Immortals of Aveum Has the Best Twist on the FPS Since BioShock

A whole new meaning to “finger guns.”

Immortals of Aveum blue magic screenshot
Electronic Arts

I have to admit that every military shooter blurs together for me. Be it Battlefield or Call of Duty, the uniforms and guns are relatively the same to my uninformed eyes. So Immortals of Aveums flashy color-coded magic — which replaces the military-industrial look that permeates the FPS genre with a fantasy coat of paint — is so fresh, and feels so good.

Taking the FPS genre into the land of fantasy opens is a treat for the eyes, but also for the hands, as playing Immortals of Aveum builds on the accepted mechanics of the genre at large in inventive ways that can’t exist in a game based on reality. It's the freshest take on the genre since BioShock.

A specific movie scene I find myself thinking about during my first handful of hours playing Immortals of Aveum comes from Mission: Impossible Fallout. Henry Cavill gets ready to beat the crap out of a villain by pumping his fists before letting a punch fly. He is efficiently loading his fists like a gun, and while it makes no sense, it looks incredible on screen. That is how it feels to play Immortals of Aveum.

In the place of a rifle or pistol are your own two hands. The game’s three types of magic give you an arsenal of skills, with many of them taking the place of the weapons you might see in a typical military shooter. There’s magic that works like shotgun for close-quarters combat, long-range sniper-like skills, and even a mini-gun style magic that spins up to full blast.

One of the most satisfying parts of modern FPS titles is how each weapon feels different, from its weight to its recoil. All the magic in Immortals of Aveum comes from your arms, but every color still has its own weight when being used.

The traditional gun-like mechanics of Immortals of Aveum’s magic takes place on your right hand, and much like 2007’s BioShock, your left hand is reserved for more fantastical abilities. The inventive combat of BioShock melded FPS gunplay with powers that could interact with the environment and enemies in ways beyond point-and-shoot.

Immortals of Aveum swaps out a submachine gun with your own arm blasting magic bullets.

Electronic Arts

Immortals of Aveum takes that approach to all of its abilities, both the right and left hand. On the left, you can switch between options like a magical whip used for traversal as well as pulling enemies in close for a shotgun-like blast. The right hand has the aforementioned gun-like abilities but these have wrinkles like a projectile that can home in on enemies.

These varied skills at your fingertips (literally) are owed to the game’s fantasy setting. It also has the added benefit of bringing Immortals of Aveum out of the more reality-based military shooter and into the realm of high-octane arcade shooters. Even with developer Ascendant Studio’s background on the Call of Duty franchise, Immortals of Aveum feels more akin to the likes of the 2016 DOOM reboot. Looking further back, it could be seen as a spiritual successor to Raven Software’s ‘90s title Hexen 2, which also puts a fantasy spin on the FPS genre.

For anybody who has military fatigue when it comes to the FPS genre, Immortals of Aveum is not only an aesthetic reprieve but a mechanical breath of fresh air that leans into the fun afforded to it by stepping away from reality.

Immortals of Aveum releases on August 22 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles, and PC.

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