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Xbox Developer Direct

Obsidian Showcases Avowed Combat

by Matt Miller on Jan 18, 2024 at 02:26 PM

Obsidian has been working for years on Avowed, a first-person fantasy RPG set in the same world as its excellent Pillars of Eternity games. Unlike the isometric styling of those titles, Avowed is a first-person adventure more in the vein of something like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, or The Outer Worlds.

Today’s Xbox Developer Direct offered a deeper dive into several important aspects of the game, but the standout feature was an explanation of combat, which aims to be action-oriented but still tactically complex. Players are allowed to use customizable loadouts, including selecting different weapons or other tools for each hand. We saw combinations of swords, shields, wands, and spell usage, and pistols. Once in combat, the mix of various offensive skills with defensive capabilities like blocks and parries makes it look like a genuinely engaging approach to battles. I'm especially stoked about dual-wielding wands.

Beyond a slick combat system, we also learned more about Avowed and its approach to quests and conversations. The game seems to focus on morally complex and uncertain situations where the player must make choices that shape subsequent outcomes in the story. That’s pretty par for the course in the genre, but it was nice to see the system in action through a sidequest about several killed soldiers and a player character who had to decide if one of the soldiers had been a coward and fled, leaving the others to their doom.

Obsidian also discussed the game’s art style across the Living Lands locale, where players will be trying to resolve a mysterious spiritual plague that has overtaken this part of the fantasy world. The developers have put a big focus on the contract between dull and vibrant, as well as between verdant and corrupted areas, leading to a sense of tension between two extremes in many of the places you might visit. Every site we saw looked beautiful, and it seems like a game destination that will be great fun to explore.

My sense is that many players are hungry for a new first-person fantasy adventure. We’ve yet to get our hands on the game, but today’s dive into some of its systems only increased my belief that Obsidian is pulling together something special with the game.

I’m eager to see how it comes together when Avowed releases on Xbox Series X/S and PC, including Game Pass, in the fall of this year.

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