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Crimson Desert's open-world action looks like the perfect fusion of Assassin's Creed and The Witcher in this show-stealing trailer

 Crimson Desert
Crimson Desert

I wasn't expecting the sudden return of Crimson Desert to steal the show at Gamescom Opening Night Live, but this explosive new trailer showing off a frankly astounding amount of gameplay variety was extremely impressive.

There's melee combat with an array of hard-hitting moves and destructible objects that appear to collapse dynamically to take out enemies. There's horseback combat against massive hordes of soldiers, mission boards that ask you to do things like carry sheep around, and - importantly - a fishing minigame. There are cart thefts, hostage rescues, cooking, and hot air balloon rides.

Somehow, the trailer even manages the restraint not to show its Assassin's Creed-style parkour or Witcher-style magic-infused combat until the halfway mark. This game appears to have it all, to a degree that almost seems too good to be true - but for now, I'm content to be extremely impressed by this visually stunning trailer.

Crimson Desert has looked impressive every time we've seen it, but those appearances have been few and far between. The devs went radio silent after their last round of promotion two years, with some fans fearing that the game had been canceled in the meantime. There's no concrete release date just yet, though in recent financial reports developer Pearl Abyss has hinted that the game will be out near the end of 2023.

Whether Crimson Desert actually meets that release window remains to be seen, but Pearl Abyss has its hands full between ongoing support of the MMO Black Desert and the utterly wild-looking DokeV.

If you missed anything from Opening Night Live, check out our Gamescom live blog for all the details.