After Breath of the Wild’s massive success, it was only a matter of time before other publishers tried to catch some of that lightning in their own bottles. Ubisoft’s Immortals Fenyx Rising is far and away the one that comes closet, in my opinion. In many ways, it feels very much like playing Breath of the Wild, but with a Greek mythology reskin. It’s set in a wide-open world with lots of climbing and gliding, you complete small puzzle-based dungeons, and occasionally tackle longer dungeons capped off by a bigger boss fight. That said, to simply describe it as a Breath of the Wild copy is to do it a disservice because it does stand on its own in many ways. For one thing, the mechanics of leveling up Fenyx’s powers and abilities are very different, and serve as one of the biggest motivating factors to explore the vastness of the Golden Isle. Along with uncovering Vaults of Tartaros, exploration allows Fenyx to find the collectibles that can be used to increase strength and gain new skills.
Another major way that Fenyx Rising stands apart from its very obvious inspiration is its story-telling. Where Breath of the Wild takes a very passive approach, Fenyx’s tale is very actively narrated throughout by a hilarious back-and-forth between Prometheus and Zeus. Even after completing the main game, the great story-telling continues through each of Fenyx Rising’s three DLC sets. Two of these additional chapters focus on what happens to Fenyx and other characters from the main game, whereas one, Myths of the Eastern Realm, feels more like an abbreviated version of what an Immortals game would look like if based in Chinese mythology. If you enjoy the main game, I’d encourage checking out these add-ons, too.
My only real gripe with the game is the lack of polish with the controls. At times, executing a bit of tricky platforming to complete an area felt hampered by the lack of finely-tuned control that was possible (for example, needing to land on a small platform, but a slight nudge of the joy-con pushed Fenyx too far over the edge). It’s also unfortunate that this game came out so close to the heavily advertised Cyberpunk 2077, which garnered so much of the spotlight both before and after its release. If not for that, perhaps Fenyx Rising would have garnered more attention that it did. I think it’s one of the most fun games that has remained a somewhat hidden gem. There are some rumors starting to pop up online that Ubisoft is working on a new Immortals game, so hopefully that one will prove to be just as good and serve as a hook to help get this one more of the praise it deserves. Again, it’s by no means a perfect game, but definitely one that I’d highly recommend, especially since it’s frequently on sale.