Black Desert Online – Review
Follow Genre: MMORPG
Developer: Pearl Abyss
Publisher: Daum Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Black Desert Online – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Amazing graphics, voice overs, possibilities, tutorials, ...
Bad: A lot to take in at once
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

MMORPG’s are always packed with things to do, but if you’re looking for an overload, then Black Desert Online is something to turn to. Next to the plot, you can also do a lot of other things like decorate your house, earn some money by trading or just go and find world bosses. In the end, you decide what to do in this game. Do you want to team up with friends and join a guild, or rather do some quests on your own and have fun with collecting herbs? The choice is yours.

Black-Desert-Online-Logo-Gaming-Cypher

Story

Peace is always something that must be treasured, but is mostly thrown away due to stupid circumstances, greed or power. As expected, Black Desert Online has such a storyline, filled with intrigues. In the beginning, there were four nations that had good bonds until the biggest country, Valencia, brought the Black Death to the other countries by its flourishing trade. Each country lost a lot of people due to this horrible disease and uneasiness was getting the upper hand. In the end, everyone turned against Valencia as they introduced the Black Death. The citizen of Valencia were dumbstruck as they had a lot of losses as well.

Their despair led to a raging war, where lots of things happened. To give you the possibility to discover the details on your own, in the end every country had terrible losses and due to certain circumstances, they all started to be suspicious of one another.

The story starts as you’re being possessed by a black entity. It seems that you’re stuck with it, although it seems to do you no harm. It even helps you get back on your feet and gives you tips on how to survive in the world. Eventually you need to travel between the rivalled countries, learning lots of new intel and shaping the story even more.

Overall, the story might be a bit well-hidden, but it is a gem to discover. As this is an MMORPG, you will have the opportunity to discover a vast amount of information, together with your friends.

Black Desert Online

Graphics

Black Desert Online is available on PC and it is clear that it needs recent graphical cards to be really beautiful. Don’t worry if your card isn’t that great, you’ll still be able to enjoy the game but just a bit less spectacular. Nonetheless, the graphics in overall are stunning and you will need your time to enjoy and appreciate your surroundings. Your environments feel so lifelike and each enemy is beautifully finished. Water textures are always tricky, but if you’re playing on high graphical settings, it feels like you’re almost really there.

Character wise, you have so many different customizations that it will be hard to get two similar toons. It is a shame that each class is always the same standard character. For instance, a wizard will always be the Gandalf-lookalike, while there are other gentlemen that can be used too. At any rate, the clothing, weapons and accessories are nicely finished and really is the icing on the cake.

Sound

Almost each (MMO)RPG has a stunning soundtrack and Black Desert Online isn’t any different. Since they’re mostly in the same genre, it might feel like you’ve heard a specific tune multiple times. Changing zones or engaging in battle will switch the music too, changing the pace quite often.

Another great asset are the sound effects. When you create a new character, you can pick a voice which will also reflect on your fighting. Each skills or swing of a weapon has its own particular sound effect, making battles quite animated. Combine these sounds with the battle cries and growling or screeches of your enemies and you’re in for a soundfest.

Black Desert Online

The last important aspect are the voice actors. Pearl Abyss really opened all registers for this aspect, as it feels that every character has a different expression. Even more, each toon has a fitting voice as well, what makes it really special. What could have been better is that the spoken text isn’t similar to the written sentences, which makes it a bit weird at times as you’re expecting a different audio sequence.

Gameplay

Black Desert Online is an MMORPG that will take you on a journey across the borders of four nations in rivalry. Next to the traditional storyline, you can also do a ton of other things. Since this would be too much to discuss every option in detail, we’re going to give you an overview of the most important aspects of the game.

First of all, what would an RPG be without any quests? You’ll be running from here to there to complete several missions and obtain sweet loot and maybe some extra insights on the evolving story. There are a lot of side-quests which aren’t really necessary to complete, but why leave the opportunity to gain some more goodies? Most of the quests will be to get items or slay enemies but before you can start this task, it is important to know how to defend yourself.

There are several classes to choose from, each with their particular skill set. For instance, wizards or Rangers are casters or skilled with the bow, while there are other ones that will make things personal and will always be on front like the Berserker. Depending on your playstyle and preferable gender, you’ll choose a character which you can now customize to the fullest. The possibilities are endless, really endless. If you can lose yourself in character customization, you’ll be busy for a long time (a.k.a. more than an hour) to get the perfect character. For example, not only can you choose the hair color of your toon, you can also define two other tones or highlights as well, to give it just that bit extra. Don’t like the facial features? Well, nothing to worry about as you can change literally everything with the click of a button. Even your pose can be changed too. When you’re done with the character, it is time to dive into the world of Black Desert Online.

Black Desert Online

At the beginning, there are some tutorial quests to get you on track and to introduce you to the different gameplay mechanics. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you will learn your first skills. When you level up, you will gain skill points which can be used to select new attacks. These are bound to your keys, but these can be freely switched. Even more, every time you press buttons, you’ll get a small reminder of possible key combinations. This is really nice, as you can always take a look if you might forget something.

Of course, you can test these new attacks on dummies, but it is always more fun to go and smash some enemies. These can be found everywhere, but if you’re looking for some quest mobs they will be shown on your mini map as orange dots instead of red ones. This makes it that much easier to find your next target in a sea of redness. Before you can actually see how much damage your enemy has taken, you will need to kill a lot of them to gain intel so there is no need to worry when you don’t see your target’s health depleting. While you’re in combat, you need to watch out that you don’t get back attacked, as this does loads of damage.

Killing enemies might also grant you with some sweet loot which can be sold or worn. Upgrading your gear is a must in almost every game, so it’s really important to keep an eye out for better gear and weaponry. One way to do this is to check the auction house. This place of magical wonders is filled with items that players find and want to sell, although it might be a bit overpriced at times. Next to weaponry or other gear, you can also sell items that you’ve gathered in the wild. For instance, you can collect wild herbs or skin certain animals which can be used in professions.

Black Desert Online

With professions, you can create new items that are useful in battle or to sell to earn some nice cash. A new element in Black Desert Online is the usage of housing. Even more, you can use a house you rent as a workshop or storage area rather than a place to live. Depending on the role, you can decorate your crib with items you make or find and totally give it your own personal style. There are other things you can do to relax a bit or to exploit when you’re looking for some cash, like fishing or trading. It might seem easy but there is more than meets the eye. It might take a while to understand the full potential but you’ve got some nice tutorials waiting for you. Pearl Abyss provides so much different videos and text to get you on track which is really nice and thoughtful.

Talking to NPC’s is important too, as it gives you more intel on several characters or events and to broaden your horizon. Even more, it is even necessary that you gather this information as it is needed to talk to other NPC’s. Before you can get access to these chunks of info, you need to pay contribution points. These points are earned by doing quests for instance and are used to invest in certain things like housing. If you’re running out of points, you can always undo certain actions and reclaim those points.

Of course, what would an MMORPG be without guilds. These have a real more definite role in this game as there are guild wars for instance. Getting into a guild is quite different from other games. Now you have to sign a contract where you define how much money you get daily. When this is accepted, you’re able to see the guild roster and help in guild quests. These missions will earn the guild silver, experience and guild points. Again, these points can be used to get new quests from the guild skill tree. In the end, it is a whole organisation to get it all running and to be a part of.

Black Desert Online

These elements we’ve discussed are only a small part of what the game has to offer. It is filled with things to do, although it is a different style from other MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft. This game feels more like it’s in the branch of Skyrim, which isn’t a bad thing of course. It will just define if you’re going to be sucked into the game or rather toss it in the garbage can.

Conclusion

Black Desert Online is packed with loads of things to do and explore, guided by some amazing music and the illustrations are really beautiful (even on lower quality). There are so many things to be discovered, so you’ll probably spend some time in this game if you want to experience it to the fullest. If you’re tired of questing, you can always chill in your house or go and get some fish. One remark though, if you like more structured MMORPG’s, you might go back to another game sooner than later.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Black Desert Online - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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1 Comment

  1. […] Black Desert Online is an open world action MMORPG that was first released in Korea in 2014 and as of this year it’s available pretty much everywhere. The game will feature a special ‘Mysteries of Summer’ event. During the event, players will be able to compete for prices both psychical and digital. Prizes include high-end Alienware Area-51 R5 desktop gaming rigs, 34-inch ultra wide monitors and Geforce GTX 1070 Ti graphics cards. Additionally, players will be rewarded with in-game items and silver. To get you started, Pearl Abyss and Kakao Games released a very mysterious trailer showing the Dark Knight who is trying to uncover the Mysteries of Summer. You can find our review of the original game right here. […]

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