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Avowed FAQ: Release window, character creation, platforms, gameplay, and other questions answered

 Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.
Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.

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One of the most legendary studios in the world for top-notch Western role-playing games is Obsidian Entertainment, the creators behind Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds, and Pillars of Eternity. The next major release from Obsidian is a brand-new IP called 'Avowed,' and it's looking like one of the most exciting new releases of 2024.

Avowed is still largely shrouded in mystery, however, so we're here to shed some light on some of your biggest questions. Read on for everything you need to know about one of 2024's biggest releases from Obsidian Entertainment and Xbox Game Studios, including when you can expect it, on which platforms it'll release, how it'll play, and even some clues as to whether or not Avowed may become one of the best Xbox games of the year.

What is Avowed?

Best answer: Avowed is a first-person fantasy role-playing game (RPG) set in the established Pillars of Eternity fictional universe. You'll explore The Living Lands while investigating a mysterious magical plague, and quickly become embroiled in an impending catastrophe that could destroy the world.

Avowed may be a brand-new IP, but it's not building a brand-new universe. Instead, Obsidian Entertainment is tapping into its existing fictional universe brimming with history, lore, unique cultures, and more. You guessed it: Pillars of Eternity. Where both Pillars of Eternity games are third-person isometric RPGs, however, Avowed is a full-blown first-person, open-world adventure. It also takes place in a new part of Eora — The Living Lands.

Players will step into the shoes of an envoy from the Aedyr Empire, sent to The Living Lands on a quest to investigate an enigmatic plague that is apparently ravishing the region. Upon arriving, you'll soon realize that this plague is far more serious than you first imagined, and that the fate of the entire world may be at stake. You'll explore The Living Lands, meet a diverse cast of unique characters, embark on countless new adventures, and master multiple forms of combat during your journey to unravel the mystery at the heart of the magical plague.

Avowed will obviously draw heavily from the established lore of the Pillars of Eternity franchise, but gameplay-wise could not be further apart. Many have compared Avowed to The Elder Scrolls franchise from Bethesda, in the same way many compare Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas to Bethesda's Fallout titles. Obsidian itself has stated that, while Avowed was originally pitched as the studio's take on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a shift in game direction has made Avowed a more focused RPG experience in a similar vein as The Outer Wilds.

Avowed — See at Microsoft Store (Xbox & PC) | Steam (PC)

A brand-new adventure from the RPG masters at Obsidian Entertainment, Avowed is a first-person take on the beloved Pillars of Eternity franchise, tasking players with unraveling the mystery at the heart of a magical plague.View Deal

When does Avowed release?

Best answer: Avowed currently doesn't have a confirmed release date. However, we do know that Obsidian Entertainment is planning on launching Avowed sometime in Fall 2024.

Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.
Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.

We've known about Avowed since the Xbox Games Showcase 2020, but we had to wait years to finally start seeing more of the game and getting hints as to when we'll actually be able to play it. Finally, Avowed made a big showing during the Xbox Developer_Direct 2024 with a deep dive into Avowed's gameplay and combat, as well as a release window.

No, it's not a release date, so don't rush to your calendars yet. However, we do know that Avowed is slated to release sometime during Fall 2024. That means it's considerably less than a year away, and should launch ahead of the 2024 holiday season. Now that a release window has been revealed, we'll also likely begin seeing more of Avowed from Obsidian Entertainment and Xbox Game Studios, including new trailers, deep dives, behind-the-scenes looks, and more. We'll update this space the moment we have a more specific release date.

Is Avowed coming to PlayStation or Switch?

Best answer: Avowed is only confirmed to be releasing on Xbox Series X|S consoles and Windows PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam. While it's not impossible for Avowed to come to other platforms either at launch or in the future, it's both unlikely and entirely unconfirmed.

Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.
Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.

Avowed is a first-party Xbox game, meaning it's developed in-house by Obsidian Entertainment and published in-house by Xbox Game Studios. As such, the game has only been confirmed to be launching on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, as well as Windows PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam. The game does not appear to be launching on the aging Xbox One platform, making it exclusive to current-gen hardware.

As for Avowed's arrival on other platforms, it's unconfirmed (and still highly unlikely) at this time. There has been drama and controversy in the Xbox community lately amidst rumors that Microsoft is considering porting some of its exclusive Xbox titles to other platforms, but the validity and exact details of the rumors are still largely mysteries. However, even if Microsoft does begin launching select Xbox exclusives on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, it's improbable that Avowed will count among them.

That's because Avowed is being developed by an internal Xbox Game Studio, not a member of the acquired Bethesda Softworks or Activision Blizzard publishing arms now under the Xbox family. It's also a new IP, not an established franchise that already exists on other platforms (although it is part of the Pillars of Eternity universe, so that point is a bit muddy). Finally, it's a single-player game that won't massively benefit from a larger player-base, since there will be no multiplayer modes to populate. It's not impossible for Avowed to release on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, but for now consider it an Xbox and Windows PC exclusive.

Is Avowed coming to Xbox or PC Game Pass?

Best answer: Avowed is launching day one into Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, and should remain on all Game Pass services indefinitely.

Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.
Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.

This answer probably won't surprise you, but it's worth laying it out in simple terms: Avowed is absolutely coming to Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming parallel to its general release. As a first-party Xbox game, it's a write-in for all of Microsoft's subscription services, apart from Xbox Game Pass Core (which only offers a curated collection of older exclusives and third-party gems). Avowed will be there from day one, and it'll remain there indefinitely.

This also means Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get a 10-20% discount on buying Avowed to own, with that increased discount being courtesy of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. If Avowed gets post-launch DLC or expansions, Game Pass subscribers will also get discounts on that DLC (although the DLC likely won't launch on Xbox Game Pass itself).

Avowed's inclusion in Xbox Cloud Gaming means that, even if you don't own an Xbox Series X|S or modern Windows PC, you'll still be able to experience Obsidian's latest masterpiece via streaming on Xbox One, iOS and Android devices, and practically anything else with a browser.

Is there character creation in Avowed?

Best answer: Yes, Avowed will let you customize your character and evolve them as you progress through the game, although the exact options for customization are still mostly unknown.

Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.
Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.

Like most other RPGs, Avowed will feature in-depth character customization to ensure that every adventure through The Living Lands is unique. This far ahead of launch, we don't know many of the details of Avowed's character customization systems, but we do know a few details.

For one, players will choose background traits that help set up your character to excel in certain areas at the beginning of the game. However, you will not be locked into any classes or categories in Avowed. Players will be free to choose any skills or abilities as they evolve and level up their character, and there will even be easy ways to respec if you decide you want to go a different route. This is in stark comparison to many other RPGs, and aims to give players more freedom in how they play the game.

We also know that Avowed will only feature two selectable races (Human and Elf) when designing your original character, a stark departure from the Pillars of Eternity games and only a small selection from the diverse races that inhabit Eora. Apparently, this decision is twofold. For one, your character originates from the Aedyr Empire, which is predominantly populated by Humans and Elves. Secondly, Obsidian wanted to guarantee a consistency in Avowed's first-person gameplay that would be much more difficult to achieve (and require significantly more development resources) if players could explore The Living Lands as other races in Eora, which differ wildly in size and stature.

What is the gameplay like in Avowed?

Best answer: Avowed will play similarly to other first-person RPGs in the same category, but with Obsidian's new dynamic, dual-wielding combat system. The campaign and missions will also prominently feature dialog options and branching paths.

Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.
Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.

We got our first in-depth look at Avowed's gameplay during the Xbox Developer_Direct 2024, and it appeared similar to many other first-person RPGs but with Obsidian Entertainment's iconic spin. This is also a brand-new combat system from Obsidian, which aims to be more flexible, dynamic, and interesting than Obsidian's previous games.

What we know is that Avowed will feature a vast arsenal of different weaponry between magical abilities and spells, melee weapons like swords and axes, and ranged weaponry like bows and even guns. Players will be able to fully customize their character's loadout and switch between multiple weapons and abilities on-the-fly, allowing for rapid adjustment to evolving combat scenarios. You'll also be able to dual-wield weapons and magic in Avowed, leading to unique ways to decimate your foes. Obsidian apparently wants combat in Avowed to feel 'visceral,' with a focus on the impact of spells and weapons. We'll have to wait until we play Avowed ourselves to evaluate this.

As for the rest of the game, we know little of other gameplay mechanics and systems. However, the campaign should be structured similarly to The Outer Worlds and other RPGs, in that players will take on different quests and missions from a wide variety of sources involving investigative work, combat, exploration, and a whole lot of conversation. Yes, Avowed will prominently feature branching dialog options, allowing players to change the course of quests and ultimately the game through their responses.

It's worth mentioning that Obsidian has stated Avowed is very different from The Outer Worlds in many ways, so it'll be interesting to see more of the game as it's revealed ahead of launch. Either way, we know that Avowed is being given plenty of time at Obsidian for development, testing, and polishing, a benefit of the studio's inclusion under the Xbox Game Studios banner.

Will Avowed have multiplayer or co-op?

Best answer: Avowed will not feature any multiplayer or co-op features, although up to two NPC companions can join you on your journey through The Living Lands.

Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.
Official Avowed image from the Avowed Fan Kit.

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Avowed is a true single-player, first-person fantasy RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, focused entirely on its world building, narrative, and gameplay elements. As such, it'll feature no online multiplayer or co-op features at launch, and it's highly doubtful any will ever come to the game. This is a deliberate decision by Obsidian to focus on what the studio does best.

However, it was revealed that Avowed was originally planned to feature co-op, possibly to help attract the attention of publishers. Once Obsidian joined the Xbox family, though, that stopped being a consideration. Early on in development, the team behind Avowed realized co-op would take away from the game experience, so it was ultimately cut. Unlike other RPGs like the critically-acclaimed RPG Baldur's Gate 3, Avowed's design just doesn't quite meld with co-op play. We'll see when Avowed launches if Obsidian made the right decision.

Avowed — See at Microsoft Store (Xbox & PC) | Steam (PC)

A brand-new adventure from the RPG masters at Obsidian Entertainment, Avowed is a first-person take on the beloved Pillars of Eternity franchise, tasking players with unraveling the mystery at the heart of a magical plague.View Deal