Immortals of Aveum review for PS5, Xbox Series X, PC

Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, Xbox Series X
Publisher: EA
Developer: Ascendant Studios
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

When Immortals of Aveum was first unveiled earlier this year, in the GA staff discord there was some discussion about how the game looked like something that could have been released about 15 years ago. Between the visuals, the colours, and the gameplay in those initial trailers, the game felt like a product of the late 2000s/early 2010s, mashing together the period’s space marine trend with the over-the-top action that lots of games aimed for post-God of War.

After playing Immortals of Aveum, I’d say that impression isn’t entirely without merit. In fact, in a way, it sort of reminds me of Magus, a PS3 game that came out at the tail end of that console’s lifespan that I don’t imagine too many people played – and, if they did, they probably remember it for being absolutely terrible (though I vaguely remember enjoying it in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way). While Immortals of Aveum has a much (much, much, much) higher production budget and is a much (much, much, much, much) better game, it definitely has echoes of Magus, with both starring a wildly powerful magician with close-cropped hair and a firm jawline who fires firing magic at his enemies like a gun. What’s more – in a truly bizarre coincidence – even the magic colours are the same, with both games allowing you to choose between shooting red, green, or blue at your enemies.

Of course, the comparisons basically end there, since where Magus was an awful game that looked like it had been slapped together in a weekend, Immortals of Aveum is a fantastic game that looks like the product of people who actually knew what they were doing.

Mind you, it helps that the game is treading a somewhat well-worn path. In contrast to this year’s other two big magic-focused games – Forspoken and Hogwarts Legacy – Immortals of Aveum feels much more familiar. Where Forspoken tried (and largely failed) to build an open-world fantasy epic around parkour and Hogwarts Legacy tried (and wildly succeeded) at bringing its magical school to life, Immortals of Aveum is basically a first-person shooter. Admittedly, a first-person shooter where you’re firing magic at enemies rather than bullets, but all that’s missing here is having a scope to aim down when you’re firing at enemies who are some distance away.

Speaking of which, that would actually be my one complaint about Immortals of Aveum: the imprecise nature of some of your attacks. While it would obviously look kind of bizarre to look down a rifle scope when you don’t actually have a rifle, there are some times when you get swarmed by battle-wizards and it would’ve been really handy to be able to focus your magic-fire on enemies sniping at you from a distance.

Of course, if that’s my biggest complaint about Immortals of Aveum, it should tell you how much I enjoyed the rest of my time with it. Combat is a blast (pun not intended), whether you’re rapid-firing green magic (an effect not unlike firing a machine gun), using your blue magic to shoot laser beams, or using your red magic to pound away at nearby enemies. Further, even the melee combat was enjoyable, particularly against enemies holding up magical shields – I had a tonne of fun running, double-jumping, then crashing down on shields, shoving the shield-bearers backwards and sending their allies tumbling through the shields’ protection (at which point the red magic was useful for incinerating them).

To the game’s credit, the world in which Immortals of Aveum takes place is thankfully a little more original than its gameplay. The game does an excellent job of blending together medieval-style castles and idyllic hills and fields with futuristic-looking flying ships and other elements that look like they’ve come out of a sci-fi novel. It’s a neat blend of past and future, and it works really well.

Just as importantly, the characters here are pretty enjoyable. While the game didn’t do itself any favours by naming its main character “Jak” – have I mentioned how Immortals of Aveum feels a little anachronistic in some ways? – he doesn’t feel like any of the cookie-cutter space marines that inhabited so many games 10-15 years ago. He’s a little snarky, sure, but the game does a good job of humanizing him by having him interact with friends and colleagues. Jak – and the whole supporting cast – feel much more like real people, which goes a long way towards making you want to invest time into seeing the story through.

Of course, the fact that Immortals of Aveum is a lot of fun to play will also make you want to invest your time (and money) in it. It may not be the most original game I’ve ever played, but when it’s this enjoyable, I’m okay with that.

EA provided us with an Immortals of Aveum PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: A-