Immortals Fenyx Rising‘s first major DLC, A New God, feels like it’s calling a bluff. Ubisoft’s open-world template has gotten flack over the years for turning its sprawling worlds into a sea of icons that push you to beeline it to the next objective. If that’s gotten stale, why not cut out the “open world” part? That’s more or less what A New God does: It abandons any pretense about these games being about discovery and traversal in favor of a set checklist of challenges. The idea works in concept; the self-contained puzzles were some of my favorite parts of Immortals, so this DLC is in some ways exactly what I wanted. It, unfortunately, doesn’t work as well in practice. Although it introduces some clever ideas to tease your brain, the way these ideas are implemented are extremely hit-or-miss, as agonizingly inconsistent and frustrating as it is clever.
A New God doesn’t spend much time getting you up to speed with its story or gameplay, so you should probably finish the base game before you jump in. After the events of Immortals, Fenyx is ready to ascend into the pantheon of gods they’d helped free from Typhon–as soon as they prove themselves worthy by completing a number of puzzle and combat trials designed by said gods in Olympos.
I’m surprised by how little I miss the parts of Immortals that A New God trims. You don’t explore Olympos much, since it’s more of a hub than a world. Immortals’ eye-rolling humor (which still can’t land a punchline most of the time) is also thankfully easier to ignore than it is in the base game, as it’s delivered almost entirely through quips from the gods trying to amuse you or impart advice as you play.
This post has been read 14 times!