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Immortals of Aveum

Modern Fantasy Warfare
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Immortals of Aveum review

Numerous excellent first-person shooters transport players to fantastical locations all around the world, from present battlefields to historical conflicts and even the moon and the underworld. Shooting at axe-wielding knights, magic sorcerers, dragons, and more in Immortals of Aveum is a welcome change of pace from the usual fare in first-person shooters.

Immortals of Aveum

The decent shooting and unusual, puzzle-like twists in Immortals of Aveum help keep most encounters interesting and exploration fun. The narrative is given a lot of weight by developer Ascendant Studios, and whether or not you enjoy it depends on how well you get along with the stereotypical characters. Even if the final game could use some refinement, I rolled very pleased by the team’s initial attempt at this planet and its mechanics.

Jak starts out as a Lightless, which means he can’t use magic, but he goes through a series of terrible experiences that transform him into a Magni and then an Immortal, the highest tier of magic user. As such, he is among the top of Lucium’s Lights Army in the Everwar. Jak is a powerful sorcerer who can work with the blue Force magic, the green Life magic, and the red Chaos magic. The Immortals of Aveum use blue magic as a sniper or long-range rifle, green as a machine gun, and red as a shotgun. Having different forms of magic be more effective against different foes is a wonderful strategic addition to any fight. Jak channels his power through sigils he wears on his arms; different sigils can be found in different places throughout Aveum, and they can be upgraded and strengthened in different ways. While upgrading each of the other pieces of gear is simple, I’d be lying if I said I cared about their improved stats.

Immortals of Aveum

From sigils and amulets to rings and arm bands, Immortals of Aveum has everything you need to construct a custom build for Jak. You can specialize in Fury powers, which are unique attacks that require an easily-found resource to utilize, or in destroying enemy shields, for example. I was content with the apparatus with which I had settled into a rhythm, so I rarely felt compelled to venture in this direction. However, I didn’t mind not caring about my equipment because the gameplay was enjoyable regardless of my loadout.

Standard adversaries, of which there are many, are easy to defeat, but stronger enemies have special shields that can only be breached by a form of magic contained in your sigils. If your foe is using a blue shield, for instance, you should employ blue magic to destroy it. I really like how this is used in Ascendant to turn potentially dangerous situations into puzzle zones. Because of these mechanisms, Immortals of Aveum is also difficult, and I found myself dying frequently. Still, I usually had a good idea of what I could have done better, such as which enemies I should have focused on first or when to use my Fury abilities or my tri-magic ultimate move. As my confidence in battle grew, I became increasingly adept at using the various platforms, grapple hook rigs, and other platforming aspects in each arena to swiftly eliminate large groups of adversaries.

Immortals of Aveum

Ascendant goes to tremendous efforts, beyond the scope of battle, to pack its environment with activities. There are some Metroidvania-style touches, so even after the credits roll, I can go back and explore the world in search of better equipment, more challenging rooms, and any surviving bosses. There were more chests than I’ve ever seen in a video game, and the ability to open them with a single trigger pull made it simple to go a few seconds off the usual path in search of their contents. In the course of my primary quests and exploratory detours, I uncovered magical gems affixed to the walls. It’s possible that if I fired red magic at a red triangular gem, it would unlock a secret chest. Ascendant’s pleasant layering of puzzle-based mechanics was consistent throughout, with many exploration-based puzzles requiring multi-magic shots to access new doors swiftly.

Immortals of Aveum’s semi-open world, riddles, tons of trinkets, and other features allow me to relax between intense battles. It was not uncommon for me to deviate from the main path in order to follow a platforming thread to its eventual payoff. However, there were instances when there was too much downtime in the game. On multiple occasions, I was told to report to the War Room, where I did so in order to view a cutscene. The Lights Army’s main stronghold, the Palathon, is where I am then commanded to report to my quarters. Walking the 20 seconds between each cutscene provided me little joy or player agency, and I found myself wishing that the whole thing had been one long cutscene.

Considering how often the tale of Immortals of Aveum hurled proper nouns at me, coupled with the usual hero-speak and fantasy jargon, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Aveum is a mythical place, but the people and culture there are surprisingly contemporary. There is nothing new in terms of character development or personality, and I could see where the plot was going a mile away, but the refreshing straightforwardness of Immortals of Aveum’s message and politics salvage the story from clichés and mundanity. Even though the overarching ideas are muddled by speed and cliches, it is great to hear these folks point out the fact that sometimes a wicked country is a kingdom full of fascists.

I really needed additional baking time for the Immortals of Aveum. It has a frame rate of 60 FPS, although there are obvious slowdowns once battle becomes intense. The images can appear murky and grainy at times. Ascendant, though, is cognizant of performance difficulties and plans to address them with a day-one patch.

Immortals of Aveum

The music in the game is also a lot of fun, fusing elements from a traditional fantasy orchestra with 808s and other hip-hop sounds. It’s the finishing touch on this modern fantasy shooter.

Ascendant succeeds because it offers something fresh and new in a genre oversaturated with games based on or inspired by actual conflicts and battles. Bringing together the atmosphere, lore, and world-building of fantasy games with the action-oriented gameplay of modern shooters, Immortals of Aveum is a fantastic debut. Its magical action is satisfying the majority of the time, but might feel sluggish at others due to technical issues. It took me 16 hours to complete the game, and while the story is predictable, it does a good enough job of moving Jak along to the next set piece that I’m eager to see what comes after the credits roll. Immortals of Aveum demonstrates that there is still a lot of room for growth in this genre beyond the typical, expected releases, and the decision made by Ascendant to place equal emphasis on exploration and combative puzzle-solving was a wise one.

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