Myths of the East Goes South
Back in December 2020, Ubisoft released Immortals: Fenyx Rising, a game that was originally promoted as Gods and Monsters. The game revolves around the character Fenyx who is in the age of Greek Mythology. In my opinion, it was an extremely underrated game and didn’t seem to sell as well as it could have if it had been promoted better. It’s one of the best games I’ve played in a while. A lot of people compare the game to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in that it’s open world and has some of the same mechanics. I’ve only played it a little of Breath of the Wild and have an idea of why they say this but I definitely like the graphics in Fenyx Rising more. I’m a big fan of Greek mythology so the idea of the game drew me in. Even though there was a gold edition, I played it safe and pre-ordered the standard version.
From the first moments playing the game, I fell in love with the comedic bickering between Zeus and Prometheus. Although the character is originally portrayed as a female, there is a chance to not only customize the character’s gender and appearance when you start the game, but you can make changes throughout the game. There are daily trials and weekly Ubisoft achievements to work towards. You can gather ambrosia to improve your health and go into vaults of Tartarus to collect thunderbolts of Zeus to improve your stamina. There is everything to fight from basic animals (like bears and boars) to creatures of myth (like cyclopes, I looked that up, and harpies) to Greek heroes (like Hercules and Achilles) to legendary monster (like Medusa and Polyphemus). There are various puzzles with differing rewards that keep the game going for a long time. I’m well over 130 hours in, but I’ll admit that I’m not one that can just push through a game quickly. I do like to take my time. After all this time, I decided I needed to get the DLC that was included in the gold edition after all and ordered the season pass. This DLC is in 3 parts. The first part “A New God” follows up off of the original game. I’m waiting to finish the main game before going into that. “Myths of the Eastern Realm” takes a new characters into Chinese mythology and came out this past Friday and what is what I’ll be talking about. The third expansion will be “The Lost Gods” which will expand off of “A New God” but is supposed to have a very different play style. I have yet to see a release date (other than just 2021) for the third DLC.
After all the time playing the main game, I was really excited to check out the Chinese interpretation of the game even though I haven’t finished the first part. The expansion starts out very similar to the first game with you playing the character Ku who wakes finding everyone else turned to stone. A giant mountain of bad stuff is seen that’s the core of the issue in both games. One thing is immediately apparent though and that is that there is no customer characterization this time around. After moving around a bit, I find that a lot of the abilities that I worked hard to unlock throughout the first game are already present in Ku. The fact that the ability tree for Ku is much more limited than Fenyx’s means that it’s not just because they are already unlocked in the other game which I first thought was the case. This means that the challenge of building up a lot of your character was also removed. While the look of the world (which definitely seems smaller) has some differences, there’s a lot that’s the same. The potions are very similar with peaches vs. pomegranates, a different type of blue mushroom, and different (yet similarly colored) plants for the attack and defense potions. You fight the same bears, boars, and chicken that you do in the other game while a lot of the other creatures seem like skins over the monsters you were fighting before. There are birdmen instead of harpies and the fei look only slightly different than their slug-like sisters, the gorgons. You collect Xi Rang instead of ambrosia but it looks similar and they both improve health with pretty much the exact same animations when you upgrade.
Instead of thunderbolts in the Vaults of Tartarus, you go into heaven for sky agate. I did not actually find the heaven zones (where you travel on clouds with very ambiguous edges) as fun as I did the vaults. I think I’ve only actually been able to complete the very first one of as they are much more difficult at the start than the early vaults were. I don’t know if they figure dumping a bunch of skills on you at the start makes up for not giving you as much of a chance to get used to new mechanics but all it did was frustrate me enough to not even work on improving my stamina in these zones. The goddess Nuwa is nowhere near as interesting to work with as Hermes is and nowhere near as fun to listen to as Zeus and Prometheus. Plus, Hermes’ trials are another thing missing from the god’s home base along with the appearance change. While you can guess that she is trying to be helpful and protective, her calling you “child” constantly and speaking down to you makes her about as welcoming as some old man yelling at you to get off their lawn. There’s a dragon storyline early on that is slightly interesting but not enough to make up for the everything else. The puzzles they added are a little different. There’s a different type of tile puzzle that tends to be more of a guess half the time than the fresco puzzles Fenyx had that was easier to look at and plan. The other main puzzle (beyond whatever ones are set-up for treasure) is a variation on the constellation puzzle and it pretty much balances out there.
I tried to play the new DLC a bunch so I could write this review, but found myself being either frustrated or bored and wanting to switch back to the original game since it was a lot more fun. I’m honestly very disappointed at this and am wondering if I wasted my money on the season pass. I love the original game and would definitely recommend getting it especially since it seems to usually be on sale now, probably because of the low original sales. I really hope the next DLC is good and that the new game style will not leave me wishing I was in the original game too. Without having played “A New God” yet and being able to judge that, I’d say for now to not bother with the DLC. The original game has enough to it to keep you busy and having fun until the next game you want comes out. For me, that will be New Pokémon Snap on April 30.