“You’re a wizard!” cried the groundskeeper as he offered to take me to a magical school where I could learn to become the spellcaster of my dreams. I turned him down, though. Wizardry just doesn’t seem like a great day job. You’ve got overflowing cauldrons, robe tears, let’s not even get started with all the owl poop you have to clean…nah, I think I’m better off enjoying the best parts of wizardly life via video games.
Immortals of Aveum is a great example of a game that offers the best part of wizardry – blowing up baddies with incredibly destructive magic – while letting you skip past the worst parts.
Some wars are over in about seven hours, as we saw in the FPS classic Half-Life 2. Some, well, last a bit longer. That’s the case with the Everwar, the battle that’s been tearing up the world of Aveum for, well…ever. If you aren’t fighting in the war, you’re part of the underclass, and our hero Jak doesn’t have the chops to battle on the front. Turns out that’s not really the case, though, and after developing immense magical powers, Jak joins the army as a spell-flinging wizard called a Magnus. He’ll have to put all his arcane might to work as he seeks revenge against the villainous Rasharnans. The Everwar doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon, so Jak has his work cut out for him.
Immortals of Aveum takes the looter-shooter formula and slaps coats of fantasy theming and polish all over it. Jak commands three colored flavors of magic, each of which corresponds roughly to a class of standard shooter weaponry. Blue has precision implements, with spells representing pistols, DMRs and sniper rifles; red is big on damage and has a shotgun, slug gun and grenade launcher; and green has rapid-fire options like an assault rifle, SMG and minigun. None of the weapons are actually called that, of course, but you’ll pick up on the similarities pretty quick.
You’ve got a few more magical tricks up your sleeve as well, with a lifesaving shield, mana-fueled spells, mystic devices (including the whip from Bulletstorm) and a high-powered arcane limit break to really cut loose. There’s a ton of options and they’re given to you pretty rapidly, with new spells and weapons unlocking on the regular, so the Immortals of Aveum experience can feel a bit overwhelming at times. Coordinating your arsenal is key to coming out victorious against the hordes of enemies the game will pit against you. Aveum’s got a little bit of that DOOM Eternal energy; fans of that title will likely love this one.
There’s more going on than just combat, of course. You’re able to explore Aveum freely, seeking out secrets and goodies along the way. There’s also side quests to check out, gear to upgrade…for a game even developer Ascendant Studios touted as “fantasy Call of Duty” there’s a fair amount of love put into the game’s content. You won’t be hurting for things to do, simple puzzles to solve and enemies to turn into glittery ash.
This is a style-focused game first and foremost; it’s clearly designed to put modern PCs and consoles through the wringer, but the presentation is fantastic and memorable. If you’ve got some killer PC hardware, this is the game that’ll show it off. If you don’t…well, at least there’s DLSS to help you out. Likewise, plenty of time and cash was spent on bringing talent like Gina Torres to the game, so once you get past the fantasy silliness inherent to the setting it’s a surprisingly enjoyable romp with some quality voice acting.
Immortals of Aveum is a surprisingly solid spellcaster-shooter that manages to stand out in a year packed with fantastic games. All of this, and you can get as much of it as you want on EA Play Pro. Drop your whopping fifteen bucks for a month and enjoy. It might not be the fantasy Call of Duty replacement some speculated it could be, but if you’re able to take some time away from Starfield, hop into Aveum and start casting.