Developers know a winning formula when they see one, and it doesn't take long before companies create their own version of a groundbreaking game.
"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" rewrote how action-adventure games could be made, with a vast world and deep engaging puzzles that were based on physics and immersive simulations. Nintendo created a universe of problems and gave players the tools to solve them.
Ubisoft took note and created "Immortals Fenyx Rising." It's a project in the same mold as "Breath of the Wild" but it takes to heart only part of that experience — mainly the exploration, puzzles and combat — and builds a reasonably good adventure out of it.
"Immortals" follows the title character, a male or female protagonist that players create, and takes the Greek hero on a grand quest to save allies who have been turned to stone. Fenyx faces Typhon, a powerful titan once imprisoned in Tartarus who manages to escape and lay waste to the mythological gods. He robs the essences of Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaistos and Athena, turning them into other beings while corrupting the heroes sent to stop him.
Most of the campaign is spent trying to restore everyone across the lands of the Golden Isle. It's the type of locale that apes what's found in "Breath of the Wild." It's filled with mountains, meadows and massive fissures cratered with caves. It's a world that begs to be explored, but it's missing one important element: people. Remember, they've all been turned to stone and it creates a vast emptiness amid a pretty facade.
Ubisoft Quebec tries to fill the void with narration. Similar to "Bastion," Fenyx's adventure has running commentary courtesy of Zeus and Prometheus. The titan god of fire chronicles the hero's exploits and Zeus snidely interrupts. The two are almost like sportscasters who happen to hate each other's guts.
The banter between the two injects personality into "Immortals" but the humor is hit and miss. At times, it can leave players rollicking but most of the time it's a bit bland with tidbits of Greek mythology thrown in. Those who majored in classics in college will eat up the references and asides.
Immortals Fenyx Rising
Platform: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, Amazon Luna, PC