Who would have thought a few years ago, when The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released along with the Nintendo Switch in March 2017, that the same game would lead to a whole subgenre of imitators? So-called "Wilkdlikes" imitate the formula that makes the Zelda adventure so great, and to which the game owes its extraordinarily good reputation. Ubisoft does not want to escape this trend either, but prefers to join in. The result is Immortals: Fenyx Rising, known as "Gods & Monsters" until a few months ago. The action adventure tries to be independent; Anyone who has played Breath of the Wild will still recognize a lot of gameplay elements. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing and it isn't, because Fenyx Rising is a lot of fun.
Of gods and monsters
The thoroughly evil Typhon has subjugated the gold island and thus also the gods living there, even transformed them into trees (Athena), chickens (Ares) and other unworthy animals or things and robbed them of their power (essence). Enter: Fenyx. As the eponymous heroine, you have the choice and can change gender and appearance at any time during the game, you now have to free the gods and bring them back their power and thus their true form. For this they thank you with their blessings, basically simply special skills that are useful in combat. In the end, you will be strengthened to force down the evil Typhon, thereby re-establishing the gold island and becoming the heroine or the hero that you should always be. So determination, indispensable fate.
The story, which is completely dubbed in German, is told primarily from the off by Zeus and Prometheus, who are never too good for a clumsy joke or a teasing swipe. Sometimes these jokes actually ignite, but often the humor is also quite infantile. Certainly a matter of taste, but definitely different from the very serious Breath of the Wild. In contrast to the English version, the German language version fortunately does without the Greek accent. In the preview version (still without German dubbing) we were more annoyed than pleased with it. The setting is definitely not a highlight, but the game offers other qualities.
The play world, i.e. the gold island, is particularly beautifully designed and therefore inviting to explore. It consists of seven parts that are clearly different from each other, each one dedicated to a different deity. You start in the region called Butterfly Rocks of Hermes. A gloomy, dark, destroyed area, where you will be introduced to the story and learn the most important game basics. Then you go to Aphrodite's Valley of Eternal Spring and get the stark contrast program. Here you explore a fertile valley with many bodies of water, blooming nature, flowers, forests, beautiful architecture and the Hall of the Gods, where you can upgrade your weapons, skills and the like. This is where the detailed prologue, which also serves as a tutorial, ends, and from now on the entire game world is open to you; you can now play through the story in any order.
Source: PC Games
You will also explore the Ares area (The Cave of War), basically a single large theater of war with huge buildings and skeletons of long-dead monsters. In Athena's area (Grove of Cleos) there is again a contrast program: A fertile grove with lots of gold and wealth, temples, waters – we are most likely to be reminded of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, from which Immortals: Fenyx Rising (buy now € 58.19 ) basically came about. In Hephaistos Schmiedelande the world is shaped by minerals and resources, mines, steppes and mechanical opponents. Zeus' king's peak is always visible in the distance: a large mountain full of snow and ice, climbing the peak is a demanding task towards the end of the game. In the middle of the game world is the region of the main villain Typhon, a blazing mountain of flames or volcano that appears particularly gloomy and dangerous, with scorched landscapes around it. Suitable for the final boss fight of the game that takes place here.
As beautiful and basically exciting the game world is, we noticed a few clear differences to Breath of the Wild. The employment opportunities apart from the story and a few side quests are not all that motivating in the long run. There are many battles to master and treasures to be found, but everything is pretty much the same. What is clearly lacking are NPCs with interesting stories, for which one likes to leave the path of the main story for some time, as in the Zelda game. In general, there are virtually no non-playable figures in Fenyx Rising apart from the gods and opponents.
On the other hand, it is nice, as with Zelda, to explore the game world at any time in any order after the prologue. Immortals also relies on a system of endurance of the character, which can be expanded, as well as climbing and flying. However, climbing mountains, temples and the like in Ubisoft Wildlike is much easier than with Zelda. The premise is the same: Everything you see can be achieved. With Breath of the Wild this endeavor can be extremely difficult or even impossible if you are still too weakly equipped and have little stamina. With Fenyx Rising, on the other hand, this is really possible in almost all cases – basically from the point where you end the prologue.
Source: PC Games
Up to this point we have already compared Fenyx Rising with Breath of the Wild several times, mainly to point out weaknesses of the Ubisoft game. Now a comparison should be made again, but in the other direction. Immortals can really shine when fighting! That is not to say that the combat system at Zelda is bad, on the contrary. The battles in the Ubisoft game are a bit more fun and dynamic. This is mainly due to the fact that, thanks to the mystical wings on his back, Fenyx is not only able to fight the fight on the ground, but also to shift it up. In addition, the interplay of attack with a variety of different weapons and skills, defense and evasion is felt to be particularly dynamic. We found ourselves several times that we lost sight of a story goal completely at times and instead went into every fight we stumbled upon, simply because the battles feel so wonderfully satisfying.
Source: PC Games
Nevertheless, it should be said at this point: Fenyx Rising offers several levels of difficulty to choose from, which can also be changed at any time during the game. On the medium to high levels, the fights are quite demanding and the game over screen is clearly part of the gameplay. If you prefer a more fluid course of the game and are not exactly keen on particularly demanding challenges, an easier level of difficulty is recommended. Then Immortals: Fenyx Rising is easy overall, the claim is mostly in the fights, less in the puzzles. And so as not to leave this question unanswered: No, the weapons don't wear out like in Zelda!
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