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Game preview 10 September 2020, 21:45

author: Mike Manka

Can it wait for a bit? I'm in the middle of some calibrations.

Hands-on Preview of Immortals Fenyx Rising, or Assassins' Creed Meets Zelda

A year ago at the E3, Ubisoft presented Gods & Monsters. After more than a year of silence, the game comes back as Immortals Fenyx Rising, going through slight changes along the way, an definitely having an identity crisis.

Slated for release: December 2020.

What's up with the narrative?

There's a thing about this game that puzzles me, especially in the context of the game's target audience. Let's sum it up: the game gives us exploration straight from Zelda, and combat derived from Ubisoft's flagship series about assassins and templars. Hence my initial impression was that the game is addressed to the generation of players who are still a tad too young to play Assassins' Creed. And that would surely be an idea for the audience. But then, there are all those dialogues between Prometheus and Zeus. Let me quote one here:

"Chaos reigned. For here monsters roamed free."

"Can you… can you not tell this story like I wasn’t just there?"

"Zeus!

"I was literally just there two weeks ago. And even if I wasn’t – though I was – I’ve been listening to your story for days."

"It’s called dramatic effect."

"It’s called where’s my Skip button?"

"Hmm, looks like a rift in the ground. Time to jump in and see what’s inside."

"This mortal has no sense of safety. Jumps right into holes like a rabbit or a tomb ra-" He jumps right into the holes like some rabbit or some other tomb ra-"

"Zeus! No lawsuits here please!"

You might enjoy this kind of humor or not; I, even though I chuckled a few times, I also couldn't help but see a fragment of the TV show Rockefeller Plaza 30, with Steve Buscemi saying "How do you do, fellow kids?" That's not the kind of humor, however, that a fourteen-year-old is going to enjoy, I presume, and so I'm not quite sure whether Immortals won't suffer an identity Crysis. The game offers a bizarre mixture of mythical Ancient Greece, and some pretty quirky humor. It's as if someone wanted to make Deadpool but didn't quite know how to go about it so that kids will be into it.

Are we hyped?

Immortals Fenyx Rising definitely needs more definition in terms of identity – right now, it could go both ways: either it will be universal to appeal to a very wide audience, or it will be so bland it won't win any niche. I'm not saying it's bad – combat is proper, exploration is quite enjoyable, and if anyone liked Breath of the Wild, I'm sure they'll be satisfied this experience. I am not a huge fan of role-playing games that rely entirely on gameplay and do not have engaging story, so I'm already pretty sure this game won't be my GOTY candidate.

This is a pretty game, the sound design is very good, but the dialogs are somewhat cringeworthy at times. It's hard to convey that in a few quotes taken from the game, but when you hear that narrative as you're solving the puzzles and complete quests, it may just start to be annoying. Or maybe Immortals just isn't a game for me.

I guess you just have to go search the Internet for more previews and impressions, and make up your own opinion. I mean, Breath of the Wild itself wasn't really a game for me, so there's that. I might be a bit too harsh on this game, since it's otherwise completely fine – there might as well be millions of people who will enjoy Immortals Fenyx Rising. I would like to commend Ubisoft for trying a new IP, but they admittedly haven't been very bold in introducing fresh, experimental ideas in their new game.

Last update: 2020-09-10

Mike Manka | Gamepressure.com

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