The magic-powered FPS Immortals of Aveum didn't really blow our doors off when we reviewed it back in August: The shooting was fun, but its characters and story left us cold. But as is the way with modern game development, multiple updates have been released since then, including a big one that dropped yesterday, and now Electronic Arts and developer Ascendant Studios is hoping that the release of a free demo will convince gamers to give it a second look.
The demo comes alongside the release of the big Echollector update, which adds new endgame content, a New Game+ mode, and a new Grand Magnus difficulty level, which as you might surmise from the name is meant to be very difficult indeed: Enemy health, defense, power, and behavior have all been "adjusted," which I take to mean "increased," and there will be fewer health drops in combat.
The response to the update at this point is, shall we say, somewhat muted. For one thing, the New Game+ mode isn't unlocking for some players: It's meant to be accessible from a shrine in Glaivegate after the final boss battle, but multiple players have reported that it remains locked even when the job is done.
Developer Ascendant Studios has confirmed that there's a problem and is working on a fix. In the meantime, restarting the final chapter might properly trigger the NG+ unlock, but Ascendant Studios recommends against it because there's no guarantee it will work and you might end up having to redo a bunch of lost progress.
But a bigger issue is that there just aren't very many people playing the game: Only 26 on Steam at this moment, according to Steam Charts. Immortals of Aveum is a multiplatform game so that doesn't tell the whole story, but it's definitely not great. That's where, I imagine, EA hopes the demo comes in: If it can convince enough people to give Immortals of Aveum a shot by throwing them a free bone, and if the game has been sufficiently tightened up over the course of several updates to make a good impression, then maybe there's a chance at a turnaround. There's certainly nothing to lose at this point.