Crimson Desert appears like all of your favorite RPGs rolled into one

Kath Santarin
8 Min Read

Crimson Desert, the single-player motion RPG spin-off of Korean MMO Black Desert On-line that was first revealed in 2020 however resurfaced at GamesCom 2023’s Opening Night time Stay, appears prefer it is perhaps essentially the most crowd-pleasing Large Recreation ever conceived. Or, it may very well be a undertaking with an enormous identification disaster that in the end satisfies no person. At this stage, it’s not possible to inform. Based mostly on the current gameplay trailer (under), it might go both manner.

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Crimson Desert's newest trailer reveals off some fairly apparent influences.Watch on YouTube

Probably the most clear affect is The Witcher 3: Crimson Desert takes place in a European-style fantasy world filled with mud-slick villages, murky woods, and ominous darkish towers on each horizon. There’s even a shot within the trailer the place the participant character picks a searching contract up from a job board in the course of city. It’s not that The Witcher invented the idea of bulletin boards, however the type – it’s so related in presentation right here that it’s not possible to not see this as a homage to Geralt’s day job.

Geralt? Is that you just? | Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

Subsequent, there are some fairly clear nods to the Murderer’s Creed collection. Most particularly, the latter video games within the franchise that had been themselves impressed by The Witcher 3 (Geralt’s impression on the gaming panorama can’t actually be overstated, it appears). Crimson Desert has its personal model of Odyssey’s spartan kick, which you’ll be utilizing to invade settlements and Saxon-style hillforts a la Valhalla.

The Spartan Kick making a welcome return to gaming in, er, 2024 we assume? | Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

The character design itself has one thing of Eivor’s proportions about it, truly: the large shoulder furs, the back-slung protect. Should you instructed those that these screenshots had been from Valhalla, some would completely consider you, significantly the shot the place Crimson Desert Man is scaling a constructing.

Oh yeah, and I guess Leonardo Da Vinci fancies him as nicely. | Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

There’s greater than a whiff of Dragon’s Dogma about these proceedings too. One underrated function of Capcom’s beloved RPG was the way it handled evening time: by plunging you into pitch darkness. With out oil on your lamp, you actually couldn’t see a factor, as your display screen would merely be black with evening. Even with a lightweight supply, you would barely see greater than ten ft in entrance of you. It made evening time journey actually precarious, and one thing to be actively prevented, which inspired gamers to plan forward as a lot as potential with their questing in ways in which different extra forgiving video games didn’t require of you. Plainly Crimson Desert, whereas not fairly as pitch black as Dragon’s Dogma, additionally has a correct Night time is Night time mechanic happening if these screenshots are something to go by.

“Night time” not often means “evening” in video video games, however Dragon's Dogma bucked that pattern, and Crimson Desert appears prefer it is perhaps doing one thing related. | Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

The Dragon’s Dogma affect doesn’t cease there: we get one shot (in darkness, naturally) of Crimson Desert Man climbing an enormous tree creature, presumably (however not essentially) to be able to stab it repeatedly till it's lifeless. This gameplay function of climbing large guys and stabbing them has been a agency favorite since Shadow of the Colossus, and was pilfered by Dragon’s Dogma to nice impact.

There's a great deal of actions on this sport, even tree surgical procedure. | Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

We see some acrobatic swordplay amongst tall grass that’s very harking back to Ghost of Tsushima, and (after all) it’s arduous to not be reminded of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim when dragons, crabs, and Dwemer-looking automations present up for a clobbering – and it’s clear that this sport has that very same sense of “in case you see it you may go there” exploration.

Preventing within the reeds a la Ghost of Tsushima

Dragons and steampunk golems

Mud, crab

Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

Maybe most hanging, although, are the nods to current Zelda titles, Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom. Now, Crimson Desert has been in growth for a very long time, so it’s not like they performed TotK and determined so as to add in a load of floating islands, however the similarity is plain. Crimson Desert has an overworld made up of skybound islands, identical to Hyperlink’s newest journey.

There are additionally, equally, hints of a technologically superior historical civilisation: shrine puzzles galore, and bizarre scifi portals that appear vital to the sport’s story. And we scarcely want to say the minigames: arm wrestling, fishing, and sheep rustling all current.

Tears of the Legally Distinct Sky Islands | Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

So, Crimson Desert has quite a bit happening. Like, quite a bit. I’m very excited for it, as a result of it appears like an enormous ol’ hodgepodge of all of the very issues I like. And it’s good to observe a gameplay reveal with an epic fantasy setting that appears so very engaging with out succumbing to the inevitable disappointment of it turning out to be an MMO. Positive, it has MMO roots, however it looks as if an earnest try and make a grand, all-encompassing single participant journey for these of us who simply don’t like different individuals hanging round after we’re attempting to get absorbed in a daft story about dragons and no matter.

Name me cautiously optimistic, then. If it is a single participant sport with the sheer breadth and ambition of an MMO, however not one of the nonsense, it may very well be among the best RPGs ever made. But it surely might find yourself an unfocused mess. On condition that the trailer is a disparate assortment of gameplay clips, it’s not possible to name. Both manner, I can’t wait to search out out.

Cor, cannot wait to steal from each single home right here. | Picture credit score: Pearl Abyss

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