Published on August 25th, 2023 | by Chris O'Connor
Immortals of Aveum PS5 Review
Summary: It's always nice to see a new I.P. enter the market... especially one with impressive pedigree on the creative team and a new world rich with lore and excitement. Welcome to Immortals of Aveum.
It’s hard to make a splash in the games industry… to stand with the big names and hold your own. If you are going to attempt that, it doesn’t hurt to have industry experience behind you and your team… that’s just what Ascendant Studios has. With an impressive team behind it Immortals of Aveum was setup about as well as could be… and I think it stands quite proudly among the big leagues.
Described as a first person magic shooter, you play as Jak who is taken into the order of Battlemages who are fighting to save a world on the edge of destruction. A quick glance at images of the game will give you a decent indication that this is a beautifully designed world, vibrant colours (which tie well with magic in the game that is split into three main colours) and a story set with elements to inspire the player to fight for justice.
Those visuals are a great example of how (and I think I mentioned this in the preview) the uncanny valley is starting to fade… there are still some moments, I think a lot of it still comes down to mouth movement/sync while characters are talking… but we are very close to having CG characters that are indistinguishable from filmed characters. Sure there was a moment near the beginning in which Luna seemed to slide across the ground instead of walking to her final spot… but the issues are minor and few and far between… it is getting easier and easier to just get caught up in the cinematic splendour of games.
Gameplay is arguably shooter mechanics with a magic skin… but that magic skin also allows for some puzzle solving using the magic. As mentioned, there are three main “fields” of magic, blue, green and red. Each has it’s strength and weakness and in some cases you will have to match the colour to your opponent in order to have a chance of defeating them. Overall it allows for some fun frenetic battles and a nice visual change from pistol, machine gun etc. As you progress you will earn points that you can spend on certain upgrades/strengths, adding a touch of RPG do the mix.
As you are more or less plucked from obscurity, your training to be a battlemage is more or less “on the job” but you will come across training areas. These reminded me of certain levels in Control… a kind of alternate reality ala the training program in The Matrix. Complete these sections and you will be able to unlock more abilities that will no doubt come in handy very shortly after.
Along with the engaging story, a big commendation should go to the acting talent and motion capture team as the performances really shine through here. Facial animations have really come a long way and help Jak be just the right amount of cocky/smug. This really is close to the idea of an interactive film… there are certainly some epic scenes and flashy special effects.
If you like the general style of first person shooters but feel they need a bit of a fresh change… this will likely be just what you are looking for. A lot of fun and a beautiful spectacle to take in.