Avowed lead reveals there's "no one perfect build" in Obsidian's classless RPG: "There's gonna be choice and consequence for what you kit out”

 Avowed new screenshot xbox series x.
Avowed new screenshot xbox series x.

Obsidian Entertainment has been heavily emphasizing player choice and freedom in the lead-up to its first-person fantasy roleplaying game Avowed. In line with that you're-the-center-of-the-universe message, the developers have revealed that there's "no one perfect build" in its classless RPG.

"At Obsidian, it's your world, your way, right?" says gameplay director Gabe Paramo in an interview with Gamesradar+. That philosophy manifests in combat via the dual-wielding system, which lets you combine any two pieces of equipment at the same time. "'Combinatorics' as I call it; people make fun of me for using this term."

"It's being able to put a pistol in my right hand and a shield in my offhand," Paramo continues. "I'm blocking and I'm firing. It's the choice and consequence with things like, I'm using a dagger that's quick and it's more silent, and I'm using a pistol that's loud and has a little bit of a reload recovery time on it."

Obsidian's initial player-first marketing left me kind of cold. Where's the motivation to actually, you know, play a role in a world that never pushes back at you? But the studio's track record gives me hope that the upcoming game will be more interesting than those frictionless choices sound, between KOTOR 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and the Pillars Of Eternity duology, which shares its setting with Avowed.

Thankfully, Paramo also revealed that there are "pros and cons to all the choices" and there is no "one perfect build, there's gonna be, again, choice and consequence for what you kit out with your character." Some consequences aren’t permanent, however, since you also have the option to respec your character at any time to experiment with all those fun firearm-shield-wand combos.

Player freedom in regards to character-building aims to let us adapt to challenges on the go, which is further compounded by environmental obstacles where fire magic might be needed to melt ice or a heavy weapon can be used to cut through bramble. That sounds genuinely cool, though I wish we saw some of it in the Xbox Developer Direct 2024.

Developers previously revealed that Avowed has heaps of content that “not everybody’s gonna find.”