Immortals Fenyx Rising preview: Battling Corrupted Heroes and helping the Greek pantheon

Immortals Fenyx Rising Typhon
Immortals Fenyx Rising Typhon (Image credit: Ubisoft)

When I first played Immortals Fenyx Rising in September, I was pleasantly surprised by what I thought to be a remarkable game. After having the opportunity to go hands-on with it for another four hours, my thoughts have only been reaffirmed. Ubisoft has taken some of the best parts of recent titles like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to create a game that I didn't want to put down. You'll hear those comparisons time and time again — and even if you think they might be getting old — it's impossible to deny the influence.

I also recently sat down with Associate Game Director Julien Galloudec to discuss the inspirations for the game, what players can look forward to in its endgame content, and a whole lot more in an in-depth interview about Immortals Fenyx Rising.

Before taking control of my character I was asked to customize Fenyx. Players are able to choose the body type (gender), hair style, face, and even the voice of Fenyx, independent of any of your other choices. It's not the most in-depth customization I've ever seen, and definitely not a full-fledged character creator like you'd see in some other RPGs, but I do appreciate that you can mix features typically labelled as feminine and masculine. Should you want to change these at any point you can do so, once you unlock the Hall of the Gods in Aphrodite's Valley of Eternal Spring.

This time my demo began through the opening minutes with the titan Typhon, having escaped from Tartarus, narrating his backstory and setting the stage for our adventure. With the Greek pantheon having been defeated, it's up to you to save the Golden Isle, but you'll need a bit of help to do so.

Immortals Fenyx Rising Aphrodite

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

Having been shipwrecked and washed ashore, Fenyx slowly starts to come to the realization that she isn't dealing with mortal enemies when she finds her fellow crew, including her brother, turned to stone. There's a brief tease that this likely has to do with Medusa. While Fenyx is taking stock of her situation, she sees a mysterious stranger being whisked away by a griffin. This man, as it turns out, is Hermes.

Ubisoft has taken some of the best parts of recent titles like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to create a game that I didn't want to put down.

Zeus and Prometheus act as narrators, the latter high atop a mountain serving his punishment for giving fire to mortals. But Hermes is your true portal into the world, being one of the only gods left on the Golden Isle who managed to escape Typhon's wrath. True to the stories, he lives up to his "divine trickster" moniker, calling himself the god of merchandise, financial gain, and thieves when he's trying to swindle Fenyx out of money.

I mentioned this in my earlier preview of Immortals Fenyx Rising, but I love the humor. It's the perfect mix of relatively kid-friendly stuff with jokes only adults (and Greek myth buffs) would really understand, much like cartoons and Disney movies. Zeus at one point mentions how high he was to marry off Aphrodite to Hephaistos. Aphrodite, who Typhon turned into a tree, jokes after meeting Fenyx that she'd never start a war, and doesn't know where Fenyx gets "such outlandish ideas."

Immortals Fenyx Rising Hermes And Fenyx

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

Zeus mentions how high he was to marry off Aphrodite to Hephaistos.

One of the first places that Hermes visits is the Hall of the Gods which acts as the central hub where you'll be able to craft potions, upgrade your abilities and gear, and take on missions. Some items, like your weapons, are upgraded by collecting materials found throughout the world. Other aspects of Fenyx, like her stamina meter, are upgraded with resources that you'll need to accomplish tasks to acquire. Zeus' lightning, for example, which upgrades your stamina, is rewarded after completing a Vault of Tartarus.

From the Hall of the Gods, you have the entire world open from the start, but most of my demo was confined to Aphrodite's Valley of Eternal Spring. Hermes says that to defeat Typhon I'll need to reconnect the gods to their severed essences, so my first stop is helping Aphrodite. Because her essence is locked in a vault under her largest root — remember that she's a tree now — Fenyx has the bright idea to use salt to kill the roots.

As a TLDR, Fenyx needs to roll a large pearl into the ocean to recreate the salty sea foam from which Aphrodite was born. When that isn't enough, she then needs to collect the tears Aphrodite shed at the death of Adonis. All of this required some environmental and traversal puzzles along with combat. I wouldn't say there's anything special about combat here, it's your typical hack and slash type of gameplay, but it's fun nonetheless, so I really can't complain.

Immortals Fenyx Rising Vault Boulder

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

From the Hall of the Gods, you have the entire world open from the start.

What I find even more fun are the puzzles I'm asked to complete. The Vault of Tartarus with the Corrupted Hero Achilles had me dodging lasers, soaring through the air, and using Herakles's Strength to move boulders into place and unlock the next section. It's worth noting an artificial booster was provided to increase my attributes and skills in the demo, so Vaults like these may be too difficult to attempt near the beginning of the game. Still, there are plenty of challenges to take on as you work your way up.

Now that I've played an additional four hours of Immortals Fenyx Rising, I'm even more confident that it could be a surprise hit this year. Everything I played was polished, and more importantly, fun. I never grew tired of it and just wanted to keep exploring. There's a lot of hidden secrets for players to uncover, and I'm positive Ubisoft has hidden some of the best aspects for players to discover on their own without being spoiled. This, almost more than anything, has me excited for the final product. Just being able to stand atop a mountain and see another region, without being able to go there in the demo, was a huge tease.

Ubisoft is expected to release Immortals Fenyx Rising on December 3, 2020 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Stadia. I know it's a packed holiday this year, especially with the release of next-gen consoles, but Immortals Fenyx Rising is one game I'll definitely be getting.

Xbox Series X/S


Jennifer Locke

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life, and is very happy Xbox is growing a stronger first-party portfolio. You can find her obsessing over Star Wars and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.