Typically when we think of a game with magical elements, it’s something like Baldur’s Gate 3 or Hogwarts Legacy. Occasionally there is something slightly different, such as Forspoken, though that is in the same wheelhouse. In the case of Immortals of Aveum, it’s a first-person shooter that uses magic instead of traditional bullets. Unlike Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, it goes all in on the concept and tries to do something unique. With some stiff competition and weak initial showings, will this experience stand the test of time or is it little more than gimmicky Doom?
Immortals of Aveum is in an unusual place narratively. Most of the adventure centers on Jak trying to deal with the “everwar” as practically every character encounters alludes to things he isn’t privy to. This style of narrative can work, it would be boring if everything was revealed upfront, though it wears thin after a while.
To keep things interesting, there is a secondary plot about Jak dealing with his own secrets. These are far and few between, though the few included give Jak some much needed depth. It’s nice to see Immortals of Aveum attempt to make him more than the snarky newcomer that happens to be special and powerful, even if it doesn’t accomplish much in the end.
At its core, Immortals of Aveum is just Doom with magic. Not only does it have the same fast paced arcady feel, it attempts to make its enemies deeper by forcing players to use all their tools. It’s a nice attempt, though it doesn’t commit as hard to the concept as Doom.
Nothing Says Fantasy Like a Dragon
Instead of having weapons that, when used correctly, can dominate some of the toughest foes in seconds, you just do more damage. At most it will break a their empowerment, though anything short of the shield can be ignored if you don’t want to change. Outside of a few exceptions, like the enemies that basically require matching elements to damage, you’re best off sticking to your current weapon.
While Immortals of Aveum relies on magic over guns, each color embodies a specific archetype. Blue is precision, red is blast, and green is automatic. Certain sigils go in a different direction, like Radiant Javelin can be charged to throw a more powerful blast, though each color sticks to its aforementioned niche.
Despite this Immortals of Aveum is fun to play. There are enough advantages where, even on the highest difficulty, it encourages a more aggressive play style. Part of this is thanks to the shield, which can block incoming damage, push back foes, and with the right perks heal. Furies, the name given to specific magical attacks, help keep things interesting. These are nice if you need one color, but don’t want to swap weapons for whatever reason. They can also eliminate shields, push back foes, and much more.
Outside of shooting enemies there are a fair number of secrets to uncover. For the most part Immortals of Aveum plays like your average linear game. There is a correct path, with the optional path having some kind of reward for bothering. Most of these are fine, though the solutions are often underwhelming.
I… Can’t Solve This
Refracting puzzles are the best example of this. The puzzle pictured above is one of the first “unsolvable” puzzles you’ll encounter. At first glance the solution seems simple, align the three sides, but that isn’t the case. Instead you need to align one side, use the middle crystal on a specific point, and make a laser to hit specific parts. It’s far simpler than it looks, relying on a perk obtained just before finishing your adventure.
Most of the other puzzles rely on the same concept. Shoot a stone and slow down a box closing, or get to a specific place. I appreciate Immortals of Aveum tried, though they often feel pretty annoying with underwhelming rewards.
Looks Like Foundation’s Empire
Unfortunately, exploration is also tied heavily with build. Since most stats are tied to gear, you’ll need these resources. A big part of it are hefty costs, like making a single weapon might require eight or nine of these optional chests. It isn’t just annoying, it limits build crafting. Even with heavy exploration and limited purchases I frequently found myself broke. It will be better when a meta is discovered, it’s just a shame people will rely on guides over simply trying everything.
Finally, I wanted to touch on performance. This was a concern going into Immortals of Aveum, as the PC specifications were rather high. I expected things to be better on PlayStation 5, though it was surprisingly common to have dropped frames or performance issues. This was less common in the world fighting enemies, in fact I can’t say it ever caused an issue, though the towns were rough. It’s a shame too, because it’s a nice looking experience, even if some areas have frequent noticeable dips.
Immortals of Aveum Review Verdict
Immortals of Aveum: I wouldn't say Immortals of Aveum is a bad game; it just feels very average. The narrative will go from being quite engaging, to it feeling like I am playing Destiny, and Ikora and I are being told they don't have time to explain. Gameplay feels like Doom, just nowhere near as good. Even the optional content rides the line between engaging and tedious. Add in performance issues, and it just makes for an okay experience that sometimes turns good and other times bad. – Grant