Nothing is quite as satisfying as a first-person shooter when everything is done right. They can tell some truly excellent stories. As long as the gameplay matches, they can be as fun as they are engrossing.
Well, EA has decided to take the guns out of the genre and replace them with magic in Immortals of Aveum. With a fantasy world and shooting at your fingertips, the question is: was it worth it to replace a gun’s pew pew pew with your hands magical pew pew pew?
It’s basically a shooter
The first thing I wanted to know was how the game felt, and honestly, it’s as if you were holding guns. Jak holds his hand out as if he were holding a gun, except instead he has a gauntlet on his wrist called a sigil. With that in tow, he fires magical spells from his hand, which does look and feel like a shooter in every way. Except magic, of course.
There are three colours of magic that can be used, and you can equip different sigils to enhance them. Using these can enhance your abilities to focus on the best way you want to play. In effect, the colours act like different gun types, from standard fare, weak and fast, to scatter slots. Honestly, figuring some of the combinations out yourself is heaps of fun, so I won’t spoil it here. Instead, I will vaguely touch on some of the awesomeness that comes into the chaos.
The skills can do anything from firing green stuff onto enemies to slow them down, to whipping up shields to brace for an onslaught of enemy fire, to using a magic lash to jump around the battlefield. Oh, of course, using the spells to go pew pew pew. The movement around the battlefield is absolutely key to making this game fun, because battles are absolutely chaotic, in the best possible way, of course.
In every way, playing feels like playing a sci-fi FPS, and that’s not a bad thing.
There were a few minor issues that got in the way. The main thing was an oversight with some of the invisible walls. The levels are pretty linear, and you can double jump and launch around them, which is fun as hell, but when there is a rock that is nice and flat and you jump high enough to land on it, but slide down the invisible wall, it’s annoying. It’s not a unique issue, but with how fun jumping around is, it’s a bit frustrating.
With a magical story
As mentioned before, you will play a character named Jak. Jak discovers that he has a rare power: the ability to use all three magic types. The world of Aveum is split into kingdoms. What happens when there is awesome power and multiple kingdoms? War of course. This one has been going on forever, and so naturally, it’s a delightful place to live. Thanks to this war, though, the world is coming close to being properly destroyed.
Thanks to Jak’s powerful abilities, he finds himself being enlisted to fight for his kingdom of Lucium. Through his eyes we learn about the insane politics going on, and try to save the world. The whole throughline of individuals’ greed and lust for power putting the actual world at risk is solid and makes for an engaging story.
The only real issue here is the dialogue can be 50/50. It’s not a movie or game in the post-2000s without a witty retort. And there are plenty here. Some land and give me chuckles, some, well, weren’t my style.
On the whole though, the world with magic, dragons and castles is interesting and well crafted, making for an unique setting for this gameplay.
Should you check it out?
Absolutely! Its weird blend of Doom, Wolfenstein, and medieval fantasy makes this one worthy of any FPS fan checking out. It plays like a sci-fi shooter, it looks like a medieval world, and has a fairly solid story underpinning it all. If this is what Ascendant Studios has to offer, then I hope to blue hell they keep making new IP!