As one of the sleeper hits of 2020, the DLC for Immortals Fenyx Rising had a lot of expectation on its shoulders. The first new piece of content – A New God – acted as an epilogue to Fenyx’s tale as they aimed for a place within the inner circle of the gods. This sadly turned out to just be a series of vaults; arguably one of the weakest aspects of the main game.
Now though, Myths of the Eastern Realm is based on an entirely new mythology with a brand-new protagonist, and a take on Chinese folklore as you play as a young warrior called Ku.
It is also a very condensed copy and paste of the base game that doesn’t offer enough new ideas to feel any different.
Ku is the name of the new playable character but unlike Fenyx cannot be customised, save for the standard armour colourations. He awakens to discover the world split in two as the balance between Heaven and Earth has been cut apart by an anomaly known as The Scar. He bumps into the goddess Nuwa – the creator of humanity – and asks if there is anything she can do to fix things.
Nuwa is one of the new gods that Ku needs to help, along with Gong Gong. Until the main adventure, these gods have not been transformed into something else, but Gong Gong in particular looks identical to Ares. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of assets ‘borrowed’ from the main narrative.
Enemies are very similar to their counterparts, with the same attack patterns for both them and Ku, and after spending 40+ hours defeating them first time around, it’s disappointing to see them basically here again. Then there are the puzzles; the constellation puzzles are now called Bagua puzzles for example, but they are identical in every other way. And whilst the sliding puzzles have been removed, they have been replaced by a 3×3 grid puzzle that is equally less inspiring.
There is such a lack of new ideas that something such as being able to change the size and weight of the cubes is the most innovative new feature in this Myths of the Eastern Realm add-on.
Ku’s attacks are also carbon copies of Fenyx repertoire, with barely any room for upgrades. Ku comes fully kitted out with the attacks and abilities that Fenyx spent hours unlocking in the skill tree, which does make sense given many players will be coming into this having completed the base game. There is though a new system called the God Seals, which can be upgraded by completing the myth challenges dotted throughout the world. These now offer Jade Coins, but they act in the same way as the Coins of Charon.
God Seals works twofold; it replaces the combo meter with a three-tier system based on your speed and damage output, that increases both parameters as you progress. Then, once you have maxed out these tiers, you can unleash one of two ‘new’ moves; Blades of Huang Di or Axe of Yan Di. These are the same attacks as Are’s Wrath and Hephaistos’s Hammer from the main game, but now for example after unleashing Are’s Wrath to pop enemies into the air, the blades will scatter before homing in on them, dealing extra damage.
The Vaults of Tartaros have been replaced by Ruins of Heaven. These now offer Sky Agate instead of Zeus’s Lightning but it is still used to upgrade your stamina. The puzzles in the ruins are slightly different and utilise some new mechanics such as sky hooks and floating clouds, but the end result is still the same here.
Myths of the Eastern Realm also feels a bit flat in comparison to the main game. Gone is the constant bickering between Zeus and Prometheus as the DLC is not narrated by anyone, and any humour between Ku, Nuwa or Gong Gong feels more forced than the main adventure. Ku is likeable enough, but there is barely any time for character-building as the story can be completed within three hours if you skip all the side activities and focus solely on it.
Defeating the final boss does allow you to customise Fenyx with any of the unlocked outfits you have found for Ku. But after completing the DLCs and the main game, my limit is fast approaching with Immortals. The final DLC which is still upcoming – The Lost Gods – better be breaking this mould.
On one hand, I had an absolute blast with Immortals Fenyx Rising, so the promise of more of the same should be a good thing. But when so much is copied and pasted into Myths of the Eastern Realm on Xbox, it quickly becomes a shallow expansion. The concise length actually works in its favour then, as it can be swiftly completed in one day. But simply put, there is too much content recycled here, and it is another disappointing piece of DLC for a game that deserves so much better.