A sleeper hit if ever there was one, Immortal Fenyx Rising flew under the radar when it launched – when sandwiched in between Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077, it was always a tough launch window. Word of mouth though seems to be doing the job as more and more people are picking it up and praising an open-world game that is stuffed with things to do.
Attention now switches to the post-launch expansions, and with the first DLC pack – A New God – that continues the main story after its completion. You don’t necessarily need to have finished the campaign to play the DLC, but be warned, this review will feature major story spoilers in the very next paragraph.
Fenyx has managed to rescue the four Gods, defeated Typhon and generally saved the world, and has rightfully been granted God status by their father, Zeus. However, apparently all this world saving doesn’t instantly grant access to the inner circle of the Pantheon. For that, Fenyx needs to complete yet more trials.
We pick up the A New God DLC with Fenyx entering Olympos for the first time. They are once again greeted by Hermes who explains that, in order to get to the inner circle of the gods, Fenyx will once again need to prove themselves worthy.
Olympos is a smaller open-world than the main game, with much less of an emphasis on exploration and combat this time. Instead, it acts like a giant hub area with portals dotted liberally around the place that lead to Olympos Trials. In the centre is the Pantheon where the seats of the gods are housed, and around this are four areas all dedicated to the same gods you saved in the main game: Ares, Aphrodite, Athena and Hephaistos.
Unlike the main campaign, the gods are now dotted throughout the new area. As a result, there is no bickering amongst them all like back in the Hall of the Gods. The same goes for Zeus and Prometheus narrating your journey. It feels a bit lonely at times. But what you do get is the four gods introducing their trials to you in the same way that Richard O’Brien would do in The Crystal Maze. Intentional or not, this is what I was reminded of.
These trials will feel very familiar to the Typhon trials from the main game, but there are new challenges and modifiers thrown in too. Electricity and magnetism now plays a major part as you try and channel the stuff from A to B using your existing knowledge of how Immortals works. Then there are positive and negatively charged platforms to attract and repel the metal spheres.
There are also now tricky navigational challenges that will test your skills to the limit. If the Typhon trials were merely testing waters, these new challenges are the developers quite literally spreading their wings and getting ultra-creative.
Combat really does take a backseat in the DLC. Your main area features no enemies – understandable considering this is a safe space for the gods – and there are only a few combat trials. Even these will test a fully levelled-up Fenyx as they will ask you to defeat enemies in specific ways eg. defeat enemies by deflecting back their projectiles, and so on.
Potentially steaming hot take incoming, but I just felt the trials in Immortals Fenyx Rising were arguably the weakest part of the entire game. They just felt a bit too fiddly. They were clearly riffing on the shrines from Breath of the Wild, but where those felt delicately constructed with not a pixel out of place, in Immortals things regularly took more than one attempt just to work as intended.
And here is a 10-12 hour DLC that is essentially wall-to-wall trials with very little else worthy of note.
There are plenty of new spoils to be had within the trials though. Gear, abilities and upgrades are all there to be had; unfortunately though, as you enter A New God with a generic build of Fenyx regardless of how OP you got them in the main game, you likewise cannot transfer over your new-found abilities either.
As well as the ability to add further chunks to health and stamina bars, there are additional upgrades to your Godly Powers to help with the new challenges. Each God will also bestow a fourth blessing after completing their trials.
I had high hopes going into the first DLC for Immortals Fenyx Rising. A New God on Xbox though feels like a safe entry, and even for a piece of DLC it overstays its welcome with a large number of trials and not much else. The trials will definitely test you, patience and skill-wise. But with DLCs still to come focusing on completely different characters, hopes are still high that this first release is just a minor misstep.