Ubisoft brings Greek mythology to life.
Before the adventure can start, however, a character editor awaits you, with which you can optionally create a hero or a heroine. Overall, the possibilities are manageable, but completely sufficient to meet your own needs. So you can decide on skin and eye color, set a cool hairstyle and even choose tattoos, scars and beards regardless of your gender. It is nice that these decisions are not permanent, but can be redefined at any time from a certain point in the game. Especially in the many cut scenes of the game, your external decisions are nice to look at.
The extensive game world invites you to explore.
© Ubisoft Entertainment
In terms of content, the entire story revolves around the eponymous character Fenyx. Since we decided on a female protagonist during our test phase, we will only refer to her as such in the course of the test for better readability. Her story begins with a shipwreck, which she barely survives. In the search for her companions, however, she has to discover that not only her comrades-in-arms have been turned to stone, but also her brother Ligyron. Looking for a way to save her comrades, she meets the messenger of the gods Hermes, who reveals to her that the Titan Typhon has defeated the Greek gods and wants to plunge the world into perdition. How could it be otherwise, the adventure of Fenyx through the golden land begins here.
However, Fenyx not only meets Hermes and Typhon on her journey. Other well-known deities such as Aphrodite or Hephaestus cross your paths when you travel to the vast areas of the open game world. This is divided into a total of seven areas, with a god in each area who needs your help to unite against the prevailing threat.
The best way to overcome long distances is through the air.
© Ubisoft Entertainment
The adventure is told as a constant dialogue between the god father Zeus and Prometheus. Your entertainment includes the story of Fenyx and her fight against Typhon. These stories are accompanied by smaller cutscenes, which either show the current events of Fenyx or also lead to the conversation between the two gods. The German dubbing should also be emphasized here, which is convincing in both the main story and subplots. Unfortunately, the dialogues as a whole are not really exciting. It is tried again and again to put funny punchlines, which however do not fit into the actually gloomy and at the same time threatening setting. Ubisoft is taking a path here, which was already shown in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and could deter one or the other. At its core, the story is still convincing, provided you get involved with it.
Far from the dialogues, your adventure is to explore the large, open game world. In the beginning you are only going to do this on foot, but within the first hours of the game you will acquire additional skills that will make your travels easier. So you can not only explore the mountains and valleys on horseback or climb steep slopes, but also get wings that carry you through the air. Depending on the playing time, however, you are initially only able to reach higher levels with a double jump or glide down from high peaks.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is a lot of fun on foot, on horseback and in the air!
Otherwise Fenyx has a tried and tested repertoire of skills. Light or heavy attacks are carried out using sword and ax, you can jump or dive at the push of a button and a quick selection grants direct access to your potions, which heal your energy and stamina or offer additional buffs. In addition, Fenyx also has a bow, which comes with a special feature: At the touch of a button, a single arrow can be shot, which you can control directly in flight. This opens up a variety of possibilities, especially for later puzzles, and is great fun.
There is no way around the Cyclops in this arena.
© Ubisoft Entertainment
On your journey you are not only looking for a cure for your brother, but also collect countless items. Some of these are new weapons and armor, but some are also special items such as ambrosia and artifacts called “Lightning bolts of Zeus”, with which you can expand your energy and stamina bars or improve your use of weapons. But passive skills can also be unlocked in this way, provided you have collected a sufficient amount of the different resources and artifacts. This is possible with Hermes, who is waiting for you in a house of God, which is more or less your headquarters. This overall rather large variety of different collectable items is great on the one hand, as it enables profound gameplay, but the total of twelve different resources are initially very overwhelming. It is only through repeated play that you learn which items you need for new potions and which for improving your own stats.
You can find all of these required resources either in treasure chests, get them in side quests such as time trials or small puzzles, or you can find them in one of Tartaro’s vaults. These can best be thought of as smaller shrines, such as those seen in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example. Similar to Nintendo’s flagship title, you have to overcome puzzles and skill passages or survive the fight against a crowd of opponents. As a reward, there are usually special items and artifacts to expand your attributes.
The mythological beings often teach you to fear.
© Ubisoft Entertainment
While you roam the country with Fenyx, you will repeatedly be confronted with enemies. The fights run in real time and sometimes have the normal level of difficulty. At the push of a button, you can either attack quickly with light attacks or choose the slower, heavy attacks, which, however, stun your enemies after a few blows. If they strike back, you can either dodge by pressing a button or try to parry at the right moment. Depending on how good your timing is, your opponent will immediately take a lot of damage or you will be given the opportunity to counterattack in slow motion. Personally, the combat system is a lot of fun for me, because it not only runs quickly, but every little improvement in your equipment or attributes offers a noticeable effect. But the choice of opponents, which is based on mythological creatures such as chimeras, medusas and minotaurs, is completely convincing.
The battles against legendary opponents that are waiting for you in the game world are particularly exciting. One should only fight against these with a full bag of potions and appropriate equipment. Otherwise screen death is quickly closer than you would like. These special challenges are a great incentive, especially in the later course of the game, to explore old areas anew in order to face the last minions in battle.
In addition to the aspects mentioned, two other interesting contents belong to the large open game world. On the one hand, you will find a statue of a god in each of the seven areas, which you have to climb. Only if you master the ascent of these, you have access to the respective area via map, which is extremely important for later missions. If you think of Assassin’s Creed, you are not entirely wrong, with Fenyx climbing a statue completely differently than one of the assassins.
Tartaros vaults offer a variety of puzzles like this pinball machine.
© Ubisoft Entertainment
The second, and for me one of the best features, is Fenyx remote view. At the touch of a button, you get into a mode that is reminiscent of binoculars. In this you can not only explore your surroundings, scout out enemy camps or set waypoints, but also track down secret places and chests by meticulously searching the surroundings, even if they are not in your direct field of vision. A shimmer draws your attention to them and the interesting places are then added to your map by pressing a button.
Technically, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a great Nintendo Switch title. Except for the start of the game, the loading times are in most cases only a few seconds, so that waiting times are pleasant. Graphically, the different environments and mythological creatures make a great figure and the melodic background music as well as the German synchronization also contribute to a great gaming experience. Only the faces of the characters could not cast a spell over me. Unfortunately, you always seem a bit emotionless. Otherwise, I still like the characters’ designs. Of course you have to compromise on the Nintendo Switch, especially if you look at the versions of the Xbox Series S | X and PlayStation 5. Textures are noticeable that only fully develop on closer inspection and the interplay of wind or shadow with the environment cannot really shine on the hybrid console. Nevertheless, the overall package is so wonderfully implemented that everything runs flawlessly even in mobile game mode. However, it must be mentioned that with the current version number 1.0.2, crashes occur again and again when the Nintendo Switch is woken up from standby mode. However, Ubisoft promised a patch for the launch, which will fix these errors and make further fine-tuning to the optics.
An action RPG that will keep you on the screen for weeks.
Finally, it should be said that both content and long-term motivation are a stunner. Should you follow the story alone and not take any detours, an adventure awaits you that will captivate you for well over twenty hours. But there are also many small caves, shrines, hidden treasure chests, side quests, puzzles and many other tasks that the game world has to offer. In addition, special challenges are shared on the Internet at regular intervals, with which you can get hold of further content or digital currency. This can be invested in cosmetic objects and equipment, for example, which you do not need, but the opportunity to get them is still nice and motivated.
If that’s still not enough for you, more DLCs await by at least April 2021, which will give you control over new characters in new worlds with more mythological beings and stories. I would like to emphasize again that I am not a fan of the fact that DLCs are announced so big before a main game is released. However, if you are afraid that Immortals Fenyx Rising is a half-baked game and content has been deliberately packaged in upcoming purchase options, it should be said that what we will receive for the Nintendo Switch from December 3rd is a complete game, which is quite a few Hours will captivate the screen.