'Immortals Fenyx Rising' Preview: Stamina Be Damned, This Looks Fun

Ubisoft is preparing to release a bright, open-world RPG in Immortals: Fenyx Rising this holiday season, for current and next-gen consoles.

Formerly titled Gods and Monsters, Immortals Fenyx Rising puts players in the body of the main protagonist, Fenyx, a demigod who is tasked with saving the Greek gods from a Titan that looks to reshape the world.

The premise may seem as big and broad as the open world created by Ubisoft, but the relatively simplistic story goes very well with the exploration and RPG aspects that gamers will want to check out.

Although technical limitations caused by COVID-19 didn't allow me to get hands-on time with the game, a hefty 3-to-4-hour guided demo gave me a great look at what to aspect from one of Ubisoft's next games.

immortals fenyx rising typhon
Come face-to-face with Typhon in 'Immortals: Fenyx Rising' Ubisoft

THE STORY

As mentioned before, Typhon the Titan has escaped from his prison and has corrupted the world and the Greek gods and heroes that stand against him. With the world on the brink of destruction, Zeus seeks out help from his cousin, Prometheus, who tells a story of a mortal named Fenyx.

Now, the story of Immortals is told mostly through the eyes of Zeus and Prometheus. They narrate your actions and give backstory on many of the gods and heroes you will encounter along your journey.

This is where Immortals shines, in terms of the story. The pompous, ignorant Zeus has many great one-liners while Prometheus plays the straight man to get the narrative back on track. It's a storytelling technique not often seen in video games and it works well in being informative and light-hearted.

Fenyx is a typical blank-slate protagonist, as they comment on what happens around them, but they also have a personal journey of their own. Their brother has been turned into stone and you make your way around the lands to find a cure, which forces Fenyx into the war with the game's villain.

While the story is pretty straightforward, the references to famous Greek mythological stories are what really makes the narrative. Whether you're rolling a giant pearl into the ocean, alluding to how the Goddess Aphrodite was created in myth—and her R-rated origins—the story will make those unfamiliar with Greek mythology want to look up the references and stories the narrative is pointing to.

GAMEPLAY

If you've seen the trailers and gameplay, you may get huge Breath of the Wild vibes from Immortals: Fenyx Rising and you wouldn't be wrong. But while the game has some clear inspirations from the Nintendo classic, that doesn't make this offering a knockoff of BOTW.

You'll walk/sprint around the various different areas of this world as you come across enemies to defeat and side missions to complete at your leisure. Running through destroyed Greek villages with crumbling pillars is something to behold and there's a sense of wonder when climbing to the top of a giant stone statue of a God to look out into the world. Heck, the game rewards this by giving Fenyx the far-sight ability that lets players find points of interest in the world so they can be shown on your map. You can also pin your own destinations to help you find them easier.

Exploration is rewarded in Fenyx Rising. Taking time away from the main story to complete these side missions and tasks will give players new cosmetics and currency that can boost your stats or have Fenyx learn new abilities via the skill trees.

Fenyx Rising's skill trees are simple, giving players the option to boost their light, heavy or arrow moves with new combos and attacks. You can technically unlock every ability in the skill trees, but that would take time and a lot of currency, so it looks like your best bet is to lean into one and build from there.

There's also the Godly Powers that you acquire for completing certain tasks in the main story. These powerful abilities will help you mow down enemies with ease.

As for your inventory, you'll pick up various armors, weapons, helmets and such that can boost your stats when you upgrade them. Each piece of armor will have its own perks like increasing health or boosting damage, but from the time I had with the tour of the game it seemed pretty basic.

Combat is fairly simple as well, with players chaining light and heavy attacks. You'll also eventually gain access to bow and arrows, which will help you take out flying enemies and attack from afar.

But the crux of the gameplay is its stamina system. Similar to BOTW, just about everything you do requires stamina, from swimming to running to climbing walls. Players will need to use their stamina wisely when climbing tall walls because the fall will most certainly kill you. You'll also use stamina to fly, which is an ability you'll gain later on, but makes traversing much easier.

Mounts also require stamina, so there is a give and take to exploring in Fenyx Rising, but one that those who played BOTW are unfamiliar with.

immortals fenyx rising vault of tartaros
Solve puzzles in the Vaults of Tartaros. Ubisoft

SIDE MISSIONS

A large component of Fenyx Rising is the side missions. There are several different ones that players will come across. For the Heracles Missions, you'll need to fire an arrow through numerous axe handles without failing. Then there are tile puzzles, where you'll need to unlock a piece from a nearby switch and slide them to create a portrait. And there are also memorization side missions, where you'll find a small harp that teaches you a couple of notes and you'll need to find another larger harp to play the same notes to complete.

While not necessarily important, these side missions will help you grow stronger in this world and as I saw in another quest type, you'll need it.

There are some monsters that you'll encounter that are more powerful than your standard enemy. They aren't marked on your map and you can't find them with your far-sight ability, but you'll come across their nest or territory along your journey. When you do, a mini-boss battle will begin.

I got to see one of these battles with a giant Harpy and even with increased health, stamina, and abilities it took my demoist a lot to take them down. But your reward, in this case a cool-looking cosmetic option for your wings, can be worth it.

And then we have the Vaults of Tartaros. These dungeons will put your puzzle-solving skills to the test as you flip switches, toss crates on levers and platform-jump your way to the end. While some of these trials are optional, many of the main story quests will require you to complete them to gain the powers needed to progress.

Overall, Immortals: Fenyx Rising feels like a fun and entertaining open-world game where exploration is encouraged. The story and characters, while having large stakes, never takes itself too seriously making it feel like a more laid-back experience than something along the lines of God of War.

If you want to play a demo of it now on Google Stadia, click here. No downloads required, just click on the link and you'll be able to play on your computers, laptops, Chromecast Ultra/Stadia controllers, and Android tablets/phones.

Immortals: Fenyx Rising will be available on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on December 3.