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We Finally Know What Microsoft's The Initiative Is Working On

Microsoft just dropped a bomb to kick off The Game Awards this evening. The Initiative, Microsoft's mysterious development studio, was one of E3 2018's best reveals. No one knew what the team was working on or what they were doing — not until today.

The Initiative has been working diligently on its first project — Perfect Dark. The game offers a new spin on a popular secret agent thriller series set in a futuristic version of the world. In the trailer, a drone cam makes its way throughout a nameless city, providing key visuals of lush and green shrubbery before continuing over the rooftops of a corporate building to reveal a desert-like landscape.

The original Perfect Dark game debuted in 2000 for the Nintendo 64. The title followed Joanna Dark, codenamed "Perfect Dark", as she uncovers a conspiracy between the world's biggest corporation and a set of extraterrestrials. It was a hit with players and critics alike, and received high praise for its graphics, in-game options, and modes.

The newly announced Perfect Dark sets its focus on an ecological environmental disaster that may have occurred across the world. Christine Thompson, the lead writer, stated, "There's been an ecological disaster that affected the world on a global scale. But these corporations came in and they developed new technology, and for your average person, it's pretty awesome." The premise of the story seems to be that even though the corporations assisted with the disaster, there is more going on beneath the surface.

Perfect Dark will have a stronger focus on the art of espionage. The Initiative team really wanted to differentiate between the general first-person shooter and a game that is heavily reliant on subterfuge. "Espionage, reconnaissance, tricking people, getting into places unseen," were just a few of the things mentioned by design director Drew Murray. The developers are trying to reinvent the franchise and give a unique spin to a classic first-person shooter. Perfect Dark aims to be a AAA espionage blockbuster hit.

Perfect Dark is considered a classic by many, and it will be interesting to see The Initiative's unique take on the franchise. Currently, Microsoft has not shared a release date or platforms, but it looks like it will hit Xbox Game Pass on day one and the official page includes the Xbox Series X|S logo.