There’s a lot riding on Immortals of Aveum as Ascendant Studios aims to reinvent the wheel with this so-called magic shooter. The game has been crafted by industry veterans including the founder Bret Robbins. Bret has worked on multiple triple-A video games in his career including the Call of Duty series, Gex and Dead Space. His new studio is made up of similar veterans and this new Immortals of Aveum project has been signed on with EA Originals for a worldwide release later this year.
Immortals of Aveum is described as a single-player, first-person magic shooter. If anything, the game has been directly compared to the Call of Duty series by the studio itself. Think of those large-scale battles that take place in COD. Replace the helicopters with dragons, the AK47s with a magic shooting thingamabob gauntlet and you have yourself Immortals of Aveum.
During a media preview of the game, Bret discussed some of the inspiration for the project and it was clear he wanted to forge a new genre that isn’t as slow and RPG-esque as say Skyrim, but at the same time, not a DOOM magic shooter either.
Bret says that Immortals of Aveum is a large-scale game with an explosive campaign set to last around 25 hours. Its high-budget set pieces are best compared to the likes of Call of Duty’s greatest moments.
A big sell for Immortals of Aveum is its development on Unreal Engine 5.1. This means the project has been built using some of the latest and greatest tech in gaming. It will feature highly detailed environments, and some pretty impressive facial animations from what I have seen, and the fast-paced magic combat looks glorious on screen.
So what is this game about? In Immortals of Aveum, you take on the role of a man named Jak. Jak is a Magnus, also known as a Battlemage. Jak was originally born without any magical abilities at all. Due to an unforeseen event, he somehow obtained the power to wield magic. However, unlike most Battlemages, Jak is a Tri-arch and is able to wield all three magic power elements in Aveum.
At the start of the game, Jak is recruited by a group of defenders known as the Immortals. They are tasked with protecting the world while at the same time, protecting magic and the Ley Lines that are spread across the land.
Aveum is also distinguishable thanks to its location called “The Wound”. This is a massive, endless chasm that spans the world. It is a pit that, at the time of the game, is growing every day and the people of Aveum don’t know why. At the centre of The Wound stands a massive statue called the Pentisa. This statue has a mysterious origin and the people of Aveum look at the being chiselled into it as a god.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an action game without war and the game picks up in the middle of a century-long battle called the Everwar. If you haven’t guessed by now, the Everwar is a war over the magic in Aveum as both sides fight over the control over magic and the Ley Lines. These Ley Lines are made up of Blue, Red and Green magic and they tie into the game’s combat.
Jak gets roped into this war after becoming an Immortal and plays a big role against Sandrakk, a power-hungry leader who wants to rule over Aveum with the use of its magic.
The gameplay demo I watched during the media presentation covered quite a number of things. For starters, the combat in Immortals of Aveum revolves around the three elements of magic. Blue magic is a long-shot, accurate element that can shoot far into the distance. Red magic acts as a close-range blast which sort of resembled a shotgun shot. Green seems to be a fast-shooting, rapid-fire spell that can hone in on targets.
Jak also has a shield he can pull up at any time to help block incoming damage. He also has a sort of grapple-looking attack that can grab enemies and yank them towards him.
There’s also a handful of unique attacks called Furies in Immortals of Aveum. These are mana-based spells which are specialised and use the mana resource to pull off. Once consumed, players will have to collect mana shard in order to replenish this bar. This mana bar isn’t used to perform any basic attacks such as the Red black and Blue magic shots.
With that in mind, these elements are all highly customizable through Jak’s Sigil, which is the gauntlet he uses to wield all this fancy magic. Rings, bracers and totems are all discoverable in the world too. These items come with different perks which essentially allow players to craft their own unique build and playstyle.
The combat in Immortals of Aveum is all about wielding cool-looking spells and shooting them at enemies. However, the game’s elemental magic plays a big role in how works. For example, enemies come with various weaknesses and are even shielded by different elements. Jak needs to use Red magic to take down Red shields, for example.
Magical attacks are also expandable through a talent screen. These talents change the way Jak wields a certain attack. Some increase the range of certain shots while others completely warp how you use the ability. The studio says the combination of the Talent tree, gear, rings and other items will provide a detailed RPG system to craft their character.
The demo spanned a few missions and even showcased some of the later-game magic attacks Jak has at his disposal. One Green magic shot I noticed saw Jak let loose three large homing attack beams which landed and exploded on enemies. Jak also had an item in his left hand that seemingly shot out large green balls which stuck themselves onto enemies and exploded after a certain time.
The Green magic even turned into what looked like a mini-gun barrel and sprayed bullets out of it. As for the other elements, I spotted a cool-looking blue shockwave attack that Jak performed which knocked enemies back.
Contents of the Deluxe Edition now available to pre-order
From what I saw, Immortals of Aveum definitely looks like it has the action nailed down. If I had to compare it to something, I would say its first-person shooting combat is as fast as DOOM but the magic sets it apart for sure. I was kind of over the age of magic gauntlets after playing Forspoken and recently, Atlas Fallen. However, after seeing Immortals of Aveum in action, I am keen to see more.
I think the idea of COD magic alone makes me excited. If it can deliver even half of the blockbuster action we get from Call of Duty, this game might be the start of a new franchise and some hardcore fans.
Immortals of Aveum is set to launch on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC on 20 July 2023.