clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Crimson Desert looks like every RPG crammed into one

Turn into crows, go fishing, and take a hot air balloon ride

Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Crimson Desert was showcased in a new trailer at Gamescom 2023 on Tuesday, and the open-world RPG looks comically packed full of content — and comes complete with the mandatory fishing game. Crimson Desert, which is developed by Black Desert studio Pearl Abyss, appears to have a feature set that’s full to the point of absurdity. It’s one of many games at Gamescom that looks to have borrowed a few pages from Elden Ring’s book, and then rifled through the rest of the library.

The player takes the role of a mercenary, exploring a fantasy world on horseback. Your protagonist engages in a long list of open world activities: battling, fishing, hunting bounties, hijacking carriages, sieging castles, arm wrestling, sheep rescuing, petting dogs, exploring sky islands, ascending in hot air balloons, and climbing massive, lumbering beasts.

Combat also looks like it has a good deal of variety. Not only does the mercenary use a bow and arrow and a sword, but he is able to get the advantage in fights by knocking over towers and trapping foes under the wreckage. There’s also horse drifting, and at one point, our hero launches off his horse and turns into a flock of crows, which seems like a novel way to travel.

I’m tired just looking at the bevy of options available! The Gamescom trailer looks like someone took a swing at making Elden Ring, and then threw in a big dose of Red Dead Redemption, Mount & Blade, and Assassin’s Creed. Crimson Desert was first revealed in 2019, but Pearl Abyss took the game back to the drawing board after lackluster fan feedback. It looks like the team has certainly filled the game out, and we’ll have to see whether all these activities can co-exist in harmony, or if they’ll end up in a swamp of competing systems.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon