04 nov 2015

Immortals: Fenyx Rising review friv game

This rather lengthy post provides an overview

The adventure action game from the developer Friv2Online Immortals: Fenyx Rising has quite a few similarities with the games of The Legend of Zelda series. Is that a bad thing? For Nintendo console owners, maybe; for gamers on other platforms, hardly. Not counting the borrowings, the project charms with its scenery and terrific humor. Read more in the review.

At the end of October we attended the preview event of Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and we were satisfied with it - we were shown the plot, boasted about the richness of the world and the variety of equipment. After that the expectation became only stronger, and when we got the release version of the game at our disposal, we managed to get out of it only after a good three dozen hours.
So, the plot unfolds in a world woven from the legends and myths of ancient Greece, with a dash of humor and a pinch of references to modern culture. Typhon, one of the most powerful titans, has rebelled against the gods, unleashed terrifying creatures and subjugated the heroes sung in the poems.

After the villain's victory, the Olympians suffered an unenviable fate. Aphrodite was turned into a tree, Hephaestus was turned into an automaton, Athena and Ares also lost their true forms, Hermes had to hide from monsters and steal, and Zeus had to deny his pride and turn to Prometheus for help. The latter told him of the Phoenix, a mortal destined to save the world. Thrown ashore in a shipwreck, the character gains supernatural powers and challenges the mighty titan.
Following the trend of inclusiveness, Ubisoft allows you to make Phoenix anyone you want - a woman with a beard and a man's voice, or a guy with lush curls. The character editor can be accessed at any time, changing the appearance to your liking. In my case, Phoenix became a fragile looking, but strong girl inside that confidently holds a sword, axe, and bow.

The protagonist's main mission is to defeat Typhon and bring peace to the Golden Isles. However, it is impossible to achieve this alone - first you need to free the gods and call them to unite in the face of danger. Thus begins Phoenix's journey through the eventful lands, where her companions will be a firebird named Phosphorus and tame mounts like horses and deer.
In turn, Zeus and Prometheus will comment on the character's adventures, and the freed gods will be waiting in the Hall of Gods - a kind of hub, where you can take secondary quests, improve equipment, increase health and stamina, change your appearance and so on.

The plot of Immortals: Fenyx Rising is a combination of heroic epic and comedy. The gods are not as the myths describe them: they are arrogant, vindictive, prideful... wait, that's exactly what the ancient Greeks thought the gods were. Characteristically, they are not ashamed of it at all: Zeus gladly tells about his adventures, makes vulgar jokes and does not repent even when Prometheus reminds him of his sins. In my opinion, the celestial is one of the best comic characters in video games - he can be ranked alongside Wheatley from Portal 2, Rex from Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and Deadpool from the friv game of the same name.
The game world is divided into large regions, each of which is assigned to one of the gods. In the region belonging to Aphrodite, eternal spring reigns, while in the region of Ares war rages. The main thing is not to linger in the first location, where Phoenix finds himself at the beginning of the game: it's quite gloomy and not very pleasant. I recommend you to quickly complete the training and go to the next region, which is amazing in its beauty.

The open world is full of points of interest, but it's the statues that grab your attention first. It's kind of like the synchronization spots from Assassin's Creed: you have to climb a giant sculpture to dispel the "fog of war" over the region.
Here Phoenix can also use his special vision to find and mark activities scattered around the area - chests, challenges, dungeons and so on. However, if you wish, you can explore the territory, trusting your own attention and instinct: in the vicinity of the temple or in the settlement there will certainly be a puzzle, and chests are usually guarded by a small pack of monsters.

You will have to explore the world mostly on your own. Of course, a riding animal will help you to overcome a great distance, but in Immortals: Fenyx Rising the landscape is very heterogeneous, which means that you will have to climb peaks and descend into gorges. If in the latest releases of Assassin's Creed series the protagonist can climb rocks as much as he wants, here the hero spends stamina, so you have to choose the route of ascent more carefully. Soon after the start of the story campaign Phoenix gains wings, which allow him to soar in the sky - but not for long, until he runs out of stamina.
The friv game, as mentioned above, is bursting with activities. There are many puzzles scattered in the open world, which can test the agility and speed of the character, make the player turn his brain, or even combine several types of activities - for example, to push him against monsters, and then put him in front of a physical task. There are tests for attention, for memory, for logic - in general, for every taste. You can't call them too difficult, but sometimes you have to stay for a while, working on the solution.

It gets harder as Phoenix descends into the dungeons of Tartarus. These are more complex puzzles, each of which represents a large location with a sequence of tasks. The player pushes crates, rolls heavy boulders, dodges lasers and fire traps - all to get to the finale and collect Zeus' lightning bolts, magical artifacts that allow you to pump up your stamina.
Here, in my opinion, the developers have slightly overdone the complexity. Sometimes the controls fail, and Phoenix jumps to the wrong place, where the player sends him (or her). At other times, the physics model fails, which leads to unpleasant consequences: for example, often during tests with air currents that push stone spheres, these projectiles flew past the platforms on which they were supposed to land. Because of this I had to start all over again - not because of my crookedness, but because of the fault of the game.

It is not necessary to close all the content of Immortals: Fenyx Rising, but if you decide to rush only through the story missions, you will face difficulties in passing. There is no role-playing system and character levels, and pumping is carried out at the expense of resources that Fenyx extracts in the game world. They are stored in chests, hidden in secluded places, given for passing tests, and only thanks to them you can increase the damage of weapons, strengthen the characteristics of armor, get an increase in the number of arrows and potions carried.
New swords, axes, bows, breastplates and helmets can also be found in chests or received as a reward for quests. They have the same damage, but different bonus abilities: for example, one sword gives a damage boost with perfect evasion, while another increases damage at max level. Each type of weapon and armor is pumped once, which allows you not to choose "favorites" and change equipment at will, adjusting the build to your style of play. What I also liked was the ability to switch the appearance of equipment items, using any open equipment, while leaving their properties unchanged.

You have to fight with enemies by alternating between weak (sword) and strong (axe) blows, archery shots, dodging and parrying attacks. If you dodge or counterattack in time, time will slow down for a while, and if you tire the enemy with a series of blows, he will become defenseless for a while. However, don't forget that the protagonist also has a stamina scale, which is used for dodging and using abilities.
Phoenix has active and passive skills. The first ones - gifts of the Gods - are available in the amount of six pieces: the hero can lift and throw huge boulders, hit enemies with the hammer of Hephaestus, rush forward with the help of Athena's jerk, and so on. Passive skills - attacks, sprinting, jumping, flying and other actions. Both of them can be improved at the expense of Haron's coins, which are obtained for passing tests.

With so many resources needed to pump, you could introduce aggressive monetization and force players who don't want to pay to grind. But no - in Immortals: Fenyx Rising I didn't encounter any difficulties in terms of pumping, and the in-game store was interesting only because of the presence of a season pass with new missions that will be released in the next few months.
Finally, I would like to tell you about the picture and sound. The first one is delightful - not so much because of its technology, but thanks to the design and competent work of artists. When it is gray winter outside the window, the sunny world with ancient temples, green meadows and bright blue water bodies beckons. The game is very successful in the season, it helps to raise the mood, even for a while, but still.
The sound is good, especially if you play with headphones, and the voices of the actors are chosen perfectly - except that the female version of Phoenix is a bit overplayed. But Zeus's voice acting is on top, and Tiphon's loud growl makes you involuntarily pull your head into your shoulders.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising was released between console generations, but it's not a problem: the friv game works stably on the outgoing generation (but there are a lot of downloads) and is adapted to the capabilities of the new one - for example, it uses features of DualSense gamepad from PlayStation 5. It's an exciting, albeit secondary, adventure, and I'll definitely be back to the Golden Isles again - I've already bought the season pass, which means new challenges ahead!


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