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Immortals hands-on: I guess Ubisoft is copying Breath of the Wild now

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  • Fenyx, the star of Immortals: Fenyx Rising. (All images in this article's galleries were directly captured from my gameplay demo and represent real-time graphics.) Ubisoft
  • Taking flight. Ubisoft
  • Climbing walls with a status indicator. Look familiar? Ubisoft
  • Completing puzzles by manipulating large objects via telekinesis. More familiar stuff. Ubisoft
  • Fenyx gets a bow and arrow Ubisoft
  • When you complete a puzzle zone, you'll get treasure and bonuses. Ubisoft
  • Puzzle zones are made of floating geometry. Ubisoft
  • One new twist from Immortals is the ability to slow time down while aiming arrows. We need to hit an object, but it's obscured. Ubisoft
  • Manually aim the arrow while slowing down time, and you can hit the thing. Ubisoft
  • One frustrating puzzle required that I figure out how to deactivate windy vents in order to push puzzle-solving orbs into the correct spots. Ubisoft
  • Descend to battle enemies in a clouded zone. Ubisoft
  • Gliding from zone to zone was one of my favorite parts of the Immortals: Fenyx Rising demo. Ubisoft
  • Into a dark chamber to battle a boss. Ubisoft
  • The game's brightly colored world has its darker moments, like this handsomely lit boss battle. Ubisoft
  • Dodge this boss's rotating laser blasts. Ubisoft
  • Another massive boss. Time your dodge maneuver perfectly to avoid its swipes, and this will slow time down for you to set up a counterattack. Ubisoft
  • In order to ride a horse, you must sneak up to it and tame it. (Seriously, these BotW similarities keep piling up.) Ubisoft
  • Arrows constantly recharge, so you don't have to craft or find new arrows when yours run out. Ubisoft
  • Your powerful, slow-moving axe gets its own dedicated button, as does your quicker sword. Each weapon gets an additional special attack when holding the "left bumper" down, so long as your stamina meter is still full. (Dodging, parrying, and attacking do not impact your stamina meter.) Ubisoft

As part of today's "Ubisoft Forward" event—which began with a statement from CEO Yves Guillemot apologizing for years of abusive behavior and a recent PR faux pas—the game studio revealed a game that, in light of the company's issues, seems like a weird flex.

The two-hour demo I played of Immortals: Fenyx Rising, a third-person adventure in the vein of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, feels like a game from a problematic Ubisoft era. (It's been around for long enough, having originally been revealed as a game called Gods & Monsters, but now has a new title and a December 2 release date.) Before I get into the game's mechanics—which rip off BotW so shamelessly that I wonder whether Nintendo may press charges—I want to talk about its tone.

“Get a room, already”

The game stars Fenyx, a mortal Greek woman with supernatural powers like flight and telekinesis, on a mission to restore order to Mount Olympus. At first glance, you may look at the armor-clad hero and think Ubisoft has continued its streak of cool-and-powerful game heroines, following Assassin's Creed Odyssey's Kassandra.

But my two hours with the game included very little dialogue from this heroine. Instead, she mostly toils in silence, while Zeus and Prometheus serve as overbearing narrators, riffing like a Greek-god version of the Muppets' Statler and Waldorf. This starts out cute enough, with meta-jokes like Zeus asking Prometheus in the demo's opening to cut an elaborate story short. "It's called dramatic effect," Prometheus explains. "It's called, where's my skip button?" Zeus retorts. That sort of thing.

But by the end of the demo, these narrators' constant needling, meant to lighten the game's mood, instead sounded like the stuff of a low-brow locker room shouted over a leading woman's heroics. "A lot of poetry for something they're just going to stick in their mouth," Zeus quips about a description of an in-game food item. "Isn't that what the best poetry's about?" Prometheus replies. Um.

Other commentary directly undercuts her actions. After Fenyx completes one trial, Zeus says, "OK, I get the picture, she's our hero. Can we skip forward?" And when Prometheus describes a beautiful vista in the distance, Zeus seems to insinuate that this is somehow a flirt toward Fenyx: "Over it. Just get a room,Read More – Source