Black Desert Online, from developers Pearl Abyss, is a combat-focused high-fantasy MMORPG, which is available on Steam for PC, and now Xbox One. The game was originally released in 2015 and has remained one of the most popular MMO games on the market since, leading to the console availability that began in 2019.
The game was remastered last year, and is available at a very affordable price, as well as supporting a free-trial option.
BDO is described by the developers as a sandbox, living-world MMORPG, and it provides this with a vast world to play in. The gameplay is fast-paced and combat focused, but with changes of pace present, in the form of a deep class system, trading and working, and phenomenal character customisation.
This game is considered one of the most attractive MMORPG’s on the market, set in a picturesque high-fantasy setting that extends to the weapons and enemies. Most notably, the customisation for the appearance of your character is second to none. You can spend hours tweaking each and every dimension of your playable character’s face, body and hair. As well as this customisation, there are unique and varied classes to give your gameplay and combat just as much of a fine-tuned feel as your appearance.
There are 17 classes in the current game, including standard RPG roles such as Wizard, Ranger and Warrior, but more unique and exciting options such as Kunoichi, Tamer and Musa, as well as many more. Seven of the classes are male, and 10 are female. Every character has its own unique play style and stats, to go along with your own preferences as a player.
The gameplay itself varies completely between classes, but all of them have a clear focus on fast-paced combat and using quests to direct you through your journey and levelling. Mastering your abilities and skills with each class, of which you can have multiple, takes time and effort. As well as the intense combat style, there are also more casual and passive elements in the form of ten ‘living skills’ such as crafting, fishing and farming, which provide ‘professions’ for characters. Your money and the profession you choose are both absolutely essential parts of the game, and there is an economical system within the game, but these do not detract from opportunities to level and play in the various PvE and PvP options.
The lore which provides the backdrop to this game is also what gives the basis for the PvP experience, as the different regions in the world have been at war in recent years. Once you get to a high enough level (40), you get the opportunity to activate the Player vs Player mode, in which you can attack or be attacked by another online user. This PvP enabling system dictates that you are willing to fight others, and if you choose to attack someone who is not in this mode, you actually begin to build up karma points, too many of which will attract guards and other players to attack you. Black Desert Online is an MMORPG which is best suited to people who want to play a good-looking, combat-focused RPG, and have plenty of time to spend doing so.