Reviews

Review: Immortals Fenyx Rising: A New God

Puzzles Galore.

When Ubisoft released Immortals Fenyx Rising late last year, the game took everyone by surprise. Many of us were expecting it to be a generic Breath of The Wild clone, but it actually turned out to be a charming and consistently beautiful game that allows players to jump into a world full of many different sights to see and dungeons to explore.

It also presents a unique twist on Greek mythology, one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The game is more interested in telling its story through humor, as opposed to the grim and solemn attitude that the setting is otherwise so synonymous with.

And now with the release of A New God, the developers wants players to jump back into the shoes of Fenyx for another adventure.

Story

A New God
Zeus.

The story of A New God takes place after the events of the base game, after our protagonist Fenyx has managed to prevent the end of the world at the hands of Typhon. The gods have been returned to their former stature, and everything is at peace once more.

We also learned that Fenyx is the child of the god Zeus and is worthy of a place in the Greek Pantheon. So the premise of this entire DLC revolves around the player being summoned to Olympos in order to prove to their father and the rest of the gods that they are indeed worthy of ascending to godhood.

After this central premise has been established, I’m afraid that there isn’t much else in the way of a meaningful plot. The player is called to the realm of the gods in order to try their hand at a variety of trials designed to test their worthiness, so that’s mostly what the story is about.

If you’re someone who found the original story and dialogue of the game to be annoying and cringeworthy, then you’ll be glad to know that there’s a whole lot less of it here. Most of the DLC revolves around the gameplay, with the story playing second fiddle. But what is present isn’t all that great either.

A New God
Godhood Is at Hand.

In terms of writing, a lot of the jokes in the main game were a hit or miss, but those that did land were genuinely funny. A New God tries to do the exact same thing once more, but somehow the writing is even worse. The pun-heavy humor is grating, with barely any heart or creativity behind it.

My review of the base game talks about how the banter between the gods Zeus and Prometheus was a highlight of my experience with the game, so I was also absolutely gutted to find that this was missing from the DLC. How do you take one of the most charming aspects of your game, and then simply remove it from the expansion?

Progression

A New God
What Happens In Olympos, Stays In Olympos.

If you’ve played through Immortals Fenyx Rising, then you’ll no doubt have your own character built up by now. A Hero whose appearance you’ve customized, with abilities that you’ve invested skill points into and equipped with powerful weapons and armor.

So it really stings to find out that you cannot bring this unique persona of yours into the expansion.

In fact, the content of A New God isn’t even connected to the base game in any way. Although this DLC plot is supposed to be a continuation of the main story, you actually have to start up a brand new save file for it from the menu.

You play as a completely different Fenyx, with all of their abilities, powers and gear maxed out from the beginning. And although this decision is understandable because it gives players who never beat the game a chance to experience the DLC, it also means that nothing you do in it ever matters.

You cannot bring any of the gear and items you acquired in the base game into the expansion, and you cannot take any items back to your original save file either.

Gameplay

A New God
Colossal Strength.

In terms of gameplay, A New God focuses more on the puzzles than the combat. In fact, the vast majority of the DLC is based around solving more and more complex challenges that push the players to utilize everything they’ve learned in the base game.

The puzzles are not as simple as what’s come before either. New obstacles and traps like electrical fields and magnetic beams are introduced to add an additional layer of complexity to the challenges, resulting in some of the most enjoyable scenarios we’ve seen so far.

Nothing is so radically changed that returning players might find the gameplay unapproachable, but it does push you further than ever before. So if you’re someone who had a hard time with puzzles in the main game, maybe this expansion isn’t for you.

Even the four new abilities at your disposal are based around puzzles in mind. Immortal Field Breaker allows you to smash through sealed barriers, Colossal Strength has you pick up items of tremendous size, Wind Gust creates a burst of air that lifts you further into the air, and Phosphor’s Swap lets you swap positions with a decoy. All of these powers have to be used together if you want to succeed in the trials of the gods.

A New God
The New Puzzles.

Another aspect of the game that I criticized in my original review was about how the game handled exploration. There was way too much hand-holding, to the point where most of the sense of discovery and mystery was drained from the game. A New God is even worse in this regard, as it drops even attempting to be an adventure game.

Olympos might be a beautifully realized map, but there’s nothing particularly captivating to see or do here. You don’t explore this area, so much as you simply travel from one corner to the other, attempting puzzles along the way.

A New God Verdict

A New God
Heading Towards A Barrier.

Immortals Fenyx Rising is a great game because it’s the culmination of three different aspects; exploration, combat and puzzles. None of these are perfect on their own, especially exploration, but together they are greater than the sum of their parts.

When you remove even one of these components, what you have left is an inferior experience. And that’s exactly how I would describe this expansion.

By focusing mostly on the puzzles and neglecting the combat and the exploration, the game isn’t all that enjoyable anymore. If you’re really desperate for more content, then give this DLC a try. Otherwise, I suggest that you skip this if you can.

The Good

  • Challenging puzzles.
  • The new abilities are fun to use.

The Bad

  • Mediocre writing
  • Zeus and Prometheus’ banter is gone.
  • Lack of exploration.
  • Cannot bring your Fenyx into the DLC.
  • Progress does not carry over to the base game.

Rating: 2.5/5.


Huzaifah Durrani

As an RPG fanatic, Huzaifah is probably Immersed in yet another playthrough of Disco Elysium.
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