Immortals Fenyx Rising Preview: Hands-on from the start of the game

Stevivor was offered a second go at Immortals Fenyx Rising ahead of its December release date, this time picking up the game from its very beginning.

While it was hard to move past the title’s Breath of the Wild-like style, presentation and mechanics the first time around, I’d gotten that out of my system and smiled as I immediately found myself face-to-face with antagonist Typhon, the evil god whom Fenyx sets out to best. Typhon almost immediately broke the fourth wall and looked into the camera, stating his case… and honestly, I was ready to side with him after he’d finished.

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His claim that the gods were corrupt and selfish — in need of being taken down a peg or two — carried with me as Zeus himself came into frame, pompous and arrogant in conversation with Prometheus (still chained up, alas). While I agreed with Typhon that Zeus was a bit of a dick, I certainly couldn’t deny he was funny — the same sense of humour I loved in the specially-crafted demo back in September has certainly carried through into what’s to become the title’s full retail build.

“The Greek gods are seen as these these pillars of virtue,” Game Director Scott Phillips told Stevivor, “but if you actually look at the mythology he was terrible. He did a lot of awful, awful things. [The] stories are sort of morality tales, and often the there is no morality. Zeus did some terrible things. Or, you know, Athena killed destroyed a whole fleet of ships. 

“The gods are very flawed, often fundamentally flawed creatures and characters you learn about their flaws and sort of throughout the story you teach them. And Zeus learns as well that those flaws are not things to be washed away or gotten rid of. But they’re part of who you are — something that you can learn to live with, learn to deal with and move forward from.

“Typhon believes himself to be perfect, and that there is no flaw with him — so that’s why he becomes the villain. Yes, he makes good points and the gods are not good — but the gods themselves try to change and try to better themselves, which is sort of the core tale of the story. Typhon is the bad guy, but that’s not to say there aren’t twists.”

As I was introduced to Fenyx and the situation that she — or he — finds themself in, I very quickly realised that things weren’t all fun and games. While the Studio Ghibli-like setting can lead you to believe you’re in some wholesome land, things are truly dire. Typhon has turned most of humanity to stone, the gods are in chaos and it’s up to you — someone whom Zeus calls a parasite, spitting the word out with bile and disgust — to save the day.

While the Zelda comparisons are obvious, so too is the framework in which Assassin’s Creed Odyssey impacts Immortals. I’m not talking mythos here, but mechanics — Fenyx will climb large towers to get a better lay of the land, opening up sections of the map in the process. Combat is largely reminiscent at times as well.

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Where the titles start to diverge, however, it the variety of side missions on offer. Some involve the wings of Daedalus to soar to great heights and around aerial obstaces, while others still will provide the hero with a boost of speed to complete sprints. Challenges involving puzzle blocks are balanced by those that require a steady hand, a good eye and your trusty bow. If you want to get off the beaten path and explore, Immortals Fenyx Rising is full of opportunities to do so.

Immortals Fenyx Rising heads to Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, Switch and Stadia where available on 3 December. You can check out the first 30 minutes or so of the game in the video below.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

3 December 2020 (PC PS4 PS5 Switch Xbox One | Series)

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.