Fantasy RPG adventure Avowed is on the way from developer Obsidian, and after what we saw during this year's Xbox Games Showcase, we finally have enough to go on to get properly excited about it. With first-person magical combat, a host of helpful companions to guide us, and hints at branching narratives to give us greater control of our destinies, this is one upcoming Xbox Series X game that's already looking impressive. What's more, we know that it's set in a brand new part of Eora - the same fantastical universe as Pillars of Eternity.
Avowed isn't the only game in the works from the Fallout: New Vegas developer. It's one of two upcoming Obsidan games, the other being The Outer Worlds 2, and after Pentiment made such a great impression when it launched in late 2022, we're keen to see how Obsidian has been getting on with its other projects.
We're told that Avowed is expected to launch around Q4 2024, so it's not one of the new games for 2023 to look out for. Still, that doesn't mean there's nothing else to it. Here's everything we know about Avowed following the latest news from the devs, from a trailer breakdown to a look at gameplay features.
- Avowed looks like an ace Skyrim successor
- Avowed is yet to enter what's expected to be Obsidian's longest testing phase ever
What is Avowed?
Avowed is a new IP from Obsidian, revealed during the July 2021 Xbox Games Showcase. It's a first-person RPG similar to Skyrim, with rune-based magic powers and sword combat confirmed by the short teaser trailer as well as the longer one seen during the Xbox Games Showcase 2023. It's set in the land of Eora, the same setting Obsidian used for its RPG Pillars of Eternity, only this time we'll be exploring an entirely different part of it.
Job listings found in September of 2019 for Obsidian’s next AAA project talked about "combat actions utilising both first and third-person animations," with "branching dialogue" and "day/night cycles". This puts the game in league with Obsidian’s former RPGs such as The Outer Worlds and Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords.
Avowed release date and platforms
Avowed is expected to launch in 2024, although no concrete date has been set as yet. We do however know that the first-person RPG is set to arrive on Xbox Series X/S, PC, and will be on Xbox Game Pass as a day-one release.
Avowed trailers - What can we learn?
An official gameplay trailer for Avowed was unveiled at Xbox Games Showcase 2023, giving us a closer look at the magical world of the Living Lands.
"People don't like you very much, do they?" That much is apparent, as our playable character seems to be under attack for most of the trailer. It gave us a closer look at the magic-based combat systems we can expect, as well as using good old-fashioned guns as part of our battle arsenal.
It also tells us a little more about the story of the game, which seems to revolve around our playable character's investigations of the Living Lands in the wake of a "plague that seems to be corrupting our very souls".
The very first Avowed trailer showcased at the E3 2021 Xbox event introduced us to a varied medieval landscape, starting in a war-torn castle owned by an empire of queens and kings “that has always known war”. According to the narration, this empire has now fallen into a state of disrepair, losing its oaths and giving rise to an unseen antagonistic force.
The game’s villainous monsters (skeletons are confirmed!) were apparently born of the sins of this empire, and the player character will face them over the course of the game. The question left by the end of the trailer - “Is an oath worth the weight of a crown?” - suggests that the player’s destiny may be that of royalty, and they might have to confront and question their fate as they rebuild the fallen empire.
Avowed plot and setting
Avowed is set in a part of Eora called the Living Lands, the same universe as Pillars of Eternity. From the most recent trailer shown at this year's Xbox Games Showcase, we learn that our playable character is a powerful magic-wielder, sent to the Living Lands by an emperor to investigate a devastating plague that is "corrupting" the people of the Living Lands.
However, being such a powerful mage, the locals fear and distrust you on impulse. You'll have to prove your intentions if you want to get them on your side. It seems our playable character's magical combat capabilities are wholly uncommon here in the Living Lands, able to use a combination of regular hand-to-hand melee weapons and guns alongside spells to eliminate foes.
"So now that you have all this power, what are you going to do with it?" That question is what lingers as the trailer draws to a close, and with on-screen text reading "forge your destiny" interspersed between clips, we could even be looking at Avowed having choice-based branching pathways.
Avowed is a first-person sword, magic, and weapons-based action game. From the latest gameplay trailer we can see elements of each in action, and it looks like some spells might have influential capabilities as well as being useful for combat.
For example, in one scene it looks like the playable character is using their magic to freeze an enemy and drag them closer before delivering the killing blow, giving it a feeling of Dishonored's abilities on top of the all-out magical onslaught we're expecting from Immortals of Aveum.
The 2023 gameplay trailer introduced us to the first of Avowed's companions, Kai.
According to Xbox Wire, "Kai is a Coastal Aumaua currently residing in the Living Lands and is one of the only friendly faces you’ll find here. He is a former soldier, and his idealistic and pragmatic temperament will help guide you as you venture out into this wild frontier."
It sounds like there will be more than one companion guiding us through the game, so we'll keep our ears pricked for any news on the others.
In terms of Avowed leaks and rumors, we have some details still to be confirmed. According to Sponger, the game will be fully open-world and “much larger than Skyrim.” The leaker says the game features real-time weather system, as well as mod support.
Players will apparently be able to have companions, fight “very large” bosses, and deal with gods while fighting against the “incoming threat of tyranny” which frames the narrative. The dialogue will also supposedly be dynamic, and the leaker claims Obsidian is planning to allow players the ability to “kill everyone in the game.“
Check out the best Xbox Series X games to play while we await more news on Avowed.