Avowed, an upcoming first-person fantasy RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, is high on our list of highly-anticipated Xbox exclusives.
Avowed is set in Eora, the world of the Pillars of Eternity games. We don’t know a huge amount about the game just yet, though what little we've seen of its visuals have resulted in Avowed being compared to Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls franchise. But that doesn't mean Avowed is another take on Skyrim with a fresh coat of paint, far from it.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said he sees these games as “very different”. Still, regardless of what it is, the fact that Avowed is coming from the developer behind The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas makes us hopeful that it’s something special. Avowed doesn’t have a release date yet, but we’re hoping that 2022 will bring some more news about this exclusive game.
Want to know more? Read on for everything we know about Avowed so far.
Avowed: cut to the chase
- What is it? A new first-person fantasy RPG from Obsidian Entertainment
- When can I play it? TBC
- What can I play it on? Xbox Series X|S and PC
Avowed release date and platforms
There's no Avowed release date as of yet and, with details thin on the ground, we're not expecting to see Obsidian's RPG until at least late 2022.
We do know however that Avowed will be an Xbox console exclusive. Given Microsoft's previous release pattern, that means it's coming to PC, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. As is standard for first-party games, it'll also be coming to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on day one.
Now that Microsoft has acquired Obsidian, we shouldn't expect to see the game come to PS5. Even though The Outer Worlds landed on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms, this was in development well before Obsidian's acquisition by Microsoft was finalized.
However, appearing as a guest on the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast, VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb tells us Avowed was originally looking at a 2023 release. Here, he stated that Microsoft an internal 2021-2022 schedule included nine games in Xbox's 2023 plans. Alongside Avowed, this reportedly included Fable 4, Hellblade 2, Perfect Dark, Contraband, Everwild, and three untitled games.
Given that Forza Motorsport, Redfall, and Starfield are all scheduled for 2023, there's every chance a lot of these games have been internally delayed. For example, previous reports suggested that Everwild has been rebooted, now targeting a 2024 release date. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft hasn't commented on this report but we'll keep this updated as we hear more.
Avowed gameplay and setting
Avowed is a fantasy RPG. Set in Eora, the world of the Pillars of Eternity games, both games are developed by Obsidian but Avowed will take a first-person perspective, rather than POE's isometric perspective. So, the game will feel quite different from its predecessors.
We expect fans of the POE games will be sure to recognize elements of the world. Pillars of Eternity largely focused on the nation of Dyrwood, though, so we could see Avowed explore a different nation, continent, or part of the world we haven't seen before.
What's also new here is that the POE games were very much PC-first experiences, even if both 2015's Pillars of Eternity and 2018's sequel Deadfire came to current-gen consoles a couple of years after their initial launch dates. Avowed being announced on an Xbox stream, for a launch across PC, Xbox, and Game Pass, confirms how different this is going to be. Expect a very controller-friendly RPG.
Based on its trailer, Avowed has drawn some comparisons with the Elder Scrolls series in terms of its appearance but Phil Spencer has said there are “distinct differences” between the games.
“I think the games are very different, so maybe I struggle a little bit to say that’s our version of this, just knowing what [Obsidian studio head Feargus Urquhart] and the team are going off to do. But when I think about our lineup, and I think about that more core fantasy RPG setting, I think Avowed is gonna be an awesome entrance there.”
Either way, we're excited to see what Obsidian brings to the table, even if it cleaves close to Skyrim in its combination of spell-aided combat and epic open-world quests.
The first Avowed trailer sets the scene clearly, with medieval battlements, flaming arrows, and plenty of war-torn landscape beset with skeleton warriors. We get a brief glimpse of the player viewpoint at the end, showing off a similar first-person outlook and the ability to wield a sword in one hand and cast rune-based spells in the other. So far, so Skyrim.
Avowed news and rumors
Windows Central report sheds some light
There’s been little in the way of official news when it comes to Avowed, but a report from Windows Central (opens in new tab) may have shed at least a little more like on what we can expect from the game.
Speaking with “trusted and proven sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans”, the report details the game’s combat styles, artistic aesthetics, and links to other games in Obsidian’s back catalog. According to Windows Central, Avowed is an “action-oriented first-person combat and deep RPG exploration and narrative systems” that’s working on an engine similar to that of Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds. The report says the game is heading towards a playable alpha state.
As far as combat is concerned, the report states that there’ll be two-handed fighting systems, allowing for dual-wielding of different categories of weapons and spells, rather like Skyrim. Unlike Skyrim, though, Avowed will stick closely to a class-based system rather than allowing for a free-flowing mix and match situation.
The Warrior class, for example, will specialize in physical attacks like shield bashes, while spell casters will be able to wield a wider array of spells than other classes. There’s also the suggestion that early guns like muskets will appear.
When it comes to Avowed’s game world, we already know that it’s set in the same universe as the Pillars of Eternity games from Obsidian but according to Windows Central, the game is actually surprisingly colorful so far, leaning into the fantastical.
Overall, it sounds like Avowed’s development is coming on well and, if we're lucky, we might even get our next glimpse of it during Summer Game Fest 2022.
Absent from E3 but more coming "soon"
Avowed was absent from Microsoft and Bethesda’s E3 2021 joint showcase, making it one of many highly anticipated titles that we didn’t see during last year’s E3.
However, Obsidian hasn’t remained silent on the matter and, in an Xbox Wire post (opens in new tab), the developer took the opportunity to explain that “the team is hard at work making something we’re sure fans of our games and the Pillars of Eternity universe are going to love.” So, while Obsidian isn’t ready to show off Avowed just yet, it said “we are looking forward to showing off what we have been working on soon.”
Not on the list
Avowed still doesn’t have an official release date or release window but a 2021 launch is looking less likely after a recent post on Xbox Wire (opens in new tab). Published in January 2021, the post lists the games that are coming exclusively to Xbox in 2021.
Given that Avowed is an Xbox exclusive and it doesn’t appear on this list, it does make it seem unlikely that the game is coming anytime soon. That said, the list is fairly limited and we imagine Xbox still has some unannounced dates up its sleeve. We’ll just have to be patient until something official is announced.
Avowed is still pretty much a mystery, with Obsidian and Microsoft keeping their cards close to their chests as far as details are concerned. However, that hasn’t stopped those who claim to be Microsoft Insiders from leaking information. A user called Sponger took to the Resetera forums shortly after Avowed’s announcement to reveal what they know about Avowed’s gameplay features, with another notable leaker, Klobrille, seeming to back them up.
Some of the most interesting features Sponger mentions include a “fully open world” that’s “denser” and “more contrasted” than Skyrim’s; advanced character creation; real-time weather systems; large-scale boss battles and creatures and wildlife that are based on Pillars of Eternity lore.
The most important thing they mention is a targeted release date of late 2022 or early 2023 which doesn’t seem entirely unrealistic.
Since these features aren’t from an official source, naturally they should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. The safest bet is to wait until Obsidian itself reveals more about the game and we’re hoping we won’t have to wait too long for that.