[XGS 2024] Perfect Dark: Joanna’s Mission [VIDEO]

The long-awaited game from The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics was finally revealed by Microsoft during the Xbox Games Showcase.


Perfect Dark is a first-person secret agent thriller set in a futuristic world. With the blessing of the original Perfect Dark studio, Rare (not to mention some of the main characters from the original titles), Team Perfect Dark has drawn inspiration from elements of the first two games, but created an entirely new story and universe around them for this reboot. For longtime fans and new players alike, the new game offers a fresh take on the secret agent experience and is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the world and characters. While fans will have moments that resonate with the history and memories of the original games, no prior knowledge is required for this new experience.

At its most basic level, Perfect Dark will be a single player experience, with a set of missions – but with choices offered in how you complete those missions. Looking at the trailer, it’s clear that traversal and gadgets are a big part of this – we see new parkour abilities being used throughout, both for movement and combat. The developers say that the focus has been on creating an intuitive movement system that allows players to find interesting ways to accomplish their objectives. Add to that a combat system that allows for both melee and ranged combat, stealth mechanics, and liberal use of gadgets, and Perfect Dark is a game that gives players a goal, but lets them figure out how to get there. Team Perfect Dark doesn’t want this to feel like any one genre – it takes elements from 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 the way they want to is key to that.

In this reboot, Joanna (voiced by Alix Regan with visual likeness provided by Elissa Bibaud) is an agent for dataDyne with a deep personal connection to what’s happening to her world. In this case, the title Perfect Dark is more aspirational – this Joanna won’t be perfect, but she strives to be. She’ll make mistakes along the way and learn from them. Learning who this Joanna is proves to be as compelling as the story itself. The near-future world of Perfect Dark has been affected by something called “The Cascade,” in which the planet has suffered a series of environmental disasters that have rendered entire regions 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 the ecological balance and creating a freshly walled city, isolated from the hostile environment outside, to become a center for technological innovation.

In its wake, other hypercorporations step in to continue this regeneration-but, as you might expect, not all is as it seems, and their motives may be less altruistic than they appear. It is key that the setting conveys a hopeful future, seeing a world of both destruction and restoration, the bleakness of the past countered by a sense of promise. It’s in Cairo that Joanna enters. The setting was chosen to offer a counterpoint to other secret agent stories and media in general-ancient and modern Egypt have been seen by many, but a near-future view of the country is truly something new. Cairo itself allows for a balance of the profoundly old and the startlingly new that suits the speculative fiction at the heart of Perfect Dark.

Gadgets are a mainstay of the secret agent genre. In the trailer, we get a glimpse of Joanna using a gadget to analyze NPC voices and create vocal “deepfakes” to fool security systems or impersonate other characters, as well as create distractions. Gadgets can be used for misdirection and manipulation, but we also see Joanna using a tool to scan an NPC and learn details about them – it wouldn’t be a secret agent story without some fieldwork, and the developers tell me that analyzing the world around you will be a key part of understanding how to tackle your objectives. With this first look at combat, it’s clear that this is another aspect of player choice. In the trailer, we see lethal and non-lethal weapons, melee combat, abilities that allow you to take down multiple enemies at once, and more. We can also go loud or quiet, with a risk-reward for both methods. Team Perfect Dark wants to create a “symphony” of mechanics that blends traversal, melee combat, gunplay, unlockable abilities, environmental elements, and gadgets into a unified experience for players.

Perfect Dark will be released on the Xbox Series and PC at an undisclosed date.

Source: Gematsu



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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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