Ever since its critically acclaimed release in 2017, several subsequent open world games have been compared to Breath of the Wild. To its credit, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild made a huge effort in bringing open world games forward with innovative design. Since then, several games like Assassin\’s Creed Odyssey and Genshin Impact have borrowed elements of landmark-based exploration as well. Some have borrowed more than others, and now Immortals Fenyx Rising is the next in line of games being compared to Breath of the Wild.
To these games\’ credit, getting compared to Breath of the Wild isn\’t necessarily a bad thing. Drawing inspiration from one of the best open world games in the last three years is a solid approach, but some fans believe it\’s more than just inspiration. Many will argue that Genshin Impact, and now Immortals Fenyx Rising, are just \”rip-offs\” of Breath of the Wild, and just like Genshin Impact before it, that\’s not true for Immortals either. This narrative has been spun several times now, and while there\’s merit to the discussion, it\’s not an accurate representation of these games.
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Immortals Fenyx Rising Brings Plenty New to the Table
For one thing, there\’s a very clear difference between being formative and inspirational for a game. Breath of the Wild did a lot of good things for the genre of open world adventures, but those features don\’t have to be exclusive to that game. Landmark-based encouraging of exploration and other aspects of intelligent environmental design should be things every modern open world game should have. Part of why Breath of the Wild was praised so well was because it changed the formula in a formative way, whereas previous games like Assassin\’s Creed had huge swaths of land covered in collectibles, missions, and an overabundance of content.
Now to some extent, there\’s truth to comparing Breath of the Wild with Immortals in certain aspects, but describing the game as a \”rip-off\” is a disservice to everything the game does differently. The combat in particular is vastly different, eschewing a simple and adaptable combat system for a more rigid fighting style full of special abilities that\’s more similar to Genshin Impact\’s combat. Not to mention the entire setting is a comical and/or satirical adaptation of Greek mythology, with Zeus and Prometheus cracking jokes as they tell the player\’s story. For every comparison that could be made to Breath of the Wild, Immortals Fenyx Rising has its own unique aspect worth celebrating too.
An Unfair Narrative for Immortals and Others
For all intents and purposes, as much as the whole narrative of comparisons to Breath of the Wild does hold minimal truth, it doesn\’t accurately depict any of these games in how they should be treated or played. It\’s where statements like \”this is just worse Breath of the Wild\” come into play, despite gameplay systems being wholly different from another. If anything, it\’s a more valid argument to state Immortals Fenyx Rising steals more from Assassin\’s Creed Odyssey than Breath of the Wild, but that\’s besides the point. These comparisons belittle any of the unique mechanics that differentiate these games substantially.
Everything that Breath of the Wild accomplished as an open world game is worth celebrating, but it\’s not productive to use that achievement to berate other games that attempt to display their own interpretation of the same design concepts. Immortals Fenyx Rising adds its own unique Greek mythology spin on expansive open worlds, and should be praised for what it does differently.
Immortals Fenyx Rising releases on December 3, 2020, for PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.