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Avowed was originally pitched as Obsidian's take on Skyrim

Todd's plan

The player character in Avowed faces off against a weird, crusty bear
Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment

When Avowed was announced three years ago, the comparisons to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim were everywhere and inevitable. Skip forward three years to its latest gameplay trailer at this year's Xbox Games Showcase, and Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart has confirmed the game was initially supposed to be the studio's attempt at making their own version of Skyrim.

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Speaking to PC Gamer, Urquhart said Obsidian were originally pitching "in essence, our Skyrim", but over the course of development the studio rethought their plans for Avowed. "Bethesda makes an awesome Skyrim. What we do is make our awesome RPGs, right?" Urquhart said. The studio then pivoted from the huge open world vision they initially had for the game and decided to focus on storytelling instead.

The story in Avowed will revolve around the companions in the game. Unlike Obsidian's previous games such as The Outer Worlds and Pillars of Eternity (and more importantly unlike Skyrim), companions won't be optional. PC Gamer also spoke to game director Carrie Patel during their interview, who said that companions were going to feel "integral to the story". And since they're tied to the story, they're also "tied to your party". PC Gamer asked Patel if companions can die, to which she responded "you'll have to see". I suppose if you don't like a certain companion and don't want to have to keep travelling with them, death may well an option...

If the storytelling and writing is what Obsidian feel will set Avowed apart from Skyrim (and Oblivion), it's a shame we didn't see any of that in the trailer which was shown at Sunday's Xbox Games Showcase. Let's hope we don't have to wait until the game's out in 2024 to see it.

NotE3 and Summer Game Fest 2023 is over for another year. You can find out all the latest news by visiting our E3 2023 hub, or you can catch up with our round-up posts of everything that was announced at Summer Game Fest, the Xbox Games Showcase, the PC Gaming Show, Day Of The Devs, and our top highlights from the Wholesome Direct.

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