Perfect Dark release window, gameplay details, trailers & more

Perfect Dark release window, gameplay details, trailers & more
Images via Microsoft

Last updated 

10th Jun 2024 11:47


The original Perfect Dark is a cult classic title that was originally released on the Nintendo 64 - but now, there's a reboot coming from Microsoft's studio, The Initiative, with a bit of help from Crystal Dynamics. Taking inspiration from the iconic GoldenEye 007 game, Perfect Dark features first-person shooter gameplay in a fascinating world.

It had been a while since we heard much about this elusive title, but our first gameplay finally arrived at the Xbox Games Showcase in June 2024. With fresh eyes on some very different gameplay from what we were expecting, there's plenty to be excited for this Xbox shooter.

Here's everything that we know about the Perfect Dark reboot so far, including any gameplay details we can uncover from the reveal trailer.

Is there a Perfect Dark release date?

Exploring the city in Perfect Dark
Click to enlarge

Regarding the release date of Perfect Dark, we currently have nothing concrete - not even a year to go off. That's surprising, given most of the other games we saw at the Xbox Games Showcase got rough release windows. However, Xbox didn't even want to tease that we might see Perfect Dark release in 2025. As such, expect a bit longer to wait on this one.

We do know that it will be released on the Xbox Series X|S and PC only, with the title coming to Game Pass on launch. So, if we assume that the Xbox Series X|S consoles will be around until 2027-28, we can guess that it will likely be released before then.

It does appear that the game is reportedly still in early development, with Crystal Dynamics brought on halfway through development to assist.

All trailers for Perfect Dark so far

We got our first look at gameplay at the Xbox Game Showcase, with a three-minute trailer that mixes both cinematics and first-person gameplay. It starts with the protagonist, Joanna Dark, skydiving into a futuristic Middle Eastern city from above, with her mission brief to locate an operative in possession of a radioactive device.

Upon landing, we follow Agent Dark as she uses a mixture of stealth and immersive sim mechanics to locate her target.

The first look at Perfect Dark was a two-minute cinematic trailer. It starts by panning around the Earth, highlighting the catastrophic effects of climate change, while an unnamed narrator briefly explains how corporations took advantage of the changing world to gain power.

It then seemingly switches to the first-person view of a drone, travelling around a near future Egypt, highlighting the dissonance of high-tech corporate structures positioned next to traditional architecture. 

The end of the trailer reveals Agent Dark, the protagonist of the previous games, standing amid dead bodies, staring out into a storm hovering above the Pyramid of Giza. The trailer is short and lacks gameplay, but it has plenty of details that hint at the game's narrative and themes, along with a potential environment you’ll play in.

All gameplay details we've spotted so far

Using a Stealth Gadget in Perfect Dark
Click to enlarge

One thing currently confirmed is that, like the previous titles, it will be a first-person shooter.

In the most recent trailer for Perfect Dark, we got our first proper glimpse at what we'll be up to as Agent Dark this time around. It seems as though a mixture of stealth and action will be the main course, as Joanna is seen using a voice manipulator to sneak her way past guards, hinting that other gadgets could also be included.

We also see that parkour will play a big part in Perfect Dark. Although the city Joanna is navigating is quite claustrophobic, she's seen clambering up drainpipes and wall-running to reach her destination. When the action kicks off, she pulls out a trusty pistol and is capable of taking down multiple enemies at once with it, with a few neat takedown moves shown in the trailer.

We're not sure whether Perfect Dark will feature an open world or a level-based structure. The environments included in the latest gameplay trailer seem extremely detailed, with tight and winding corridors and alleyways.

Perfect Dark gun sliding
Click to enlarge

The previous games also put emphasis on stealth and gadgets, encouraging players to approach situations slowly rather than guns blazing, which is likely to be replicated for this new title, too.

During a quick developer featurette at The Game Awards 2020, it was stated that for designing the gameplay, the studio is leaning on the idea of “what is a secret agent?”. So, expect creative spy gadgets that utilise near-future technology to get the jump on your enemies and a more involved sense of physicality that is under-represented in other FPS games.

What do we know about the Perfect Dark story?

A satelite looking down on Earth in the Perfect Dark reboot trailer
Click to enlarge

The story is another aspect of Perfect Dark that we have limited information to work with, but based on the trailer already shown and the history of the franchise, Agent Dark is back fighting dataDyne again. In the original games, you are part of the Carrington Institute, which is aiming to take down dataDyne, an evil corporation trying to use alien technology for world domination.

It’s a very general Perry the Platypus vs Doofenshmirtz type narrative, but with aliens using Earth as a playground for their cosmic disputes for added oomph!

In the latest gameplay trailer for Perfect Dark, the operative that we're aiming to track down is called Carrington, indicating that he might be a villain this time around. We'll have to wait and see more to confirm if this plot twist is true or if Carrington actually turns out to be a double agent.

The new game will likely take place after the original, due to the added element of looming ecological disaster. It seems dataDyne might be perceived as heroes for their role in slowing climate change in some way - but at the cost of what? Evil corporations aren’t known to be benevolent without good reason. Anyway, we’ll surely find out as the release creeps closer and more info is revealed to the public.

What platforms will Perfect Dark release on?

A bio lab environment in the Perfect Dark reboot
Click to enlarge

As The Initiative is a first-party studio for Microsoft, the title will be an Xbox console exclusive. However, fitting with Xbox’s moves into the PC ecosystem over the past few years, it will be released on the Xbox store and likely Steam, too.

Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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