EA and Ascendant Studios’ Immortals of Aveum may be limited by its classification as a first-person shooter, but there is pretty much nothing out there that manages to infuse high fantasy with a non-stop barrage of magical projectiles that is simply entertaining. Doom Eternal might have the sci-fi high ground, but this new kid on the block definitely gives the prime single-player FPS genre a good shake-up.
Rather than equip players with guns, it is all about vibrant, coloured magic that does the heavy lifting here. As Jak (Darren Barnet from Netflix’s Never Have I Ever), an individual discovered to possess the power to wield all three forms of magic present in Aveum as a Triarch Magnus, it is now down to the player to end the millennia-long Everwar and defeat the central villain.
As far as fantasy tropes go, Immortals of Aveum doesn’t veer off course that much, but at the very least, the general narrative is intriguing enough to keep players interested. While a battle between good and evil is easy to get behind, the game provides some neat contemporary allegories along the way, and several well-implemented twists and turns make for a reasonably wild ride. The performances by the cast, both for motion capture and voice acting, also go a long way in keeping you invested in the fate of this world.
But that would all be for nought if the action couldn’t keep up, and this is where the game truly shines. The mixture of intense and visually stunning combat with a light sprinkling of platforming and puzzling makes the 20 to 25-hour adventure constantly enjoyable and moving along briskly.
Starting with just a basic spell for attack, Jak will grow into his role as the Triarch Magnus alongside the player. The three base categories of spells may feel limiting at first glance – blue magic delivers precise ranged strikes, green magic is all about speed, and red magic brings destruction up close – but they are anything but thanks to the different sigils Jak can equip that affects the statistics of the growing library of spells.
Interesting additions such as piercing magic, homing projectiles, and black hole generation only spice things up further. That’s not all, as there are also restorative spells to learn, magic that can help with platforming and puzzles, and even an ultimate attack of sorts that combines all three colours into a concentrate beam attack for unlimited damage potential. Combat is truly magical in the world of Immortals of Aveum, especially as players can constantly refine their loadouts as new spells are added to the rotation.
It also helps greatly that the enemy is never too shy to mix things up, not just with the big, bad bosses but also the grunts in different shapes and sizes. With various strengths and weaknesses, players must master the art of juggling reload times, ability cooldown, and constant movement to overcome the dangers ahead. There’s simply no room to hide, only space for arcane conflict that moves fast and smoothly, and is spectacular to watch with all the striking colours on display.
Undoubtedly, repetitiveness can be a worry, but the many systems at work during combat will keep players both on their toes and the edge, and the room for experimentation makes it worthwhile to engage in spellbinding fisticuffs every so often. Things might get messy, or you might discover an innate talent for ruthless efficiency in Aveum; either way, boredom will be kept at arm’s length.
Aside from the spirited fighting, the world is also well crafted with gorgeous environments that just scream medieval fantasy. While certain areas feel more like filler, the game knows it looks good most of the time and is not afraid to let players loose in large play areas ripe for deeper exploration and secrets to uncover.
The juxtaposition of a fantasy world that just so happens to be technologically advanced makes for an aesthetic quite unique to Immortals, one that the studio has truly taken advantage of in delivering its lore and world design. The true question is whether players have the patience to see things through to the end to open up these areas further. It can often be exciting to learn of things that are tantalisingly out of reach, but Immortals of Aveum can do a better job of crafting the progression in a way so that players will not engage in frustratingly futile attempts without necessarily knowing that it is still early days to be breaking down a magical barrier or jumping a vast gap.
Ultimately, Immortals of Aveum stands tall in the first-person shooter genre, replacing guns and bullets with magical mayhem. The combat is engrossing and intense, the puzzles and platforming provide plenty of reasons to enjoy the details, and its full focus on a single-player experience pays dividends with a solid campaign that bodes well for building something even bigger. True to its name, perhaps this is one game that will definitely live long in the memory.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
An impressive first outing for Ascendant Studios, Immortals of Aveum elevates first-person combat with a magical touch, while making sure its world is made for competent platforming and puzzle-solving.
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Story - 8/10
Presentation - 9/10
Value - 8.5/10