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Black Desert Online – Review

by on August 26, 2017
Release Date



Pearl Abyss


Black Desert Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). This review is going to be based on the experiences I had within the game. Trying to review a MMORPG I feel, is somewhat difficult as the game is constantly evolving and interactions with actual human characters can change the game dramatically. Black Desert Online (BDO) is regularly priced at $9.99 either through their website or steam (both are separate and the accounts do not sync), and it has no monthly fee like many large MMORPG’s may have. That may already grab some of you, but is the less cost better?

BDO prides itself on skill based combat. But does that mean exactly? It means that the old days of pointing and clicking to attack or having an order you do your spells no longer apply. Everything is in real time you’ll need to know when to attack and when to dodge and block. The fighting is really fast paced and flashy. The moves are over exaggerated but not in a negative way. It has a nice anime/DBZ feel where everything is about fluid motions and linking combos. My first character I created was a Striker (proficient in hand to hand combat). Linking combos and finding new ways of attacking enemies was awesome!

BDO is a heavily fantasy based world. Do not expect tech or modified tech…think Goblin tech from World of Warcraft. Everything fits the era well they are portraying and damn is it beautiful. BDO showed me that I need to upgrade my PC system as the 6-year-old parts are holding up anymore like they used to. Everything moves well and is easy to navigate, and I will get into that later. The mounts range from standard donkeys to epic carriages (I never got one but I saw a couple pass by), and there is always something to do depending on how you want to play the game.

There are thirteen classes to choose from; Warrior, Ranger, Sorceress, Berserker, Valkyrie, Wizard/Witch, Tamer, Maehwa, Musa, Ninja (new class), Kunoichi, Dark Knight, and Striker. Each class has different abilities and skills. One difference to note is that the classes are locked to their sex, You cannot choose male or female for each class, it’s already set. Every class also has it’s “Awakened” state. The Awakened state is basically a much more bad ass version of yourself that deals a ton more damage to help you along your way. Even though the sex may be locked for each class. The character creator is unreal. Everything can be changed and modified. With a ton of slider bars and adjustments, you can make them look any way you want. From hair highlights, hair streaks, makeup, body type, voice, and more…you can easily spend some time just creating a character, and love it.

Now when I said there are a lot of things to do, I’m not lying. You can trade, buy it low in one town and sell it high in another. You can tame wild horses and use them as transportation as you move throughout your quests. You can fish and gather other natural resources if you put forth the effort in this, there are some good benefits to do so. You can craft, weapons, armor, cooking, alchemy, this could net you some good Marketplace gains. You can also gather knowledge, this took me a bit to figure out. It forces you to look and talk to everyone. Once you gain enough knowledge other opportunities can arise and you can use your knowledge to your advantage. One last thing to bring up is the ability to purchase a house. Not only can you buy a house, you can decorate it any way that you want and damn are there some impressive items you can buy for your house.

Now when I played I had some good time in the character creator and ended up making a character that looked something like Rufio. Jumped into the game right after that and was a bit blown away. The graphics looked awesome and very anime like. Then something surprising happened, a dark spirit popped up and I was the only one to see him. He guided you through out the tutorial and then became your quest guide. This was a fun change to just instead of opening your quest and aimlessly just grinding quests. There was a ton of information download the first parts of the game. Some I forgot and had to look up later on but it wasn’t hard to find in the help section in the game. Another part I somewhat enjoyed but felt like cheating was the auto navigate to quests. If you wanted to type or check something out but didn’t want to stay stationary, you can set a quest to navigate to and your character would start running to the start or the area to complete the quest. Luckily they take the roads to be safe, but sometimes that’s not always the faster route. There were only a couple of gripes I had in the first couple of hours that I played. I did get pretty confused in the beginning. Didn’t understand how some of the Knowledge worked, I was having conversations and was building knowledge, but I wish I knew why. Again that could have been my mistake and need to look into it more. Also, the game felt very easy. I was never challenged or even needed to use a potion. I’m not sure if the game starts off and has you level quickly to understand the mechanics then attempts to destroy you later on.

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Note: GameOctane Editor Jason Germino received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience. Check us out at Opencritic!


+ Beautiful graphics
+ Fun, skill based MMORPG
+ Great price
+ Engrossing unique story


- A lot gets thrown at you very quickly
- Some information and mechanics aren't clear at first

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Bottom Line

Black Desert Online is a solid MMORPG choice, especially for the price. The skill based attacks opens up the game for some beautiful fights and needed challenge.

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