Immortals Fenyx Rising: A New God Review
This review of “A New God” DLC is in addendum to our initial review of Immortals Fenyx Rising, which released on PlayStation 5, December 3, 2020. Click here for the original review.
Late last year, we had the privilege of reviewing Immortals: Fenyx Rising – the first in third party next generation gaming. In the grand scheme of it all, Fenyx Rising had received its fair share of scepticism from gamers, after the title was suddenly rebranded from the more favourable Gods & Monsters handle, it had carried throughout its development period. Ubisoft Quebec were on a mission to prove pessimist’s wrong, in one of 2020’s most enthralling sandbox action-adventures with many likening the experience to a “polished” Breath of the Wild. Attaining mass acclaim, Immortals: Fenyx Rising was a critical anomaly, with fans unexpectedly praising the French-Canadian development studio in creating such a fascinating original IP.
With Immortals’ season pass now available, it gives fans the opportunity to rediscover the magic of its charming nature, alongside a trio of DLC packs to follow. Released January 28, A New God follows the events set after Fenyx’s initial foray, after being shipwrecked and washed on the Golden Isle. After the young hopeful restores the group of corrupt Deity’s back to their original status, she (for the sake of pronouns, and our version of Fenyx) eradicates the Earth of Typhon, the serpentine demon and saves existence from the demiurge’s devious plague. Playing parallel’s to Breath of the Wild, Immortals: Fenyx Rising’s first DLC is quite light on the narrative. In fact, its premise does nothing in furthering the main campaign’s continuity, other than potentially leading onto our heroine’s next adventure.
Fenyx, When someone asks you if you're a God, you say YES...
For continuity’s sake, the story leaves breadcrumbs for its audience to understand Fenyx’s following chapter. After being summoned to Olympus, Fenyx discovers that she is indeed the Child of a God, and not just any God; The God of the thunder, Zeus. In a confrontation between his newfound daughter and her father, Fenyx challenges Zeus in a rightful claim to her position in the Pantheon. The thunder God instructs his daughter that she must clear a series of trials to prove worthy of Godhood. Each trial will consist of different feats and attributes including navigation, combat and puzzle solving – essentially a litany of side quests of skills you obtained through the initial campaign.
Throughout each sequence, your met with minor dialogue between characters that do help with our protagonist’s character progression. Keeping faithful to Fenyx Rising’s notorious humour, the writing here is hilarious. The timing between each interaction is key, and the script penned for each character has shown a novel side to entertaining gamers within this space. While improvements are made evident, there’s little development in experiencing Olympus. The new map isn’t as broad or vast in range, and has little ambition for diverse exploration. It boasts a desolate environment from trial to trial without imperative combat or encounters. Sure, Olympus should represent a safe haven for all Gods, but a little challenge on the side would have been welcoming.
While Fenyx’s abilities have been amplified to match her seemingly godlike status, more issues come to light such as objective and mission length. Vaults can be a slog to complete, with puzzles blatantly cloned from the campaign. New artillery for our hero’s arsenal is welcoming, but makes it way too simple within each encounter, leaving the charm behind for more of a chore than anything. I will praise some combat for their added conditions in which players must meet to defeat an enemy. Checking each box adds just the right amount of heft during these specific confrontations, making for a little more engagement than anticipated. The contention of colliding into a bodacious baddie with a bounty made for an enticing allure. Still, Fenyx’s overpowered weaponry and armour made it feel all too easy, or as the kids these days say… “Nerfed”.
Encouraging players to frivolously gallivant across the cloudy construct of clay masses and trims of greenery, Olympus’ representation of its haven is quite gorgeous to view, but its limitations are confounding to say the least. The monotony tends to set in quick with repetitive tasks and a myriad of planned monster battles placed to bottleneck the additional content’s adventure. It poses a cumbersome-like nature, with a goal in mind but little pay off with no dividends in sight. Its captivity and immersion is potentially bountiful, but also embellishes its impact towards our favourable heroine’s resolve and growth. Whether this has been a creative issue, or a development issue due to COVID-19 remains a mystery, but A New God lacks variety, or anything innovative which would have been its most reliable asset.
✔️More hilarious dialogue from our favourite cast of quirky Gods.
✔️A creative conclave of constructive puzzles that aims to out experienced players to the test.
✔️Paves the way for continuity in content throughout Immortals’ Season Pass with two more DLC’s on the horizon.
❌Nothing that’s revolutionary or groundbreaking.
❌Does little to attach or detach itself from the main campaign.
❌Confounding content, it’s not bad, nor is it great. It’s just okay. “It exists”.
All the right tools are at Ubisoft’s disposal here in making A New God, a mandatory demonstration for players that are engaged with the story to transition right after their first playthrough, but the DLC may fall under the radar with little to no need of compulsory or crucial tasks. It may not entail the exact bravado, but A New God is certainly worthy of taking a peek. The best way to describe it is “extra flavour”; is it necessary? Not really but it’s still good to have. To omit a compelling hook however leaves no desire in wanting to get stuck into the DLC for long, but to at least get a grasp of what may be yet to come for Fenyx. This may be a stalled start, but tries its hand at staying relevant – and personally, I’m totally cool with that.
It’s strange, because I can’t say that I’m let down or disappointed here. Nor am I dissatisfied, but rather unsatiated or deprived. There’s plenty of content within the original campaign to go back to and explore if you aren’t a completionist, but are looking for more out of the title. While the DLC took around 8 hours to complete, there’s over 70 hours of content within the mainline story that deserves your attention if you have yet to experience this game. While my thirst remains quenched from experiencing this marvellous game, I clamour for more and Ubisoft are doing their utmost to deliver it on a silver platter, but need to go back to the drawing board on this one.
It’s a minor setback, but nothing that foils the complete package. If anything, it’s an acceptable start but one that will have fans questioning what it will do for the franchise and its future. The season pass provokes a thought that while we’re not done with Fenyx and her story just yet, are we prepared for more of this kind of content? It may let down fans to see a minimalist approach being dealt here, given the insurmountable positivity the base game was lauded for. A mixed bag of goodies may come out of each one-of-two future DLC packs, with Myths of the Eastern Realm not too far off, and The Lost Gods wrapping things up by the end of the year. But with that said, Ubisoft Quebec have a task to re-ignite the flame and bring back what people truly loved about the main campaign into a potentially tremendous follow-up.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising - Ubisoft
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