Ahead of the reveal of Immortals Fenyx Rising earlier today, we had the chance to talk to Producer, Marc-Alexis Coté as well as Game Director, Scott Phillips. We got to learn about the inspirations behind the game, the length of the game and why they changed the name.
Why the change of name from Gods & Monsters to Immortal Fenyx Rising?
Marc-Alexis Coté: The extra development time allowed us to push our initial vision even further and explore new avenues for the game. As this vision was coming to life and developing a more mature tone, we felt the game needed a new name to better reflect those changes.
Immortals Fenyx Rising evokes the timeless nature of not only gods and magical creatures, but also the thrill of mythology itself; stories and legends that live forever through storytelling. We also felt it was important to shine a light on Fenyx and her journey, as the first main character of this new franchise.
What are some of the inspirations that you took for the game gameplay-wise?
Scott Phillips:Obviously, Assassins Creed Odyssey was an inspiration since we had just spent 3 years researching and building that game and immersing ourselves in ancient Greece. But beyond that pretty much any open world game of the past 5 to 10 years has been an inspiration for us in some respect. As with any creative endeavour, we are inspired by everything around us and we all bring those inspirations together to create something new and fresh, like Immortals Fenyx Rising.
Was the idea of the vaults clear from the get-go or were they incorporated later?
Scott Phillips: From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to create new gameplay opportunities set in the depth of Tartaros, the underworld of Greek Mythology. We envisioned this mythical place, a magical and mysterious cosmic void where Typhon was able to build massive vaults full of deadly traps and challenging puzzles in order to seal away Zeus’s lightning and strip him of his powers.
This led to a wide variety of special challenges built around this concept, making each vault a unique and fresh experience. They will all challenge the player in a variety of ways, whether it’s about observation, navigation, memory or dexterity puzzles.
There’s going to be an obvious comparison made to Breath of the Wild’s shrines. Did the team look to these for inspiration?
Marc-Alexis Coté: It’s an honor to be compared to such a great game. Our team loves Zelda, you probably know we put an Easter egg in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey by the way.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is very different compared to games you already know. It is a fresh and witty take on the open world action adventure genre, featuring dynamic action combat and stories inspired by Greek mythology. Players will wield the weapons and powers of the gods, like the wings of Daidalos and Hephaistos’ hammer to confront legendary monsters, solve puzzles, and explore the world.
Regarding the art direction, we wanted to have fun with the mythical setting and embrace a light and hopeful art direction inspired by fantasy. We were inspired by some of the greatest timeless adventures, notably Ghibli Studio and other Japanese productions. The result is a vibrant and colorful painterly world for players to explore. Immortals Fenyx Rising has its own flavor.
Scott Phillips: Each Vault is unique and built around a specific gameplay mechanic that will challenge the player in ingenious and unique ways. The team really wanted to make sure each Vault had its own flavor and would encourage you to experiment with different gameplay ingredients.
Often, there’s there is more than one way to complete a Vault, letting space for players’ creativity and freedom of progression.
We can’t wait to see how players will find paths and solutions we didn’t think about yet!
Do you see the game as being an entry point to the open-world genre for more casual gamers?
Scott Phillips: Immortals Fenyx Rising could definitely be an entry point for any gamer or non-gamer into open world games and the Greek mythology behind it. We set out to be appealing to as wide of an audience as possible. One key example of this is our variety of difficulty selections. They range from Story on the easier end of things to Nightmare on the hardest end of the spectrum. Within those difficulty levels players will see changes not only to expected things like hit points and damage, but also to puzzle challenge and stamina recovery – which can tune the entire experience of the game, not just combat, to the liking of a wide range of players.
How much do the seven regions vary in terms of gameplay?
Scott Phillips: Our world was built on the same philosophies as a theme park, creating strong iconic thematizations for all regions and biomes. Each region is inspired by a Greek god and everything in that region is specifically built to support the mythology of that god. From the scarred battlefields of Ares the god of War to the lush paradise lands of Aphrodite the goddess of Love, players will encounter a huge and detailed world to explore.
The land of the gods is full of varied terrains, monsters, and challenges. Each enemy encounter, puzzle, and quest location is tailored to bring a unique aspect of the story, a myth, and a gameplay feature to light. Some terrain is more acclimated to gliding or focused on climbing, while other areas are larger and more open, perfect for a mount – so players will never tire of traversing the world.
Obviously the Assassin’s Creed games have gotten huge in terms of length? How long could you expect people to spend with Immortal Fenyx Rising
Scott Phillips: Since Immortals Fenyx Rising is a huge open world game filled with content, every player’s experience will vary. However, in general, players should expect somewhere between 20 to 30 hours of playtime to complete the main campaign and many more hours if they focus on completing non-main path content and further progressing their character.
Once players have completed the main campaign, they will have the opportunity to try a harder difficulty level called Nightmare mode and New Game Plus.
How is the Nintendo Switch version running?
We will provide more details at a later date.
Immortals Fenyx Rising releases on December 3rd for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC.