Perfect Dark: Everything we know about the Xbox Series X exclusive so far

Perfect Dark reboot (2024)
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

We've finally seen more of Xbox-exclusive Perfect Dark, and boy is Joanna Dark looking stealthy in Xbox Game Studios' reboot. Co-developers The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics have been hard at work on Perfect Dark since 2021, with the game first announced back at The Game Awards 2020 before myriad developmental hiccups caused a relative setback. At long last, though this upcoming Xbox Series X game is finally starting to take shape, thanks to the first official gameplay trailer that was revealed at the Xbox Games Showcase 2024. There's a lot for us to get through, so here's all the Perfect Dark reboot news, gameplay details, and more following its stunning first look.

Recent updates

This Perfect Dark reboot hub was updated on June 10, adding the first gameplay trailer following its reveal at the Xbox Games Showcase 2024.

Perfect Dark news

Perfect Dark release date

Perfect Dark (2024)

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The Perfect Dark reboot does not yet have a release date. We were treated to a jaw-dropping gameplay reveal at Xbox Games Showcase 2024 (more on that below), but despite how polished Crystal Dynamics and The Initiative's upcoming game is looking, the announcement fell short of anything resembling a release date. That means we know it's probably definitely not coming in 2024, but perhaps a 2025 release window might be more realistic? Time will tell, but for now, we're psyched to have an update this sizable to go on.

Perfect Dark platforms

Perfect Dark (2024)

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

As an Xbox Games Studio title, Perfect Dark is expected to launch on Xbox Series X and PC platforms, as well as Xbox Game Pass as a day-one entry. That's sad news for PS5 or Nintendo Switch fans, but honestly, are you that surprised?

Perfect Dark trailer

The latest Perfect Dark trailer is a far cry from the teaser we saw at the 2020 Game Awards. In it, a frankly too-badass-to-be-real Joanna Dark gets suited up to go under cover on a stealthy mission in Cairo. Cue all the techno-gadget and cybernetic punk-infused sensibilities of first-person action games like Dishonored or Deus Ex, as Joanna slinks about the bustling city like a shadow.

This is just a taste of what's to come, but it has our faith in Perfect Dark fully restored following worrying news of it being in supposed "rough shape" earlier this year.

Perfect Dark gameplay

Perfect Dark (2024)

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

As mentioned above the Perfect Dark gameplay trailer finally clues us in on what it will feel like to play as Joanna Dark in the reboot. We see her navigating the streets and rooftops of Cairo with acrobatic ease, parkouring from doorway awning to window and sliding expertly down a drainpipe in pursuit of her target. The FPS action is complemented by an array of cool gadgets and tools for our superspy-like heroine to deploy, allowing her to scan targets, see enemies through walls, and what looks like the ability to taser them with electrified bullets. Gnarly.

Perfect Dark is set to be a single-player experience "with a set of missions – but with choices offered in how you complete those missions," the developer tells Xbox Wire. It will also feature an "intuitive movement system" to make the game more interesting to move through, whether you're locked in melee combat or taking shots from afar with a trusty pistol. "Team Perfect Dark doesn’t want this to feel like any one genre – 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 they want is key to this."

Perfect Dark story

Perfect Dark (2024)

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Much like the original, Perfect Dark's story centers around Joanna Dark - and that seems to be where the story similarities end. Navigating ecological mystery in a futuristic world, it's a far cry from the 2000 game from Rare. "For previous fans and new players alike, the new game offers a fresh take on the secret agent experience, and is a great opportunity to jump into the world and character," says Xbox Wire. "Though fans will have moments that resonate with the history and memories of the original games, no prior knowledge is needed in this new experience."

The above gameplay trailer gives us a taste of Joanna's "descent into the game’s near-future Cairo setting" that sets the foundation for its futuristic spy-thriller action. In a world experiencing the knock-on effects of The Cascade, a series of natural disasters that have rendered entire swathes of the planet unliveable for humans, "a hypercorporation known as Core Mantis steps in to create a solution." The GEN Network is then deployed in Cairo to rectify the balance of nature and create a sanctuary from the apocalyptic conditions outside. As such, the safety of Cairo turbs it into an ideal hub for technological advancement. This causes other mega-corps to take interest and follow suit, though as you can probably expect, have you heard of a single video game entity with the word "corporation" tacked onto the end that hasn't turned out to be evil?

Perfect Dark development

The Initiative

(Image credit: The Initiative)

Perfect Dark is in development from The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics. The former studio was founded in 2018 and headed up by Darrell Gallagher – who, funnily enough, played a key role in the 2013 revival of Tomb Raider with Crystal Dynamics. 

The partnership of the two studios came off the back of rumors that had been circulating, alleging that The Initiative was struggling to retain staff as development of Perfect Dark became more complex. Gallagher later told VGC: "It's no small task to build a studio and reinvent a beloved franchise… In this journey, it's not uncommon for there to be staffing changes, especially during a time of global upheaval over the last two years, and there's plenty more work in front of us to deliver a fantastic Perfect Dark experience to our players."

In 2021, Microsoft announced that The Initiative was partnering with Crystal Dynamics to complete development of the Perfect Dark reboot. In a statement, The Initiative drew attention to the "world class team behind character-driven games such as Tomb Raider" which will help it "to bring this first-person spy thriller to a new generation". Crystal Dynamics was acquired by Embracer Group from Square Enix in 2022, but has since confirmed that it will continue working on the new Perfect Dark in a co-developer capacity.

Josh West
Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar+. He has over 15 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.

With contributions from