As a first-person fantasy RPG with melee and magic, Avowed has been regularly compared to Skyrim – still a modern touchstone for similar mechanics – almost since its reveal. For my money, today's showcase looks head-and-shoulders above Skyrim's 13-year-old combat, which can lovingly be described as functional.
"It's not just hacking and slashing," says Avowed gameplay director Gabriel Paramo. "You're making real-time decisions about when to use your abilities, powerful melee attacks, blocks, parries, and special attacks."
Those parries and special attacks sound appealing, but the headlining feature is arguably Avowed's loadout system. In the footage shown today, we see the player quickly cycle through setups like dual pistols, dual wands, a two-handed axe, and a sword (or wand, or gun) and shield.
"To help with the different encounters you will face, we provide customizable loadouts that can be quickly switched during combat," Paramo adds. It's unclear how many loadouts you can equip at once, but I'd wager it's got to be at least two or three, which is already a pretty solid spread of options for any given encounter. I'm especially into the idea of freezing enemies with an ice wand and then shattering them with a heavy melee attack.
Paramo says that the right loadouts will be key to countering specific enemies – some hiding behind a shield, for instance, and others healing their allies from afar. You might use crowd control spells to root problem enemies in place and then hot-swap to an aggressive dual-wielding setup to quickly clear out the crowd, for example. First-person melee and magic has seen some clunky attempts over the years, but Avowed looks mighty promising so far.
Importantly, we also got an updated Avowed release date.