Magic, intense battles, and a fairytale world: a review of Immortals of Aveum, the first AAA game created on Unreal Engine 5

By: Vladyslav Nuzhnov | 25.08.2023, 10:33

Immortals of Aveum is Ascendant Studios' debut first-person magic shooter game. The game takes place in the brand new fantasy world of Aveum, where a war has been raging for decades. The protagonist of this story is a young man named Jak, who one day discovers his magical abilities and joins an elite order of battle mages to finally end the war. The game's strongest point is its gameplay. Instead of conventional weapons, we have various spells that can be combined with each other, so during battles, the player will not have a second to rest. Immortals of Aveum also stands out because it is the first AAA game created on the Unreal Engine 5. However, it is not without its drawbacks. Despite the interesting world and the plot, the story does not stand out, and the length of the game further enhances this feeling, as it takes about 12 hours to complete the full passage. So, to understand whether it is worth buying the game, gg editorial team will tell you about all the main points of Immortals of Aveum that you should know.

5 Reasons to Buy Immortals of Aveum:

  • Dynamic gameplay
  • A new world that gamers have never seen before
  • An arsenal of spells and talents that can be combined
  • Gorgeous visuals created on Unreal Engine 5
  • You're looking for a game to fill the void before the autumn releases

3 Reasons Not to Buy Immortals of Aveum:

  • Not the most interesting story and characters
  • A shooter cannot last more than 10 hours
  • You find it difficult to play shooters on a gamepad without aiming assistance

Quick Menu:

The Magical World is Shrouded in War and Mystery

The game begins with a brief explanation of what is happening here. In the centre of Aveum, there is a mysterious wound that grows bigger every day, threatening to swallow up the kingdoms. But the rulers ignore it. They are only fighting for control of magic in the everwar, and there is no hope for them.

An introductory cutscene that describes the basis of the game's world

After that, we are introduced to the game's protagonist, Jak, who, together with his friend Luna, steals money from ordinary people while watching a theatre performance. The characters return to their home, where they live with three other younger children - a girl named Babs and boys named Fife and Caleb. The children are very worried, because today Luna turned 16, and according to the rules, she must be taken to the Lucium army. Even Jak doesn't want this, but Lana has been preparing for this for too long and dreams of becoming a warrior. But before that, she has to celebrate her birthday, and now she has to wait for Caleb. Soon enough, Caleb returns, even bringing a present, but there's a catch. He has been shot in the stomach, and now he needs to be treated quickly. Jak and Luna go to the rich district of their city, Seren, to get the medicine. But they are not going to steal, they are going to buy. The heroes enter a luxurious mansion and find a magical bracelet, which is called a sigil here. It can be used to cure Caleb. However, the boys are caught by the guards and begin to run away, and at that moment Seren is attacked by Rasharn, another army fighting against Lucius.

The cheerful Jak and Luna, who have no idea what awaits them

Jak and Luna are trying to get home as soon as possible. Only an "incident" occurs, and Jak is left alone against Rashan's army. But at that moment, something happens to the boy, and it suddenly turns out that he has unique magic. Having defeated the enemies, a mysterious woman comes to him - it turns out to be General Kirkan, who is a member of the Immortals and recruits Jak into Lucius' army, becoming his mentor.

General Kirkan begins to teach Jak the craft of war.

5 years pass, and Jak is already an experienced warrior who actively fights against Rasharn's army for peace. This is where the main plot of Immortals of Aveum begins.

Over 5 years of training and battles, Jak has matured a lot and become an experienced army warrior

And if the beginning of this story is intriguing, then it becomes not so interesting. The authors tried to make unexpected plot twists, but some of them are easy to read. The plot of Immortals of Aveum can't always keep you engaged, because the game's timing is not small, and the story doesn't turn out to be so rich and concentrated. Although there are good moments, of course. Especially at the end, where the game becomes more "corridor" and the story starts to gain new momentum.

The plot of Immortals of Aveum is by no means bad, it's just normal, and sometimes "clichéd". The bad guys want to destroy the world, and we, the heroes, will stop them. And the main character was a nobody, but he became one of the coolest in the world. Now ask yourself how many times you've seen this, and it makes you sad, because you have to invent something new. With a world where many interesting events have taken place, this story simply hasn't unlocked its potential, which is only being unlocked in the last episodes of the game.

Not Fully Developed Characters

The characters are also not so simple. Not everyone liked Jak, but it's a matter of opinion. Yes, in some places he resembles a star young footballer who is all pretentious and constantly jokes, but he still changes. The protagonist didn't annoy me, and that's good, but he doesn't have anything unique to make me remember him for a long time. I just didn't like the fact that we weren't shown how he became such a great fighter in 5 years. In Horizon Zero Dawn, at least we were shown a scene for a few minutes where the main character was training. They could have done the same here, because it feels like he hasn't had any obstacles in his way in the past five years.

But most of the characters are not so well developed. There are no more than 15 main characters here, but again, the extended timing focuses on other aspects of the game rather than on them. For example, there was one scene in the game where Jak and his friends were having fun, and I want more of that, so that empathy and affection can be created. I missed such moments here. Although there were two cool characters I really liked. They are charismatic and interesting, and this is exactly what I want to see in games. But I didn't like the antagonist at all. An evil uncle who walks around thinking about himself: "I want to conquer the whole world and rule it." Thank you, I've seen enough of that in games and in real life. Let's come up with something new. And it's paradoxical, because there are interesting characters here. It's not clear why the main villain of the game was such a failure.

All the characters have interesting designs, but only a few of them were able to reveal their personalities

Really Interesting Game World

The authors managed not only to create an interesting game world but also to explain the events that take place here. The main thing is to listen carefully to the dialogues so as not to miss anything. Here you will find the reasons for the eternal war, a description of important places, a story about how magic was born here, and many other interesting things. And in order to understand the lore at least superficially, you don't need to collect notes on the map. Important information is updated independently in a special journal, which is more like Jak's personal diary. And this has its own advantage: we do not read the story of a sage who wrote it thousands of years ago, but feel the emotions of a person who learns it all with us. It is clear that the developers paid attention to the historical content of Aveum. And that is why the storyline can be described as "unrealised potential", because there is an interesting plot, but the result is a clichéd story about the struggle between good and evil.

The mysterious and magical world of Aveum

How to play it

And now the most interesting part of the game is the gameplay. It can be divided into two components: exploration of locations and battles with enemies, and the latter is implemented at a decent level here.

Fight with Magic, Talents, and Weapons

Jak has three types of magic that will help him throughout the game:

  • Blue is an analogue of a rifle. It has a small supply of projectiles and is ideal for medium and long-range damage.
  • Red is the equivalent of a shotgun. It has a small ammunition capacity and is ideal for close-range engagements.
  • Green is the equivalent of an assault rifle or machine gun. It has a large supply of shells and is ideal for hitting a large number of small enemies.

For each magical weapon, Jak has three gauntlets that need to be switched between them

At the same time, our hero has several talents that should also be actively used. For example, he can pick up stones from the ground to break the enemy's shield, perform a super punch, or launch a green beam that will attack for several seconds. These abilities must be used wisely, because they have their own colour, just like every enemy. Therefore, it simply makes no sense to cast green magic on a blue enemy. But if there are too many enemies or one is big, then Jak can activate the ultimatum power, which emits a beam for 5 seconds. It works on all enemies, but in order to activate it, you need to kill several enemies beforehand to gain strength.

One of the talents that creates an analogue of a blast wave

In general, weapons have endless ammo, so there's no need to run around looking for "stores". Talents, on the other hand, require energy, which is finite. To replenish your stocks, you need to find special cubes around the world, but they are very easy to find. The situation with our health is similar. It does not regenerate and we need to look for crystals that heal us.

Shield is another ability. You will always use it. It works against all enemies and does not require energy, but it has its own margin of safety

There are three other tools that help on and off the battlefield: a whip to pull an enemy or yourself; green orbs that slow down objects; and a red mirror that is needed to solve puzzles and can freeze an enemy for a second.

An example of how to use one of Jak's tools: you need to shine the mirror on a special object at the right angle to open a bridge

What About Enemies?

There are not many types of enemies. If the game were smaller, it would not feel so bad. However, the variety is added by the fact that you have to find your own approach to almost everyone. If a stone creature is coming at you, then you need to aim for its head to kill it faster. If the enemy uses a defence, then you need to break through it to attack further. And such decisions do not turn the game into a shooter where you have to shoot mindlessly. You constantly analyse the situation on the battlefield. There are a lot of enemies in the arena, each with their own abilities, so you need to figure out how to deal with them quickly and effectively.

There are also boss battles. I liked them the most. Most of them are unique, and some of them have abilities that others do not have, which also adds variety.

In general, the combat system turned out to be very exciting. You have to shoot, use talents and tools very quickly. Sometimes there are situations when even weapons won't help, and you have to come up with something new. And it is the combat system that makes you stay in the game, and it is the best and strongest aspect here.

How Can I improve My Abilities?

Jak's abilities and arsenal can also be upgraded. To improve your abilities, you just need to kill enemies, complete the story, collect items, and you will be given experience for this. Once you have enough experience, you get one point, which can be spent on improving blue, green or red magic.

The skill tree where you can improve your abilities

You can also collect gold and essence (blue, green, and red). These two currencies can be spent in special shops. In them, you can buy better weapons, tools, rings, and bracelets (the latter two only affect the hero's characteristics). And if you don't want to buy anything but just improve your arsenal, you can do that as well. There is nothing unusual about this; we have already seen it in many games, but it is well implemented here and the main thing is that the game does not force you to spend hours collecting this gold and essence. It is enough to just go through the story and you will have enough currency to become stronger. Some items will also be obtained after completing missions. Gamers always like it when developers do not say: "collect a million candies for this item", but make the process easy and relaxed.

A shop where you can upgrade or improve your arsenal

World Exploration is Optional

The game has a semi-open world divided into several locations. If you've played Star Wars Jedi or God of War 2018, you'll be familiar with this concept. There are various chests, secret rooms, puzzles, and other activities scattered around the world. However, there are no additional tasks. The most you can find are portals with challenges, but this game doesn't need additional quests. In general, all these activities have one goal - to give you new weapons or resources, that's all. And you don't have to run around for hours to clear a location 100%. It's enough to look in the corners and open all the chests you see. If you see a puzzle and immediately understand how to solve it, do it, and you won't run out of resources or run around with level one weapons. And here again, a paradox arises. The game doesn't seem to be a "corridor" game, you can run around as much as you want, collect everything in the world, discover all the secrets, but on the other hand, Immortals of Aveum doesn't make you want to do all this. Therefore, it is not the best idea to make a metroidvania shooter, but more on that later.

An example of a secret room that opens to a chest with a gift

Optimisation, Visuals, and Audio

I played the game on PlayStation 5 and there were almost no problems with optimisation. Sometimes in some locations, the fps dropped to 50-40, but these were isolated cases and lasted no more than 3 seconds. But in large arenas with a crowd of enemies, where the epic immediately began, the fps dropped to low values for the first 5 seconds and only then returned to 60 frames. Therefore, it would be good for the developers to release 1-2 more updates that will completely remove these problems. I didn't encounter any serious bugs either, and the game never crashed. Only once did Jak crash due to textures, but starting from a checkpoint fixed everything.

A Beautiful and Detailed Aveum is Created on Unreal Engine 5

Visuals are another strong point of the game. Immortals of Aveum is the first AAA game created on Unreal Engine 5. And the developers managed to make a very beautiful game. All locations are detailed. You can see different objects and small details everywhere. This is especially noticeable in the first city, where the developers immediately want to show how they have worked on the graphics. There are a lot of objects scattered everywhere, some of them start moving because they are affected by the wind, and there is a lot of this. The facial animations and lighting are also well implemented.

One example of a detailed location

I also liked the variety of locations. Here you will see forests, volcanoes, caves, mysterious purple arenas, various cities, luxurious palaces, mountains, winter landscapes, and more. So, there can be no questions about the visuals, and Ascendant Studios has done its best to make it all look good.

Magical locations of Aveum

Diverse Audio Accompaniment

The sounds are also in order. All shots, enemies, objects, and characters sound good. I also like the music. Here you have dynamic, epic, dramatic, and calm compositions. They all sound at the right time and enhance the atmosphere in the game.

What We Didn't Like

A significant disadvantage of the game is that it shouldn't have been made in a semi-open world. It is a shooter, after all. I understand that the authors wanted to do something unique, but think of some great story-driven shooters (Doom, Call of Duty, Wolfenstein, etc.) and how many of them had a semi-open world? Moreover, the game was created by Bret Robbins, the creative director of Call of Duty, and he knows this better than anyone else. A good shooter is one with interesting gameplay and story. There are no problems with the former, but the story in the game is limping along. If the authors had abandoned the idea of a semi-open world and made a "corridor" shooter, they would have had more time and resources to improve the story and characters, because these aspects are the weakest in Immortals of Aveum. So if Ascendant Studios makes another shooter, let it be without a semi-open world, but only with spacious locations and cinematic moments. Because with the desire to create a metro-idaniya shooter, the potential of this game, especially its story, was lost somewhere.

5 Things to Know about Immortals of Aveum

  • Immortals of Aveum is the first AAA game created on Unreal Engine 5
  • The game's visuals offer beautiful landscapes and detailed locations
  • The dynamic shooter offers a wide range of talents and magic, where you have to analyse the battlefield
  • The developers have managed to create an interesting lore that you want to understand
  • Most of all, the game suffers from a weak plot
Immortals of Aveum
Genre. FPS magic shooter
Platforms. PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PC
Number of players Single-player
Developer Ascendant Studios
Publisher Electronic Arts
Time to complete 10-20 hours
Release date 22 August 2023

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The editorial team thanks publisher Electronic Arts for kindly providing the game for review