Immortals of Aveum Preview | Spell Slinging Fun


Thanks to EA I was recently able to attend a hand’s off preview for their upcoming title Immortals of Aveum. You may remember it being revealed last year during The Game Awards with its short reveal teaser showcasing the game’s first person spell slinging and fantasy world. But now we’ve been shown a lot more, and it’s got me quite excited to see more of this world. I also got to learn a lot more about the history of Ascendant Studios, see a nice chunk of gameplay and learn about the rich lore for the world of Aveum. And best of all, it’s a game we don’t have to wait too much longer to get our hands on.

Immortals of Aveum Preview

The session kicked off with the new gameplay reveal trailer, which at time of reading should now be publicly viewable, showing a lot more of the gameplay and the world than we saw in the teaser trailer from TGA. It ends revealing that the planned release date for the game is July 20 2023. So we don’t have a long time to wait before we can jump into this world and start throwing some spells. 

We quickly learned that the game has been in development for some time though. Bret Robbins, CEO and Game Director for the title gave a deep dive on Ascendant studio’s history, revealing that Immortals Of Aveum is an idea the team has been working on since the studio’s inception 5 years ago. The team is made up of passionate veterans that have worked on some of the biggest AAA games including Bioshock, Call of Duty, Borderlands, Halo among others. 

Bret Robbins is no newcomer to the industry beginning his journey back in 1996 working at Crystal Dynamics before working with EA as lead designer for games from the Lord of the Rings and James Bond series before the studio became Visceral Games where Bret was the creative director on Dead Space. In the years Following Bret moved on to become creative director at sledgehammer games working on multiple entries in the Call of Duty series. But during all of this time, an idea was brewing. And that idea was Immortals of Aveum. A game in which battles would take place, but wouldn’t be utilising guns, military gear and helicopters. It would feature battlemages, devastating spells and dragons. 

Immortals of Aveum Preview

Within the early years of development, the studio grew to employ over 100 experienced AAA developers and then started to catch the eye of publishers. This is where EA thought the game would be prefect for their EA Originals program. And the team at Ascendant agreed. 

Immortals of Aveum is developed using Unreal Engine 5 and is a first person single player, story driven, magic shooter experience. In the game you play as Jak, a Magnus, which is the game’s term for a battlemage. Events early in the game lead to Jak manifesting his magical abilities. Jak is quite unique within this world as he’s referred to as a Triarch allowing him to wield all 3 colours of magic that exist in the world of Aveum, blue, red and green magic. Because of his abilities, Jak is then recruited into a group known as the Immortals, a group of powerful battle mages that act as the special forces of this world. 

The game is said to be an epic game set in the fantasy world of Aveum and the developers stated it’s campaign is planned to be over 25 hours long, so it seems like there’s plenty of time on offer to really get invested in this world and it’s cast of characters. 

And it’s a world that based on what I’ve seen, appears to have some rich worldbuilding and a lot of interesting lore to learn. The world of Aveum contains ley lines that run throughout the land and act as conduits for the energy that power the various types of magic that can be wielded by those that can use magic. The world has been ravaged in an ongoing battle for over 1000 years in an event known as the Everwar, a fight over the control of the worlds ley lines and its magic, fought between the kingdoms of Lucium and Rasharn. Jak being a Triarch becomes a key component in fighting back the forces of Rasharn and preventing their takeover of the world’s magic. 

Immortals of Aveum Preview

I was then introduced to some of the key characters that will be featured in the game and based on what was shown, the game has the potential to have the characters be just as interesting and deep as the world’s lore. And the game features a top notch cast portraying them too. Jak himself is played by Darren Barnet, with his fellow Immortals consisting of General Kirkan (Gina Torres), Devyn (Antonio Aakeel) and Zendara (Lily Cowles). With the enemy forces of Rasharn being lead by Sandrakk (Steven Brand) and The Hand (Yvonne Senet Jones). 

The preview then jumped into showing off a few gameplay sequences. The world is very lush, rich and highly detailed. The character models are quite realistic and the clothing, armour and magical effects rendered in incredible detail using the latest iteration of Unreal Engine. I got to see an early part of the game where Jak first meets General Kirkan and we get some exposition explaining more about the world’s ley lines and the ongoing Everwar. It’s clear that Jak is out of his depths and not a soldier, but Kirkan promises to fix that.

There is then a 5 year time jump showing Jak now working alongside the Immortals and after a motivational speech Kirkan delivers to some fellow troops, the game seamlessly transitions into gameplay where I got to see my first look at how the game will play. 

Immortals of Aveum Preview

It’s here Bret explained a bit more about the Aveum’s magic system. The blue, red and green types of magic. Blue magic acts like an accurate long range magical shot, red magic is a high damage, close range shot similar to a shotgun blast and green magic unleashes fast paced fully automatic bursts of magic. Jak being a triarch is able to wield all three types and the magic is focussed through his Sigil, the device seen on his arm in the game’s key art. Throughout the game, Jak is able to gain access to new Sigils, Upgrade the ones he has and you’ll have the ability to customise them to better suit your individual playstyle. 

Jak’s magical abilities aren’t just for attacking your foes with magical bolts of energy. Jak also has the ability to summon a magical shield at any time that can protect against enemy attacks and Jak can even blast his own spells back through the shield to take down enemies while still being on guard with the trade off being some movement speed.

Jak also has what was referred to as ‘Control Spells’, I was shown the Lash, a spell that works like a magical chain that can pull distant enemies towards Jak or be used to throw them off edges. When it comes to special abilities, Jak is also able to unleash spells known as Furies. I was shown a spell called Shatter which unleashed magical spikes that pierce enemies. Fury spells drain Jak’s mana bar, requiring mana crystals to be found to replenish the meter for these spells.

The abilities demonstrated showcased the diversity on offer with the combat system and the ways Jak can control the battlefield. It was also shown that certain enemies in the game will have resistances and weaknesses to different types of magic. Enemies with blue magical shields for example require Jak to utilise blue magic to weaken and eliminate them.

Immortals of Aveum Preview

Immortals of Aveum also features a progression system where you’re able to find or buy new gear or items and also unlock new Talents. These Talents act as skills that you may be familiar with from other games, and there are separate Talent trees each for red, blue and green magic to increase your abilities and strengthen the types of magic to your own preference.

I was then shown another sequence featuring Jak being attacked by a Dragon before spotting The Hand, leading to a really flashy combat encounter while he was in pursuit. This section also highlighted the game’s exploration and puzzle solving elements and it was mentioned that there are many side paths to explore and new areas that you can access if you backtrack to earlier areas as you unlock new abilities, seemingly implementing a MetroidVania element to the exploration.

The demo culminated in a really flashy battle between Jak and the aforementioned dragon that had been attacking us earlier and highlighted how all of Jak’s abilities, offensive and defensive can and should be utilised together to be able to be the best battlemage you can.

Based on what I’ve seen, Immortals of Aveum has the potential to be a real hit when it launches later this year. It’s visually impressive, the gameplay looks fun and the lore and characters in the world appear interesting and I want to learn more. It’s all going to come down to how well the game actually feels to play to make sure it stays consistently fun over it’s lengthy campaign. But I’m very excited to see more when the game releases on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on July 20 this year.

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