[Exclusive Interview] Avowed: Deities, Storytelling, and Consequences

A while back, during an Official Xbox podcast, Obsidian discussed intriguing features concerning both the story and gameplay of Avowed, its upcoming game set to release in Fall 2024.

If you haven’t watched the podcast yet, you can find the video below.

While the video provided some information, I still had unanswered questions. Thus, I chose to reach out to Obsidian via email to address my inquiries.

Here are the Q&A responses I received from Carrie Patel, the Game Director at Obsidian Entertainment.

How does the storytelling in Avowed compare to the narratives in previous Obsidian games? Does it align more closely with the deep and complex storytelling of the PoE series, or does it lean towards the style found in The Outer Worlds?

Deep, thoughtful storytelling that paints a rich and varied world for players to explore is core to many of our games. While The Outer Worlds took a more satirical approach, the Pillars of Eternity games are grounded fantasy, and Avowed follows that tradition. There are still moments of humor and levity, but they’re part of a more varied tapestry that weaves a complex picture of the Living Lands, the forces that have shaped it, and the forces that are vying to shape it now.

I’ve heard in the Xbox Podcast and Xbox Dev Direct 2024 that our choices in the games have consequences. Thus, I wonder to what extent these consequences will shape the entire Avowed experience. Can we expect a narrative impact akin to the PoE series, where our decisions reverberate and alter the destinies of entire cities in the game’s conclusions?

This is an Obsidian game, so in a word, yes! Part of effective choice and consequence is having a mix of choices that pay off in the near term, medium term, and distant future. Some of the choices players make will have an immediate impact, some will surprise them after several more hours of gameplay, and still others will be integrated into the long-term future of the characters and settlements of the Living Lands.

Also Read: Step-by-Step Deadfire Modding Tutorial and Tools

In the Xbox Podcast discussing Avowed, we encounter familiar names from the Pillars of Eternity lore, such as Xaurip, The Aedyr Empire, and Living Lands. This raises the intriguing question: does Avowed share the same universe as Pillars of Eternity? If so, what does the timeline look like? Does Avowed take place after or before PoE 2, or is it set in a different time frame? Additionally, considering the pivotal role that deities play in the narrative of PoE and PoE 2, will they hold similar significance in Avowed?

Avowed takes place in Eora, which is the same world that Pillars of Eternity and Deadfire are set in, and it’s part of the same timeline, which is shaped by the same gods and nations as Pillars. The events of Avowed are set a short time after Deadfire, but the parts of the world they take place in—the Living Lands and the Deadfire Archipelago, respectively—are distant enough that their stories are separate, so players don’t have to come to Avowed with prior Pillars knowledge. That said, a cornerstone of storytelling in games set in this world is an epic adventure that mixes grounded political conflicts with conflicts with and between the gods, so players can expect a dose of the divine in Avowed.

As highlighted in the Xbox Podcast, Avowed features companions. To what extent can players control their companions? Is it as straightforward as it is in the Outer Worlds, or do players have the ability to assign specific behaviors to their companions? Personally, I love the level of AI customization seen in Deadfire, with its intricate details, and I’m curious to know if Avowed offers a similar experience.

In Deadfire, your party size (excluding animal companions and summons) could be up to five, which made assigned behaviors important to give players control without requiring them to constantly manage each character. In Avowed, like The Outer Worlds, you’ll have two companions in your party (alongside your player character). Each of Avowed’s companions has a distinct party role and an ability tree that players can upgrade as they progress—so, you can decide exactly how you want to specialize each of your companions depending on the abilities most useful to your playstyle. In combat, they’ll automatically fight alongside you, so you don’t have to micromanage them, but they have some powerful individual abilities that you can directly command to get the most out of them.

Those are the questions and answers regarding Avowed. Honestly, there are still lingering questions that remain unanswered for me. I’m particularly curious to find out whether Avowed will offer easy access for the modding community, akin to Deadfire or Fallout New Vegas. However, if the game turns out to be more in line with The Outer Worlds, I might be somewhat disappointed.

Nevertheless, I’m eagerly anticipating the next reveal to gather more details about Avowed. The game’s release date is something I’m genuinely excited about, given my longstanding appreciation for Obsidian’s games, which dates back to my experience with Neverwinter Nights 2 many years ago.


Yabes Elia

Yabes Elia

An empath, a jolly writer, a patient reader & listener, a data observer, and a stoic mentor

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