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Eternity Avowed - Obsidian's first person action-RPG in the Pillars of Eternity setting - coming November 12th(?)

Dishonoredbr

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People expect first party games to be AAA spectacles. Sony demands top presentation from all their titles, and 90 or above metacritic, sometimes they miss but more often than not their games are incredible commercial and critical successes.
Also their games all similar and always trying to be the Oscar bait bullshit..

Yeah, sure they score 90s on metacritic but are all about 3rd Person Shooters that have 30 minutes of script scenes and character spoiling puzzles. They're made to appeal to critics. I'm not even defeding what microsoft does, but like.. Really? Sony? Their showncase had at least 5 Games as Service shown. Fuck off. At least w/ microsoft there's have the CHANCE of have something like Hi-Fi Rush to come out.
 

Kem0sabe

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People expect first party games to be AAA spectacles. Sony demands top presentation from all their titles, and 90 or above metacritic, sometimes they miss but more often than not their games are incredible commercial and critical successes.
Also their games all similar and always trying to be the Oscar bait bullshit..

Yeah, sure they score 90s on metacritic but are all about 3rd Person Shooters that have 30 minutes of script scenes and character spoiling puzzles. They're made to appeal to critics. I'm not even defeding what microsoft does, but like.. Really? Sony? Their showncase had at least 5 Games as Service shown. Fuck off. At least w/ microsoft there's have the CHANCE of have something like Hi-Fi Rush to come out.

They dont appeal only to critics, its disingenuous to claim so, their titles do extremely well with players and are top sellers everywhere. What i want is for MS studios to invest in presentation and production quality instead of half-assing everything because "its free on gamepass".
 

Feyd Rautha

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Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
https://www.pcgamer.com/avowed-rpg-obsidian-preview-magic-interview/

Exclusive: Obsidian breaks 3-year silence to spill the secrets of Avowed, its next big RPG​

Obsidian spills the first details on combat, magic, character-building, and how important companions are to the story.

For just a moment, Avowed looks like any other fantasy RPG—swords and shields, shiny armor and helmets with those funny little nose guards. Then the dual-wielded flintlock pistols show up. And the fungus-infected bear. And the Willy Wonka-ass mushrooms. Obsidian was once the RPG studio that played in other developers' sandboxes, but with Avowed it's getting to paint the world it created for Pillars of Eternity on a far bigger canvas—one in which you're, well, kind of the asshole.

Okay okay, that's not quite fair—you don't have to be an asshole. But you do have to be an outsider, Avowed director Carrie Patel told me in an exclusive interview ahead of Avowed's reveal on Sunday.

As the game begins, your character arrives in a remote corner of the world of Eora called the Living Lands as an envoy of the Aedyr Empire, where you've been sent to investigate a mysterious plague. "Not everybody in the Living Lands is super thrilled to have an imperial presence in this far-flung land," she said. "So adventure ensues."

It's been a long three years since Avowed first appeared during a Microsoft livestream, promising a first-person RPG from Obsidian Entertainment. Since then Obsidian has released Grounded, an ant-scale survival game, and Pentiment, a 16th century murder mystery. Both were hits, but it's about damn time for another RPG, and Avowed's trailer says 2024 is the year. Its first appearance was just CG hinting at a game, but this time we've seen the real thing, and Obsidian was ready to talk about it.

CEO Feargus Urquhart told me that in scope Avowed is more akin to Obsidian's past RPGs like The Outer Worlds in size than it is a sprawling open world a la Skyrim, though that was actually Obsidian's initial pitch. When the developers sat down and focused on what Obsidian does best—stories and companions, in particular—the more compact scale came naturally.

"As someone who's come through development as a narrative designer, companions are a huge part of the experience and draw for me both as a player and as a developer," Carrie Patel said. "One thing we wanted to do with Avowed was make sure the companions felt really integral to the story. In some games they're optionally recruitable, but in Avowed they're deeply tied to the story, tied to your party… we really wanted to create this sense that you're in this big wild frontier, you're going on this adventure of discovery, and you have this small but tight knit crew with you. The sense you're adventuring through the wilds together, sharing in the discovery and the danger. These people are just as much a part of your story as the larger events that you're getting in the middle of."

The way you interact with other characters in Avowed will be similar to The Outer Worlds, where your dialogue options reflect the tone you want to want to use. "We try to hit a sweet spot when we're writing dialogue options where we invest enough personality for those options to be fun and interesting, but also leave enough space around them so that the player can really invest whatever headcanon they built for their character into that option," she said.

Patel wouldn't spill much about Avowed's story, but did give me some of the basics on what form of RPG to expect from Avowed:
  • You have an established role as the imperial envoy, but your "personality, appearance, and philosophy and vibe you bring to that role is up to you as a player to decide"
  • You can play as a human or an elf, but not other races
  • It's purely singleplayer—no co-op
  • The world is lightly systemic: think water and lightning interactions, but not the ol' bucket-on-the-head trick
  • You'll have two companions with you at a time, with their own combat specialties and, of course, personalities
  • There are several ability trees to progress through, and you won't be locked to a particular class or playstyle
  • You will level up, but the focus is on unlocking abilities rather than putting points into stats to grow stronger
Early in development, when Obsidian decided to prioritize a story "more focused on depth than breadth," the first-person combat ended up benefitting, too. Patel said that it was an example of a piece of Avowed that was surprisingly fun in their first vertical slice, a time when the team has to decide on what to commit more resources to and what to scale back on. Combat became a key focus, which should be music to the ears of every Elder Scrolls player who's always found the sword-swinging a bit wimpy. "Our combat has come along really, really well, and the bones have been there since the beginning," she said.

Patel cited a lot of time spent tuning the feel of swinging a sword vs. a mace vs. an axe to make combat feel right, but the options available to players seem like the more significant element at play here. You're free to dual-wield weapons, wield both magic and melee simultaneously, and as in Pillars of Eternity, there are some old timey guns available. When I brought up how bored I am of game loot with imperceptible stat differences from one sword to another, she said that's been on their mind, too.

"The way we've tried to approach that is erring on the side of fewer but meaningful upgrades. If you're upgrading your weapon from one tier to the next, you should feel the difference. If it's a small number change next to your item name, that's not going to feel as meaningful as going through an upgrade process, trying your weapon again and realizing it's doing a lot more damage. Fewer but more meaningful upgrade tiers."

From today's trailer, magic looks like it could be the bit of Avowed that really gives it its own fantasy flair. There's some excellent hand animation at work when the envoy draws runes in the air to conjure a fireball and later lifts a pulsing void skyward, sending a pile of guards orbiting weightlessly around it. I want a whole lot more of that, and I'm excited that I can mix magic with melee without being railroaded into a class.

We've seen only two minutes of Avowed, and I imagine Microsoft and Obsidian won't be talking about it too much more until Starfield is done with the spotlight. Once we do, I expect Obsidian's characters to start getting all the attention. When I asked Patel what she hadn't been able to do with the isometric Pillars RPGs that she's excited to do in Avowed, she brought it back to the companions without hesitating.

"In most of our games companions have been optional, which I think offers a wonderful degree of choice to players, but it means there's a limit to how deeply you can tie them into the core story. With Avowed we decided companions are going to be core. They're going to be part of the experience. And that means we can invest so much more in them and tie them much more closely, and personally, to the events and the parts of the world the player is encountering."

And can they die?

This time there was a pause. "You'll have to see," Patel said. Until 2024, then.
It's sounds like they had to abandon their original vision and settle for something much less ambitious in order to keep the project alive.
 

Cryomancer

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, and 90 or above metacritic,

Game journalists liking a game is a point against the game quality, not in favor.

Seriously. I rather play another FNV over the next generic linear action adventure with stealth elements. I don't care if a game journo which can't beat Cuphead tutorial sees FNV as a game inferior to FL3.


, their titles do extremely well with players and are top sellers everywhere.

Not truth. See Forspoken. Flopped hard. Despite game journos worshiping the wokism of the game. They managed to make a freaking isekai game to flop.

----------------------

 

Dycedarg

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They dont appeal only to critics, its disingenuous to claim so, their titles do extremely well with players and are top sellers everywhere. What i want is for MS studios to invest in presentation and production quality instead of half-assing everything because "its free on gamepass".
I agree that Sony games have an audience. But it took them decades to carefully mold their studios into what they are today: a bunch of movie games factories. MS just aquired a bunch of new studios that couldn't be more different from each other. Even if they had the resources, do you think Inxile can make AAA games? Can Double Fine? Their best hope is to follow the Square Enix model where some teams do small scale projects while others work on the next Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
 

Delterius

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They dont appeal only to critics, its disingenuous to claim so, their titles do extremely well with players and are top sellers everywhere. What i want is for MS studios to invest in presentation and production quality instead of half-assing everything because "its free on gamepass".
I agree that Sony games have an audience. But it took them decades to carefully mold their studios into what they are today: a bunch of movie games factories. MS just aquired a bunch of new studios that couldn't be more different from each other. Even if they had the resources, do you think Inxile can make AAA games? Can Double Fine? Their best hope is to follow the Square Enix model where some teams do small scale projects while others work on the next Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
The thing is though that I don't think Microsoft gave these studios a direction. Clockwork Revolution was a surprise, but Feargus always wanted to make a Skyrim Killer. The Starfield trailer gave me vibes that Obsidian and Bethesda are very much in touch. It seems more like Microsoft has a hands off approach and these studios are all trying to make AA first person shooters at the same time.

Larian and Owlcat remain the only light in the world.
 

Roguey

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MS on the other hand, seems to accept any shit their dev studios come up with. Games with such low production values as Avowed and the inxile bioshock rip off, should have never been greenlit if their studios didnt have the technical capacity to make them look like they actually cost money to make.
Clockwork Cringe looks perfectly adequate. Not great, but that's a style issue. Most people can't approach greatness. Far more eye-pleasing than The Outer Worlds though.
 

AwesomeButton

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But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next? It's the same as closing the respective studio. The good arrangement would have been for the studios to retain some freedom to make their style of games. And I guess Obsidian kind of have this, it's just that they no longer have the talent to make their style of games.
 

Dishonoredbr

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They dont appeal only to critics, its disingenuous to claim so,
Never said that they only appeal to critics tho. Only that they're made to appeal to critics , so much that they just confirmed that they demand devs to score 90s on metacritic.. And it's true that they're huge successes, no denying that.
 

Dycedarg

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The thing is though that I don't think Microsoft gave these studios a direction. Clockwork Revolution was a surprise, but Feargus always wanted to make a Skyrim Killer. The Starfield trailer gave me vibes that Obsidian and Bethesda are very much in touch. It seems more like Microsoft has a hands off approach and these studios are all trying to make AA first person shooters at the same time.

Larian and Owlcat remain the only light in the world.
True, but there's no way for MS to give all those studios a direction. They're probably testing them so they can separate the wheat from the chaff. And the best way to do it is to let them do whatever they want, within reason of course, and see which of them can be successful.
 

Kem0sabe

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, and 90 or above metacritic,

Game journalists liking a game is a point against the game quality, not in favor.

Seriously. I rather play another FNV over the next generic linear action adventure with stealth elements. I don't care if a game journo which can't beat Cuphead tutorial sees FNV as a game inferior to FL3.


, their titles do extremely well with players and are top sellers everywhere.

Not truth. See Forspoken. Flopped hard. Despite game journos worshiping the wokism of the game. They managed to make a freaking isekai game to flop.

----------------------


Forspoken is not Sony first party.
 

ArchAngel

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20,494
They dont appeal only to critics, its disingenuous to claim so, their titles do extremely well with players and are top sellers everywhere. What i want is for MS studios to invest in presentation and production quality instead of half-assing everything because "its free on gamepass".
I agree that Sony games have an audience. But it took them decades to carefully mold their studios into what they are today: a bunch of movie games factories. MS just aquired a bunch of new studios that couldn't be more different from each other. Even if they had the resources, do you think Inxile can make AAA games? Can Double Fine? Their best hope is to follow the Square Enix model where some teams do small scale projects while others work on the next Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
The thing is though that I don't think Microsoft gave these studios a direction. Clockwork Revolution was a surprise, but Feargus always wanted to make a Skyrim Killer. The Starfield trailer gave me vibes that Obsidian and Bethesda are very much in touch. It seems more like Microsoft has a hands off approach and these studios are all trying to make AA first person shooters at the same time.

Larian and Owlcat remain the only light in the world.
Larian is a joke. Lets see how much of a joke is BG3 when it comes out but what I have seen already does not make me hopeful.
Funny shit, one of the better RPGs I played in last few years has been WL3.
 

Gargaune

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I saw the trailer and it really got me thinking about what it is, that seems so off about a lot of modern fantasy games.
At first, one might think that it is the designs, but those are actually pretty alright (shape-wise). What's so strange and incoherent to me is the extensive use of neon coloring.
Go through that trailer again and count every shot with neon coloring. It's almost every single one of them and I am really not sure whether that is deliberate or the result of some aesthetic trend.
Compare this to a classic game trailer like the one of Lands of Lore 2:

Now I am of course biased, cause I love that trailer, but both LoL2 and this game have outlandish fantasy designs.
However, one feels like it is rooted in reality, while the other one seems like it's taking hints from Marvel.
It might be about readability, but I gotta be honest: It kinda takes me out.

It's not any single technical element, but a general and encompassing artistic inclination towards the overly energetic and the trivial. "Neon colouring", those oversaturated contrasts, are a usual part of it, but they're not inherently an infraction, and you've seen them used to great effect in Cyberpunk 2077 (in those moments it's channeling Blade Runner). The bright colour palette, another common element, didn't stop The Witcher 3 from radiating grit and despair. Cel shading tech and stylised designs are often blasted as the poster child for this crap, but you need only have a look 1995's Ghost in the Shell to determine what atmosphere that look can evoke.

What you're seeing is a variety of techniques used in concert to realise a deliberate art style with varying degrees of "whimsy", developed by and for a sugar-high generation who disregard "edge" and gravitas as pensioner fodder. It's a matter of tone and sensibility that bleeds through to everything, from visual and audio design, to dialogue and pacing.

If it sounds like I'm being too harsh, it's because it's turned into an inescapable marker of stuff I'm not interested in. When I see something like The Outer Worlds' trailer, I don't really need to look into it any further, I can tell right off the bat it's not something that I'm going to enjoy as a matter of artistic sensibility, and nowadays, that seems to mean the bulk of the new mainstream. I never thought I was going to miss the days of gunmetal grey and giant-shouldered space marines, yet here we are...
 

Infinitron

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But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next?
Not saying any of these games will be as good as Fallout: New Vegas, but for many years people (including on this forum) have said that the gaming industry was leaving money on the table by not making more games from that subgenre of RPG. That it was crazy that Bethesda was the only company making that type of game. Well, here they finally are.
 

Gargaune

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The good arrangement would have been for the studios to retain some freedom to make their style of games. And I guess Obsidian kind of have this, it's just that they no longer have the talent to make their style of games.
But what is Obsidian's "style" of games and how have they gotten that reputation? 'Cause if we go back through their history, the only greats that come to my mind are NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer, KotOR II, and Fallout: New Vegas, the most recent of which was thirteen years ago. Everything else has spanned the range from iffy to decent, and it seems a bit of a stretch to equate the Obsidian of today to the Obsidian of twenty years ago, let alone Black Isle before that.

Press and YouTubers constantly treat Obsidian as a legend, a "great RPG developer", though a more pragmatic assessment of their last decade or so would suggest just "RPG developer" to be more appropriate. Which is fair enough, nothing wrong with it, but the brand seems a bit overblown in context.
 

Old Hans

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Gamemplay trailer was OK, but was it really informative?
it was the usual sizzle reel trailer for the big tech show. That is where the devs wanna hype everyone up with exciting next gen action like fighting skeletons inside a cave
 

Nikanuur

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But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next? It's the same as closing the respective studio. The good arrangement would have been for the studios to retain some freedom to make their style of games. And I guess Obsidian kind of have this, it's just that they no longer have the talent to make their style of games.
Funny that modern forcingl-- strong praise of diversity is mainly done through totally single-minded (i.e. non-diverse) consensus of mandatory mixture of elements.

What can man do against such reckless hate, and where is Gondor again ffs...
 
Last edited:

jf8350143

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They are suppose to show more on 14th? I feel like the trailer is fine for what it is, a action packed trailer to appeal to the general auidences. But the core part of the game can't be shown in the trailer and they don't have a 45 minutes show sole devoted to them.

I'm interested to see what they do with the companions. They follow the MC around but the trailer never show them fighting, or do anything at all. Some people think it's gonna be co-op, I don't really think that's the case but if they actually have co-op then I don't have any hope for the game anymore.
 

Infinitron

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They are suppose to show more on 14th? I feel like the trailer is fine for what it is, a action packed trailer to appeal to the general auidences. But the core part of the game can't be shown in the trailer and they don't have a 45 minutes show sole devoted to them.

I'm interested to see what they do with the companions. They follow the MC around but the trailer never show them fighting, or do anything at all. Some people think it's gonna be co-op, I don't really think that's the case but if they actually have co-op then I don't have any hope for the game anymore.

The PC Gamer article explicitly confirms no multiplayer.
 

AwesomeButton

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But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next?
Not saying any of these games will be as good as Fallout: New Vegas, but for many years people (including on this forum) have said that the gaming industry was leaving money on the table by not making more games from that subgenre of RPG. That it was crazy that Bethesda was the only company making that type of game. Well, here they finally are.
Here they finally are, when, for one thing, Skyrim is no longer the gold standard - it was surpassed by Witcher 3.

And for another thing, it's not really a "bethesda-style" rpg if we are being honest. By the look of things, Avowed will be to Skyrim what ToW was to nuFallout, and for that matter, what PoE was to the IE games. That looks quite sad for Obsidian, who in their good years could outdo Fallout 3, according to a significant proportion of FNV players (source: youtube comments).
 

Infinitron

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what ToW was to nuFallout, and for that matter, what PoE was to the IE games.
This really isn't a correct analogy.

Yeah, Obsidian and inXile's first person RPGs aren't/won't be true open world games like Bethesda's RPGs, but I guess they're Bethesda-ish and that's something too.

Personally I compare the experience of playing The Outer Worlds to that of a very large expansion DLC for one of Bethesda's RPGs, like a much larger Point Lookout for FO3 or Far Harbor for FO4. A more strongly themed and tightly designed "pocket universe" operating by the same mechanics as the massive open world of the base game. I assume Avowed will be similar.
 

v1c70r14

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Out of all video games to get sequels Underworld Ascendant was the most unlikely but apparently Microsoft is listening to connoisseurs of indie cult hits. Shows that you can get the same type of content as you would from a game with soul funded by gamers from one of the biggest corporations around.
Clockwork Cringe looks perfectly adequate.
Before the logo dropped I thought it was a Bioshock spinoff for mobile by a Chinese studio.
 

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