Avowed kicks off Xbox Developer_Direct 2024 showing off the Living Lands, combat, and a lot of lizard people

Promotional screenshot of Avowed
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • One of the most anticipated upcoming first-party Xbox games is Avowed, an open-world fantasy RPG from Obsidian Entertainment.
  • As the first game shown during the Xbox Developer_Direct 2024, Obsidian showed off a ton of Avowed's world, story, and gameplay.
  • The game will let you dynamically switch between guns, swords, magic, and many other weapons and abilities when battling opponents.
  • You'll also be exploring a colorful, vibrant world with a ton of different biomes and environments.

The Xbox Developer_Direct for 2024 is kicking off the year with a magical bang. Obsidian Entertainment dominated the spotlight to talk about Avowed, its upcoming open-world fantasy RPG that'll take players to the Pillars of Eternity universe in an all-new, first-person adventure. Obsidian developers talked about the game they're building for players, but also showed off a ton of gameplay footage for excited players to enjoy.

We get to see the extremely vibrant, saturated environments of the Living Lands, a frontier at the edge of the world swarming with diverse biomes, people, and enemies. It looks gorgeous, frankly, but we also got a better look at Avowed's combat and other gameplay. At first glance, Avowed does appear pretty similar to other similar RPGs, but Obsidian is designing its combat system to be more dynamic.

Players will be able to switch between a variety of weapons and abilities nearly instantly, including multiple ways to cast magic, melee weapons like swords, and even ranged weapons like guns. Players will be able to dual-wield for more firepower or diversity. This will help players overcome the myriad of challenges enemies will present. You'll also have defensive abilities, like parrying.

Finally, we got a sneak peek at Avowed's quest gameplay, which sees players investigate events and parse the truth from NPCs. In typical RPG fashion, Avowed will allow players to choose how they respond and the direction quests take, but we ultimately didn't get to see very much of Avowed's campaign.

Avowed will let you adventure through the Living Lands in search of a cure for a mysterious plague when it arrives in Fall 2024 for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC. It'll also come day one to Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. You can check out some screenshots of Avowed in action below.

The standard for RPGs has been raised, but I'm still excited

Avowed's cover art is absolutely stunning. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Obsidian Entertainment is a legendary developer, but the RPG genre has changed a lot since the studio's last game. Does Avowed have what it takes to become one of the best Xbox games of 2024? We'll have to wait until later this year to see, but I'm optimistic given Obsidian's ability to build incredible and believable worlds.

With games like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 pushing the RPG genre forward (and the gaming industry in general), Avowed will need to capture Obsidian's magic to succeed. This early look at its combat honestly didn't totally win me over. I love the idea of being able to fluidly change between different fighting styles and abilities, but I expected enemies to be more reactive to the player when engaged in combat. Feeling is more important in this case, though, so I'll have to reserve judgement until the game releases.

I genuinely can't wait to explore this world, though. The Living Lands looks stunning, with countless biomes flooding the player with every color in the spectrum. I'm already intrigued by the story, and I enjoyed what I saw regarding interaction with NPCs and dialogue options during conversations. What do you think about Avowed following the Xbox Developer_Direct 2024 showing? Let us know in the comments!

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.