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7 / 10
Apr 1, 2016

Much of Black Desert Online is a convoluted mess, but few games let you create a virtual life this absorbing.

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Apr 8, 2016

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.

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Unscored
Mar 11, 2016

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.

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85 / 100
Mar 15, 2016

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.

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Mar 10, 2016

Pearl Abyss' Black Desert Online is an incredibly detailed, visually gorgeous MMORPG that succeeds at nearly everything but having a beating heart and soul.

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Mar 11, 2019

Black Desert is an expansive game, but Pearl Abyss needs to fix its technical problems on Xbox One.

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7.5 / 10.0
Aug 30, 2019

Black Desert does a lot right but a lot of it is hard to experience with little to no tutorial and technical issues that never really let up. It's clear that the current generation of console just isn't quite up to handling a game of this magnitude, but even so Black Desert provides an epic and frequently beautiful MMORPG experience.

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6 / 10
Aug 27, 2019

Black Desert is rougher than a badger's behind, and the simple combat won't blow anyone's skirt up, but the game does have upsides. The world is fleshed out and fun to explore, the side activities are more amusing than the campaign, and the character creation is superb. This is the sort of game that will undoubtedly appeal to a small subset of people who are more than happy to accept the uglier technical issues as the admission price to a well realised world full of things to do.

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60 / 100
Aug 29, 2019

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.

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8 / 10.0
Jun 3, 2016

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.

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83 / 100
Mar 22, 2016

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.

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Mar 18, 2016

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.

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6 / 10.0
Aug 30, 2019

As someone who generally enjoys mindless grinding, there was some comfort in making my way through Black Desert’s massive landscape. But when there are other options that feel more polished, thoughtful, and creative, it’s hard to recommend Black Desert unless the absence of a subscription fee is a key factor.

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7.4 / 10.0
Apr 29, 2016

Black Desert Online is impressive on the technical standpoint, and sets a new standard for MMOs. On the other side the character progression is heavily based on grinding and the structure is complex and somehow overwhelming. The game has a well designed gameplay and a solid endgame; the fans of the genre should definitely give it a try!

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9 / 10.0
Apr 11, 2016

And conquer I shall, even if for the first time in so many years, a MMORPG finally restored that sense of awe and adventure that I thought irremediably lost. For the first time in almost a decade, the world of a game finally managed to make me feel small again, and boy, this feels so good.

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8.6 / 10.0
Apr 7, 2016

Listen, I've rambled on for about 1500 words here, and several thousand more in preceding weeks. You don't need me to tell you any more about this game than what you can learn by simply picking it up. I will say this though: so many of us here clamor for something new and unique to hit the market.  It's here now. Black Desert Online is one of the freshest takes on the MMO in years, and it deserves to be played.

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Mar 30, 2016

Those desperate for a way to stay busy will find a seemingly inexhaustible number of grains of gameplay here.

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3.75 / 5.0
Aug 29, 2019

Black Desert is a beautiful looking game with plenty to offer, it just has a bit of a learning curve and some rather annoying design choices. In a lot of ways, I could see it being a fun game you casually play and enjoy with a friend or your guild, but it doesn't seem to have the same inviting feeling Final Fantasy XIV or ESO have. This is a shame, though a lot of things can be fixed with patches. Plus, the core concept is at least fun enough to make it worth the initial investment.

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5 / 10.0
Mar 30, 2017

Overall, Black Desert Online is a typical MMO in every single way. While I disagree with their claim that it's the “next generation” of MMOs, I did find the character creation to be the most robust of any MMO out there. Unfortunately, the character customization is the game's biggest highlight, and many of the other elements of Black Desert Online can be found in many other MMOs.

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8 / 10
Apr 13, 2016

Black Desert Online succeeds as a sandbox massively multiplayer online game with deep character customization, and a combat system that rivals most action oriented games. The world feels alive, and is a visual marvel as well, just don't expect anything revolution regarding story telling.

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