Following last month’s confirmation that a planned sequel to Ubisoft’s enjoyable open-world romp Immortals: Fenyx Rising had been cancelled, new details of the ill-fated project have emerged, including word it would have combined elements of Elden Ring and Wind Waker to create a follow-up very different from the original.
As reported by Axios, citing two sources familiar with Immortals 2’s development, work on the project (codenamed Oxygen) began in 2021. It was to be a considerable departure from the 2020 original, ditching that game’s Greek mythology focus in favour of a setting inspired by Hawaiian Polynesian culture – as we’ve heard before. Other planned changes, according to Axios, included a more realistic graphical style, the removal of the first game’s narrator, less emphasis on puzzle solving, and the addition of a story driven by player choice.
Additionally, Immortals 2 was reportedly aiming to significantly shake up Ubisoft’s familiar open-world formula, trading an overabundance of quest markers and guidance in favour of an Elden-Ring-inspired set-up that would require players to figure out their own path forward – by tracking animals, navigating via the stars, or following the wind – as they sailed between and explored fictional islands inspired by the likes of New Zealand, Tahiti, Easter Island, and Hawaii.
Axios’ sources say players – again controlling a heavily customisable protagonist, with a choice of gender – would need to impress Polynesian gods this time around, granting them elemental and shape-shifting powers, as well new tattoos based the direction their choices took the story. Additionally, it’s claimed players’ actions would impact the land around them.
Immortals 2 was, then, a significatnly more ambitious game compared to its predecessor, and enough of a departure that Ubisoft was reportedly considering whether it should be rebranded as an original game. Axios says the team at Ubisoft’s Quebec studio (working alongside Polynesian consultants) had assembled several playable hours in an internal demo by spring of this year, but ultimately Ubisoft opted to pull the plug over cost concerns – a decision that reportedly took the team by surprise.
When Ubisoft confirmed it had cancelled the project back in July, it said the move was a result of “redirecting and reallocating some creative teams and resources within the Quebec studio to other unannounced projects.” It added that “the expertise and technologies these teams developed will serve as an accelerator for the development of these key projects focused on our biggest brands.” Ubisoft has, of course, made no secret of the fact it plans to go all-on on its biggest titles, most notably Assassin’s Creed, after financial challenges in recent years.