Immortals’ New DLC Taught Me A Lot About Chinese Mythology

Immortals’ New DLC Taught Me A Lot About Chinese Mythology
Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku
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It’s probably fair to say most DLC isn’t that great or memorable. That was the case with the first download for Immortals Fenyx Rising, which added a bunch of new puzzles and not much else. However, the game’s second DLC, Myths of the Eastern Realms, is a rare example of good downloadable content. In fact, this new DLC set in ancient China is so good I wish it were its own game.

Released earlier today, Myths of the Eastern Realms is a big departure from the previous DLC and the original game. Before you played as a Greek hero helping the gods from Greek mythology with their problems and fetch quests. In Eastern Realms, you are no longer in ancient Greece or even Europe. Instead, things take place in ancient China, starring Ku, a young man who wakes up after a big disaster to find he’s the only human survivor. Quickly he meets Nuwa, a powerful goddess. The pair team up, eventually, to stop the evil infecting the Earth and Heaven above.

The big appeal of this new DLC is its fresh setting and storyline. I’ll fully admit, I know next to nothing about Chinese mythology, and I bet I’m not alone in my ignorance. But this lack of knowledge meant that Myths of the Eastern Realms felt so exciting. As I played through the first two hours I found myself constantly going, “Who’s that?!” or, “Wow, what a cool story!” Compared to the main game, which featured Greek gods I’m extremely familiar with, I was so much more engaged and ready to learn more, just because I had no idea what was going on. I’ve already done some Googling and Wikipedia surfing because of this game, and as someone who genuinely enjoys learning new things, that’s a huge plus.

Being a game that is set in ancient China and is made by a game studio in China, I really wish it were available as a separate $15 side game. I think a lot of folks who didn’t have an interest in Immortals and its arguably boring Greek setting might get a kick out of exploring a world rarely seen in Western video games. Maybe one day Ubisoft will do this. But for now, you’ll need the full Immortals game to play.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

As for how it actually plays, there’s a reason I’ve waited until now to talk about it. Did you play Immortals? If so, you’ve mostly experienced what Eastern Realms has to offer. There is some unique-to-this-DLC stuff, like new puzzle mechanics involving clouds and wind, but most of this game is a reskin of the original title. Which isn’t a bad thing if, like me, you enjoyed that game a lot. But if you didn’t like Immortals: Fenyx Rising, its new setting is unlikely to address anything you took issue with.

Something to note: If you found the writing of Immortals to be overly grating, Eastern Realms tones this down a bunch. It’s still there, that slightly too-jokey vibe that put many players off the original game, but it pops up far less often. My guess is this had a smaller budget, so it has less voice acting overall. It’s a benefit for those who found Zeus annoying though.

Myths of the Eastern Realms won’t win over players who hated Immortals, but for folks looking to learn something new, or who just want more puzzle-filled open-world action, this is exactly the sort of DLC we should see more of.

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Comments

  • // a lot of folks who didn’t have an interest in Immortals and its arguably boring Greek setting //
    Is it boring because it’s a Greek setting?
    Or is it boring purely because it’s been seen repeatedly in past games already?

    Because there is a VERY significant difference, and the latter is not the fault of a Greek setting/focus in the slightest. You’d likely be singing the same tune about Chinese settings if they had been as heavily focused on in the past as Greek settings.

    In my opinion those bored folks are missing out on one of the best Greek settings in a game in a good long while.

    • Brings to mind the 1,001 retellings of Sun Wukong and Journey to the West. I’m sure it was a nice flip for them to have been able to play with Greek legends.

      I don’t seem to remember criticisms about Hades and the done to death Greek mythology.

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