Crimson Desert Release Date & Everything We Know About It

Crimson Desert is very ambitious, and we can only hope that Pearl Abyss can pull off what they promised.

By Rayan, Posted 20 Jan 2024

The action role-playing game Crimson Desert is developed by Pearl Abyss, the same studio that brought you the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game Black Desert Online, in case you haven't heard of it before. While it was nevertheless referred to as an MMO when it was first unveiled in November 2019, that was in the past. Crimson Desert was initially intended to be a spinoff of Black Desert Online. Therefore, that could be the reason behind it. Despite showcasing many new features and gameplay at Gamescom 2023, this action RPG has left us with some unanswered issues, the most pressing of which is the scheduled release date. 

Regardless, the team initially intended for it to be a stand-alone title, and they quickly shifted gears to make it an open-world action RPG for solo players. The initial gameplay reveal revealed a winter 2021 release target; the game seemed spectacular. But an official announcement came down in July 2021 that the game was dead set on a postponement. There was a long lull until Gamescom Opening Night Live 2023 revealed new gameplay. After that, Pearl Abyss remained quiet, even after the trailer and gameplay showcase.

Crimson Desert, Free Fall, Sky Dive

One crucial fact missing from the trailer was any indication of when it would be released. However, we have now learned an update on that courtesy of research conducted by a Korean company. They made the following observation: the launch timetable of Crimson Desert has been pushed forward from Q2 2024 to Q2 2025, a full year later. In an official answer, Pearl Abyss said they never announced a new release date for Crimson Desert, and the studio stayed quiet after that statement. Therefore, it will likely be at least a few months before a major announcement, and perhaps we can finally learn when Crimson Desert will be released.

As of now, all we know is that Crimson Desert is a single-player action role-playing game (RPG) with an open environment, loads of minigames, side quests, and mechanics to explore, as I mentioned before. Several kingdoms and regions, each with a distinct culture and atmosphere, make up the ball world where this journey occurs. Macduff, the game's protagonist, is a mercenary, and a brief sequence showing him as a young man suggests that we will discover his past through flashbacks. However, you won't be venturing off alone with Macduff; you'll be befriending a group of mercenaries who bring unique experiences and abilities. As the brief gameplay clip featuring another character armed with a great axe shows, they can join you in battle, and judging by appearances, you can even command them.

While the primary plot does allow us to delve into Macduff's chaotic history and the backstories of his traveling partners, there is yet another central mystery that needs solving. The strange temporal dungeons are at the heart of that enigma. When viewed through the lens of the more medieval buildings shown in most of the clip's footage, these warp time and appear incredibly innovative when entered. These time dungeons hold a lot of significance for the developers. Still, there is not enough information about them, except Macduff raised his blade as he saw an enigmatic twisted figure in one of these time-based dungeons.

Crimson Desert, Horse Riding

Given the apparent combat depth, Macduff's primary weaponry seems to be a sword and shield, enabling swift slashes and defensive blocks. You can switch to a buddy and utilize their weapons and skill set, but I can't say if he can equip several weapons. Among the many movements that Macduff can perform, many of them are derived from wrestling. Leg sweeps, sprinting tackles that throw foes to the ground, throwing enemies at each other, quick kicks, and jumping kicks are all part of the gameplay. With these, you can disarm your enemies or break their guards, allowing them to perform fatal finishing blows.

If an enemy loses their weapon, their AI makes them act dynamically, such as charging at you, fighting with their fists by rushing back to get it or searching for another weapon. Aside from the wide variety of options available in melee combat, you can also attack adversaries from a certain distance with a bow and arrow. These arrows can be either ordinary or explosive, allowing you to deal massive area-of-effect damage and even destroy nearby structures to give certain advantages. Thus, the mechanism is very versatile, and I'm assuming that with additional abilities and significant loot—about which we are now in the dark—we can further broaden the moveset.

Although combat appears to be quite engaging, with a wide variety of side content, I believe Crimson Desert's abundance of other gameplay concepts and activities truly sets it apart. Combats aren't necessary for every task. Simply returning animals to the town inhabitants will be enough to impress some. The village bulletin board, for instance, lists these side missions and other creatures that have gone missing, etc. Dungeon problems can lead to valuable loot, while hidden areas in the open world can reveal new regions to explore. Once more, because we have no information on loot and other awards, it is difficult to predict what will be waiting for us after these levels. There will also be more laid-back ways to pass the time, such as cooking, listening to music, fishing (which includes a minigame), etc.

Crimson Desert, Boss Fight

The most appealing part, though, appears to be exploring the stunning Pywel landscapes. One explanation is that our hero, Macduff, can scale buildings, rocks, and even trees, making him look like the protagonist in an Assassin's Creed spinoff. Many locations will be available in this fashion; however, it is unclear whether the system is based on stamina from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or is identical to Assassin's Creed. Additionally, you can utilize a vault to enhance the height of your jumps or swing from ropes before returning to climbing. You can also use your cloak to float to safety. 

However, you can also put this gliding talent to use while traveling around in a hot air balloon; after all, there are many other ways to get around, including flying. Your horse, which, judging by appearances, will also need to be tamed, will serve as your primary mode of transportation aside from walking. Not only can they seem swift, but they can also drift to take a swift turn. You can even jump off them and glide far with your feathery cloak. If you're feeling evil, you can play the game like a rogue by stealing horses from villagers, putting you in some sort of wanted system. Additionally, elephants, camels, and donkeys are mentioned but not depicted as mounts, while the most intriguing mount option is a dragon. The developers have confirmed that dragons can serve as mounts, and you can watch them flying and barrel-rolling through a barrage of missiles.

Given the map's vastness and the soaring ruins, a flying horse is handy—not only because it should be faster than a hot air balloon but also because it flies over enemy varieties and big bosses much more quickly. But be warned: Pywel is teeming with mean creatures as well. Battles feature many foes, from the more commonplace wolves and soldiers to gigantic monsters and live trees. The boss fights, in particular, will be the game's most exciting part. Enemies in these encounters are highly diverse, including war robots, mechanical dragons, enigmatic fighters, and gigantic antler monsters.

Crimson Desert, Female Character, Korean Girl

It goes without saying that regular wrestling skills will not be very effective against these larger beasts; nevertheless, similar to Dragon's Dogma, we may scale them and fight. Dodging will be more critical in other battles involving this medieval war machine. Everything has been intense thus far, and there's probably more to come. The fact that some of these battles will provide Macduff access to new abilities ups the stakes. Just one example: there's this lightning-wielding enemy that, when killed, teaches Macduff a devastating lightning slam move. And there are probably others like it that we're unaware of.

Crimson Desert is very ambitious, and we can only hope that Pearl Abyss can pull off what they promised. Even though we've seen some nice components individually, we still don't know how the gameplay works together. Beyond that, we do not know which platforms the game will be available on. Although PC seemed possible, Pearl Abyss mentioned last year that discussions over exclusivity with PlayStation or Xbox have been unsuccessful.

However, it is probable that the Crimson Desert to launch on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5; it is important to remember that exclusivity agreements could also result in special attire or missions for any platform. Hopefully, those questions will be addressed in due course, but as previously mentioned, news regarding Crimson Desert will be scarce for some time due to the release date possibly being pushed back to 2025.

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Pearl Abyss
Developer(s): Pearl Abyss
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2025

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