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Immortals of Aveum delivers on its ‘fantasy Call of Duty’ promise

Summer Gaming Marathon Feature Image
This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

When Immortals of Aveum was announced earlier this year, the team at Ascendant Studios told me that it was hoping to create a fantasy version of Call of Duty. And at the time, it was a little hard to see that comparison. Though former Call of Duty developers worked on the upcoming EA Original, it was hard to see that series’ DNA in what looked like a pretty fresh magic shooter, one that felt more on par with Ghostwire: Tokyo and Forspoken.

Immortals of Aveum – Official Reveal Trailer

After playing a good half-hour of it at Summer Game Fest, though, I now fully understand where the team is coming from. The Immortals of Aveum chapter I demoed showed off a true fantasy war game that played out exactly like a tense Call of Duty mission — just sub in dragons for helicopters and red magic for shotguns.

Ready for war

My demo took place a few chapters into the story, where I was already midway through a war being fought over control of powerful magic. Though Immortals of Aveum features a hard fantasy setting filled with fantastical design elements and lots of color, I start on a much more familiar note. I’m briefed on the operation I’m about to embark on, like a soldier receiving orders from a captain before a firefight.

A battlefield appears in Immortals of Aveum.

Sure enough, I’m quickly thrown into a total warzone. Though everyone is fighting with magical powers, the scene looks like it was pulled right from a Call of Duty game as buildings explode overhead as if they’re being hit with rockets instead of blue energy blasts. It’s an exciting introduction to the world that makes magic feel as powerful as an army’s worth of weapons.

I’d soon get to test some powers of my own on the opposing forces. With blue magic, I can hit enemies with a long-range shot. Red magic acts more like a close-range shotgun, while green magic peppers enemies with rapid-fire shots. It’s all pretty easy to pick up, especially considering that I don’t need to worry about aiming down sights. Instead, my left trigger is a magical lash that yanks enemies toward me, allowing me to blast them with my red magic.

I felt like I just scratched the surface of the combat system here, only using three basic attack types that got a bit old after a while. However, there’s a massive skill tree full of abilities to unlock, as well as more powerful cooldown spells that seem to shake up combat significantly. For instance, I gained a spell that would allow me to send a powerful earthquake toward my enemies.

A player blasts an enemy with magic spells in Immortals of Aveum.

Firefights get as tense and action-packed as you’d expect from something inspired by Call of Duty. I’d especially learn that in the demo’s ultimate boss fight, where I’d have to face off against a massive dragon and blink-dash out of the way of its flame breath. I’d barely survive the encounter, thwarting it with some careful blocking thanks to a magic shield I can call up at any time with a press of the left bumper.

It’s that combination of both wargame and fantasy staples that has me especially intrigued so far. It seems like Immortals of Aveum has a very good idea of how good Call of Duty missions work on a structural level and is replicating the action in a more fantastical setting. I’m frankly sick of mowing down enemies with realistic machine guns in vague battlefields. This approach feels a little more playful, without losing that excitement.

I don’t expect Immortals of Aveum to be an industry-shaking hit on the scale of Call of Duty. The demo I played brought plenty of video-gamey thrills and teased some more clever gameplay in exploration puzzles, but it seems like a rather straightforward, fun-first action game in the vein of Outriders. Its success will come in how much it can continue to deliver consistent, surprising blockbuster action that makes good use of magic. If it can keep the momentum up, it should be a fun popcorn game to play during a slow summer for AAA releases.

Immortals of Aveum launches on July 20 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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