- Obsidian Entertainment announced Avowed at the Xbox showcase, its first game since being acquired by Microsoft. The first-person action RPG is set in The Living Lands.
- Avowed originally aimed to be like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim but scaled down to a more focused experience like The Outer Worlds.
- The upcoming Xbox Developer Direct will provide a deep dive into Avowed’s gameplay, including combat, magic systems, dialogue mechanics, and worldbuilding.
Obsidian Entertainment announced Avowed at the 2020 Xbox showcase, and it will be the studio’s first game since Microsoft acquired it in 2018. The first-person action RPG takes place in The Living Lands, a remote region of the world of Eora from Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity series. It was initially intended to be Obsidian’s answer to The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. However, the studio later decided to scale down the game’s open world in favor of a more focused experience comparable to The Outer Worlds and other Obsidian games.
Fans have already had a few decent looks at the upcoming game, including multiple developer interviews. However, it’s been quite a while since the last time Obsidian showed it off. Fortunately, that will soon change, with Avowed being one of four games that will be featured in the upcoming Xbox Developer Direct. Still, some fans might wonder what to expect from Avowed when the show goes live on January 18.
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Avowed at Xbox Developer Direct in 2024
According to Microsoft, Obsidian’s Developer Direct presentation will include the first deep dive into Avowed’s gameplay. Fans will also learn more about how Obsidian builds its worlds and how Avowed reacts to the player’s actions. Microsoft did not indicate how much of the show will be dedicated to Obsidian’s game, but it’s unlikely that Avowed’s segment will run for more than 10 to 15 minutes. However, last year’s extended showcase opens the possibility, but not a guarantee, that fans might see more from Obsidian shortly after the main show.
Avowed’s Gameplay Deep Dive
The gameplay deep dive is potentially the most exciting part of Avowed‘s Xbox Developer Direct presentation since it may finally give viewers a good idea of how the game will play. Fans already know that Avowed is a first-person action RPG, and Obsidian released a roughly two-and-a-half-minute gameplay trailer last year. However, they have yet to get an uncut look at gameplay. While Microsoft and Obsidian haven’t promised this, it’s at least something to keep an eye out for.
If nothing else, the deep dive should provide an overview of Avowed’s gameplay mechanics. Presumably, there will be a proper explanation of the game’s combat and magic systems. Magic was displayed prominently in Avowed’s announcement and gameplay trailer, so seeing what Obsidian has done with it will be exciting. The studio will hopefully also provide an overview of the different kinds of weapons and equipment, as well as stats and leveling.
As an Obsidian game, Avowed is also expected to have branching dialogue featuring skill and reputation checks. Hopefully, the Xbox Developer Direct will demonstrate how the dialogue system works and what kind of dialogue checks players can expect. It will be interesting to see to what degree players can use the dialogue system to build a backstory for their character and whether the game will acknowledge those choices.
Worldbuilding and Reactivity
Xbox’s Developer Direct announcement also said fans will gain insight into Avowed’s worldbuilding. The game takes place in the Pillars of Eternity universe, but Avowed‘s setting of the Living Lands has never played more than a background role until now. This gives Obsidian a nearly blank canvas to paint the region’s people, places, and concepts.
Note: Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire players can choose Living Lands as their character’s Culture, granting a +1 bonus to the Might attribute. Avowed player-characters are always citizens of the Aedyr Empire, though it’s unclear if NPCS will still receive different culture-based bonuses.
Xbox’s post also specifically referenced Avowed’s reactivity and how the game lets players make decisions that shape the world around them. While developers presumably don’t want to give away too many spoilers, the showcase will hopefully provide at least one example of these systems in action.
Of course, Avowed is not the only game in the spotlight next Thursday. The January 18 showcase will also reveal MachineGame’s unnamed Indiana Jones project, feature Ara: History Untold gameplay, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. The Elder Scrolls Online 2024 Global Reveal also starts immediately after the Developer Direct.
- Xbox Game Studios
- Action RPG