Immortals of Aveum Blurs the Lines Between Indie and AAA and Delivers a Very Exciting Experience

The first-person genre encapsulates many different gameplay elements. Whether it be a shooter or platformer, there’s room to experiment with these mechanics to deliver a unique experience to players. While many opt to simply draw you in with action and gunplay, developer Ascendant Studios is seemingly crafting a magical world of exploration, skill-based shooting, and narrative in their upcoming release, Immortals of Aveum. After playing around 3 hours of the game, I was surprised by just how polished this experience was. Coming from a small team of veteran developers may have helped, but this game ultimately blurs the lines between indie and AAA games.

Immortals of Aveum introduces the protagonist Jak. In the opening moments, he struggles to come to terms with what has been taken from him and his ability to fight back. However, General Kirkan of the Immortals sees something in him and trains him to channel his magic. Jak carries the role of what is known as an Unforeseen, which means he develops his magical abilities later in life. After a time jump of four years, we get an idea of how he has grown into a confident fighter, but we also see ways in which he can improve.

The character of Jak came off a bit flat to me during his introduction. I couldn’t play through the very first chapter, so I couldn’t properly understand his backstory, but his personality just screamed straight to television Disney Chanel teen movie. However, that changed throughout my time playing, and I began to appreciate how he struggles with his responsibilities as a fighter and his inner drive to push himself past his capabilities. In addition, I met a host of characters that paint a picture of the state of the world and the war at hand. Still, I appreciated how the narrative team didn’t make these characters all likable, as their actions border on chaotic neutral in some instances.

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The narrative here is a significant highlight of the overall experience. While action has its moments in the spotlight, the developer does a great job of laying out the rules of this world without overly lore dumping. There are also some nice menus that provide further context into the story if you want more details. I’m glad there’s a decent foundation of strong characters to carry the narrative throughout the game.

Now, when it comes to gunplay and exploration, I’d say Immortals of Aveum can be compared to Ghostwire Tokyo meets DOOM. When navigating the environments, exploration is rewarded with new weapons and credits. Still, movement is fast when the action ramps up and requires you to be conscious of your ammo and other cooldowns.

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There are several ways to approach combat, but you’ll constantly be forced to use the entire arsenal to survive. Even though we’re dealing with magic here, weapons need to be reloaded. There are three weapon types to cycle through, and depending on the equipped weapon, some sacrifice ammo capacity for power, and vice versa.

Between reloads, you can utilize other battle options such as a grappling hook, melee, or special attack. As a result, there’s a flow to combat that makes everything appear fluid. As the player, it’s tough not to feel like a badass when taking down groups of enemies with a host of different weapons. Still, understanding your loadout and customizing it to fit your playstyle is crucial.

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I was able to upgrade my weapons and even Jak’s base stats across level-ups. It gives the incentive to explore and check everything before progressing the story. Thankfully, the environments are varied and rarely blend in with each other. I had a sense of scale throughout each area, but I couldn’t determine how grand this adventure gets and how many different areas the campaign comprises.

Further, light puzzles require you to utilize your magic abilities to access credits and other rewards. These aren’t meant to stump you, but it’s great for pacing the overall levels, so it’s not just constant back-to-back battles. I would say that I wish there were an option to grab onto the ledges of cliffs since I died a little too much after misjudging the distance of a jump.

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Immortals of Aveum is a fantasy FPS at its finest. The enjoyment stems from cycling through an arsenal of magical weapons to take down enemies while swiftly platforming around gorgeous environments is unmatched compared to recent releases in this genre. The narrative also manages to shine throughout the game as an emphasis on establishing a great cast of characters can be seen in every scene.

I’m looking forward to understanding more of this magical world when the game launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC on July 20, 2023.

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.