Immortals: Fenyx Rising released in the latter half of 2020 with moderate success. Our own team gave it a seven, praising its open-world design and surprisingly fun puzzles whilst criticizing its repetitive gameplay and mediocre quest system. Taking after the likes of Breath of the Wild, its biggest strength seems to be just how robust its physics and mechanics are. Whilst short puzzles allowed those systems to really shine, Immortals: Fenyx Rising - A New God feels just a little too rigid to take advantage of Immortals' greatest strengths. This god is just a little demi.
I’m going to avoid as many spoilers as I can here but the very nature of the DLC will spoil chunks of the base game itself. If you are thinking of picking this DLC up but haven’t finished the game yet, I urge you to do so. In A New God, you play as Fenyx after earning admittance to Olympus. This being said, you (and a few others) believe you deserve more by earning a spot in the inner circle of the Pantheon. To do so, you must complete challenges for each main god and earn their blessing.
This is a very puzzle heavy DLC which has its upsides and downsides. It’s important to note that most of the puzzles that form the base game have non-linear ways of solving them. Whilst there are intended paths and consequences of those paths, you can, sort of, bend the mechanics a little in creative and unique ways. This is clearly an inspiration from Breath of the Wild. If you make the mechanics robust enough to handle anything, you can really manipulate them to do what you like. A New God is a much more structured, linear experience than the base game and this shows in sometimes crude ways.
You can occasionally get yourself stuck while doing puzzles if you go down the wrong path or go to someplace too early. This usually wouldn’t be much of an issue for a game that sets up that internal logic but A New God takes that carpet from underneath you that the base game was preparing you for. You spend 20 to 40 hours in Immortals figuring out puzzles in non-conventional ways only for A New God to become rather constricted in its vision.
This, of course, isn’t all bad. The DLC has many moments that shine in nice ways. Many of the puzzles are interesting and a bit more complex than one might think. It teaches you to use your abilities in interesting ways. One particular set of puzzles has you slam down with Hephaistos’s Hammer to make balls fly across to another area. It almost feels like Immortals’ interpretation of golf, which is more fun than it sounds.
A New God certainly has a sense of fun at its heart. Flying above the clouds, whacking balls into areas and boxes across the sky, it feels like one big shrine from BOTW. The issue is that puzzles have a one size fit all approach that is only helped by the new ability system. As you enter Olympus, you are given a pegasus with huge stamina and all your stats are kept to a high level. The sense of progression is still there as you further upgrade your gear but its use isn’t very noticeable making it feel almost redundant. With the base game of Immortals: Fenyx Rising, you could functionally finish it without maxing out your character but some progress is required to get the most out of it. You are allowed to believe your progression isn’t fixed. Progression and the entire DLC as a whole feels rigid by design. It’s a tighter experience that lets some of the best parts go in exchange for a much more deliberate design philosophy.
That’s not to say an upgrade path doesn’t exist but it’s more stripped back this time. There’s a fairly small world to make your way around and proceeding arenas and areas to finish challenges and complete quests. The world is much bigger than it initially seems but that world is purely there to challenge you. You likely won’t find yourself going off the beaten path very much. There are upgrades to acquire if you do but the majority of the challenge here is mental and not physical. Upgrading feels like the completionist path, not necessarily the average one. This is something reflected throughout the entire DLC.
Ultimately, the way you see this DLC will be largely decided by the parts you enjoyed about Immortals. If you liked the combat and puzzles but weren’t fussed about that open world, if you liked the story but didn’t like the resource management, if you enjoyed the more linear parts, this is the DLC you’ve been waiting for. If you enjoyed a mixture of those two things (like myself) then this will likely be a decent, yet underwhelming return to a world with a lot of promise.
TechRaptor reviewed Immortals: Fenyx Rising - A New God on PC with a copy provided by the developer. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.
- Some Interesting Puzzles
- Fun Theming and Story
- New Upgrades
- Almost Entirely Puzzles
- Far too Rigid in Design