Avowed, the upcoming RPG by developer Obsidian, is set to feature open-zone areas comparable in size to the ones in the studio’s previous game, The Outer Worlds. In an interview for the Official Xbox Podcast, republished by Xbox Wire, game director Carrie Patel and gameplay director Gabe Paramo shared details about scope, combat features, and how quests will work.
“It’s open-zone, size comparable to The Outer Worlds areas on the larger side, and [with] multiple paths essentially to tackle combat situations, or avoid them,” Paramo said. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, open-zone refers to independent maps that are interconnected with each other, but don’t make up for a single open-world to traverse through seamlessly.
Breaking down the gameplay shown during the Xbox Developer Direct on January 18, Paramo takes the segment about the quest in Shatterscarp, which shares a glimpse of dialogue-based choices, as an example of the nature of missions in Avowed. The quest in question is “entirely discoverable, which means it’s also entirely missable,” he added.
“For us, creating these choices, like the big ones that affect the outcome of a quest, or the wellbeing of certain characters or communities are just as important as the smaller choices that you make in navigating a dialogue and, in subtle ways, influencing your relationship with another character,” said Patel.
The developers draw attention to a philosophy of a “player-centric approach to role play,” which also encompasses flexibility around Avowed’s combat. In the newest gameplay, the player is seen dual-wielding wands to cast spells faster, as well as using pistols and swords. You can also expect skills to get into the mix, opening the door to some experimentation with loadouts depending on how you prefer to tackle combat encounters. In good old RPG fashion, elemental synergies will play a big part in these decisions.
Paramo added that players “can mix and match between different abilities to get some variety,” and while you can commit to a specific archetype, there isn’t an enforced class setup. If anything, you can always respec your character, although the team didn’t share specifics of how this will work.
In similar fashion to The Outer Worlds, companions will also have a prominent role in Avowed. Patel said that all companions have “deep ties to different regions of the Living Lands,” acting not just as teammates, but as advisors and local guides.”
They provide a lot of additional commentary and context that reveals something about their character, but also about the corner of the world you’re exploring,” she added. Avowed is set to launch this fall on Xbox Series X/S and Windows PC, and yes, it will be available on Game Pass.