Immortals of Aveum is a first-person shooter developed by Ascendant Studios and published by EA Originals that released on August 22, 2023 on PC, Xbox and PlayStation. The game is set in an epic fantasy world where three schools of magic are the primary weapons used by the remaining two warring superpowers in the kingdom of Aveum, Lucium and Rasharn. Players take control of Jak who grew up powerless and living on the streets of Seren, but unexpectedly manifests magic abilities and is thrust into the midst of the war alongside the Order of the Immortals.
We start with Jak running through the streets and surrounds of Seren with a character named Luna. These opening explorable area were impressive with the level of detail of the town and surrounds, but also the hustle and bustle of the city’s people. However, the Rasharn attack Seren and in doing so, tragedy befalls Jak. General Kirkan, the Grand Magus of the Immortals and the King’s Marshall of Lucium’s defenses, recruits Jak and mentors him over five years. Turns out Jak is a Triarch Magus who can wield all three schools of magic where most people can only use one. Armed with a sigil, a gauntlet worn by the Magni to allow them to focus their magic, Jak is taught to harness these powers.
Blue magic is best for long-range attacks, and it can be used to snipe enemies from a distance. Red magic is the most powerful type of magic, and it is best for dealing damage to enemies in close range. Green magic can track the enemy even if your aim is slightly off and is focused on crowd control with limpets which can be used to slow down or stun enemies. Primary attack spells are called strikes and there are three strikes per magic school. Finding or crafting new sigils allows Jak to change between the various strikes. You can quickly switch between all three using the scroll wheel as you fight waves of enemies that can spawn all around you.
Before long we face our first boss fight and use all we learned to take it down. Combat is fast and fluid with the ability to blink out of the way of oncoming attacks and block spells, with health and mana crystals spread through the areas to keep you in the fight. In addition to the sigil gauntlet, you can loot additional items to equip such as totems, rings and bracers which provide buffs to the different magic schools. Eventually we come across a forge where we can craft more powerful equipment and upgrades, and we can sell unwanted gear for gold.
Areas we explore are linear in nature but can contain some great environmental puzzles and secret areas containing golden chests to loot. Golden Chests typically require some puzzle solving, platforming, or other light challenge to reach them. These areas may be magically blocked and you may need to shoot crystals that are coloured to the three schools of magic to pass them. Other times you need to use lash anchors to manipulate a giant statue or structure to create a walkway across a vast chasm. These puzzle areas broke up the combat well and the challenges got cleverer and more complex the further you progress through the game, with some needing to return to later once you have unlocked more abilities.
My only real gripe when playing Immortals of Aveum is that explorable zones have relatively linear areas to actually traverse and look for loot/puzzles. There’s so much more scenery around us that we can’t access and I would have loved to explore more. Still, there was enough balance with enemies thrown at you and puzzles to solve that the pace felt just right for me. Performance on the PC version was fantastic. My PC specs are from 2019 with an RTX 3080 and I very rarely felt the game’s performance drop or feel like it was lagging in any way. A great feature in the game is the performance tool where it shows you the effect of settings on your GPU and CPU usage, allowing you to adjust the settings to best suit your hardware, even if you don’t know what every setting does. This was very helpful to dial in performance to my PC.
The graphics and level of detail of the environments in Immortals of Aveum is insanely good and I was often stopping to take a scenic screenshot. Character facial details and animations are almost flawless too. Jak is voiced by Darren Barnet and General Kirkan is voiced by Gina Torres and their likeness in-game is phenomenal, some of the best I’ve seen in a game. Later we meet Devyn (voiced by Antonio Aakeel), Zendara (Lily Cowles) and tyrant leader Sandraak (excellently voiced by Steven Brand). Jak uses humour to shield his emotions, but it wasn’t overplayed when serious topics were discussed, and I enjoyed the interactions between each of the characters.
Overall, Immortals of Aveum was a joy to play through with fast-paced and active combat, an engaging story, amazing visuals and fantastic voice acting and character design. There’s a lot to like in this game and I felt the pacing was well balanced as you learn new abilities and loot or craft better items for Jak. There’s enough variety in the spells and strikes to change up gameplay and keep it feeling dynamic.