Despite having dreamed up the concept while working on the likes of Call of Duty: WW2, Ascendant Studios CEO Bret Robbins wants it known that Immortals of Aveum isn't the same thing but with magic.
Creating a magical shooter "was the initial vision and inspiration", Robbins said during a hands-off Immortals of Aveum preview event, but "very quickly, the game evolved into something different: we are not fantasy Call of Duty, we're our own game."
"We made a lot of decisions around magic, and how we wanted it to feel different to [playing with] traditional guns," he went on. "For one thing, I didn't want to make a traditional cover-shooter. I didn't think the fantasy I was trying to create would involve you hiding behind a bush and firing your wand over it. I wanted instead for the player to feel like a gunslinger, someone who could walk into an area and be a badass, basically." We play as a tattooed battlemage named Jak as he joins the ferocious Everwar for control of Aveum's ley lines, so feeling like a badass sounds about right.
Executive producer Kevin Boyle expanded upon this. "Beyond the mechanics of the game, from a narrative perspective, this is a story you could not tell with a contemporary backdrop. The world-building, the conflict [that] evolves over the course of the game, is very specific to Aveum," he said, so it's safe to say we won't find any camouflage-clad black ops crews here.
Robbins' experiences working on some of the best Call of Duty games might have influenced aspects of Immortals' combat system, suggesting that "the controls and the spells will feel familiar", but Robbins was intent to create something entirely unique. "We have a lot of world exploration, a lot of puzzles and puzzle mechanics, and a lot of additional content," he went on, describing how Immortals of Aveum goes beyond the realm of a simple looter-shooter.
It sounds like this additional content will mean an even greater time investment on top of the "well over 20 or 25 hours" it takes to complete the main campaign, according to Robbins, so we shouldn't be expecting a straightforward run-and-gun experience when Immortals of Aveum launches on July 20.
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