Immortals of Aveum’s Art Director on Unreal 5 and Packing Details in the First-Person Magic Shooter

John Nguyen

Immortals of Aveum is a single-player, first-person magic shooter from publisher Electronic Arts and developer Ascendant Studios. The game utilizes Unreal Engine 5.1 and takes place in a fantasy world mixed with modern characters and magical action. It’s now available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC via the EA app, Steam and Epic Games Store.

Ascendant Studios was founded by CEO and Game Director Bret Robbins (Dead Space creative director), and EA Originals has helped the team create this game from idea to reality. The team has packed the game with hordes of enemies, and players will be able to take them down with over 25 different spells, combos and counters available. Players can also upgrade their character with Talents (over 80 unique ones), giving them more ways to help them eliminate the opposition.

Exploration and puzzles are also key in the fantasy world of Aveum. There are different biomes like the lush forests of Lucium the snowy peaks of Kalthus and the lava caves of Calderas, and they are inhabited by enemies, side quests, boss fights and more.

Julia Lichtblau joined Ascendant Studios as the art director when Bret founded the company for the vision of Immortals of Aveum.

“They see had this 60-page design doc that fleshed out what the story was, Jak and what the world was,” Lichtblau tells Nerd Reactor upon her joining the studio. “There’s a lot of really solid things to build off of there. We knew that there was this amazing world and these five kingdoms there was the Everwar. There are these crazy magical ley lines that are stretching all across the world and fighting over magic.”

“It was great because there was that initial story that Bret was really passionate about,” she continued. “We really haven’t veered from that, but it was an avenue for us to build off of and start to think about what actually is a more modern, magic fantasy shooter because that hasn’t been done in like 15 to 20 years. And so we wanted to really do something that was a little unexpected and merged together a bunch of different things, like kind of old world fantasy along with a little bit more new world like sci-fi and modern, almost like a blockbuster.”

Lichtblau’s previous work included working on The Walking Dead, Batman, and Game of Thrones for Telltale Games, and those games have that signature Telltale comic-book stylized art. Immortals of Aveum features more realistic graphics, so a different approach had to be taken for the art direction.

“Obviously, we’re not doing the stylized stuff that Telltale’s really known for, which was the comic book stuff,” she explained. “You’re able to hide a lot of stuff, honestly, in the Telltale games like the graphic line work. You were able to hide all the scenes. We didn’t have that luxury because we’re trying to make a more sort of realistic world. Honestly, because we’ve been working on Unreal 5, we’re able to build this crazy world. We use Lumens to dynamically change the global illumination and Nanite just allows us to just pack so much detail into every single mesh. The character meshes, we don’t have cinematic versions of our characters. It’s one character, and that much detail is packed into the character that you see on screen”

About Immortals of Aveum

Immortals of Aveum tells the story of Jak (Darren Barnet), who discovers that he is a magically-imbued ‘Unforeseen’ and finds himself reluctantly caught in the middle of the raging Everwar. Recruited under the tutelage of the powerful General Kirkan (Gina Torres) and an elite order of battlemages called the Immortals, Jak must master all three colors of magic – blue, green, and red. With powerful magic-wielders and legions of soldiers on both sides of the Everwar, Jak and the Immortals must uncover the mysteries of Aveum’s troubled past, if there’s any hope for turning the tides of the Everwar and defeating Sandrakk, the powerful warlord of Rasharn and his mysterious lieutenant, simply known as The Hand.

Joining voice actors Barnet (Gran Turismo, Never Have I Ever) and Torres (Firefly) are Antonio Aakeel (Slow Horses, I Came By) as Devyn, and Lily Cowles (Roswell, New Mexico, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War) as Zendara.

Immortals of Aveum is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC via the EA app, Steam and Epic Games Store for $59.99 USD (PC) and $69.99 USD (consoles).