Aveum is no magic, just an ordinary game.

Veterans of first person shooters try out magic in EA's upcoming fantasy action game.

August 22nd 2023.

Aveum is no magic, just an ordinary game.
Immortals Of Aveum – a name that doesn’t inspire confidence. EA’s fantasy first person shooter, with its big budget and star-studded cast, has plenty of potential. But with some of the most polished games in recent memory as its inspiration, the shortcomings of Immortals of Aveum become even more glaring.

You play as young sorcerer Jak, thrust into an elite order of battlemages, the Immortals, to fight in the escalating Everwar. Jak’s character is pitched as a cocky protagonist pulled into a conflict way above his station, but the script fails to give him much more than forced humour as a personality trait. Meanwhile, Gina Torres’ General Kirkan provides some of the gravitas the story is lacking.

The real meat of Immortals is the combat. There are three types of magic, blue, green, and red, each with their own upgradeable weapons. You also get access to other abilities like a Bulletstorm-style lash, green blob limpets, and Furies, powerful spells with a mana gauge. The game gives you a taste of the full breadth of its combat early on, and the surprisingly flexible skill tree allows you to customise and upgrade your magic to your preference.

There are some great set pieces in Immortals of Aveum, such as an urgent rush to the control room of a giant humanoid ship. But it’s in the optional Shroudfane portals where the potential of the toolset is truly pushed to its exciting limits. These tailored challenges, such as difficult combat runs, spinning platform assault courses, and souped-up bosses, are often more interesting than the main campaign.

However, Immortals of Aveum desperately strives to emulate 2018’s God Of War, and this only highlights its flaws. The world of Aveum is bland and generic, and the impact of pivotal cut scenes is often undercut by stiff facial animation or bizarrely abrupt direction. It’s also noticeable in the gameplay; one recurring boss simply drops through the floor when it’s killed. A day one patch promised to iron out some performance issues, but it’s unlikely to make Immortals feel like a cohesive, polished experience.
Immortals Of Aveum – a terrible name does not help. As original IPs become increasingly rare, Immortals Of Aveum is a risky venture from EA, helmed by Dead Space director and Call of Duty veteran Bret Robbins. It is a fantasy first-person shooter that draws from a range of inspirations, including God Of War, Bioshock Infinite, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its lead character is a young sorcerer called Jak, played by Darren Barnet from Netflix series Never Have I Ever, who is thrown into an escalating conflict between two sides.

The game starts out with its Marvel inspirations on its sleeve. Jak is quip-tastic and cocky, but his characterisation is often forced and grating. Fortunately, Gina Torres as Jak's mentor General Kirkan lends the story some of the gravitas that the script fails to provide. Narratively, the game tries to mix a breezy summer blockbuster with dense lore building akin to The Lord Of The Rings, but it falls short of satisfying either camp.

The combat is where Immortals Of Aveum finds its footing. You have three types of magic, which act like guns, as well as other abilities you unlock. There is an element of customisation, with different weapons providing variations in stats or shooting style. As you progress, the game encourages you to use all types of magic, with specific enemies weak to certain coloured spells. The combat is flashy and occasionally thrilling, with one standout sequence involving a rush to the control room of a giant humanoid ship.

Unfortunately, the game struggles to match God Of War in terms of presentation. Environments are bland and generic, while cut scenes are undercut by stiff facial animation and bizarrely abrupt direction. It is also noticeable in the gameplay, with a recurring boss dropping through the floor after being killed. A day one patch promises to iron out some performance issues, but it’s unlikely to make Immortals feel like a cohesive, polished experience.

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