It had been a while since we heard anything about Avowed, a first-person RPG from Obsidian. Then the Xbox Games Showcase 2023 came and gave us a better look at this potential blockbuster Xbox Series X and PC game.
What looked a bit like a riff on Skyrim has evolved into something quite different, The core of Avowed's first-person sword and spells action remains, but the world looks a lot more colorful and based around characters than solo exploration.
And rather than lean into an open-world design, Avowed will focus more on story-telling within a more compact setting. That story will still take place in the world of Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity series.
So with that in mind, read on for what we know about Avowed so far.
Avowed release window
Microsoft has said Avowed will be released in 2024, but there's no more detailed release window than that.
We'd hazard a guess and say it will arrive in the fall or winter of 2024, given the lack of solid details we have about Avowed so far.
In the Xbox Games Showcase of 2023, we got a look at more game fottage and a flavor of what Avowed is all about, Check it out below.
And to get a sense of how Avowed has evolved, take a look at the announcement trailer below.
While Avowed might be a first-person RPG it won't be the sprawling epic that Skyrim was Rather Avowed will have a narrower focus and will lean heavily on character development and interactions.
"With Avowed we decided companions are going to be core. They're going to be part of the experience. And that means we can invest so much more in them and tie them much more closely, and personally, to the events and the parts of the world the player is encountering," Avowed director Carrie Patel, told PC Gamer.
From that interview with Patel, PC Gamer gleaned Avowed will let you play as a human or elf, it's single-player only, you'll have two companions with you at all times, and leveling up will be focused on unlocking abilities rather than boosting stats.
From the latest trailer, we see the game's action will involve slinging colorful spells, hacking and slashing with swords and other melee weapons and also blasting foes with flintlock-style guns.
Aside from being very character-focused, we know little about Avowed's story. The latest trailer did say that "people don't like you very much" and you were sent to The Living Lands to investigate a plague that seems to be corrupting people's souls.
The Living Lands are part of Eora, the world of the first two Pillars of Eternity games, so we can expect some story crossover there.
But whatever happens, you'll not be attacking the story alone, as Patel explained: "One thing we wanted to do with Avowed was make sure the companions felt really integral to the story. In some games they're optionally recruitable, but in Avowed they're deeply tied to the story, tied to your party… we really wanted to create this sense that you're in this big wild frontier, you're going on this adventure of discovery, and you have this small but tight knit crew with you. The sense you're adventuring through the wilds together, sharing in the discovery and the danger. These people are just as much a part of your story as the larger events that you're getting in the middle of."
Avowed Xbox Series X, Series S, PCs but no PS5
As Obsidian is part of Xbox Game Studios it'll be 'exclusive' to Xbox Series X, Series S and Windows PCs.
Avowed will be released on Steam too, which could open up potential Steam Deck compatibility, but that's just speculation.
Given there are still a lot of unanswered questions around Avowed, it's tricky to say if it's got the potential to be the next hit fantasy RPG.
But Obsidian has form in making RPGs with deep, compelling stories, so we are somewhat hopeful about Avowed. As 2023 progresses we hope to hear and see more about Avowed.