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Immortals of Aveum Fails To Spellbind Shooter Fans

Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series, PS5
Genre: First-person shooter with magic

I’ll have to give props to Ascendant Studios for their debut with Immortals of Aveum. While it was a commendable effort, it unfortunately didn’t quite meet expectations. A magic-based first-person shooter sounds like a blast on paper, but they missed the mark on their debut title.

 

Wizardry Gone Awry

Immortals of Aveum brings you into an amazing world full of magic, but not everyone wields it. And of course as Uncle Ben once said “With great power comes great responsibility“. Let’s be real, if magic existed we’d all go crazy with it. This is exactly what’s happening in Aveum. Instead of firearms, the two warring nations are seen battling it out with magical shiny gauntlets.

You play as Jak, who is honestly an annoying twat who happens to have a rare magical ability of being a Triarch, which is to wield all three kinds of magic instead of just one. I’m not sure where to start on what annoys me more, but let’s go with him and the storyline, spoiler-free.

So you meet Jak, the protagonist, an orphan staying with a bunch of friends in a little town. One day, big bad Sandrakk the leader of the Rasharnians attack the town, his friends are killed and this is where Jak discovers he’s a Triarch. We then get Gina Torres coming in as General Kirkan, the leader of the Immortals, demanding to be called “sir” and honestly, the way she speaks commands an audience so I would say “Yes, sir” to her any day. I can’t believe we have Gina Torres in a video game, and I’m forced to play as this blonde idiot?

 

Jak is accompanied by General Kirkan, Devyn and Zendara, all part of the Immortals, an elite force for Lucium in the Everwar conflict. The entire scenario feels like a Marvel-made movie and I kept getting flashbacks of Marvel’s Civil War. Every other character felt complete, like they had a personality.

However, Jak never changed after 5 years of being a part of the war. He was still an annoying smartass with no personality except constantly bringing up his dead friend who wanted to fight in the Everwar. You’d think war changes a person, but no, not Jak. A lot of the storyline feels like the characters around Jak make it tolerable. It is however great fun and banter to see the characters play off of each other so I’ll give them that. If not for them, I don’t think I could overlook the trope-y parts of the character writing. The plot is something well, everyone will see coming, but the game still makes it fun to see everything unfold itself while you know what’s about to happen.

Even if that were the case, a typical can be made entertaining with a solid lead character who is charismatic. Jak is neither solid lead material nor charismatic.

Colour-Coded

Surely the gameplay & combat of Immortals of Aveum can supersede its not-so-impressive narrative, right? Well, I hated it. At first, I thought wow, the shooting, setting, and magic system feels refreshing. And it was fun, at least for the first few hours. So in Immortals of Aveum, there are 3 kinds of magic. Red, Blue and Green magic. Maybe I have been spoiled with many other games with magic, but I hated the fact that it was called that. I wanted something more fantastical, something more mythic sounding.

You traverse around the world with your right hand just awkwardly extended out in front of you. Now since Jak is a Triarch, you’re able to wield all three kinds of magic, which is cool, right? No, not really. I’ll explain in a second. Red magic is essentially like a shotgun, which is of course great for close range. Green feels like an SMG and Blue is more of a DMR, so long range. All of them however have massive, and I mean MASSIVE recoil, which was fine for me to adjust to since I play FPS games and I am on Mouse and Keyboard. I think it would definitely be difficult for controller players to enjoy the combat. The red gauntlet, although amazing for close-range combat, would fill your entire screen with unnecessary visual effects. It made everything even more chaotic because the visual clutter would actually blind you sometimes. Sometimes in combat, I struggled to even tell if it was me dealing damage to enemies or taking the damage.

Back to the combat, enemies are sometimes colour-coded. So blue gauntlets are also used to shred armour, and green is used to stop enemies from regenerating health. It’s very unnecessary and feels like instead of being a master of three magic types, you’re really a master of none. At a later part in Immortals of Aveum, you’re forced to battle wave after wave of enemies, which would all require different types of colours and its just annoying and frustrating to just cycle through the gauntlets.

The way fights are designed are all just a strategy on colour codes, which means the game does not really care much about how you position yourself and your movement, which is funny considering things like positioning and movement are important in any FPS game. You’re given a bunch of platforms in areas where you face enemies, and you get to jump, dash and hover over these.

But the battles become repetitive after awhile, with just more enemies being added each time. At the end of the day, it doesn’t seem rewarding or challenging, it just seems overwhelming. You’re also given special spells, which don’t really even do much and a trait tree which you can fill up as you please. This tree is divided between the three magic types, and you can of course pump everything into one tree, but the game forces you to use all three magic types so you are forced to really just level everything. The rest of the experience is rote and repetitive, to the point where I really want it to stop. But no, it keeps going on.

Barrel Smashing Simulator

The game is also a “looter shooter”, so like the Borderlands series. But really, you go around zapping barrels and chests for magical essences and gold. You rarely actually get any good stuff. And when you do, you can just craft better stuff at any time, which is why you still continue about your way destroying barrels for some hard cold monies. This just makes the entire gear system just…. unnecessary. In between box smashing and saving the world, you’ll encounter some puzzles. The puzzles vary from just shooting a statue with the same colour of your gauntlet or having to find statues hidden in obscure places to activate.

You’ll also get more interactive puzzles which involve using the tools they give you, like a limpet, which is some green goo you squirt out that slows things down. All in all, the puzzles seem pretty easy enough but some can be more annoying in terms of just figuring how the hell to solve this one out.

There is a semi-open world for you to explore and you can go back to places you’ve been before to find new loot or get access to areas you couldn’t have gone through before. However, what is the point? It all feels like a filler for what? There’s no satisfaction in exploring the open world only to smash a bunch of boxes or tear my hair out in solving some puzzles. It just doesn’t seem worth the time.

Performance-wise, well… I kept a steady 60 FPS, considering how visually explosive some fights could get. It would drop here and there but most of the time it stayed at 60. I’m happy to say that I managed to play through the entire campaign bug-free and the game did not crash a single time, so props to them for that!

 

Jak Of All Trades, Master of None…

Immortals of Aveum feels like a bunch of different ideas all smushed up together to make one game; none of it feels cohesive or even forms a standout experience. The storyline is something you see coming, although it does it in a way that still makes you want to play it out to see it actually happen, despite the horrible combat and puzzles you have to go through to get there.

The combat can definitely be improved as well as the movement so fights don’t seem well.. repetitive and frustratingly boring at times to the point of you just begging for it to end. The atmosphere and world they have built are without a doubt amazing. It’s a crying shame, because there is so much potential here. Despite all of its drawbacks, which is quite an enormous amount, I did somehow find myself enjoying little parts of the game. But just a fraction; not enough to recommend it to people in good faith.

 

Pros

  • Stunning visuals.
  • Side characters are somewhat memorable, especially Gina Torres’.

 

Cons

  • Predictable storyline & unlikeable protagonist.
  • Unnecessary gear system.
  • Combat gets overwhelming and chaotic.
  • Dull side content.

 

Final Score: 40/100

Review copy provided by EA.

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  1. Immortals of Aveum Receives Substantial Price Drop Within Months Of Launch | Kakuchopurei

    December 11, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    […] Check out our review here! […]

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