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Perfect Dark Gets First Gameplay Trailer

The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics are working on the next chapter in the Perfect Dark series.


Microsoft's long-in-development new Perfect Dark game resurfaced during Microsoft's Xbox Games Showcase today, providing a first look at gameplay from the next entry in the shooter series. In the footage, we see agent Joanna Dark embarking on another dangerous mission in a near-future Cairo.

In a blog post, Xbox said people do not need any prior knowledge of the Perfect Dark series to enjoy the reboot, but longtime fans may notice some callbacks.

The new Perfect Dark is a single-player game that has players using traversal mechanics like parkour and gadgets to take down enemies. "It takes in elements of first-person shooters, immersive sims, and stealth-action, but blends them into a seamless whole. The goal is to offer a true secret agent fantasy--and letting players use their various tools and abilities in the way," Microsoft said.

In the game, the world has been overrun by an event called "The Cascade," which is the term for a series of environmental disasters that have made some parts of the world inhospitable to human life.

"In the wake of the disaster, a hypercorporation known as Core Mantis steps in to create a solution known as The GEN Network, and deploys it in Cairo--restoring ecological balance and creating a freshly walled city, insulated from the hostile environment outside to become a center for technological innovation," Microsoft said.

Not everything is at it seems, though, and these hypercorporations that came to power do not actually have humanity's best interests at heart.

According to Microsoft, gadgets play a key role in the new Perfect Dark, which makes sense given it's a secret agent/spy game. In the trailer, we can see Joanna using a gadget to analyze NPC voices and to create fake conversations to fool security systems.

"Gadgets can be used for misdirection and manipulation, but we also see that Joanna can use a tool to scan an NPC and learn details about them," reads a line from the game's description.

In terms of combat, the developers say they are trying to create a "symphony" of mechanics that merge traversal, hand-to-hand combat, gunplay, environmental elements, and gadgets into one system.

There is still no word on when the new Perfect Dark will release, but it will launch on Game Pass. The new Perfect Dark is in development at Microsoft's own studio, The Initiative, alongside co-developer Crystal Dynamics.

A report from May 2024 said the new Perfect Dark game was in "rough shape." The new trailer released at the Xbox Games Showcase makes it look like the game is further along in development than some might have imagined.

The Perfect Dark reboot was announced back in 2020, and is still seemingly early in development. In 2021, Crystal Dynamics joined The Initiative to help out with development.


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