It started really good, but that did not last for me, unfortunately.
First of all, a bit of context: I have not played "Breath of The Wild", which inspired this game, but I did play "Genshin Impact", which is supposed to be (and is) quite similar gameplay wise. This means, that some of my complaints may be intrinsic to this type of games in general, not this game specifically. I also finished "Assassin's Creed Odyssey", which is somewhat similar both in terms of open-world and general Greek mythology theme.
The prologue of the game felt quite nice. There was a lot of humor, but it was well-paced and [usually] well-placed. The way you were introduced to mechanics through the story was good, even though the "mystery" of the first quest chain ended up to be a bit contrived. The quest chain also did not feel as if it was forcing you to just follow it, providing you enough time to wander about, if you wanted. The combat was simple, but fun, although I do not understand why most of the monsters were flying away from me at high speeds almost on every kill: that felt out of place. It was quite a good experience overall. But then I reached the point, when the game truly became open-world, and everything collapsed.
The humor in dialogues started feeling stale and even annoying. There was too much of it, even though there were moments of silences during free-roaming. I honestly became tired of it pretty soon, because almost every line of dialogue tried to be a joke of some kind. Furthermore the gods did not differ that much from each other, essentially just voices and some theme for jokes, that carried over from dialogue to dialogue. They were annoying and utterly pointless in their existence. To me this also ruined the story, which obviously did not try to invent anything to begin with.
The combat became stale pretty fast, too. It was quite repetitive, and I honestly did not see much point in skills, that you can buy with coins here. There was not that much depth to it. Perhaps, if I played on higher difficulty, that would have been different, but I think it would have just made me use dodge more often. Although, it did bring a little bit of satisfaction when I tried to keep the combo meter high and succeeded, which did not seem to do anything in terms of rewards. I also did not like the fact that 3 or 4 of the skills (godly powers) were unlocked through coins without any story behind them, as the rest of them. I find this a wasted opportunity, because they are god powers, not regular physical skills as in latest Assassin's Creed trilogy, so some short story would have been nice. It could have benefited from elemental effects, too, because they can make fighting a bit more diverse.
What's worse, the open world felt pointless, or rather it was here to stretch out the experience. A very good example is a quest, where you need to move a large pearl into the sea. First you need to walk quite a distance towards the pearl, and then you need to push it towards the sea for like 10 minutes, if not more. It felt like a chore, and not because of monsters forced on you along the path: it was slow and uninteresting. Before this I completed a vault where you needed to push balls to solve a puzzle and even that was much more interesting.
But even if that was not the case, I did not feel inspired to walk around this world. Yes, it looks quite beautiful, no argument from me there, and there is stuff to do there, which is mostly puzzles and vaults (which are kind of puzzles, too), but that's not enough. When I played Genshin, I was progressing slowly through the story, because I was constantly noticing something interesting a bit off the path I had to follow and I went there to investigate, even if there was nothing interesting, in the end. Things were placed on the map in right places to specifically trigger your curiosity. There were not things like this in Fenyx Rising, most of the things I noticed when looking around were generic or just mountainy landscapes.
Even if there were more things picking my curiosity, I do not think I would have went for them, because traversal of the world was boring, too. Or maybe just because I did not like quite a few things about it:
- To jump higher you can hold jump button, but there is not that much difference in height. And it's mostly pointless, since you unlock double-jump pretty earlier in the game, too (as part of main story).
- To glide you need to press jump button and then press glide button, which is a separate one. For me it often resulted in losing just a little bit of height, because I needed to switch to a different button. I would prefer to start gliding by holding jump button, and I believe this is how it worked in Genshin.
- There is not that much difference between running horse and running you. There is a small difference in speed, but it's like 10 vs 11 meters/second. Maybe 10 vs 12. The only real benefit from a horse is that it's a secondary stamina meter, meaning that you can move at this speed longer, but this gets ruined by the fact that you need to summon the horse and then to drop off of it.
- There is a lot of mountains that you just have to climb, and climbing is slow. Of course, I would not expect the speed of AC Odyssey here, but... No, scratch that, here it would have made much more sense, because this is a fairy tail, while AC Odyssey is, technically, not. Increasing speed even at the cost of stamina would have been a godsend here. Or at least a way to speed it up through upgrades.
I remember playing AC Odyssey and just loving to go around checking those question marks on map. It did not have the design filled with curious things "along the way" as Genshin had, but the feeling that traversal of the world had was really good. Not as good as web-swinging in Spider-Man games or even in AC Unity, but good enough for me to get satisfaction just from running around.
Overall, I think this game suffered from its ambitions. If this was a more linear experience with somewhat smaller world, which is open more in a sense of Bioshock type of games, rather than true open-world, with traversal having feeling closer to Assassin's Creed games, with elemental effects in combat, a bit less humor, but more detailed characters - it could have been a really good game. But I guess I am describing something really different, so maybe this is just not a game for me. Good thing, that I, at least, got it at a discount.