Immortals of Aveum is more of a conventional first person shooter than you might think. Yes, it’s called a “magic shooter,” but that magic closely resembles the guns you’ll see in any fast-paced FPS.
Red magic is your shotgun, blue is your assault rifle, and green is your SMG. Magic or not, though, Immortals of Aveum is a really good shooter.
It’s a shooter in the mold of modern Doom, with almost all of the action coming at breakneck speed. With a dodge, a double jump, general fast movement, and enemies that can teleport around, staying on the move is a must.
With enemies spawning in as you move between parts of the open-ish world, Immortals shares more than a little DNA with arena shooters.
The magical weapons are really satisfying to use too. Blasting away at legions of giant creatures makes you feel really powerful, even when the difficulty ramps up a little in the final third.
You also get different abilities to change up the encounters. You can fire magical waves of rocks, use a grappling hook to pull enemies closer, fire an ultimate ability of a super-powerful magic beam, and slow enemies down with a strange kind of gloop you can fire.
There’s also some tactical thinking needed in most combat scenarios too. Certain enemies are weak to particular types of magic, and you’ll need to use one of the three types to break an enemy's shield.
Therefore, you’ll be spamming triangle to switch between your three main weapons, making sure you have the right one for the situation you’re in. In a lot of fights, you’ll need to use all three. It’s rare that you can blast your way through with just one, as much as I wished I could keep the shotgun equipped at all times. The green magic, or SMG-like weapon, feels significantly weaker than the other two, so I only used it when I really had to.
I also didn’t feel like many of the Talents (skills), upgrades, rings, or relics you equip really did anything to augment your combat abilities or change up the flow. You’re introduced to enough new things as part of the story that that isn’t really an issue, but it may have been if the game was much longer.
Shorter than anticipated
Speaking of the length of Immortals of Aveum. Before jumping in, I read that the developers had said it takes 20-25 hours to beat the game’s main story, with more to tidy up all the golden chests and combat challenge levels. I know I’m someone who blitzes through games, but it only took me 10-12 hours to beat the story.
I think that’s the perfect length for Immortals of Aveum, though. If it truly was double that, I’m convinced the combat would be pretty tiresome towards the end without additional variety being added.
All in all though, Immortals of Aveum’s combat is a lot of fun. There’s something special about a well designed, fast-paced shooter and Ascendant Studios’s debut game certainly qualifies.
Aveum is a cool place
Aveum is an interesting place to explore too. Massive castles, open hillside towns, floating wooden structures, mystical realms, and much more make up the world.
There’s fast travel and the need to return to places you’ve previously visited multiple times, so it’s somewhat open world, but the main story is very much a linear adventure.
Aside from some challenge levels to complete and gold chests to search for, there aren’t any side quests, so the structure of the world makes it feel bigger than it actually is.
It’s a beautiful and varied world, though. Some of the textures look a little low-detail, but when the scale of Aveum is shown off, it’s really impressive. The more cinematic cutscenes are really well directed too.
The main reason to actually explore every level in Immortals of Aveum is so that you can amass huge collections of gold and essence, which allow you to upgrade your gear. The more you explore, the easier the game will be as you progress.
Getting to some of the golden chests that contain the best gear, or large amounts of the currency you need to upgrade what you already have, requires some puzzle solving, and many of them are well designed.
Most of them involve using your various abilities to reach hidden areas, unlocking doors using refracted lasers, or some tougher platforming. They’re also cleverly introduced early in the game, when you don’t even have the tool to solve them, ensuring you’re always thinking about where to explore for a second or third time.
Immortals of Aveum’s story is the aspect I had the most issues with. From the frantic start, I found it tough to keep up with. Loads of names and snippets of lore being thrown at you has always been my issue with fantasy stories, and it’s pretty intense in Immortals.
About half way through, as the plot began to focus on one path, I started to connect with it more, but too much of the backstory of Aveum went soaring over my head.
I don’t think that’s helped by the fact that Jak simply isn’t a particularly engaging character. Darren Barnet’s performance is good, but Jak’s personality is pretty one dimensional, unlike a lot of the supporting cast. Gina Torres (of my favourite TV show, Suits, fame) gives a stand out performance as General Kirkan, who’s leading the efforts to end the everwar alongside Jak, and she’s not given the awkward dialogue that some of the other characters are.
Immortals of Aveum tries to combine jokey, modern colloquialisms with traditional fantasy writing styles, and it really doesn’t work. Cheesy banter being intertwined with serious conversation about a world-ending war effort only comes off as jarring.
As I said, though, the last few hours of Immortals’ story is the highlight, as the heroic team’s objectives become a lot clearer and the world opens up.
Thankfully, the combat is strong enough throughout that a lacklustre story is never much of an issue. A new, original, and fast-paced shooter is something I’ve been looking for for a while, and Immortals of Aveum certainly satisfies that itch.
Immortals of Aveum was reviewed on PlayStation 5 with code provided by the publisher.