Immortals Fenyx Rising: Myths of the Eastern Realm Review — A Lovely Remix

Immortals Fenyx Rising: Myths of the Eastern Realm features a new story, protagonist, and world to explore. It works well, even if it feels a little hodgepodge.

Immortals Fenyx Rising is a shockingly impressive game that builds on the successes of open-world quest-fests like Assassin's Creed and environmental puzzle boxes like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It caught a bit of flak when it was first announced for looking a bit too derivative, but it managed to surprise a lot of naysayers with its clever design choices and narrative.

The second of three planned DLCs, Myths of the Eastern Realm, is out on March 25, and it's a bit of an odd bird. That said, it still has a lot of the same charm that made the original so endearing. 

Like the first DLC, A New GodMyths of the Eastern Realm is an entirely self-contained adventure. However, instead of putting a new series of quests in front of the original protagonist, Myths of the Eastern Realm plays out almost like a sequel. It features an entirely new character in an entirely new world. 

Immortals Fenyx Rising: Myths of the Eastern Realm Review — A Lovely Remix

This time out, the myths and legends of China are your backdrop, and you take the role of Ku, who wakes up under mysteriously similar circumstances as Fenyx. Some malevolent force has used a huge pillar of energy to crack a massive mountain and, unsurprisingly, disrupt everything. Nearly all of humanity has been turned to stone, and our hero sets out to put things right.

Though the controls, combos, and special abilities are essentially the same between the two characters, Ku handles a little bit differently than Fenyx. He seems a little quicker and more agile, and he strikes faster and more fluidly.

You also start the DLC with many of your upgrades in place. Right off the bat, you have access to your double jump, you climb faster, you heal and regain stamina at an increased rate, and your mount has three tiers of stamina. 

It's good that you don't have to retread the base game's tutorial and instead begin with all of these abilities. Since it helps to have played through a good chunk of the base game before tackling this add-on, removing that early hurdle makes venturing through this beautiful world all the more enjoyable.

With two islands to explore, neither as big as the base game's main realms, and nearly every quest tied to the central story, there's about 10 hours of content here. To extend that time, there are (again) plenty of collectibles scattered around the map, many of which are of a slightly different yet familiar flavor to those you're familiar with.

Instead of lyre challenges, there are tough-to-reach bells you must ring in the right order. Instead of Gates of Tartaros, there are Gates of Heaven. Coins of Charon are Jade Coins, etc.

Even the enemies you fight are basically reskins of those from the base game, but they work within Chinese mythology. 

Whereas the combat and mechanics of this DLC are solid, the story is where Myths of the Eastern Realm stumbles. It hits many of the same beats and even remixes some of the same jokes as its foundation  perhaps a bit too much. There's a character who frequently disappears while you're talking to them; your bird companion hates its name; and the mysterious, evil force sounds exactly like Typhon.

Even though their constant bickering could get old, Zeus and Prometheus tied the base game's narrative together. Without deities interjecting during key moments, Ku often talks to himself to explain the context of the myths surrounding him. And though Ku's observations and often snarky asides are delivered (very) well by voice actor Ricky He, the DLC suffers from not having a true narrating force.

So much of what makes the account of Fenyx work is its foundational understanding of the concept and power of storytelling. Having a layer of that (which is then turned on its head in the game's ending) magnifies the base game's charm. 

Immortals Fenyx Rising Myths of the Eastern Realm Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Less familiar mythology means more surprises
  • Remixes on familiar puzzles and enemies
  • Streamlined intro 
  • Still clever and funny
  • Good length

Cons:

  • Similar story beats
  • Some elements feel tacked on or glued together
  • Narrative structure isn't as successful
  • Seems like a better fit for a full-blown sequel than a DLC

It's weird because Myths of the Eastern Realm feels like it's auditioning for a full game somewhere down the line. That may even be what Ubisoft is going for: I certainly wouldn't mind new Immortals games every few years based in different realms of mythology, especially if those games started expanding beyond the standard Greek/Roman and Norse sandbox that western video games typically play in. 

Regardless of its penchant for following familiar paths, Myths of the Eastern Realm works because it plays well off of unique source material not often explored in Western games. 

Even after spending dozens of hours working my way through Immortals Fenyx Rising, I was happy to play Myths of the Eastern Realm through its runtime. It's just different enough to stay interesting and provide a look at what Immortals could become. 

[Note: Ubisoft provided the copy of Myths of the Eastern Realm used for this review.]

Our Rating
8
Immortals Fenyx Rising: Myths of the Eastern Realm features a new story, protagonist, and world to explore. It works well, even if it feels a little hodgepodge.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Jordan has been gaming and geeking since he was a wee lad. He is a freelance writer and content creator, contributing to AMC Theatres, SVG, Looper, and Feast Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter for article updates and Instagram for (mostly) pictures of food and animals.

Published Mar. 24th 2021

Cached - article_comments_article_68560
Related
More Immortals Fenyx Rising: Myths of the Eastern Realm Content