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Immortals of Aveum

Immortals of Aveum Impressions: It's a kind of magic

We played Ascendant Studios' magical FPS again at Summer Game Fest Play Days in Los Angeles.

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After I read Eirik's preview of Immortals of Aveum a couple of months ago, I found myself marking down July 20 on my calendar, as it seemed to be pretty clear that EA's Ascendant Studios was onto a winner with its magical Call of Duty-like project. After getting to go hands-on with Immortals of Aveum (that's pronounced ay-vee-um if you were wondering), I'm still very excited about this promising, thrilling, cinematic shooter.

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Since we've already talked about it before, I'll just very briefly touch on the story at the centre of Immortals of Aveum. You play as Jak, an Immortal who has been tasked with helping quash an invading force led by a powerful magic user called Sandrakk. Under the command of Gina Torres' General Kirkan, you head out into the world to battle in fantastical environments, including enormous walking magic mechs, on devastated frontlines, in lush jungles, and all against a plethora of foes, be it regular magic-wielding soldiers or even deadly dragons.

The key part about Immortals of Aveum's story isn't necessarily the concept behind it, but the way it is told. Alike a Call of Duty campaign, the story is flashy, big-budget, packed with exciting set pieces and moments, and yet unlike Call of Duty, Immortals looks to add a bit of genuine player agency by offering side quests, progression, and strangely enough, a tiered-loot system. I will say that I'm not a huge fan of this latter part myself as it feels like it could be introducing unnecessary complexity to a game that shines in its core gameplay elements - with this being how it tells its story and its magic systems.

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The magic is a three-part system for the most part that sees players switching between green, red, and blue magic systems. Red is your close-quarters magic and is the equivalent of shotguns and so forth. Blue is your long-range magic ideal for taking out distant threats. Lastly, green is the middle man of the bunch and is best described as an assault rifle (or a Needler for Halo fans) in generic shooter speak. Each is easy to swap between as you see fit and will require you to do just this to overcome certain shielded enemies and to solve environmental puzzles, all while featuring a really thrilling and exciting flow, which is aided even further by additional abilities and moves that allow Jak to tear apart threats and cut through any opponents that stand in his way.

Immortals of AveumImmortals of Aveum
Immortals of Aveum

All you have to do is watch a trailer to get the gist of the sorts of production value that Immortals of Aveum will be offering. It feels premium and has that glossy finish of a Call of Duty campaign, even if Immortals is looking to shed the familiar stigma that has become associated with Activision's series, by baking in tons of player-centric elements. The progression and build-crafting allow you to design a Jak that suits the way you want to play, the side quests and additional objectives mean that there's more to do beyond the core storyline, yet the lengthy main narrative will still keep you engaged if that's all you're looking for.

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While I only got to play a snippet of the wider Immortals of Aveum experience, a section that didn't really allow the narrative to take centre-stage despite having some exciting moments, the gameplay and presentation shined effortlessly. The magic systems feel responsive and easy to understand yet have depth that will allow skilled players to master them in interesting ways, and the graphics and performance never detracted from the impression the trailers have been giving - even if I did hit a few serious bugs in this early build, which will undoubtedly be fixed by the time launch rolls around.

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With a steady July coming up, Immortals of Aveum has the perfect chance to capitalise and make its mark in the games space. If you haven't been following this magical FPS up until this point, you should be very excited about this game, as it has that perfect combination of high-production, flashy and tight gameplay, and a unique premise that will allow it to serve (hopefully) as the starting point for an all-new franchise. While nothing has been confirmed on this front yet, Ascendant's CEO and Immortals of Aveum's game director Bret Robbins told us "there's a lot more to this world and the story than what we've told so far" so the door is officially open for more of this universe in the future, and even though Immortals of Aveum hasn't even launched yet, that makes me very excited.

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Immortals of AveumScore

Immortals of Aveum

REVIEW. Written by Eirik Hyldbakk Furu

Ascendant Studios is off to an astounding start, as this is one of the best first-person shooters in years and without a doubt the beginning of a fantastic franchise.



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