The Divine Comedy Of Immortals Fenyx Rising

Immortals Fenyx Rising

A powerful titan of legend has launched a massive assault on the Greek gods of mythology, severing them from their essence, smashing open cracks to the underworld, and infesting Earth with corrupted beings from the afterlife. A setup like this isn't uncommon in the world of video games, but when it comes to comedy, a dark premise such as this isn't the first thing you might think of. However, that's exactly the direction Ubisoft Quebec went with Immortals Fenyx Rising.

While the inspiration drawn from games like the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Studio Ghibli films like Howl's Moving Castle is evident in the gameplay and visual style, it was a different genre of film that dictated the tone Ubisoft Quebec employs with Immortals Fenyx Rising. "I felt like a lot of video games are incredibly dark, and I had missed this feeling from childhood that movies like the Princess Bride or Naked Gun or Airplane had given me; I felt like, 'Why can’t a video game have that kind of tone?'" says narrative director Jeffrey Yohalem. "It got tipped in that direction by the fact that Greek mythology is actually full of comedy. Unlike our religion today, which is seen as a moral compass where everything is very serious and is how you should act if you were a perfect person or a perfect deity. For the Greeks, their mythology was like their soap opera or their reality television, where you’re seeing people who are just like us making mistakes and you’re learning from the things in the stories that result in tragedy."

Immortals Fenyx Rising Immortals Fenyx Rising attempts to balance awesome action, epic stakes, and well-timed humor

According to cinematic team lead Michelle Plourde, the team's desire to make a humorous game started during the development of Assassin's Creed Odyssey. "What we learned from Odyssey was that we really enjoyed making funny, lighthearted types of stories in games," she says. "We took what we learned from Odyssey and where that kind of shined through and we transferred that into Fenyx Rising, but instead of making that where you see instances of the story being funny at some points, we tried to make it so it’s a comedy instead of this type of serious game."

The entirety of Immortals Fenyx Rising is narrated by Zeus and Prometheus. To say these two have a complicated relationship would be an understatement: When the titans and gods clashed for the first time, Prometheus was one of the few titans who sided with the gods, so the two are basically old war buddies as well as cousins. However, the relationship soured when Prometheus fell in love with humanity and stole fire from Olympus to give to the humans. To punish Prometheus for this betrayal, Zeus chained him to the side of a mountain and has an eagle peck out his liver every day before it regenerates every night. However, the Typhon crisis made them realize they need each other, so Prometheus weaves a tale of Fenyx, a mortal who will save the gods from the doom they are facing.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

While Prometheus is the driving force of the narrative, Zeus chimes in with jokes. However, he can also serve as an unreliable narrator, sometimes going as far as hijacking the story because he's bored by what Prometheus is saying. In one instance, when Fenyx dives into the first Vault of Tartaros, Zeus is certain it would be deadly for a mortal, so he cues a fake credits scroll where either he or Prometheus is listed in every role. A bit later, the first boss battle occurs because Zeus is bored and decides it's a good time for Fenyx to fight a Cyclops.

The unreliable narrator mechanic was a way to shake up the storytelling of Immortals Fenyx Rising while also adding some humor into the mix. "We thought it added flare!" says Plourde. "We have these feuding family members, so why not make use of them and have what they’re saying come to life on screen since they are telling a story? Why not make use of it as a kind of gameplay/narrative tool? It’s a tool to have them bicker and be different. Obviously, Zeus can take over control of the story because he’s present with Prometheus, so why not?"

Immortals Fenyx Rising

The humor isn't limited to just Zeus and Prometheus. In fact, as you rescue the defeated gods and reunite them, the Hall of the Gods starts to come to life, and you should expect some lively conversations once the gods see their old peers. "The Hall of the Gods becomes kind of like a beach house in a reality show," game director Scott Phillips says. "As you free the gods, you’re adding voices to that cacophony and they’re all interacting with each other. They have this huge backstory and some of them love each other and some of them hate each other."

Over the early moments of the game, players can expect references to airplane turbulence and a joke about shoes when Fenyx encounters Nike, the goddess of victory. The game may take place in ancient Greece, but Ubisoft Quebec didn't shy away from some winks at the player in the 21st century. "The line was almost only drawn where a joke would age badly, as in people 30 years from now wouldn’t get the joke," Yohalem says. "The turbulence joke, anyone who knows what an airplane is would understand that joke. That was the line: to create timeless, modern humor."

Immortals Fenyx Rising launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, and PC on December 3. Our coverage hub is nearly complete, so be sure to click the banner below to learn all about Immortals Fenyx Rising prior to its launch!

Meet League Of Legends’ New Champion, Rell, And Her Horrifically Violent History

Meet Rell, the latest Champion to make her way into League of Legends from Riot Games. One thing is for sure is that she's no dainty princess. 

Rell, also known as the Iron Maiden, has a horrific backstory that proves her resistance. According to Riot Games, she is "the product of brutal experimentation at the hands of the Black Rose. Rell is a defiant, living weapon determined to topple Noxus. Her childhood was one of misery and horror, enduring unspeaking procedures to perfect and weaponize her magical control over metal until she staged a violent escape, killing many of her captors in the process.

"Now branded as a criminal, Rell attacks Noxian soldiers on sight as she searches for survivors of her old "academy," defending the meek while delivering violent death to her former overseers." 

But who is Rell in terms of League of Legends? She's a new Support character with connections to LeBlanc and Samira. Hailing from Noxus, the powers behind her capture have labeled her as a dangerous criminal. Even the Trifarion Legion is worried about her should she come after them. 

Did we mention that she's also only 16 years old? 

A story bred for vengeance and justice, Rell is an incredibly interesting addition to the growing Champion roster, but what does she bring to the table play-wise? 

While a Support character, Rell is incredibly powerful (which is nothing new for Support) and she is built to lead. Check out her abilities set below to catch a glimpse at how she plays: 

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Passive - Break the Mold

Rell attacks very slowly but temporarily steals a portion of her target’s Armor and Magic

Resist dealing bonus damage based on the amount stolen. Additionally, Rell can siphon resistances from multiple different foes to grow extremely tanky.

Q - Shattering Strike

Rell stabs forward with her lance, breaking any shields and damaging all enemies hit (damage decreases after the first target). If Rell has an ally bound with E - Attract and Repel, she and that ally recover health for each champion hit by this ability.

W1 - Ferromancy: Crash Down

(Can only cast while mounted) Rell leaps into the sky and transforms her mount into heavy armor, gaining a huge shield that lasts until destroyed or remounting. Upon landing, she knocks up all enemies around her. Rell can cast E - Attract and Repel and R - Magnet Storm during the transformation.

Rell has increased durability, low movement speed, and a movement speed cap while in armored form. After the transformation, this ability changes to Ferromancy: Mount Up.

W2 - Ferromancy: Mount Up

(Can only cast while in armored form) Rell rushes forward and transforms her armor into a mount, gaining a burst of movement speed. During her next attack, she charges her target to deal bonus damage and flip them over her shoulder.

Rell has increased movement speed while mounted. After the transformation, this ability changes to Ferromancy: Crash Down.

E - Attract and Repel

Rell magnetically binds a piece of her armor to a target allied champion, granting them bonus Armor and Magic Resist while nearby.

Rell can recast this spell to break the bind and stun all enemies around and between her and her bound ally.

R - Magnet Storm

Rell erupts in magnetic fury, yanking nearby enemies toward her. She then creates a gravitational field around her, pulling nearby enemies in for a few seconds. The field doesn't interrupt her enemies’ other actions. 


"We really loved the idea of creating a tanky support. It’d been a long time since we’d made one—Braum was actually the last,” says senior concept artist Justin “Riot Earp” Albers. “But unlike Braum, we wanted her to have a darker past and personality. I explored a few different options, but everyone was really attached to the metal bending concept. After we landed on that, we just had to decide where Rell came from."

“The Black Rose, who run Noxus’ clandestine operations, are interested in some horrible things to further the empire’s expansion and power,” explains narrative lead Jared “Carnival Knights” Rosen. “Demon calling, Void magic, resurrecting and controlling dead gods... A little of this, a little of that. And one of the things this group of crappy 1000-year-old aristocrats have discovered is sigil magic, which has the ability to rip the magic out of living things and then forcibly put it into someone else.”

With each foe taken down, she grows stronger. Rell is the "ultimate weapon," something that the devs had a lot of fun with. “The magic from the other kids is placed into Rell with the sigil magic, which empowers her own latent powers,” explains Riot Earp. “But the process is incredibly painful, for both Rell and the other students. I focused a lot on adding the sigils to her arms—especially the one that holds her lance—to make sure it’s clear when playing her. I wanted the pain that she underwent to be clear to players, so they understood her past.”

“I wanted to make Rell the tankiest tank the world has ever seen. I had this idea of a heavily armored character who sunders the ground she walks on, making the earth beneath her collapse from her might,” says game designer Stash “Riot Stashu” Chelluck. “Unfortunately that’s hard to display in League, and I still needed to make sure she thematically felt like she was manipulating metal. I was looking for neat ways to map her ferromantic powers into her gameplay, to really make her feel powerful and hard hitting without feeling like a mage.”

With such a twisted backstory, the reason behind her mount is actually a little more light-hearted. The first thing I thought of when I heard Rell was a teenager and had a mount was a coin-operated horse ride—like the ones outside of grocery stores,” recalls davehelsby. “I’ve seen teenagers ride them a lot. And it’s so interesting because you see a person on the cusp of being an adult, but there’s still a bit of kid in them. I just feel like that made sense for Rell. She has a lot of adult responsibilities on her shoulders, but she’s still a kid, and she deserves a little fun.”

Rell will be joining the League of Legends roster as the newest Champion with patch 10.25. 

8 Best PlayStation 5 Features To Learn First

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Sony has just released the PS5 and many players might be curious about how to set up certain system tools or find the best settings for their new console. In this video, we detail the best PlayStation 5 features to learn first when you unbox Sony's next-gen console.

If you enjoyed this video, be sure to check out the 8 best Xbox Series X features, or watch Game Informer's PlayStation 5 review.

Marvel Taps Bob’s Burgers Writers For Deadpool 3

The Deadpool movie legacy continues as Marvel Studios and Ryan Reynolds taps the Molyneaux sisters from Bob's Burgers fame for Deadpool 3.

Ryan Reynolds is set to reprise his role as the sarcastic anti-hero with Wendy and Lizzie Molyneaux (who served as writers and executive producers for Bob's Burgers) onset to write the latest movie. As reported by Deadline, meetings with the team have been ongoing all month with Reynolds listening to pitches from writers of all visions. According to the site, Reynolds immediately fell in love with what the Molyneaux sisters brought to Deadpool's story, and the match made in Marvel heaven is officially a "go" to move onto the next step. 

Deadpool 3 is currently in early development but hiring the writing team, especially of this caliber, is the biggest first step when prepping for onsite production. What's also worth noting is that this marks the first movie that will have both Ryan Reynolds and his team working side-by-side with Marvel Studios, including the beloved Kevin Feige. 

According to the site, Deadpool 3 is looking to continue on the legacy of being R-rated with a new director at the helm with David Leitch. According to the report, Leitch's involvement isn't confirmed, but the interest is there and negotiations have started. 

We don't know anything about the premise of Deadpool 3 at this time, but given the success of the first two films and the revamped team? It looks like the third movie could carry on that hilarity in the best way possible for Marvel fans. 

Are you excited to see that Deadpool 3 is moving forward despite Fox/Disney merger concerns? What are you hoping the production team does next for the Deadpool franchise as a whole? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

[Source: Deadline]

Rick And Morty Want You To Buy A PS5

Rick and Morty are no strangers to video games. They play the life simulator Roy in an episode of the show on Adult Swim, and they have even starred in their own VR experience (though I didn't love it). But the dimension-hopping duo's latest contribution to the gaming industry is a new ad for the PlayStation 5.

Rick and Morty bring their signature brand of humor to the spot, making it clear multiple times that they are only saying what they've been paid to say. Even so, it's still an entertaining little bit for fans of the show to enjoy. Plus, the irreverent tone is a fun change from other PS5 commercials we've seen so far. See the ad in the tweet below: 

https://twitter.com/RickandMorty/status/1329855060302565376

Of course, the saddest part about seeing a commercial for PlayStation 5 is knowing that it will add more people to the growing throngs hoping to buy the system – which means that they could remain difficult to snag. With preorder scares combined with the PS5's online-only launch, obtaining Sony's next-gen console is not as simple as walking into a store or ordering it from any retailer.

PlayStation 5 isn't alone on that front, either; Microsoft's Xbox Series X/S systems have also been hard to secure. This console launch has been the biggest in Xbox history, with many would-be Xbox owners putting their hopes in various giveaways to get their hands on the systems.

But if the persuasive powers of Rick and Morty have swayed you to the PS5 side of the fence (or if you already own one), we have plenty of ways to help you get the most out of your new system. You can read our exhaustive PlayStation 5 review, our impressions of the new DualSense controller, and our review of Astro's Playroom – the cute little platformer that comes pre-installed on every PS5.

Still unsure if PS5 is right for you? We can also help you decide which next-gen console you should get – assuming you have some sort of multi-dimensional portal gun that can take you to an alternate universe in which PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are always in stock.

NBA 2K21 Review – New Polish On The Court

Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Visual Concepts
Release: (Xbox Series X/S), (PlayStation 5)
Rating: Everyone
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X/S
Also on: PlayStation 5

Any athlete will attest that you can do all the right things in the off-season and still come up short. Visual Concepts clearly worked to up its game with NBA 2K21 and deliver better results. However, this wasn’t a typical off-season for Visual Concepts; the team wasn’t just trying to take NBA 2K to the next level, it was trying to take it to the next generation, being the first sports game to go all-in on the new console power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The result is a valiant effort, full of great new features and impressive visual leaps, but it’s clear there’s still some seasoning and adjustments to the playbook that need to be done. 

Visual Concepts released a version of NBA 2K21 back in early September (for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia), but this next-gen edition was built from the ground up to harness the power of the new hardware. Some things from the earlier release carry over, like the bulk of Junior’s MyCareer story, but it also has new modes, as well as important tweaks such as smoother movement and more realistic contact. Most importantly, the long load times that have plagued the series are a thing of the past. Games load in seconds, getting you right into the action. The only hiccups I noticed were when my player went to the bench for a substitution and between periods; sometimes your player just stands stoically for a few moments during this transition. It breaks the immersion since everything else functions just like you’re at an actual arena, including a lively crowd and staff performing various tasks.

Minor issues aside, Visual Concepts continues to deliver stellar gameplay that looks and feels straight out of the NBA. The new-gen tech has only added more authenticity and variety to the on-court action. Being able to change up the speed of your dribble and size-up moves makes ball-handling feel great and gives you tons of options. I loved being able to use hesitations, escapes, stepbacks, and crosses to throw off defenders, and this new dribbling quickly became my favorite upgrade. Passes also look more realistic, especially alley-oops off the glass to teammates. A new lead-pass mechanic, alongside the addition of bounce-touch passes, makes it so you always have varied ways situations can play out. 

As with past entries, certain players have signature moves, and Visual Concepts has only added to the realism with new skills like LeBron James’ suspended dribble. It’s cool that players move or play differently depending on who they are, their position, and how they’re built. I was constantly wowed by the level of detail in every player model, from their likeness to their real-world counterparts right down to their facial expressions and dripping sweat in intense moments. NBA 2K21 is easily one of the best-looking games on the new consoles. 

Another high point is the addition of The W, which allows you to can create your own WNBA MyPlayer for the first time and build your own path to stardom by playing for one of the league’s 12 teams. The level of detail in this mode is great, as I loved learning more about the league and its players from the announcers and games feel different from the NBA with a more technical and team-centric style. The W doesn’t have a cinematic experience like the main MyPlayer mode, but you do get to build up your popularity, wealth, team chemistry, and progression by choosing between different things to do on your day off, like volunteering for a youth program or streaming NBA 2K21. 

You have to fill in the blanks to your own story through these small choices, interacting with other players via text messages, and your social-media feed, but the crux is focused on being a visible role model and bringing other young girls into the sport, which I think is fantastic. I just wish it had its own self-contained storyline, and I’m disappointed that your female MyPlayer cannot be brought into the main multiplayer space: The City. You can play with other players in The W Online, but playing in a small gym isn’t the same experience as having tons of shops and courts at your disposal. 

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The City is an evolution from The Neighborhood, where players come together in a multiplayer space with their created MyPlayers to play pick-up games and shop. The City is a big attraction, and exclusive for this next-gen version of the game. It’s clear Visual Concepts has some big ideas for it, as you get assigned an alliance and help build up its reputation by participating in events. I enjoy walking through this massive metropolis, stumbling upon special vendors selling unique apparel, and unlocking special challenges like teaming up with cover star Damian Lillard to take on legends Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter. You even get to spin a wheel for a daily log-in bonus that gives you cool freebies. Most recently, I scored a free tattoo, which made me happy because spending VC (which you can earn in-game or spend real money to acquire) isn’t my thing, especially for cosmetic items. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you’re most likely going to be grinding to get anything cool or hoping your luck serves you well when you spin the wheel – though I have yet to get a high-tier item that way. Good items are very expensive, and grinding for them requires an unreasonable amount of patience; it feels like a blatant effort to drive players toward microtransactions, which feels gross. 

The City is a cool idea, but it is also where the biggest problems surface. To enter The City, you must first get your rank up by grinding out wins in Rookieville. This is miserable, as you’re in a sequestered area where you can’t access any part of The City and must just wait for games and play with others. Losses don’t do much for your rank, so every game feels like you’re fighting for entry to the show. I encountered many players who had clearly bought VC to boost their character’s stats and put themselves at the best advantage – which makes it even harder to win if you don’t pay real money yourself. 

As I walked around Rookieville, I rarely came across a player who wasn’t rated 86 or higher. Badges only further complicate this, because badges can let you make unrealistic shots or avoid easy steals. This has made me hate online play, because the games don’t unfold fairly or realistically. They’re just not fun. Visual Concepts needs to figure out a better way to reward teamwork, because players don’t want to pass the ball and just shoot all day long with these modifiers. It’s becoming more of a problem, especially as online play continues to be a focus. 

Outside of these frustrations, you can still expect the other basic modes and some tweaks. My NBA is now an all-encompassing franchise mode, combining MyGM, MyLeague, and MyLeague Online. It gives you more customization options than ever before, from toggling certain league rules to bypassing some of the annoying role-playing elements. MyGM is still in need of a complete overhaul, even if I do appreciate the revamped boom/bust system and more variation in player potentials. I also enjoyed that there are some little variations from the old-gen version, such as a new path in Junior’s MyPlayer story, where you can join the G-League and brush shoulders with some familiar players from the series’ fiction. 

NBA 2K21’s full-team on-court action plays the best it ever has, and the graphical leap is impressive to boot, but it still comes up short in some key areas. Visual Concepts still hasn’t figured out a great way to elevate its online play, and microtransactions continue to destroy what should be a fun part of the experience. I love creating spectacular plays and the thrill of sinking a buzzer-beating three, but the moment I walk into the online space, that feeling evaporates. It becomes about the money, not about the love of the game. 

Score: 8

Summary: The full-team on-court action plays the best it ever has, and the graphical leap is impressive to boot, but it still comes up short in some key areas.

Concept: Built from the ground up to leverage the new consoles’ power, this edition brings faster load times, better physics, and new features alongside gameplay improvements

Graphics: This is the best the series has ever looked, from the ultra-realistic player models and their on-court moves to the expanded crowd and their reactions to plays. Even with occasional graphical hiccups, the overall tech is at a new, impressive level

Sound: Excellent commentary not only responds appropriately to the play at hand but also educates you on the league and its history. New songs join the already-stellar soundtrack to give you great background beats

Playability: The mechanics are easy to learn, but putting it all together on the court takes time, patience, and high basketball IQ. Online features, like The City, are not newcomer-friendly

Entertainment: NBA 2K21 takes some great steps to bring the series into a new generation and impress on the court, but some parts of its game still need work

Replay: Moderately High

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Sealed Super Mario Bros. 3 Variant Breaks World Record

So you think you like Super Mario Bros. 3, eh? Do you like it for $156,000, because this collector sure does. A super-rare Super Mario Bros. 3 variant copy of the Nintendo game just broke the world record for the most expensive title, selling for just over the aforementioned amount. 

The sale by Heritage Auction house marks the second time this year that this world record has been beaten regarding a bidding-style sell. Earlier this year, another copy of the first Super Mario Bros. game auctioned off for $114,000, but the third game's variant was seen as more valuable by the community. 

“We couldn't be more pleased about breaking the world record for the second time in the same year,” says Valarie McLeckie, Heritage Auctions’ Director of Video Games. “That said, it's no surprise that another Mario game, which so many of us grew up with, would set the new bar.”

Heritage Auction

The bid for this rare sealed copy started out at $62,500 and the price quickly skyrocketed from there. It's not just the sealed condition of this game that made it such a hot item, it's the fact that it's a variant that is incredibly rare with the Bros. formatting seen on the left, overlapping Mario's right hand. According to Heritage, this variant of the Super Mario Bros. 3 art is highly coveted among collectors, which was evident by the bidding nature of the most recent auction. There are apparently only three versions of this particular variant in existence, which only added to that appeal.

As a huge collector myself, it's always wild to me to see the lengths that this community goes to in order to nab that coveted item. Passion is passion, but phew. I would love to have that much money in my back pocket to spend...

What do you think about the latest record to be broken regarding a video game sale with this Super Mario Bros. variant? Too much or do you regret you couldn't beat 'em to the punch? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Perforce Software Unveils the Future of Game Development in New Report

Survey of over 500 game development professionals reveals big challenges in funding and collaboration MINNEAPOLIS, August 25, 2020 – Perforce Software, a provider of solutions to enterprise teams requiring productivity,…