I groaned inwardly when I heard the first insipid joke escape the mouth of Zeus, King of the Gods, during the intro sequence of Immortals Fenyx Rising. It was very much a sign of things to come. I can't objectively fault the writing - it's just really not my kind of humour. Far too childish and on-the-nose for me. And I don't know about you, but it takes a special game for me to forgive a godawful sense of humour.
Good thing, then, that Immortals Fenyx Rising is indeed a special game. In fact, it's a strong contender for the best game of 2020 in my book.
Immortals Fenyx Rising inherits several traits from other Ubisoft open-world games, and takes inspiration from Breath Of The Wild for nearly everything else. Everything it does oozes quality and thought, from the easy to grasp and satisfying multi-weapon combat to the huge number of puzzles and encounters dotted about the Golden Isle, the world upon which lowly Fenyx has been let loose.
Narrated throughout by the unlikely duo of Zeus and Prometheus, the story involves the powerful Titan, Typhon, breaking free from his shackles beneath the earth and wreaking havoc on the lives of the Olympian Gods. It's down to Fenyx, an unassuming shieldbearer, to save the gods, and life in general, from Typhon's wrath. This involves galloping, gliding, and running around the massive open-world map, meeting and helping various downtrodden gods, and growing ridiculously powerful along the way.
It's a fairly simple open-world game that just does everything marvellously well. The landscapes are beautiful and a joy to explore; the combat is punchy and challenging; the puzzles are enjoyably tough; and the game never outstayed its welcome. In fact, if anything, I wanted it to last longer. The moment I finished my first playthrough, I started again on the hardest difficulty level, and I had an absolute blast doing everything all over again.
Though admittedly I did turn off the subtitles and the dialogue volume, which may have contributed somewhat to the longevity of my enjoyment.