They say time keeps going in circles, and events from the past are destined to repeat themselves. That seems to be happening right now in the world of video games. Not too long ago, nearly every game coming out was a wannabe live service type game that had a focus on multiplayer, pushing forward to today, where single-player and multiplayer games co-exist. I set all this up to say that Immortals of Aveum is a game that feels like it was made with the tech that we have able to use in the year 2023 but was pulled from a design book of the early 2010s when nearly every game was chasing the Call of Duty game train.
Immortals of Aveum takes place in the fantasy world of Aveum, where you take control of a young soldier in the army named Jak. Jak is different from all the other soldiers as he can cast three different types of magic instead of being skilled in just one type. If the story so far sounds like the first season of a Netflix fantasy show that you’ll never watch but keep getting recommended when you want to watch British Bake Off again, then you are not wrong. The game’s opening cinematic feels like it was designed by the same people who do those epic fantasy show intros, and it has what I view as “early Destiny” issues. This means you are dropped into this new world and are bombarded with a glossary that you are expected to understand. But the plot can simply be described as the villain destroys the hero’s home, the hero is the chosen one, and there are some hints that your group of soldiers might have some bad eggs in it.
If it sounds like I’m being hard on this game because it wasn’t good, that’s where you would be wrong. Because this is the type of thing, I think single-player shooters should be aiming for, and something I’ve missed from the Xbox 360 days. You get a glimpse at this new world, play around in it for about 15 hours, and then you finish and get a somewhat satisfying story out of it. Not just finishing and coming back months later when you have forgotten everything that has happened. That and the graphics, from my experience, were pushing the PS5 to its breaking point; quite literally, it got an overheating warning for the first time. After that, I placed the PS5 on the floor, balanced on a coffee table book, and didn’t have the issue again. I liked aspects of this game because it brought me back to a time when you got what you wanted out of a game.
As for the gameplay, if you have ever played Call of Duty or any first-person shooter, then you’ll fit right at home here. You have three forms of magic: blue, which is the semi-auto rifle; red, which is your shotgun; and green, which is the machine gun. I was able to figure out where to use each spell quickly and also to figure out which one is the easiest to break the combat like a twig. You also have a selection of side attacks which can bring enemies closer and slow them down, along with a charge attack that can wipe enemies off the battlefield. This is where the game shines when you are placed in an area and start blasting enemies, like your LARPing in real life and shouting lightning every 5 seconds.
But as for the story, as mentioned earlier, it’s not anything special. In fact, at times, it can be quite annoying, especially with the MCU quality level of dialogue. The main character is a sarcastic smart-ass, trying to end every sentence with a quip. It works at times, but then he does the MCU thing, where he ends a dramatic moment with a joke. So, if that is annoying, I would skip every cutscene and just focus on the moment-to-moment gameplay. But if you enjoy Netflix-like dramas, the story here will get you your fix until you forget about it a week later.
So, in the end, can I say with a straight face that Immortals of Aveum is a good game? It has elements of a good game, mainly because they made me nostalgic for a time when games were just short adventures that were made to be consumed and then moved on to the next big thing. But if you are interested in deep stories, I would skip this one. If you are someone who wants to play a magic version of Call of Duty, then I would say wait for a sale. To sum it up, if you go in with low expectations, you will put your controller down during the credits, feeling satisfied with what you just played.
Score: 7 out of 10
Reviewed on PlayStation 5