Last year at E3, the world was given the first look at a brand new, animated adventure from Ubisoft named Gods & Monsters, and after a year's worth of radio silence, we were finally treated to our first look at gameplay, along with a new take-it-or-leave it name, Immortals: Fenyx Rising.
Now, there’s no hiding the fact that Immortals is an open-world action-adventure that shares many similarities with one of our favorite Switch titles, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, to be fair, many of the elements that make Breath of the Wild the joy that it is were also inspired by many games that came before it, like the Assassin’s Creed series. And as a matter of fact, the team behind Immortals, Ubisoft Quebec, actually developed Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Assassin's Creed Odyssey. So we think they may know what they’re up to.
Last week, we were fortunate enough to go hands-on with the game for a whopping four hours and while, unfortunately, we streamed a PC build of the game and still have yet to see the game running on Switch hardware, it gave us a good look at what to expect when it arrives on shelves later this year.
As you’d expect, many gameplay elements from both Assassin’s Creed and Breath of the Wild have been carried over. You’re able to run, jump, swim underwater (more on that later), and climb anything you can set your sights on, as long as your stamina bar permits you. You’re also given a number of weapons and abilities that will help you maneuver the terrain and take down enemies that stand in your way.
The Sword of Achilles, for example, is best for quick jabs at your enemy; the Hephaistos's Hammer swings harder and further but in turn moves a lot slower; the bow of Odysseus allows for long-range takedowns and you can even fire an arrow and control it in slow motion to hit a target in a hard to reach area; and the Bracers of Herakles allow you to lift objects and pull enemies closer to you in battle. Eventually, you’ll be given access to the Wings of Daedalus, which allows you to glide around the map and can help propel you into the air for aerial combat.
While you’re given the entire map to explore in any order you like, your main goal is to find the four gods hidden within the regions of the Golden Isle and restore their powers. During our time we encountered Aphrodite the god of love, whose essence had been locked away. She sent us on a mission to bring her back some special seafoam, which required us to defeat a giant cyclops, a pack of harpies and we had to roll a giant pearl down a long and winding path until it eventually fell into the ocean, which in turn gave us a better look at the physics system. Normally, the player would have to physically push the pearl through the path, but since we had been given a heavy stat boost to help see more of what the game had to offer, Fenyx was much stronger than they should have been at this point and we were able to use our hammer to strike the pearl and hurl it through the sky towards its destination.
Vaults of Tartaros, which act like compact dungeons or the shrines in Breath of the Wild, are also hidden all around the map for you to discover. Some Vaults hold puzzles for you to solve, intricate platforming segments, or even boss encounters, and their milky galaxy interior is a sight to behold.
One particular element that surprised us most was the fact that you’re actually able to swim freely and explore underwater whenever you like, (as long as you can afford the stamina.) Unfortunately, we clung to dry land for the majority of our demo, but the thought of discovering a sunken city or finding lost treasure underwater is an extremely exciting endeavor, and honestly, just thinking about it again has us ready to dive back in.
The story follows Fenyx, a bottom-of-the-barrel shield-bearer who’s washed ashore alone on an unfamiliar island after their ship was destroyed during a heavy storm. After making their way off the shore they quickly encounter their team, who’ve all been turned to stone, including their brother Ligyron. Even though Fenyx has never actually been in battle, Fenyx takes their brother’s sword and swears to bring him back, one way or another.
The tyrant behind all the carnage is none other than Typhon, the most dangerous, menacing Titan in Greek Mythology. He’s stripped the Gods of Olympus of the majority of their powers and it’s up to you to help them get their abilities back. Thankfully, you won’t have to go it all alone as the mischievous god Hermes has a few tricks up his sleeve to help make the journey go a little more in your favor.
As you play, Prometheus and Zeus both narrate parts of the story, similar in ways to Bastion, but they don’t chat as often. The two gods usually only chime in when there is something relevant to speak about or is a good opportunity to make a joke at your expense, which is where the dialogue truly shines. Immortals is packed to the brim with humor and mythological lore. At one point during our demo, we're pretty sure we caught Prometheus retelling the complicated tale of Aphrodite's birth to Zeus, and he wasn't the least bit pleased about it. The devs even mentioned they drew inspiration from the film The Princess Bride, which is very much evident.
Fenyx also conveys an extreme amount of emotion in their dialogue and in their facial reactions. During our time with the game, we chose a Fenyx with more feminine traits, and we almost instantly fell in love with her character. Fenyx is an extremely silly and gullible — but determined — hero and regardless of which style avatar or voice you decide to go with, their dialogue and delivery will also be the same. In comparison to a game like Breath of the Wild, Immortals really helps its story by giving its protagonist a voice and letting them fly away with it.
You can also fully customize Fenyx, from their body type, voice, skin tone, hair color, etc... At the start, we stuck pretty close to the standard look for Fenyx, but eventually, we changed them up to look more like Zelda from Breath of the Wild, but we totally whiffed her eye color anyways. On your journey, you’ll also find new armor and weapons that’ll boost your stats, and if you happen to prefer the look of a particular piece of equipment over another, you can equip any armor piece and reskin it with an existing piece.
There’s no denying Immortals: Fenyx Rising is one of the best looking games we’ve seen in a long time. From it’s lush and magical environments, to it’s almost Pixar quality cutscenes, our jaws were on the floor even while having just streamed the game at a lower resolution from Ubisoft’s servers than we'd expect to see in person. Of course, when Immortals does make the leap to Switch the graphical quality will take a noticeable dip, but exactly how much will change is still a question we'll only be able to answer once we get our hands on review code.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising has had our attention since the very beginning, and after spending a few short hours with the game (boy, did they fly by!) we can’t wait to see what else this adventure has to offer come December 3rd.
Im down. Unpopular opinion, but when compared to BOTW, I prefer every first look element of Immortals over Zelda. Setting, main char, world ... just a bit more inviting for me personally.
It's all (PC Gameplay)
Considering that I loved AC Odyssey and that I think that people attacked the game for unfair reasons, I'm pretty sure that I'll play this eventually.
Demo is available now on Stadia if anyone wants to give it a shot. Don't need a sub just a gmail account and you can play it on basically anything with a screen. Just starting it up myself!
Gonna wait on reviews for this one. Always wary of ubisoft games on first release.
Looking forward to it. Preordered on Switch and PS5
Too bad this preview wasn't on the switch. Really wonder how the performance will be.
It’s going to look and run awful on switch as with most triple a games.
Just waiting to see if they will put the whole game on the cartridge ... it is Ubisoft after all.
I'm excited for it! Like Genshin Impact without the microtransactions.
@tameshiyaku I'm not saying "you should pre-order it!" But I expect it will look good on Switch because Starlink looked great and these two games have similar looking graphics.
Looking forward to this. UK prices also have this £10 cheaper than Xbox and PS4 (damn price creep).
Should we be worried that the gold version isnt available on switch? Does this mean there wont be any DLC coming?
@Zuljaras I recall the rumor a year ago that a game was coming late 2020 that would use a newer, larger capacity game card - 64gb. No idea how pandemic has effected that plan since there's not been any update.
This is on both of my kids Christmas wishlist for Switch.
Is there a release date yet?
I'm actually interested in this because the developer has a good pedigree. Hope it runs decently on Switch, because that's where I plan on buying it.
@WoomyNNYes if that rumour becomes reality I will be one happy collector!
@CTmatic Dec 3rd.
Playing it now. It's basically BOTW +Assassins Creed "lite" + Pixar. I'm having a decent time with it so far
Just doesn’t do anything for me. The initial reveal peak my interest but the official reveal and gameplay just doesn’t excite me at all.
Looks like Assassins Creed with Starlink elements. And Switch version will be much worse graphically...
Can't wait to give it a run and then place on backlog to get to when I get other backlogs caught up on.
This looks cool. I might give it a go
Fun looking romp, but gawd that's an awful title.
We're seeing Breath of the Wild's impact on game design. It truly did set the new benchmark for adventure games.
Yeah, I love Greek mythology, so this is an instant buy. Despite the dumb name change, and especially after hearing the Odyssey folks are behind it. Hopefully its a bit shorter than that one tho. Dang game took me almost a year to get through. Without dlc. Which I'm scared to go back to.
I think it looks great. One thing that should be neat with this is cross progression with the Ubisoft Connect. I will be curious to see how seamless it is, since I could see that being something that encourages me to go with the Switch version along with PC.
Can't wait for this game! Age of Calamity and this one are my games for this Christmas. So amazing!
Got it pre ordered on PS5. Looking forward to it
Great!, just after i finished hyrule warrior!
I still feel like this is the game that the devs originally pitched but they were told to make an Assassin’s Creed game instead. Looking forward to this one.
@PhilKenSebben I adored base Odyssey, but the DLC is pretty bad in my opinion. The writing is several steps down from the base game and the new environments are definitely more beautiful than fun.
Hahahaha ‘Breath of the Wild formula’... you mean every single open world game ever? Absolute nonsense idea, Breath of the Wild is not original in that aspect in the slightest.
This looks so beautiful! I also enjoy Greek Mythology. Looking forward to a review!
Until you have had a hands on with the Switch version I am not interested to be honest.
it looks cool
I want to see a switch gameplay video to see how it looks and runs on the switch before i buy.
WHY. NO. SWITCH. GAMEPLAY?
@BeefSanta Thats what I was thinking, what a generic, cringy game title. Gods and Monsters was a much better name.
Breath of the Wild is accused by detractors of being merely an Ubisoft style open world game.
But then Ubisoft kind of copies it.
...and puts a direction/distance pointer right in the middle of the screen.
Was really looking forward to this at E3 2019 when it had a release date in Feb 2020 but coming out 2 weeks after HW: AoC means I'll wait until this goes on sale for $19.99. It's Ubi, shouldn't take too long.
@redd214 tried it earlier, it has been a good experience so far
Really excited for this one. Not too concerned about the Switch version, Starlink played fine on Switch. Switch footage would be appreciated though.
@roy130390 Animal Crossing Odyssey? I never knew that was a thing...
I’ll wait to see what it’s like when released. Ubisoft are hit and miss.
Played an hour or so there of the demo. It's decent. Not a big fan of the cheesy way the story gets told but gameplay and combat are good. Not sure it's for me. Maybe when it gets discounted I'll bite. There's enough games coming out next month that I've my eye on before this.
I they needed to do was announce they were adding Kid Icarus to the Switch version I would have bought this day one, but as it is I think Hyrule Warriors will do me for Zelda style adventures this holiday.
Having just watched IGN's gameplay video, I can't say I'm impressed. Looks pretty poor if I'm being honest. I thought this might be a Ubisoft I will actually like but from what I've seen, I'll be giving it a miss.
I was excited until I read this was streamed from a PC build.
FYI: Google Stadia has a demo for the game. I just signed up for a free month trial via the Android app to test it for myself.
I'm really looking forward to playing this, I just hope the Switch version plays well and looks decent. If it pulls of performance similar to BotW in the end, I'll be playing this on Switch.
Unpopular opinion, almost to the point it can get me killed, but BotW is not that great, and IMO, highly overrated. This is coming from a guy who enjoys exploring open world games more than playing their story campaigns. Not like BotW had one worth caring about anyway.
If Bravely Default 2 doesn’t turn up I maybe tempted.
But the world Ubisoft makes me sceptical....
Guys, if you still hesitate, try out the demo they put in Stadia. It's really easy to get there, you don't to pay or install anything. And it works in every PC, I've played in a really crappy portable computer XD.
It looks amazing!
Meekly happy about this
Looked at some youtube footage & seemed more style over substance to me. Possibly very much so. Still want to give it a go.
May be a case of ppl buying into the huge hype around this and the PC images everywhere across the internet. We'll see....
I only liked BotW because it was Zelda. Any other reason and I wouldn’t have even touched it.
The Stadia Demo is 100% free and out now (free account/download). It has full controller support, try it out there.
It is a bit "meh" so far. Art style for the faces is not great.
@HollowSpectre You can try it out right now. There's a free demo on Stadia.
I am looking forward to this game's release on the Nintendo Switch. I would LOVE to see some direct feed footage of this game running on the Nintendo Switch though...
I am hoping to be able to afford to get this game when it releases in December.
Do weapons break? That is still why I have yet to beat BoTW. I found the weapon breaking so irritating I keep putting the game back in the mothballs.
Zelda and Kid Icarus rolled into one package. Nice.
@Kynwal In other words, you are terrible at the game.
@Trikeboy Yep. Not my cup of tea. I hated the annoying mechanic of every weapon breaking. So how was your job as a game counselor when they were available? Since you are obviously an expert at games.
Feel like I want to get this at launch, but, I'll wait for reviews.
Still looks kinda slapped together
Sweet, my thoughts are confirmed. This is shaping up to be a huge release, and hopefully the switch version will suffice. Looking forward to December 3rd.
@tameshiyaku We'll be sure to fill everyone in when we learn anything! We're all itching to see how it runs too.
@Kynwal Nope, in fact you can get new weapons and gear and upgrade the with an in-game currency you get for exploring.
@sandman89 yeah creed 3 was a glitchy mess and so was liberation but creed black flag runs great and looks great.
It looks very Ubisoft-y.
Yeah... sorry but I just can’t get over how stupid the new title is. “Fenyx” is just wrong; it’s what a stubborn kid with no imagination would use as their character name in a MMOG after seeing that “Phoenix”, “Phenix”, and “Fenix” (and a bunch of others) are taken.
After playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey a couple of years ago, I am confident that this team knows what they're doing with open-world design and an overall fun game, so I am looking forward to this.
Hopefully we get to see how the Switch version compares prior to launch. I've had it preordered since last year and it'd cost me more to cancel and order it again now so if I'm going to get it, it'll be at launch.
I can't get excited if nobody has seen the game run on the switch.
@SwitchForce I feel personally attacked. 😆
Got to play the game demo a bit yesterday on Stadia. Got an excellent impression of the game.
Unfortunately, it only ran at 30fps, which was quite disappointing. But it should be running 60fps at release, I hope.
If there are others who want to try the game, then there is a free demo available for 7 days on Stadia.
All you need is a Gmail / Google Account to try it:
Nice preview, but still not the Switch version (wich makes me very itchy). I pre-ordered the Switch version...pleasssssse let it be good!!
I might pick it up on a ps5, if I can get my hands on one in the launch window...
My fear is that they copied far too much from BotW, and the game will subsequently fail to measure up. It just doesn't look different enough to creep out from under BotW's shadow. I can see myself enjoying this for a few hours, growing bored, and booting up BotW for my 500th hour of gameplay.
@nessisonett I think they mean, specifically, an open world with a final boss you can take on at any time. I've played a ton of open world games but so far only one of them allowed you to run from the tutorial to try and defeat the big bad with shorts and a stick.
@Chlocean Tales of Zestiria, Two Worlds, FFXIII Lightning Returns, Megaman X5 all have final bosses you can kill extremely quickly if you don’t bother with the equivalent of divine beasts. One game that is both a fully fledged open world and lets you go to the final boss at any time is Morrowind. You can literally get off the boat in Seyda Neen and walk to Dagoth Ur’s lair as soon as the game starts. You’ll lose but you can. This was in 2002, far before Breath of the Wild seemingly invented cel-shaded graphics, physics-based puzzles and Ubisoft towers.
@nessisonett That's why I said "so far"
I have only played one game that lets you do this, yet I've played a fair share of open world games. The idea of a "formula" is that it's all rolled into one package.
Tales of Zestiria, Two Worlds, Lightning Returns, and Megaman X5 may share the "take on the final boss whenever" ingredient in common
Imagine open world games are cookie recipes-they have basic ingredients in common. but none of the above have cel-shaded graphics, physics based puzzles and Ubisoft towers all rolled into one game.
Fenyx has all of those in one game. While the Ubisoft towers are not entirely original to BOTW, none of those aspects are original to BOTW. It's the idea of having them all in one place that is novel.
Imagine the open world genre as the basic recipe for a cookie-the flour, milk, eggs, etc. the things most cookies have in common.
You can have a famous "lemon blueberry and pop rocks cookie" recipe and that is pretty transformative, and fun. There have been cookies in the past that have used pop rocks, that's not original. But having lemon and blueberry along with it is neat.
if another company releases a "rosemary lemon pomegranate and pop rocks cookie" recipe they aren't trying to hide the fact that they've been inspired to bring some of those ingredients together by the older recipe. It's still using a similar formula, but it's still transforming it in meaningful ways.
Nor is Breath of the Wild trying to tell us it invented Open World Games, or Cel-shaded graphics or physics puzzles or a boss you can take on at any time, but the idea of these ingredients all compiled together are undoubtedly a formula.
@Chlocean This is why I said that nothing Breath of the Wild has done is original. I literally said in my original comment that it’s not the individual mechanics that are original. It’s like a ‘greatest hits’ of mechanics that are 10 years old but because it’s made by Nintendo and called Zelda it’s the greatest game ever made. This game won’t ever be reviewed as well as BotW and I can tell you that right now because it’s made and published by Ubisoft. Nintendo get a free pass and aren’t judged on the same merits as other companies. Morrowind does everything BotW does except with more depth and engaging side quests. It just has awful graphics by today’s standards. If anything, Breath of the Wild uses the Elder Scrolls formula.
@nessisonett I haven't seen many people trying to claim that BOTW's mechanics are completely original. I call it Breath of the Skyrim. Nothing is original, everything is a remix. Even Elder Scrolls has its roots in other RPGs. But the telephone effect happens when things are remixed to the point where I would say BOTW is following the Elder Scrolls formula, but Fenyx is not following the Elder Scrolls formula.
Boy do the BotW fans always get defensive with any mention of the weapon durability system being a bad design choice. 🤷♂️
I have no desire to finish BotW for the same reason, plus lack of story, dungeons, excessive rain ruining the climbing, etc.
The thing is, I'm not bad at the combat, but thats an irrelevant point. It doesn't matter if someone is good or bad, the weapons still break after the same amount of use, and I grew tired of fiddling with the weapon select quick menu every few minutes of heavy fighting.
BotW is highly overrated.
I played the Imortals demo on Stadia last night, and its a lot of fun. Is it a masterpiece, or best game ever made...no. Is it fun, does it look and play good...a resounding yes so far.
Thats all I need. BotW fans can keep their precious game, I'll play something else. Now I hope BotW 2 fixes my issues, but if it doesn't, Oh well. I still have a ton of fun Zelda games to go back and play instead.
@Kang81 Correct. I like the world of BoTW etc. I have a strong dislike for the weapon breaking system. Strong enough to ruin any desire to play it very far. I hope BoTW 2 has a change that to system. Good to hear Immortals could be a good game - I hope the Switch version is good, although I am not limited in my choices to only that.
I hope Immortals on Switch is good as well. I want to play it there, but if it performs poorly, then I'll get it on PS4.
Considering how good Assassins Creed Black Flag is on Switch, I am hopeful.
I believe I saw somewhere on Nintendo Life saying there could be in-game purchases for IPR(or G&M), which could potentially include timers. I don't know if that has changed since then, and I believe others would the situation of that better.
You're not the only one who thinks BOTW is overrated and has issues. I haven't really played BOTW, (besides from when I borrowed it from a friend for a short time). The reasons you mentioned like weapons breaking, the BOTW fanbase (and basically no guidance on where to go next in a big open world game, is another issue I have) are the reasons why I haven't really bothered to play BOTW. (I'm also not a huge Zelda fan, so that doesn't help either).
Yeah, it really doesn't have the heart of Zelda anymore. I'd be fine with it being an open world game as I generally enjoy those games quite a bit. But I still need the story and the linear quest lines. I want the exploration of the world to be by choice, not necessity. Which I always choose to do, but BotW lacks focus for sure.
I should point out, Immortals Phoenix Rising takes advantage of Ubisoft's new UPlay rebranding to Ubisoft Connect.
So Immortals will take advantage of cross platform saves.
Of course this would mean buying two copies of the game.
Still, being able to play at home on a PC/PS4/XB1, and then pick up right where you left off on the Switch while out of town or what have you is a really nice thing to have.
Yeah starlink, mario rabbids, asassin creed blackflag.
But not only those, other triple A games, Doom, Metro, Wolvenstein, witcher, atral chain, not to forget hellblade what magic did they use on that game!
And not to forget breath of the wild.
That makes sense. I'm not that into open world games, as I feel like I'm not guided as much and can lose where I'm going very easily, even though I like Collect-a-thon's.
BOTW had a mission tracker at the beginning, but when I progressed a bit further the mission tracker stopped being a thing. Why would that even be a thing, unless you put it on a harder difficulty.
Or just buy it on Stadia
This is going to be my secondary platform for big AAA games, next to my Switch in the future. I do not need Sony's or Microsoft's consoles anymore.
Now I finally finished the little demo on Stadia yesterday. I'm pretty impressed with what I've tried. It's just a game for me, so now I pre-ordered it on Stadia too.
The game seems to be a pretty good mix between Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Zelda: BOTW and the old God of War games.
It seems that they have taken the best parts from those three games, and made a really great Action Adventure.
I hope it sells well so Ubisoft and others choose to make more such games in the future.
There are still 5 days to try the free demo at Stadia, for those who are interested.
All you need is a Gmail / Google Account to try it:
There is no way this game comes to the Switch this year.
Not without some significant drawbacks.
@MantaPloc I'm not so sure. Ubisoft may be prioritizing the Switch port because the Switch is not only a good part of the market for them, but it was the only system that Starlink sold at all well. And at this point they have plenty of experience making their games run good on the Switch. Plus while the graphics on Fenyx Rising look really good, the cartoonishness has the benefit of reducing the detail they system has to process.
I admit, Stadia worked well for for my first time trying it. I could never go along with a streaming service if I had to outright buy the games though.
Xbox's streaming option I could tolerate as a 3rd choice, even though I'm not fond of games being rotated out so quickly.
If Nintendo would just put out the option of a high end Switch Pro, I'd be all over it. I highly doubt they would ever put out a Switch thats even on par with a PS4/XB1, but I can dream. I wouldn't even care about the battery life, because I'd just carry the charger with me on with a large battery pack.
@redd214 Yeah I had a go of it today. Not a long demo, but I enjoyed it! Not enough to buy at full price, but maybe in a sale.
@LillianC14 it's a Ubi game, it'll be on sale in a couple weeks lol! Glad you enjoyed it!!
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