Perfect Dark Release Date, Leaks, and Everything We Know So Far

Image showing Joanna Dark pointing her gun at someone off-camera.
Credit: The Initiative/Crystal Dynamics

Image showing Joanna Dark pointing her gun at someone off-camera.
Credit: The Initiative/Crystal Dynamics

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June 9, 2024: Perfect Dark was fully revealed at the Xbox Games Showcase at Summer Games Fest.

It's been teased for over 4 years, but the Xbox Games Showcase has finally unveiled Crystal Dynamics and The Initiative's Perfect Dark.

Previously described as an 'AAAA' game, Perfect Dark's initial reveal and tease at The Game Awards 2020 was enough to drive long-time fans into a frenzy. However, since then, updates about the game have been very few and far between. In fact, the latest news was back in 2022, when Perfect Dark lost its game's director, and further reports claimed the developer faced a much wider problem.

Even with all these problems, players still hoped that they would see Perfect Dark sometime in the future. Now that patience has been rewarded, and it has never been a better time to want to be a spy.

Perfect Dark Release Date Estimate

The reveal of Perfect Dark at Summer Games Fest gave fans something to hope for, with a stunning cinematic trailer and a new look at the protagonist, Joanna Dark.

But did it give Perfect Dark a release date? Unfortunately not. It is a disappointing verdict overall, but hardly one that's surprising due to the scarce amount of information that has followed about the same since its 2020 reveal.

That said, if we were to give an estimate of a Perfect Dark release date, we would speculate it would be sometime in late 2025 or early 2026. This takes into account the long and rocky development the game has been under and is, as we've said previously, only an estimate.

Who is The Initiative?

Microsoft's most high-profile studio, The Initiative was formed to offer "AAAA" calibre games and is currently situated in Santa Monica. The team is made up of staff from Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider), Sony Santa Monica (God of War), Rockstar Games (Red Dead Redemption 2), and Bungie (Destiny 2).

What is the Perfect Dark story?

Perfect Dark, originally from Rare, was an N64 title that got a follow-up on Xbox 360 as a launch title for Microsoft's second console. The game stars spy Joanna Dark and offers a mix of traditional first-person shooter gameplay with stealth, too.

The team behind the upcoming game was keen to stress that despite the first-person perspective, the new game is not strictly a shooter, but rather an intense spy thriller.

As for Joanna Dark's current activities, it seems she's been sent on a mission to Cairo after the near-future world has been impacted by a series of environmental disasters caused by something called 'The Cascade'. These disasters have made regions inhospitable to humans.

However, it isn't all doom and gloom. A corporation called Core Mantis has taken steps to create a solution called The GEN Network and is deploying it to restore ecological balance.

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As Joanna, players have been dispatched to Cairo to check this new solution out and find and apprehend Daniel Carrington. After all, things are rarely what they appear.

Perfect Dark Gameplay

Every spy thriller deserves the perfect blend of action and suspense. Perfect Dark is no exception to this.

Gadgets and other pieces of technology are part of Joanna's bread and butter, and as we see in the trailer, Joanna has a variety of different things in her arsenal. She uses one particular gadget to record the voices of NPCs, then creates 'deepfakes' of the audio to impersonate them and trick other characters.

But she has access to more than just NPC voices. Joanna can scan them to learn details about them, from the mundane to the intimate. The more Joanna knows, the more ways she is able to use this information to help her overcome obstacles and achieve her objectives.

Perfect Dark Combat

With the reveal of the Perfect Dark trailer comes a glimpse at the game's combat. We can see that players will have a level of choice regarding how they approach each mission. Will they be stealthy and non-lethal, attacking through close-quarter combat and hiding bodies away as they go? Or will combat be loud and aggressive, with guns blazing and violence just another way for players to express their creativity?

Regardless of which players prefer, it's clear that Perfect Dark offers the chance of tight combat, gunplay, unlockable abilities, and environmental kills. No matter what way you prefer, Perfect Dark's combat offers you the chance to put your skills to the test.

Perfect Dark Platforms

Not only is the game coming to Xbox Series X and S, but it'll also launch on PC. The good news is that it'll also be available as part of Xbox Game Pass, meaning you'll be able to jump in as part of your subscription.

This is currently all we know about Perfect Dark. However, as more details are shared, the more we'll update this hub with the correct and relevant information.

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