Magic has driven the fantastical world of Aveum into decay under an oppressive regime. Replacing guns and traditional weapons with spellbinding gauntlets and sorcery, Immortals of Aveum puts a magical spin on the First-Person Shooter genre with frantic elemental gameplay that literally puts power in the player’s hands to stand alongside a legendary faction known as the Immortals.
Playing as Jak, a teenager pickpocketing his way through the world alongside a group of other youngsters, a dormant power awakens within him during the opening moments of despair. Possessing the power of a Triarch, an incredibly rare ability to wield all three forms of Aveum’s magic simultaneously, Jak is unwillingly thrust into the Everwar, a millenia long struggle for control over the magic of Aveum.
Fast paced gameplay, light environmental puzzle solving and a world full of secrets and abilities to discover come together in the Ascendant Studios developed adventure that offers a fun alternative to traditional FPS titles. Immortals of Aveum constantly evolves and challenges players to master the magic at their fingertips in extremely satisfying fashion.
Blending a medieval type of world with highly advanced technology sets Immortals of Aveum apart from traditional FPS settings by delivering a world that is unique in its arcane aesthetic and how it is explored. The contrast of styles works wonderfully and sets the stage for Jak’s adventure as one that is consistently unique and exciting.
Jak’s place in the world of Aveum is driven by circumstance, removing him from his humble beginnings in a war-torn society, seeing him saved by the Immortals during a tragic series of events and cast on the path of fighting on the frontlines of the Everwar with his newfound magical abilities. Rising through the ranks of the Immortals takes him on a journey of self-discovery, uncovering secrets of both sides of the war and learning what’s truly at stake.
Supported by an interesting, well developed, and diverse cast of characters, Jak’s companions remain interesting. The supporting cast continue to develop throughout the course of the adventure in ways that meaningfully raise the personal stakes of their relationships while also unravelling their individual parts in the grand scheme of the Everwar’s brutal history and imminent climax.
Playing on the medium difficulty my playthrough of the rather linear adventure took just ten hours, surprisingly short, but one that feels perfect to capture the magic of Immortals of Aveum without overstaying its welcome. Perfect length for the time-poor gamer in all of us. Riddled with plot twists and meaningful character development the main quest line of the story is just the beginning of what’s on offer, with a wonderful world of hidden secrets and challenges accessible before and after the credits have rolled.
The gameplay in Immortals of Aveum continues to evolve throughout the adventure, with new abilities constantly introduced that challenge the player to juggle and master the magic within via engaging gameplay and puzzle solving. Equipped with gauntlet-like arm accessories known as Sigils, Jak can fire elemental magic in various capacities by alternating between the three core Sigils at his disposal.
Red magic acts similar to a shotgun with high impact, close range strikes that deal slow but devastating damage. Green magic offers more rapid but weaker ranged attacks and blue magic feels more like single shot assault rifles or high-powered pistols when comparing to traditional FPS arsenals.
Equipping newly found or crafted Sigils based on the three primary-coloured Sigils allows new ways to customise the combat playstyles with varying damage, rates of fire and complimentary impacts such as homing projectiles, explosions and slowing of time. Switching between the three Sigils is the simple press of a button, akin to switching guns. Understanding the diverse variety of enemy types is key to combat as the colour of the enemy, or their shield, indicates which Sigil will be most effective. For example, the red Sigil will deal more damage against red enemies while using blue magic will still deal damage, albeit less than red.
It’s simplistic yet effective and challenges the player to think a little rather than simply blasting through anyone with anything. On top of the standard Sigil attacks, special abilities can be unlocked that deal incredible damage, with one of each Sigil colour becoming available through story progression to pack a greater magical punch to the larger enemy types introduced later into the campaign. These require brief cooldowns and can be replenished by using a totem to restore ‘Mana’, the magic required to unleash them. As well as these special attacks, an ultimate-type ability is available that unleashes a powerful, continuous beam of energy that combines all three Sigils and their respective types of magic that decimates any enemy found in its path.
Less impactful abilities are also available that allow Jak to use a Lash that can pull weaker enemies up close for intimate encounters or pull him up to larger enemies, a disruption beam that can stagger enemies and a Lumpet throwable that can slow an enemy’s movement. These each have brief cooldowns but with the variety of combat options at the player’s disposal, managing all of the cooldowns for the different types of abilities is easy given the fast paced and instant Sigil switching nature of the gameplay. Not only can these abilities be used in combat, but they can also be used on specific parts of the environment for traversal, platforming and puzzle solving.
Blending primary attacks from the Sigils, casting of special abilities and manoeuvring the battlefield with snappy movement through a dash ability, hovering and double jumps keeps the action frantic and fast paced at all times. The absence of the ability to mantle or clamour onto higher platforms restricts traversal somewhat, a feature that would significantly improve the ease of traversal. The inclusion of a magical barrier that serves as a shield that can be summoned is a godsend, allowing Jak to play defensive while still casting attacks from behind it. This too has a cooldown after it’s been broken.
The combat is incredibly satisfying and the rate at which new combat elements and abilities are introduced keeps the adventure refreshing and evolving throughout. Environmental puzzles are rather simple, tasking the player with utilising the appropriate Sigil with their corresponding coloured objects in the environment, opening doors and new pathways leading to special chests tucked away with new gear, gold or crafting materials.
The players favourite gear, and scavenged crafting materials can be used throughout the game to help players become even more powerful through the use of forges. Forges are scattered throughout the world where Jak can craft and upgrade gear at the cost of gold and elemental materials found in the wild, or dismantle unwanted pieces in exchange for gold and materials. As well as improving his gear, Jak can unlock abilities within a skill tree aligned with each of the three colours of magic by spending Ascendant points, essentially level up points in the traditional sense. Enhancing the stats and passive elements of each of the three types of magic allows the player to truly empower each type of Sigil to complement their playstyle and Sigil of choice.
Immortals of Aveum is a genuinely beautiful world to explore and experience, packed with gorgeous vistas and diverse biomes, interesting enemy design and strikingly colourful combat encounters. Aveum is consistently vibrant and alive despite the deteriorating state of the world. Punchy sound design, and ominous and dramatic scores punctuate the epic adventure from start to finish, highlighting the world-ending stakes at play in the power struggle for the magic of Aveum.
Surprisingly modernised language and colloquialisms inject a delightful spin on the high fantasy setting, replacing the traditional old English feel of this type of game with a balance of accents and performances that give Immortals of Aveum a slight, modern edge.
To this end it is worth noting that explicit language positions Immortals of Aveum as a title not aimed at younger players. The absence of any form of co-operative or multiplayer play render this strictly single player experience as one for mature audiences only.
Review by Games of DAYNE
Games of DAYNE’s written works can also be found at his website HERE.
* A digital code for Immortals of Aveum was kindly provided to Xbox Gamer Dad for the purpose of this review. Immortals of Aveum is available right now *
Immortals of Aveum is an energetic adventure packed with engaging gameplay, a deep and interesting narrative and a beautiful world full of things to discover beyond the main quest line. Boasting quip happy characters, colourful language and eccentric personalities, Immortals of Aveum is truly a diverse experience that fires on all magical cylinders in one of the most refreshing FPS experiences to date.
- Very fun, energetic gameplay
- Well developed cast of characters
- Interesting story
- Perfect length that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome
- Modernised take on the setting is refreshing
- Missed opportunity with lack of co-op or additional game modes
- Inability to mantle doesn’t make sense