My first hour with Immortals of Aveum has been somewhat of a mixed bag. We are in the midst of one of the craziest summers in gaming history with massive titles like Final Fantasy 16, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Baldur’s Gate 3 already come out; it’s hard to find any bandwidth for the various other titles that have been released. While not all will be on that level, there is still space for a shorter, more compact experience. One of those experiences is Immortals of Aveum, a brand-new IP that comes right before two other massive titles being released: Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon and Starfield. I’ve put in an hour with it so far, and I have some thoughts on this ambitious new title.
8 Things I Learned in My First Hour With Immortals of Aveum
8. Lore Heavy
Due to the game being co-written by the mind behind Oblivion and other Elder Scrolls titles, Immortals of Aveum is rich in its lore, and it happens in a hurry. Within the first five minutes of the game, you are being force-fed multiple terms, and it’s a bit of a whirlwind. Shortly after that, all hell breaks loose as it tends to do, and you get the entire history of this world at a breakneck pace. I was fumbling with my phone, trying to get it all down in my notes.
It’s a bit overwhelming, to say the least, and while what’s there is actually very interesting, with magic Laylines powering the world, an eternal war, and several intriguing factions all in play, it would’ve felt a bit better had it been given to me gradually. Luckily, the menu has a section where all the lore can be found as it gets revealed, so while you probably won’t get it during the fast-paced dialogue, you can always check it out later.
7. Slow Starter
Immortals of Aveum is not alone in starting slow, and here, we are hand-held from the get-go. You start as a young version of the main character, Jak, and you’re exploring this pseudo-futuristic world where everyone seems to have some magic. You eventually get to test out that magic, but it’s via target practice, which to me is always a cheap way to introduce game mechanics, but it happens here, and that’s how we get used to the powers.
Thankfully, things pick up after this, and the incident that leads you to join the Immortals has a decent amount of action. Unfortunately, after that, you’re given a step-by-step intro to all the powers you will receive, and I’m not sure if it’s just me, but tutorials drive me insane. At the end of my hour with the game and a 5-year time skip, I was finally thrown into fun combat, but it took too long to get to that point. I get that you need to introduce mechanics to the player, but you can do so in an exciting fashion. Final Fantasy 16, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Hogwarts Legacy are all excellent examples of how to do this, but Immortals of Aveum is not.
6. Immortals of Aveum Wants to Be a Movie
Ascendant Studios makes this no secret, as after the opening segment, there is a lengthy credit sequence that looks like something straight out of The Avengers. It’s as corny as possible and, for me, has no real place in gaming, but hey, some might enjoy that kind of thing. Along with that sequence, we have the classic walking and talking between the higher-up and the cocky upstart, and it all starts to feel like you’ve been there before because if you’ve seen any blockbuster action movie in the past decade, you certainly have.
The positive side of this aspect is the spectacle involved. After a modest opening 45 minutes or so, my final 15 minutes with the game introduced a set piece that blew my mind with some unbelievable graphics on display and a scale that felt like the end game of most games. The set piece I’m referring to felt like it should’ve been the ending to God of War: Ragnarok; it was that insane looking, and I was definitely here for it.
5. The Tone Is All Over the Place
I’m not sure what’s gotten into the water with game developers this year, but there appears to be an aggressive amount of edge to these releases. Just like Forspoken and Atomic Heart, Immortals of Aveum‘s main character Jak is as cocky as can be and likes making light of seemingly apocalyptic situations.
He’s not alone, however, as every character I’ve encountered seems incapable of taking anything seriously besides your mentor. I actually enjoyed Jak more than the aforementioned games’ protagonists, but there’s a distinct disconnect between the events on screen and the dialogue and tone the game presents you. It can definitely change throughout the game, but it was a bit jarring to experience.
4. Uncanny Valley With Character Faces
While the game can look beautiful at times, there is something to the characters that seriously threw me off. They went for direct motion capture for many of the faces, which is fine, but it feels like the words don’t necessarily match the faces at times. Some people are just more sensitive to this than others; for example, this effect in Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me made the game unplayable for me. Here, some characters look good, but others seem like they are covered in clay, and it makes character interactions awkward at times.
3. Immortals of Aveum Is New But Familiar
Although Immortals of Aveum is a new IP, it takes its DNA from a hodgepodge of other titles you might’ve played before. One game that came to mind immediately was Outriders. Is it an intriguing premise mixed with characters that can’t seem to take anything seriously, surrounded by rich lore? Yup, that’s the exact thing you’re getting here.
It also has dashes of Forspoken, with a gauntlet that grants you magical abilities, along with the very recent Atlas Fallen, which does the same thing. The aesthetic is ultra-shiny, emphasizing lighting above art direction, and feels a lot like Godfall at certain points. I understand I’m not naming the best gaming has to offer here, and that’s not saying Immortals of Aveum will end up like those games, but early on, it feels like I’ve been here before – just in first person instead of third.
2. Combat is Fun
The most important part of any game is the gameplay, and thankfully, Immortals of Aveum is very good in this regard. The combat is fast and flashy, giving you three magic types to play with, each serving a different purpose. Red is for close range, green is for rapid fire, and blue is a sniper rifle of sorts. You unlock special abilities along the way to make the combat more varied, and the enemies so far are quite varied, so I’m always being called upon to use all of my powers.
Although I’ve only faced a couple of mini-bosses, I can see these will likely be the highlight of the game, as they force you to expose weak points to take them down quicker and require you to switch your weapons constantly. I’m a bit worried that red, blue, and green magic is all that will be available to me throughout the game, as I can see that getting stale, but that remains to be seen.
1. Performance Is All Over the Place
I ran Immortals of Aveum on a 2070 Super, which is technically the minimum needed for this game, which, in my approximation, is the highest minimum of any game I’ve ever seen. Running 4k here was simply not an option for me, as the framerate tanks are crazy. I was able to play with most settings on high in 1080p with little issues, and everything looked fine, but I got constant frame drops in populated areas, and my GPU was gasping for air during some of the fights with bunches of enemies on screen.
The recommended specs are a 3080 TI, which is wild for today’s gaming age but understandable due to the look they’re trying to pull off here. Reports from other players have said that even with high-powered GPUs or playing on an Xbox Series X, this thing struggles to chug at a constant 60 fps, so it’s not just my modest card to blame here.
It’s important to keep in mind these are just impressions after the first hour of what is about a 15-hour game. Plenty can change after the first hour, and first impressions aren’t always accurate. I’m intrigued by the premise, and I like the main character, Jak, enough to see where his story goes. The combat is pretty fun, if not a little repetitive, and the lore of the game world is strong. I think I’m going to power through this one before the next tidal wave of games hits us. Not every game has to be Game of the Year. Sometimes, it can just be a quick, dumb, fun action romp, and I think that’s what you’re getting with Immortals of Aveum.