoft, feeling like a mix of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s gameplay with mechanics from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The latter of which I’ll reference a few times while going through this review.
While this is RPG oriented, those mechanics are somewhat lighter and this is more of a puzzle/challenge sort of experience. You’re going about with freedom in how you tackle the four core areas and doing mostly the same setup throughout. There are also “end game” areas too.
It’s interesting, as you have this expansive and lovely landscape present to explore. Yet, when the real action happens you’re thrust into these vaults. The vaults are essentially dungeons and strewn across the landscape. Many of them you have to do through the story progression, and while interesting they’re very repetitive in nature.
Again to get back to my point, you have this lovely world and most of the core action takes place in these somewhat great looking but bland otherworldly locations. It’s honestly quite bizarre. I’m also driven to near madness due to the block and or square box type items you have to use many times.
The physics on them are wonky, they never seemed to go where I wanted and would constantly break. It’s as though it took me thirty minutes to beat an area that logically in how I think should take about five minutes. It’s frustrating I suppose, and sort of boring after awhile. They do mix that up a lot throughout each of the vaults, but the concept is very similar in each of them.
I will note that they do have neat large legendary creatures to fight such as the fun Hydra. It is weird that you need to head elsewhere to grind out materials to improve yourself to take on some of these boss creatures. It’s just strange as the story is somewhat light yet always present and you have to do side activities to progress. It’s almost like the ultimate pinnacle of doing side stuff in order to do story.
Now with that, I actually quite liked the tale in this one. It’s being told through the entertaining banter of Prometheus’ story with Zeus interjecting at times. It’s also a bit of a learning situation for the latter, and I liked how that was handled. I also quite enjoyed the main missions, and the dialogue for the godly individuals you’re working with in each area. In general I did enjoy playing the game, despite it coming across as repetitive and a bit grindy at times. It was still fun, offered way too many hours of content and neat challenges to work through in the vast open world.
The game features some really great traversal options. It’s basically like Breath of the Wild, being snapper and more fun to get around in. You’re able to climb, soar with wings and ride around on a mount. You move quicker using your wings, and you’ll have to balance stamina. Now, part of the grind is having to get items to improve yourself. You get more stamina by collecting Zeus bolts that are granted by completing vault challenges.
Then there’s a special material to gain health by collecting lots of that and then special shards that you get by finishing random tasks or eliminating foes to improve your tools. That being the weapons, armor and pouch allotments. There are also abilities to improve by gathering coins that you get by finishing challenges on the map. Finally, there are potions you can use by finding the items out in the world and then you can improve those by finishing more challenges.
It’s lots of doing side stuff in order to improve yourself which is definitely required to beat certain legendary type monsters or harder situations. It’s weird as while the narrative is right there, you constantly have to be doing side activities to reach the next story point. That’s also the case with the vaults, where you have to complete many of them. I will note this does have many difficulty and accessibility options, similar to Valhalla and that was impressive. You’ve got this gorgeous world, and you’re sort of thrown into the otherworldly area. It’s a point I’ve made prior, but I just want to reinforce the wonder of why that’s the case. This again goes into the element of doing puzzle type areas and just challenges most of the time.
There is combat, but that feels somewhat like a grind until you improve your abilities and even then it takes awhile. It basically resorts to hammer swings with the occasional bird swoop in since you get a sick flying companion. I didn’t find the combat too engaging, yet fun and at the same time something I avoided since I didn’t necessarily get the benefit of challenging creatures or enemies out in the world unless I wanted to unlock something or complete a task. Speaking of tasks, there are bounty type challenges in your hall of heroes hub area.
That’s also the spot where you improve abilities too, just so you’re aware. When it comes to the visuals they’re quite gorgeous. Immortal Fenyx Rising on Xbox Series X is Optimized with two choices. You get a quality mode which pushes a 4k resolution with boosted smaller visual elements and then a performance mode that drops the resolution a tad for a higher frame rate at 60fps which runs quite well. The former mode does have some issues at the current time, but a noted day one update should smooth this out but it’s not available at the time of writing.
The performance is really great though, running perfectly fine 99% of the time. Back to the visuals, this is one lovely and enchanting landscape. It’s massive in terms of the scale, and just impressive. It’s like Breath of the Wild where you can basically see everything from some points and go anywhere at any time. It’s just gorgeous honestly, filled with smaller particle effects and bits of life out there in the wildness. It’s got such a varied selection of environments as well, with day and night cycles.
The sky boxes are simply stunning, as is the look of combat. Every part of this is visually impressive, and it runs very well. I was definitely impressed by the aesthetic aspect of this, very well done. I wish more time was spent here when it comes to the narrative. I also do want to mention that you can adjust and customize your character at any point. With that, the world also has these random dark events that take place. I found these somewhat bothersome since it drained stamina and sent into enemies after you. These would have been better as more of an end game type of setup, at the same time a nice extra challenge for those that welcome it.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is a great experience, though a tad repetitive and a bit of a grind at times as well. I might sound negative in what I’m describing, but this is a very full and enchanting time. It’s got a ton of content to it, and you can spend thirty hours plus easily when working through this.
The story was entertaining, and I liked the characters involved. It did a good job of humanizing the various godly characters and the narrative in general was engaging. I don’t think they used the gorgeous world to its full advantage, as its wondrous to go about exploring.
The traversal is excellent, and I loved the abilities you get to use. It was just a bit tedious to gather them, and they really slow down your progression. Perhaps it’s the pacing that’s slightly off for me in this one. I just want to make sure to note that I had fun playing this.
It provided many hours of gameplay, and I still have this craving to do more. At the same time, it was getting somewhat tiring and boring too just due to the repetitiveness of the vaults. I loved the main landmass as it’s impressive. I liked the characters, the customization of your character and the setup of this area. The mythology is quite exciting to see roll out, and I think this could be something that many do enjoy playing. It very well could become the next hit franchise in the line-up, we’ll have to wait and see.
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Immortals Fenyx Rising Review on Xbox Series X
Review Code Provided by Ubisoft