Immortals Fenyx Rising Accessibility
Immortals Fenyx Rising is beyond entertaining. Not only does it pique my interest as a classicist, it also features a wide array of accessibility features that truly benefit physically disabled heroes.
Score8.5 out of 10
As someone with a prominent physical disability, I was never able to experience the joys of perusing through Hyrule within Breath of the Wild. The Switch’s limited accessibility features prohibited me from fully accessing the Zelda title, leaving me frustrated and defeated, knowing that I would not be able to experience the open-world adventure. Now, nearly three years later, Ubisoft created its own Breath of the Wild, featuring an incredibly rich world rife with ancient Greek mythology lore and references. Immortals Fenyx Rising is one of my favorite games that I’ve played in recent months, with a plethora of accessibility features that left me feeling like a hero, rather than a zero.
Developed by Ubisoft and Ubisoft Québec, Immortals Fenyx Rising follows the tale of Fenyx, a Greek warrior who finds themselves shipwrecked on the Golden Isles. Fenyx may lack the traditional bravado of a stereotypical hero, but through assisting varying Greek gods, as well as acquiring powerful weapons and armor, they quickly find their self-worth, just in time to save the world from the evils of Typhon. I thoroughly enjoyed the quirky story, as it reminded me of Disney’s Hercules, providing a much-needed break from the mature themes and egregious violence that comprise most games.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the story, especially the banter between Zeus and Prometheus, the immense accessibility options are what truly kept me engaged, beginning with the capability to customize controls. During my demo, I noted that players can change everything except for the scroll wheel. This remains true, yet Fenyx enables players to combine actions onto a single key.
For example, my jump and sneak attack are currently bound to ‘F.’ Rather than conflict with each other, sneak attacks are only available during specific scenarios, meaning that until that instance arises, ‘F’ allows me to jump. Even my parry and god ability selection mechanic share the same button. This is a feature that I wish more games would adopt. Not only does it limit the number of necessary keys, but it also creates a seamless experience. Navigating the world of Immortals Fenyx Rising became a joyous experience, not a physically taxing chore.
Immortals Fenyx Rising also incorporates options to toggle specific actions. Sprinting, aiming, and utilizing Herakles’ Strength can be completed through a single button press. This is particularly advantageous for physically disabled players during traversal and puzzle sequences. Yet, Fenyx lacks the ability to toggle the consumption of potions. This becomes especially problematic during extensive fights when health potions can make a difference between beating a difficult enemy or reloading a save. However, once enemy movement and attack patterns were memorized, I found little need to use health potions. Sure, I still received damage, but learning to dodge or parry an enemy proved more effective than restoring my health.
Unfortunately, Immortals Fenyx Rising struggles with relation to overall ease, particularly during combat scenarios. While the above information is certainly beneficial for mitigating exhaustion, as well as the implementation of an auto movement feature, physically disabled players are required to mash both the light and heavy attack buttons to defeat enemies. As I noted when playing the demo, larger enemies feature their own stamina bar. Once depleted, players have the capability to deal massive amounts of damage, as well as temporarily stun the monster.
There are several ways to eliminate the bar, whether through god abilities or heavy attacks, but either instance involves mashing a specific button until the action is complete. Thankfully, Fenyx emphasizes more of its exploration and puzzle-solving features. Still, after extensive play sessions, I found myself actively avoiding fights just to preserve precious energy.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is by no means perfect, but what mythological tale truly is? While it offers no alternatives to button mashing, it provides physically disabled players with more than a plethora of accessibility features that ultimately enhance the overall experience. Whether on PC or console, Fenyx is a necessary must-have for individuals looking to play an entertaining, humorous and accessible take on Breath of the Wild.
A review copy of Immortals Fenyx Rising was provided by the developer / publisher.