Black Desert Online is THAT game. You know the one. The game that one friend never really talks to much about but you know it consumes every fibre of their being. The game that seems innocent enough when you first see what it’s all about. The game that’ll trap you eventually and maybe even force you to pull out your credit card at gunpoint.
Black Desert Online is an MMO.
As someone who hasn’t played ANY MMO’s ever, except for maybe Club Penguin, it became rather daunting to even press start on this behemoth of an idea. From what my understanding of MMO’s are they are extremely community-based. People find parties and gather each other around from all parts of the internet to have a group of badasses formidable enough for a super tough raid. Because if you’re playing with randoms or anyone that isn’t doing their part in the fight you’ll soon be wiped by the intense challenge.
MMO’s have huge hotbars with as many spells your keyboard can fit on it all running on cooldowns while all your friends are doing some other task. MMO’s are the type of game where if you don’t know anything about MMO’s a screenshot of some intense fight would just look like puke on a lush mountainous backdrop.
So going into BDO was a challenge, yes. But did I enjoy it? Eh.
In no way is this a negative review. But my general consensus on this game is that it’s just not for me. Even though it wears elements of games that I adore proudly on its chest for some reason whatever it’s wearing kinda stinks and I don’t wanna stand near it too much.
So the thing that distinguishes BDO from most MMO’s that I was aware of is that it’s action-based. So no huge bar of bullshit to sift through as it cools down like a loading bar. Instead your hacking and slashing all around making a damn mess of everything with flash moves. The flashiness of these moves is a testament to BDO’s incredible graphics and character animations.
But my main problem with this game is that it isn’t a true hack n’ slash experience. It still feels like a game where your main mode of combat skills with cooldowns. It’s just that this one feels a lot faster and action-oriented. The best way I can describe it’s action combat is by saying that it’s more of Final Fantasy XV than a Devil May Cry or Bayonetta.
This isn’t a bad thing at all, but for me, it doesn’t check the right boxes in my small monkey brain.
BDO was also kinda sorta almost impossible for me to understand. After booting it up and making my character Goblita, in the lovely character creator. I was simply overwhelmed with all the text and pop-ups flooding my screen. This might be normal MMO fare but it certainly didn’t ease the transition.
I think the experience could’ve been a lot smoother if I were to play on PC instead as I’d have an entire keyboards worth of buttons to mess around with. Though the controller implementation is pretty good it will obviously need to make compromises to fit in all the things you can do onto a controller.
Other than that despite the game being gorgeous, it doesn’t run the best on the PS4 which really hampers the experience considering it’s a game one would usually spend a LOT of time on.
Black Desert seems to be the most MMO a modern MMO can be. With appealing characters, high fidelity graphics, and a more active combat system than most. I can totally see why people adore this game and spend money on it’s criminal business model. I might’ve really liked it and probably would’ve played it regularly at some point in my life.
As it stands though, BDO on the PS4 is a good game as long as you can handle the overwhelming nature of an MMO at the start. Some performance issues are my biggest issues with this version of the game but other than that if it floats your boat then you’re probably gonna like this.
I give BDO on the PS4 a 7/10