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Immortals of Aveum proves you don’t need guns to make a good shooter

Our hands-on preview with Immortals of Aveum was impressive, with a handful of small frustrations
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We’ve all played enough shooters with hyper-realistic guns. I recognize so many real-life weapons from video games, and I don’t even consider myself a major FPS games fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of squad wipes and distant headshots, and my KD ratio in games like Apex Legends and Warzone 2.0 is positive. Not amazing, but positive – can you say the same?

I’ve experienced plenty of gun games, and I’m tired of seeing the same thing on repeat, which is why Immortals of Aveum broadly feels like a breath of fresh air. This is a shooter that eschews facsimiles of real-world arms in favor of Red, Green, and Blue magic. Red is a close-range shotgun-like spell, Green is a great rapid-fire attack for mid-range, and Blue is reserved for distant shots, closer to a battle rifle. Weapon archetypes are here, but they don’t need to be realistically replicated for the effect to land.

Immortals is set in the fantasy land of Aveum – in case you couldn’t tell from the title – and follows Jak. Jak is Unforeseen, which means he’s a magical late bloomer, and despite that, is able to master all three of the RGB magical abilities, like a true gamer. The two biggest kingdoms of Aveum are at war, so of course Jak gets drafted in as a soldier and spends much of his time cracking wise to his superiors before getting sent out onto the battlefield.

immortals of aveum glhf screenshot (6)

The dialogue in Immortals of Aveum is incredibly… contemporary. Jak speaks like someone with a little bit of wit and an inordinate amount of confidence, but even in a short preview session he came across a bit annoying. But at least he’s memorable, and it certainly opens the door for character development down the line. He’s the least serious character in an incredibly serious world, but hey, you’ve gotta give it to him for staying optimistic as he watches hundreds of comrades die in each battle.

It’s tough to say how the story will develop from a brief play session, but the gameplay itself is promising. The movement is swift and floaty – in a good way. Despite the developer pedigree of having worked on games like Call of Duty and BioShock, Immortals of Aveum feels closer to the modern Doom’s projectile-based combat. Jak’s movement is swift, with a double jump and a magical float ability. It’s not complicated with slides and wallrunning – at least not from what we’ve seen thus far – but it’s immediate and satisfying. Floating above a horde of foes before peppering them with magical bullets? Lovely stuff.

You can also heavily modify your three spells. There are a variety of bracer types for your wrist, and each can turn the ability into an entirely different spell. My original Blue battle-rifle-like shot was turned into a long-distance lance that was tough to charge up, but dealt huge damage. My Red ability also went from a narrow shotgun blast to one with a massive spread, taking down multiple close-range foes in a single shot, in exchange for a much lower overall “capacity.” The core tenets of shooters are here, you’ll still need to reload your RGB fizzies, but it’s all waved away by magical explanations. But hey, that’s just fine, it works.

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Combat can get creative when you mix the magic bullets with other abilities, my favorite being a whip that pulls distant foes closer to you, which you can then annihilate with your Red magic. Again, it’s simple stuff, but incredibly satisfying. Your magic is also used in some light puzzle solving involving shooting switches and sometimes moving statues to make paths. Nothing revolutionary, but it’s engaging and fun throughout.

That is all up until the final boss of the preview, which felt a bit like trying to fight inside a pinata tornado. It was a large golem covered in several colored rocks – no prizes for guessing that you should shoot each rock with the corresponding color magic ability. Like most puzzles in this game, it’s very “the square block goes in the square hole.” The problem with it was that this golem’s attacks were huge, and swiped Jak around the arena.

It was often difficult to tell exactly where I was in relation to the enemy, the edge of the platform, what attacks were coming – everything was just vague, cluttered by a mass of particle effects and a big monster that obscured the screen. It was a sour note to leave the demo off on, but it was only a small section in the grand scheme of the demo and could possibly be smoothed out by launch.

immortals of aveum glhf screenshot (4)

I don’t want to leave off on that minor criticism though, because overall I was pleasantly surprised by Immortals of Aveum. It’s trying something that feels fresh thanks to the world and abilities, and if it can offer a solidly engaging story over its run time, I believe it’ll be a fun and worthwhile adventure. That’s all assuming frustrations like that golem boss are a rarity.