Gameplay 5
Controls 4
Graphics & Audio 3
Value For Money 5
Longevity 4

…WHAT ISN’T THERE TO DO? Developed and published by Pearl Abyss, comes the incredibly massive MMORPG Black Desert. Initially released in 2015, this expansive world has finally come to Xbox One and I can tell you now, there’s no shortage of things to do. Craft, cook, fish and sail toward the sunset, all this and ..

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Black Desert Xbox One Review

…WHAT ISN’T THERE TO DO?

Developed and published by Pearl Abyss, comes the incredibly massive MMORPG Black Desert. Initially released in 2015, this expansive world has finally come to Xbox One and I can tell you now, there’s no shortage of things to do. Craft, cook, fish and sail toward the sunset, all this and more while playing with thousands of players at the same time…this is Black Desert.

Before you even set foot in the world of Black Desert, you must first create your character. This involves you choosing a “family” name for your characters and choosing what class you want to be. Note, that you can not change your family name (the name all of your characters will go by), so make sure you are comfortable with the name you have chosen.

Now, onto choosing a class. There are ten classes you can choose from: the Warrior, Ranger Sorceress, Lahn, Berserker, Striker, Musa, Dark Knight, Wizard and finally the Witch. All classes have their pros and cons and the way you manage your fighting style will depend upon these classes. Unfortunately,  the classes are gendered, meaning you don’t have as much flexibility. The Ranger class is female which is unfortunate as I wanted to be a male archer, or vice versa the Warrior class is reserved for male characters.

Here, just like most MMORPGs, you can choose your way of playing, be it wielding a sword, using your fists, conjuring spells or clubbing an axe. Your class will reflect this style, in particular the Berserker class which allows you to play what seems to be a giant of sorts.

After you have chosen your class, you can now get to the crux of the character creator: the customization of your appearance. Everything here is pretty much changeable, from the hair to skin to colour and everything in between. There’s a limited variety of customization, but it does give you quite a lot of options. Facial construction is divided into sections of the face, it’s a lot more clunkier than say Bethesda games customizers, but it’s fairly decent.

When you’ve chosen your character, it’s time for you to enter the world. Right from the get go, you can start fighting and boy is the fighting something. The combat in Black Desert is varied depending on the class you pick, the majority of my playthrough was spent playing the warrior class.

With other MMORPGs I’ve played, I’ve often found it to be a button spam of different abilities, seeing what works. I can tell you that Black Desert is no different. When entering battle, I never had or never still, have a strategy when it comes to fighting in this. It just seems to become a crazy hack and slash until one of us dies.

The range of enemies is crazy, not to mention the size of the world. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve put into the game and I’ve barely explored a fraction of the map. There’s so much to do, I can’t even begin to tell you how much there is.

After a little exploration, I discovered the “node” system, which kind of acts like owning property. The higher the level you are the more of these “nodes” you have to spend. You can invest nodes into certain places and upgrades and they essentially act as tokens to spend on real estate. You can retract these tokens at any time and spend them elsewhere, but they enable you to own land.

You can own workers and start cultivating and selling your stock. I set up a potato farm with a single worker, and now have a surplus of potatoes I’m still unsure what to do with. Apparently you can make beer with them, and that’s what’s so enticing about Black Desert. The fact I’ve played it for ages now and I still don’t know everything about it.

Although that’s one of the games flaws, it gives you the basics but there are a lot of things you have to find out for yourself.

The one gripe I have with Black Desert is the performance. The graphics are exceptional and look very much like Ark’s graphics. Unfortunately, like Ark’s graphics, it has the same performance issues. At the start of each time you load in, the world seems to take a bit longer to load, and you’re usually stuck there for a solid minute waiting for the textures to load.

The frame rate of Black Desert drops in certain areas as well, rarely ever hitting 60 frames per second and during moments of high intensity they can really drop.

Overall, Black Desert is an intriguingly enjoyable experience. There is much I still don’t know about the game, but from what I’ve experienced I can tell you you’ll be engrossed for hours trying out new abilities and things to do. The graphics are excellent, but at the price of performance. Sometimes you’ll be waiting a while for the game to load and frames range from mediocre to jesus hell what is this. The combat is good fun and there’s just so much to do it can’t really be all delivered in a review like this. But from what I have played, I can tell you both MMORPG veterans and newbie players will be welcome in Black Desert.

Published and Developed by: Pearl Abyss 

Price – £7.99

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