Black Desert Online

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a game by Pearl Abyss
Platforms: XBox One, PC (2014), Playstation 4
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 4 votes
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Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online

If you like the idea of playing a popular sandbox role playing game based in a massively multiplayer world, Black Desert Online might appeal. Developed by Pearl Abyss in the highly impressive Korean gaming scene, Black Desert was initially released in 2015, with a mobile equivalent coming in 2019.

The game itself has received some interesting acclaim, though some criticise the games balance and unicity. Is it an MMO worth trying out, or is it just another MMORPG to fail as a ‘World of Warcraft killer’?

MMO thrills in a third person combat environment

So, the first thing to note about this game is that is has a very intriguing combat style. You get to enjoy an easy, action-based combat system that feels more akin to a third person shooter as opposed to an MMORPG. It allows for more specific aiming and dodging and combinations, with its combat being more akin to something like a Dynasty Warriors than a traditional MMO experience.

Over time, players get the chance to involve themselves in things like owning a house, going fishing, crafting items, and pairing up with other players. You can even take part in massive player-versus-player (PVP) battles that involve sieging and attacking castles. Add in a very impressive character customisation system, and Black Desert Online certainly does well for itself in the gameplay stakes.

The game also makes use of an impressive worldwide weather system and can include major events, such as typhoons, that can impact on how you play the game in the first place. As the day/night system progresses, too, certain characters cannot be found.

A solid, if predictable, MMO experience

While Black Desert stands out due to some very fun combat systems, it does have very little in terms of unique features compared to most other MMOs. At first it can feel surprisingly fun and detailed, but you can soon find yourself running into a playing cycle that can feel like the most repetitive version of an MMORPG.

The awesome high fantasy setting looks great, but the storyline quickly descends into banality. While the Valencia kingdom are very spiritual, the Calpheon Kingdom are very materialistic. It sets up some very trope-driven storylines, with the story mostly built around precious black stones found in the Black Desert of Valencia.


General reception of the game is strong, though, and it certainly has plenty of positives. The main issue is that, like MMOs, it lacks the ability to really keep most of its playerbase sticking around past the 20-50 hour phase. With the game having over 30 million players worldwide, though, enough new players keep joining up to ensure this is seen as a pretty beefy MMORPG worth trying out.


  • Great visuals and impressive world design
  • Interesting combat system and style
  • Plenty of sandbox activities to do
  • Excellent character customisation and development


  • Lacks a unique and captivating story and/or worldbuilding system
  • Repetitive and can quickly lose interest due to the monotony of main game grinding

Download Black Desert Online

XBox One

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Playstation 4

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

XBox One Screenshots

PC Screenshots

Playstation 4 Screenshots

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