Immortals: Fenyx Rising quickly became one of my favourite games of 2020, it ticked so many boxes in a way that was both satisfying and surprising amongst all the heavy hitters of the year. The humour, the world and the characters were all charming and a genuine joy to play for the entire 50 hours I happily put into it that even before the on-screen prompt told me I could start over in New Game Plus I was very much ready to do just that. With the Season Pass I was excited to play more, and the first of three DLC’s would give me the chance to have a post Epilogue ‘Epilogue’ for Fenyx with ‘A New God’ and I was much hoping for more of what I loved about the main game.
It really needs to be pointed out that ‘A New God’ is very much “play me after you have finished the main story” content, so if you have this DLC via the Season Pass and you have yet to complete the main campaign, do that before even looking at this DLC for it will reveal how the game ends and unsurprisingly does find Fenyx at the end of his/her journey. Thankfully this DLC is outside of the main game so much so that it can only be accessed from the main menu which then takes it to its own menu, though you can use a save file to bring your progress across, this is very much stand alone compared to the main game. So this is your spoiler warning….if you have yet to finish the main story, why are you here, go do that then come back and look at the DLC ok?!?
If you have completed the main story then you will know that the game ends with Fenyx embracing her new powers and is settling down as a true hero whilst coming to terms with the reality that he/she is the child of Zeus. Fenyx has saved the Gods and the world of man from Typhoon and has become a true hero in his/her own right. Where the main game allows you to do it all again, A New God will see Zeus offer Fenyx the opportunity to join the Gods in Olympus as one of them but there is a final twist and challenge for Fenyx.
In order for Fenyx to complete their journey and earn a place in the inner Pantheon, and something that is a little confusing for me, they must first once again impress the four Gods they saved from Typhoon in Ares, Hephaistos, Aphrodite and Athena and earn their final blessing which is a little on the nose considering what Fenyx went through to earn their blessings in the main story whilst also saving them from ultimate doom. But impress them the player must one final time we must and this is perhaps where this DLC experience differs so much for me from the main game experience I loved.
Instead of the massive and beautiful setting of the Golden Isle, we now find ourselves in the equally beautiful Olympus but with one drawback, no exploration. Olympus is just the setting with the four gods situated in its four corners where Fenyx will visit them to begin their trials but exploration is no longer a factor here as you simply follow the very clear paths to each of them. There are no places that require climbing or long glides to reach them which is actually rather sad for me, the exploration was one of the things I loved most about the main game and I had hoped for a new area to be able to do the same but this is a DLC that is very focused on just doing the trials themselves as the main activity to do. Even interactions with the Gods in terms of dialogue is very minimal once you have spoken with Zeus to begin.
Even if you used a save to bring your progress into this DLC, none of your armours or weapons are useable, instead you are given default armour with the chance to unlock new armour to aid you in the trials, but if you had a particular favourite armour or cosmetic look sadly you will not have them in this DLC but how your Fenyx looked and sounded will, though at the start you are given the chance to change the appearance of Feynx before jumping into it.
Where ‘A New God’ disappointed me, the most is in the gameplay which completely doubles down on all the puzzle mechanics of the main game and does so in a way that does leave you wondering if nothing Fenyx did to save these Gods countered for anything if this is how they choose to test his/her worth. I liked the puzzle aspects in the main game from those in the Vaults to the those scattered around the world. I found some frustrating but also understood that I would require some skills obtained later in the game that would help me complete some puzzles at a later time.
Where A New God feels a little less forgiving is that it expects and assumes that you mastered every type of puzzle style from the main game and are eager for more. If you did not enjoy the puzzling aspect than you are probably going to struggle here because the puzzles are much tougher this time, requiring close to near perfect execution of skills and traversals to complete the trials before you. Each god as their own challenges and even Ares, the God of War which I had hoped and expected to be more of a combat focused trial instead is just another puzzle with the mechanic of using portals to teleport blocks around the puzzle area. Combat was so much of a factor and fun experience in the main game and yet its absolutely put on the back burner here in the DLC, there is some but its so minimal it really is a shame that one of my favourite things to do with Fenyx is now an afterthought, especially because I am pretty good at the combat and found the puzzle aspect rather frustrating at times.
It is that frustration which can hold you back with this DLC, where some challenges are pretty straight forward to complete, there are some where you will feel like you need to use The Force to guide you as the game simply will not. There are some gliding sections where you can literally be led to a dead end and death just because what feels like the right path to take which just make no sense why you are suddenly now falling to oblivion. Some were so annoying that I literally gave up to go to another God to do their trials only to be hit with similar frustrating puzzles. It felt these were all designed to force the player to use trial and error to make the DLC take longer to complete.
No doubt those who loved this aspect to the main game will enjoy more of the same in this DLC but for me, it really felt like a strange way to conclude Fenyx’s story for players as instead of embracing everything about the main story with combat, exploration, character interactions and then some puzzling that it is the puzzling side that takes centre stage more than anything else which is not really where I saw the final chapter of my Fenyx’s saga coming to an end. I do hope the next two DLC chapters which focus on new characters will embrace more of the main game itself for an all-round experience. I even dived back into my New Game Plus run just to feel the fun again after some of this DLC frustrated me so much.
But a lot of the puzzles have fun mechanics and Olympus is a visual delight to be there with Zeus still doing his “I can be a dick but also look I care too” personality switch in the dialogue, it is a real shame that I found this more frustrating to play than fun to end my time with Fenyx who quite honestly deserved less testing and more gratitude from the very Gods he/she saved!