How Immortals Reminds Me To Have Fun

Fenyx Rising is fun, if forgettable

Key Takeaways

  • Immortals Fenyx Rising is more B-list than A-list but that’s no bad thing.
  • Expect plenty of humor and lighthearted moments.
  • Greek mythology is a fundamental part of the game.
A screenshot from Immortals Fenyx Rising
Ubisoft

Immortals Fenyx Rising is a game that was doomed to be forgotten, despite being a lot of fun. It’s the perfect example of how a game can be hugely enjoyable, even if it won’t stick in your mind after you’ve wrapped it up. 

Announced during E3 2019 under the name of Gods and Monsters, Immortals Fenyx Rising was delayed from February 2020 until December 2020, leaving it stuck in that somewhat dead slot that follows the big release schedule of October and November (including the somewhat similar but grittier Assassin’s Creed Valhalla).

December is the time when everyone has spent their money and already considered what their games of the year will be, and there it is—Immortals Fenyx Rising—ready to be loved, yet ultimately tossed aside once you’re all done with it. 

It even has a forgettable name. You might remember the Immortals part, but after that, you're dealing with a spelling that leaves you thinking "surely, it's Fenix?" and an inclusion of "rising" that makes sense eventually, but not on the surface. 

Though forgotten it probably will be, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a lot of fun, and fun is exactly what we need right now. 

Immortals Fenyx Rising Knows It's a Game

Play Immortals Fenyx Rising for 30 minutes, and you'll realize something--it absolutely knows it's a game. Everything about it feels like a game. That might sound obvious, but with the launch of the Xbox Series X or S and PlayStation 5, many games are desperate to look ultra-realistic and to feel that way. 

A screenshot from Immortals Fenyx Rising
Ubisoft

I can appreciate the dark tones of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and I like seeing how realistic the beards are in FIFA 21, but sometimes you simply want to play a game that's silly. That's where Nintendo generally succeeds most of all, but Immortals Fenyx Rising has that same playfulness at times. 

The Immortals Fenyx Rising character customization screen is the perfect example. Usually, these are relatively staid, if satisfying, to use. Immortals Fenyx Rising offers some cheeky insight from Zeus, depending on what you choose. 

In my case, I chose my natural skin tone—a near ghost-like pale complexion—and Zeus chipped in with how it was "the color of stirred yogurt." Choose blue hair, and he mentions how it's the "color of cold lips." He does so in a warm tone. It's not mocking. It's merely impudent, and that's a tone that continues throughout the rest of the game.

Play Immortals Fenyx Rising for 30 minutes, and you'll realize something--it absolutely knows it's a game.

Leap into the game, and everything about Immortals Fenyx Rising is immensely colorful. Comparisons are made to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but that's not quite it. Immortals Fenyx Rising is colored in a way that feels more like a fever dream at times. There are dashes of Zelda here amongst other dashes of Assassin's Creed, but it's ultimately somewhat cartoony, which adds to the charm.

While Assassin's Creed Valhalla is there demonstrating how bleak the past was with as much realism as it can muster, Immortals Fenyx Rising is cheerfully encouraging you to enjoy the absurdity of life. There are nods to issues with the Assassin's Creed franchise, too, with Immortals Fenyx Rising concluding its prologue by having the game's narrators, Zeus and Prometheus, mock how long it's taken for the story to get started.

Elsewhere, there's an achievement/trophy called Join the Creed that's rewarded for completing a set number of stealth attacks. Fenyx is far from a stealthy main character, merely lunging at their foes with wild abandon, although, technically, you can stealth attack with one button if need be. 

Greek Mythology Can Be a Ton of Fun

When I was a child, I read a lot about Greek myths. Some age-appropriate stories, some less so. Regardless, they were fascinating. Many of them have led to stories we know so well. From the likes of The Matrix using various theological elements to Inception's use of Ariadne as the maze keeper, Greek mythology continues to inspire us. 

A screenshot from Fenyx Rising.
Ubisoft

Immortals Fenyx Rising captures that sentiment delightfully. While Greek mythology is often quite gruesome, it's also cheeky. Immortals Fenyx Rising is full of such irreverence and charm. That's perhaps most obvious when you look at how the game is divided into different islands representing different gods. 

There are the beautiful lands of Aphrodite, the educationally-focused island for Athena, and that's before we get to the aggressive nature of Ares, the god of war, and the land of Hephaistos, a less familiar god to many but one that conjures up images of fire and volcanoes. They're all Zeus's children, which is why they're included, as well as offering an impudent dig at how Zeus loves to father as many children as possible. 

Dumb Fun Is Still Fun

It's easy to see something described as "dumb fun" and look down on the "dumb" part of the phrase. That means you miss out on the fun, though. Immortals Fenyx Rising is a lot of fun. I'm not entirely convinced it's a game that will be remembered. It started out forgotten, and I think it'll end that way too. That doesn't mean you can't have fun in the meantime, though. 

Though forgotten it probably will be, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a lot of fun, and fun is exactly what we need right now.

With the entire open world available to you from the outset, the ability to fly using the wings of Daedalus, and even ride on mounts, it all feels delightfully freeing. At a time when freedom feels less easy to come by than ever before in our lifetime, it's a delight to simply forget it all and revel in a game that knows exactly what it is.

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