Black Desert Online
Top Critic Average
Much of Black Desert Online is a convoluted mess, but few games let you create a virtual life this absorbing.
An absolutely beautiful MMO from developer Pearl Abyss. The beauty is backed by a complex sandbox MMO that offers a lot of freedom, but doesn't explain its systems to players all that well. If you're into starting up a second fantasy life and have the time to spend learning the mechanics, Black Desert Online might be the game for you.
It's exciting to play an MMO that understands the importance of building a world worth living in, not just erecting a corridor of static set pieces to run through on your quest for power.
A gorgeous world that feels truly alive, Black Desert Online is a solid entry into the sandbox subgenre of MMOs. Benefiting from having been launched in a major market for a year before coming to the West, it offers an open world to explore, and an especially deep tradeskill and trading system mixed with an action-oriented combat scheme.
Pearl Abyss' Black Desert Online is an incredibly detailed, visually gorgeous MMORPG that succeeds at nearly everything but having a beating heart and soul.
Black Desert is an expansive game, but Pearl Abyss needs to fix its technical problems on Xbox One.
Black Desert Online is the most refreshingly unique MMO around. Introducing many new game mechanics and ways to play in a world that's so exquisitely designed, with characters, building, monsters and even the weather all working together to make the best looking MMO to have ever been released, BDO is only really let down by the game's unwillingness and/or inability to properly explain its mechanics. The post-launch updates have been great so far and there's no reason to think the game won't keep improving.
Black Desert Online has the potential to be a truly legendary MMORPG. There are so many interesting elements to it, each of which could provide you with many hours of enjoyment.
Black Desert Online wants to be distinct from other MMORPGs, but it isn't different enough in the ways which really matter. The game's few innovations aren't enough to make up for its myriad shortcomings, making it come across as just another MMORPG.
Ultimately, Black Desert on PS4 is very user-friendly, and looks fantastic when running at a premium performance level. But while Black Desert’s aesthetic prowess and customizable sandbox experience is an achievement in the world of MMOs, it’s not a game that offers enough enticement in the minute-to-minute gameplay — or even in the grander, month-to-month scope of things — to leave me thirsty for more.