Coming in with one of the longest titles of the year is Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher Console Edition; a game which will be referred to as Immortal Legacy from this point on. First released as a VR title back in 2019, it has now come to console with the developers, Viva Games, having decided the time is right to unleash the game on an unsuspecting world. And when one of the selling points of the game is “the main character is voiced by the same bloke who did Geralt of Rivia”, you know that this is going to be reaching for a reason to be played. Is this an accurate representation of the quality of the final product, or am I being unnecessarily critical?
First up, the story, as all great adventure games need a thrilling narrative. And to be fair, the narrative thread running through Immortal Legacy isn’t entirely awful. We are “Tyre”, an ex-special forces soldier with a “special constitution”. In order to try and understand his own back story, Tyre and his friend, the enigmatic Ksana, have flown to the legendary Dragon Triangle area, crash landing on Yingzhou Island. However, this island isn’t as deserted as Tyre might hope, and when he comes to, finds he’s been captured by an occupying force of mercenaries. Can Tyre escape his captors and get to the bottom of the mystery around this island? Spoiler: Yes he can!
Obviously, Tyre is going to need our help to escape and solve the problem, and so the adventure begins. Doug Cockle, for it is he, does a suitably growly voiceover for Tyre, and you can almost feel him struggling not to slip into his Geralt role as he goes through the dialogue. The rest of the voice work is passable, including a very strange encounter with some strange streamer near the beginning of the game.
Graphically, Immortal Legacy is also passable, with a reasonable amount of detail on display in the landscape; the draw distances are okay, without ever being startling too. In fact, a lot of the game appears to be constrained visually, with tunnels, gorges and buildings all playing a big part. Wide open space is seemingly at a premium on this island. When you do get to an area with a bit of room for lateral movement, you’ll find that Immortal Legacy constrains your movement by using the age-old mechanic of a rock, at least 6 inches high, placed in your way. With Tyre, the super fit ex-special forces soldier, seemingly unable to jump, and the involvement of the odd invisible wall helping you back onto the path the game wants you to take), you are effectively funnelled you towards your next objective.
So, we are faced with a game of two halves. We have the combat section, and then we have the exploration and puzzle solving. As Tyre makes his way through the island, he will find weapons seemingly dotted about the place in order to help him out. The enemies, when killed, don’t drop their weapons or even any ammo, so don’t be thinking that killing folk will refill your reserves, as this is very much not the case.
Anyway, combat is a two pronged approach: you can use guns, where the enemies are so stupid that one of the first achievements you’ll pick up will be that of “20 headsets”, or you can use melee weapons to persuade the baddies to leave you alone. There are throwable weapons as well, including grenades and molotov cocktails, but as the basic pistol is pretty much a laser guided rail gun, you’ll rarely feel the need to use anything else. Seriously, you can bullseye an enemy’s head from 50 yards away with no difficulty, and as the incoming fire is less well aimed than a Stormtrooper’s, the need to take cover is minimal. Even the bosses go down fairly easily, as they all have ridiculously obvious weak points to aim at.
The exploration (within limits of course) is a bit better, and there are plenty of collectibles to find dotted around the island. As you explore, you will also find so called “Maze Boxes”, which are like the old puzzles you used to get in Christmas crackers, leaving you to guide a ball to the centre of a maze. You do this by tilting the box with your controller for rewards! There’s certainly nothing too taxing on the little grey cells.
So, how about a conclusion then? Well, Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher Console Edition does have a strange kind of draw that will keep you playing, but it’s hard to say why. The combat is basic and rudimentary at best, the puzzles aren’t terribly puzzling, and the characters that you meet are more two dimensional than your average cardboard policeman. But even with all that said, you’ll feel compelled to finish the story. Honestly though, it’s just very much ‘some game’.
Immortal Legacy: The Jade Cipher Console Edition is available from the Xbox Store