Black Desert Online is an MMORPG with a vast open world to explore. Its features include great graphics and character designs, with a multitude of crafting, housing, mounts and animal breeding to explore. Topping this off is the opportunity to take part in large scale PvP castle sieges.
So I guess the obvious thing that most people will jump to with Black Desert Online is to compare to the behemoth that is World of Warcraft. I guess it is an easy thing to do as World of Warcraft has dominated the MMORPG genre for decades but with Black Desert Online entering the ring, Blizzard may just have to step their game up!
The first thing that grabs your attention in the game is the graphics and the character models. There are eight classes in total and each of them has their own distinctive character model that can be customised extensively before beginning the game. Some of the scenery and play areas in the game are breathtaking, adding vibrancy to the whole fantasy setting of the game. There are a few gender locked classes, which I have to admit was a little surprising considering the expansive nature of the character creation options that are available to customise your character. This sometimes doesn’t sit well with the fans of the genre, so I wasn’t expecting gender locked classes at all, however, to me personally it isn’t something that bothers me as much as some other people.
The combat system is fluid and uses manual aiming and positioning of your character, this makes it feel like you are actively part of the action. Tab targeting is there, but it certainly isn’t a click once and nuke down scenario for fighting. The fluid motion and the use of combinations of attacks means you can see some truly breath-taking displays of movement when your character is fighting. Whilst it does have combinations you can use, the basics are not too complicated to prevent a novice from being able to play immediately. They have successfully managed to move away from the ‘rotation’ mentality that has permeated almost every other MMORPG out there today and, as a result, have a combat system that feels completely different to anything I have played before. Enemies range from foxes, weasels and wolves to some truly enormous world bosses. These can be fought on foot or on the back of a mount if you so choose.
As far as PVP goes I didn’t have the opportunity to experience any myself as of yet, but the general consensus is that it is a great experience. The need for skill in the combat system of the game and the fluid movement animations should make PvP an exciting and almost MOBA-like experience for the players. It is also refreshing to see that there is no faction vs. faction PvP element to this game which is something that I haven’t seen any other game do so far.
The one thing that did strike me in the time I have spent playing this game so far is that there is so much to do, learn and experience that I have spent most of my time sampling a little bit of everything. I assume that this is what the game makers intended as it seems to cater for, whatever type of mood you are in and whatever gameplay you feel like experiencing at any given time. If you feel a little hung-over and want to chill out you could go and fish for a while, feel like some fast and frantic gameplay then PvP is an option, feel like some story based gameplay? then go and do some questing and knowledge gathering. They have each base covered for whatever you would like to do with your gameplay time available. I have to say that I managed to clock up around 30 hours in the game over the three days of advance access and I barely even started to get into the depths of what this game is able to offer. Every aspect is covered in this game from guild Vs. guild, warfare, crafting, exploration and so much more that everyone could find something that they enjoy doing.
One of the most complex systems for me to understand as a beginner to this game was the crafting system. A complex combination of needing housing, nodes and contribution points had me pulling my hair out trying to understand everything that was going on with it all. Once you throw in the employment of workers to gather on top of all that, I just had to leave it well alone to allow my brain to unscramble.
This is where I think the only negative comes in about Black Desert Online and it is something that could really affect the uptake of the game. The explanation for the different aspects of the game leaves a lot to be desired. It is either a long process of trying to figure it out by yourself or you have to try and find a friendly guild that will help explain things. However, if you like the challenge of discovering the different nuances of the game out for yourself then this is the perfect opportunity for you.
All in all, it is a gorgeous looking game that will appeal to a lot of people and it is something I would recommend to fans of the MMORPG genres but if you do pick it up be prepared to lose a good portion of your time exploring the areas and getting to grips with the complexities of the different systems. I will be continuing my playtime with this game as it has so much potential and I will revisit this review at a later date to let you know how I get on with it