Late last year it was announced that The Initiative, a new Xbox Game Studio, was starting work an all-new Perfect Dark game. Today, they’ve said that they’re now getting some help, in the form of Tomb Raider developers Crystal Dynamics.
Here’s the announcement itself, which is using some very careful language:
The teams couldn’t pass up a chance to work together. We’re still early in development, but incredibly excited to use this unique opportunity to deliver on the vision for Perfect Dark!
— TheInitiative (@TheInitiative) September 24, 2021
Firstly, it is very funny that when you want good press, Crystal Dynamics are a “world class team” behind games like Tomb Raider, and not the train wreck that is The Avengers. And secondly, announcing that a whole other studio is coming in to work on a game that nine months ago was only being made at The Initiative sure does raise some questions, which the “we’re still early in development” is hoping to head off.
Ah well, this is still promising news! The Avengers sucks, but mostly because of its persistent game world design, which was a disaster from the get-go. The new Perfect Dark isn’t going down that road, so hopefully Crystal Dynamics can get back to the kind of “character-driven” action stuff they were doing so well with the Tomb Raider series.
Interestingly, The Initiative was founded by Darrell Gallagher back in 2018, who spent a decade at Crystal Dynamics working on games like Tomb Raider Legend and Tomb Raider Underworld before becoming head of the studio in time for the release of the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. So this announcement isn’t as out-of-left-field as it may have first looked.
We don’t actually know much about the game itself at this point, and all we could get from its 2020 reveal was:
The game appears to be a reboot of sorts, with game director Dan Neuburger saying in an interview posted on YouTube shortly after the announcement that the studio would be “reinventing the franchise.” Part of that will entail making the game’s combat very spy-focused, which the developers distinguished from standard first-person-shooter fare as being more acrobatic and less cover-based.