Immortals Fenyx Rising – formerly known as Gods & Monsters – made a big splash during Ubisoft Forward, showing off a revamped look to complement its lighthearted action approach to Greek mythology. The open-world adventure focuses on Fenyx, a customizable hero fated to become a powerful winged demigod, as they battle to save the gods from the evil Titan Typhon.
Set in a vibrant landscape filled with secrets, puzzles, and monsters, Immortals Fenyx Rising unfolds as a story told by Prometheus to Zeus, who refuses to take any of it seriously. The duo’s bickering works like a running commentary on the gameplay, as Prometheus narrates Fenyx’s exploits and Zeus cracks wise. This gives the adventure a lighthearted atmosphere, but the frenetic combat and physics-driven world are no joke. To see it for yourself, check out the 101 gameplay video below, and then read on for more info on the six things that stood out to us the most during a few hours adventuring in the game’s Forgelands.
The World is Diverse and Dynamic
The Golden Isle is an immense open world, with distinct regions patterned after specific Greek gods. Climb to the top of one of the island’s colossal statues, and you can see far into the distance, as hills and snowy mountains give way to grassy meadows stretching out toward the sea. There’s also a massive volcano that sits at the center of the map, and is visible from just about anywhere. This is the lair of Typhon, the most dangerous of all Titans, who has cursed and imprisoned the gods themselves, and spread his curse across the Golden Isle.
We explored one region during our time with the game: the Forgelands, a rocky landscape of cliffs and canyons lorded over by the blacksmith god Hephaistos. Something bad has clearly happened here; not only is the place infested with monsters, but the massive forge complex that dominates the center of the region is choked with Typhon’s crystalline red corruption. Hephaistos’ automaton workers – when not outright hostile – are frozen everywhere, often in poses of distress and fear.
Despite the seemingly grim atmosphere, the Forgelands are a playground of vertical exploration. Almost everything is climbable, including sheer cliffs and massive structures that can be a challenge to summit given Fenyx’s finite stamina.
Fenyx’s Godly Powers Are Devastating
Climbing is fun, but it’s usually faster to find an air vent and deploy the Wings of Daidalos to reach high places. The wings – which are also great for gliding quickly above the landscape and cushioning falls at the last second – are among a number of items and abilities Fenyx will gain early on, elevating them above a mere mortal.
Fenyx can also draw on Herakles’s Strength to telekinetically grab, lift, and throw heavy objects, which plays a key role in solving many of the game’s physics-driven puzzles. Athena’s Dash unleashes a destructive charge straight into enemies, while Ares’s Wrath and Hephaistos’s Hammer can inflict big damage by launching spears from the ground or bringing down a massive mallet, respectively. And Apollo’s Arrows let Fenyx remote-control arrows in flight, even adjusting their speed to precisely hit difficult targets.
Fenyx’s constant companion, an actual phoenix named Phosphoros, can dive-bomb enemies during combat, or give Fenyx temporary invisibility to sneak up on enemies and deliver a stealth attack. And speaking of animal companions, Fenyx can summon a clockwork horse (or any living ones that players have tamed) at any time to gallop rapidly across the landscape. All of these abilities drain Fenyx’s stamina (except for the horse, which has its own stamina meter), and while Fenyx can still fight on empty, the stamina meter can take a while to recharge once depleted.
Combat Is Fast, Acrobatic, and Frequently Against Huge Foes
Monsters lurk everywhere across the Golden Isle, and range from corrupted soldiers, lions, and harpies to much larger threats, including fast-charging minotaurs, lumbering cyclopes, and robotic automatons. Since many of your foes are gigantic, and because smaller enemies will rapidly surround you and attack, Fenyx’s fighting style is quick, versatile, and acrobatic. Light sword attacks can inflict quick flurries of damage, heavy axe attacks can break through shields (and eventually dizzy some enemies), and a well-aimed arrow shot can do immense damage to unsuspecting enemies. Executing a perfect dodge will slow time, giving you a brief window to unleash a few uncontested combos; and parrying an attack can knock your foes off-balance and render them momentarily helpless.
Because a lot of Fenyx’s foes attack from the air (or are just really tall), Fenyx has a wing-assisted double-jump that lets them smack enemies around while hovering in midair. Your Herakles’ Strength power can grapple enemies and catapult you straight at them, and if a foe seems too tough, using one of your other godly abilities – like Hephaistos’ Hammer or Phosphoros’ Attack – can whittle down their health in a hurry. Every battle is fast and frantic, with a continuously shifting mix of enemies that give each encounter a different feel – and if you want to mix things up even more, a wide assortment of upgradable weapons and armor can grant different perks that complement your playstyle.
The Vaults of Tartaros Are Puzzle-Filled Pocket Dimensions
Dotted across the landscape are glowing red holes in the ground that look like miniature versions of Typhon’s volcano. These are Tartaros Rifts, and diving into them brings Fenyx to otherworldly dungeons where players will need to solve elaborate, multi-stage environmental puzzles and/or battle waves of enemies to reclaim a piece of Zeus’ lightning. Some of these are straightforward – figuring out how to get big blocks onto pressure plates to open pathways, for example – while others are decidedly stranger, like giant pinball machines that challenge you to smack flaming orbs into blocked-off pits. Finding a Tartaros Rift is always a sure sign that something interesting is just a leap into the unknown away.
Corrupted Heroes Will Hunt You
No good deed goes unpunished when Typhon’s running the show. Defeat enough enemies or clear certain challenges, and you might provoke Typhon’s rage. As the sky itself reddens, Typhon’s volcano at the center of the Golden Isle erupts with red-hot boulders, and the gigantic wraiths of Greek mythology’s fallen heroes will begin to hunt you relentlessly.
In our case, Fenyx battled the shade of Odysseus, who could clone himself and abruptly disappear, only to rush out of a portal seconds later with unblockable charge attacks that put your dodging skills to the test. More corrupted heroes will come for Fenyx throughout the game, and defeating them quells Typhon’s rage – but only for a time.
Secrets Are Everywhere
Immortals Fenyx Rising will direct you to its major story quests, but any hand-holding ends there; the treasures, challenges, and vaults of the Golden Isle are up to you to discover. Points of interest can be uncovered by climbing to a high point and using the first-person Far Sight to sweep across the landscape and look for any intriguing landmarks – but often, just exploring your surroundings will reveal a wealth of puzzles to solve, ruins to explore, and magical portals to dive into.
For example, you might spot a half-buried statue in the distance that looks interesting enough to investigate, and encounter a challenge that lets you re-create Odysseus’ feat of firing an arrow through the rings of axe handles – except the axes are arrayed like an obstacle course, and completing it requires precise control of one of Apollo’s Arrows. Or you might be on your way to a Tartaros Rift, only to stop and investigate a strange cave, solve a sliding-block picture puzzle, and realize you’ve just stumbled onto one of Daidalos’ secret workshops, complete with a map pointing to the rest of them. Moments like this are frequent, rewarding idle exploration with new challenges, secrets, and loot that you might have missed otherwise.
Immortals Fenyx Rising launches on December 3 for Stadia, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC including UPLAY+, and will also be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X. To find out more, check out our ongoing coverage.