Obsidian's next RPG Avowed gets a trailer hinting at a trio of factions—those who want to purge the Dream Scourge, those who want to tame it, and a secret third thing

Avowed Story Trailer - Xbox Games Showcase 2024 - YouTube Avowed Story Trailer - Xbox Games Showcase 2024 - YouTube
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Avowed is Obsidian's next RPG—and the cause of a lot of recent 'please be good' whispers from yours truly. My fingers are crossed hard that a team responsible for genuine bangers like Pillars of Eternity pull it off, but the whole thing's a big hard veer into first-person action RPG territory, and I'm not entirely sold on just yet.

Granted, Obsidian's also responsible for Fallout: New Vegas, but the nuts and bolts had already been put in place by Bethesda. This is only their second homegrown effort that's not an isometric CRPG, and there's still a lot that could go very, very wrong.

Avowed's latest trailer (as showed off at this year's Xbox Showcase today) hasn't dispelled my fears—it's ostensibly a bunch of glamour shots with some dramatic voice overs underpinning it—but it hasn't exactly deepened said fears, either.

In lieu of a release date, we instead get some more information implied about the world's factions. The Living Lands, named so because they're, unsettlingly, alive—has apparently been plagued by The Dream Scourge. Not sure what that is, but it sounds potentially bad, or at the very least chaotic.

It appears that you'll be able to join with three (or more) factions. One who seeks to purge the scourge inquisition-style, a (totally-not-dictatorial) group who wants to control its powers, and a secret third thing. I say 'secret third thing' because the voiceover's deliberately vague about what the plan actually is, though said faction seems to be invested in protecting the Dream Scourge and simply letting it do what it may. Conservationists for chaos.

At the very least, I'm cautiously optimistic about being able to side with just about anybody. Fallout: New Vegas was exceptional not just because it gave its universe proper texture and complexity, but because you could just straight-up join Caesar if you wanted, not just blow up a nuke in a town at the behest of some weird billionaire.

I'm hoping that Obsidian's pulled the same gambit here, because with Starfield's complete moral rigidity and with The Elder Scrolls 6 still far on the horizon, I'm hankering for a bit of choose-your-own-adventure with teeth. Let's just hope the fully-polished version of the combat holds together when it releases sometime this fall.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.