A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Immortals: Fenyx Rising is an open world action adventure role-playing game for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and Windows PCs. The game centers around a young Greek soldier that's stranded on a magical island inhabited by gods and monsters. While your customizable version of Fenyx (who can be male or female) will frequently fight mythical creatures, animals, and undead soldiers using swords, axes, arrows, and eventually godly abilities, no blood or gore's shown in battle, and enemies disappear into ash when defeated. While no nudity or sex is shown, there's a fair amount of innuendo mentioned by the deities in conversation and narration. There are also comments about Zeus drinking wine with Hades, but this isn't shown during play. There's also occasional use of "a--hole" in dialogue over the course of the game. Players can also spend real money to earn in-game credits for customizable character, weapon, and mount skins for your tamed animals. Players can also purchase downloadable content (DLC) for additional expansions individually, or buy a season pass to unlock extra content as it's released. On the positive side, there's a heavy focus on character redemption, believing in your skills and abilities, and being positive in the face of overwhelmingly negative odds.
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What's it about?
IMMORTALS: FENYX RISING is an open world action adventure role-playing game where players take on the role of Fenyx, a young sailor and shieldbearer that's part of their brother's crew returning home from battle, only to be caught in a massive storm. The ship is destroyed, leaving Fenyx shipwrecked on a mysterious location known as the Golden Isle. The land is crawling with aggressive creatures, as well as mythical beasts and, to Fenyx's surprise, Greek gods. Fenyx (who can be customized to be either a male or female character) will find themselves quickly tasked by Hermes to not only explore the Golden Isle, which is packed with a wide variety of challenges, such as navigation puzzles that tests your speed from one point to the other, fresco puzzles where you slide blocks together to make images, or archery tests, which challenge how well you can aim and fire an arrow. But apart from the large number of trials, you'll be tasked with becoming the champion of the gods, helping to fight off Typhon, a monster that's escaped imprisonment in Tartaros and is seeking revenge against the Olympians. To face off against this threat, Fenyx will gain the use of mythical weapons and gear, like the Sword of Achilles, the Axe of Atalanta, and Daidalos' wings. As you explore more areas and help the gods, you'll also gain access to some of their powers, such as strikes with the power of Ares or Athena. These will be useful when you're facing off against Minotaurs, Cyclopes, and Gorgons. Will Fenyx be able to help the gods defeat Typhon once and for all?
Is it any good?
This engaging adventure with Greek gods has loads of puzzles to keep you busy, and plenty of positive messages about redemption and being true to yourself in the face of overwhelming odds. Unlike other open-world games that impose plot-driven boundaries on your progress, Immortals: Fenyx Rising lets you explore any part of the island influenced by the gods at any time, which gives you a lot of freedom, because you can explore at your own speed and make the plot develop on your terms. The only limitations you face are in having the strength to face down powerful monsters, and the stamina to consistently perform powerful attacks or scale cliffs. Even these caps are designed to get you to slowdown, explore the world, and invest yourself in Fenyx's tale, as well as the tons of trials and puzzles scattered around the land. Regardless of whether you make Fenyx male or female, the character's story is a positive one, as they grow from overlooked soldier that no one respects or values into a formidable warrior able to destroy hordes of monsters and mythical beasts alike. But it's more than fighting skill, because Fenyx gains the respect and admiration of the gods themselves. When you can make Zeus introspective, you're doing something right, and without spoiling the tale, it leaves room for expansions or sequels. The first expansion, A New God, brings Fenyx to the heights of Olympus to test their skills against incredibly challenging puzzles that will test your reflexes and your brainpower. The focus on combat and even on significant story elements in this pack takes a backseat to solving complex, multi-stage brainteasers. The second expansion, Myths of the Eastern Realms, takes players to China and presents a new take on world saving adventures with a new hero, Ku. There's a larger focus on action and puzzles, and while much of it feels like a re-skinned version of the title with fewer deities, characters, and dialogue, the shape of something special is here. In a way, it should've been its own game instead of an expansion to a previously existing title.
Unfortunately, Fenyx has some issues that keeps it from fully soaring. The difficulty doesn't scale to meet Fenyx's strength gained as a result of your exploration. If you spend time fighting creatures and completing vaults, you'll have more than enough power to destroy virtually any enemy thrown your way, so you'll only find yourself in danger if you're not paying attention or mis-timing when you dodge attacks. The other significant issue is that the difficulty of the puzzles isn't always uniform or even, so while you'll sometimes skip or bypass ones that are tricky, it can be hard to determine where one ends and another begins. That makes it hard to complete some tasks, but it makes it even harder when you face mandatory puzzles that must be completed before you can move forward. It's worth fighting past these issues though, because this game, whose influences are clearly taken from Breath of the Wild and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, is an enjoyable and entertaining journey.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Immortals: Fenyx Rising affected by the lack of blood and gore shown during its frequent fight scenes? Would the impact be stronger if the enemies you fought were more realistic? Is it fine because the violence looks cartoonish?
What makes a person a hero? Are there certain qualities that someone has to automatically have to be heroic, or can they gain those qualities over time? Do you feel like Fenyx's journey in Immortals: Fenyx Rising indicates that anyone could become a hero? Or is this more unrealistic and solely found in a game or a movie?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: December 3, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: April 1, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.