Crimson Desert just released two different commentary trailers – but neither one makes any mention of multiplayer. Instead, the team focuses on highlighting the design process behind the new single-player direction, leaving fans wondering what sort of game this will really be.
Originally billed as an MMO, Pearl Abyss has since changed its focus, now calling it an open world action adventure game. The recently released commentary reinforces this idea, as the developers revealed various design choices of Crimson Desert that lend themselves to a single-player world – and don’t quite mesh with your typical MMO.
For one, you’ll now be able to learn new skills and abilities by undergoing trials. “Macduff learns how to use lightning after the fight is over… There will be plenty of trials that test players in the game. These trials will serve as the means by which characters acquire new skills and abilities,” said Daeil Kim, Executive Producer for Crimson Desert. That’s not to say this sort of progression won’t work in an MMO, but it’s a mechanic usually reserved for single-player games. God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and even Skyrim all grant you new abilities for overcoming boss battles.
As far as I’m aware, that’s usually not how characters progress in an MMO. It’s definitely not the case in Black Desert, where new skills and abilities are earn by grinding out experience points and unlocking new moves organically. Taking down bosses is only helpful for progressing the story and trying to unlock new gear.
The second commentary video discussed Macduff’s mercenary crew, one that some people were speculating would be composed of other real players. However, it looks like these will all be NPCs – brought to life by elaborate backstories that progress along with Macduff’s. It’s possible you’ll be able to replace them with real-life players, but there’s no mention of it in during the entire trailer.
For what it’s worth, we reached out to Pearl Abyss about the new direction and received this in response:
“Officially it is an ‘open world action adventure game.’ Crimson Desert will have multiplayer gameplay and continue the Pearl Abyss tradition of a massive MMO-style world, but there’s a big focus on creating more narrative and single-player activities.” How exactly that will play out is yet to be seen, but we’re excited to see what the developer has planned.
We’ll be connecting with the team at Pearl Abyss in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more information about Crimson Desert. In the meantime, you can check out the two commentary trailers.
NEXT: Crimson Desert’s Combat System Will Include “Professional Wrestling Moves”
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Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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