Massively multiplayer games like Black Desert Online have always appealed to me, but they never really grabbed me. Of course, there’s the fact that I refuse to pay a subscription just to play a single game, but at least Black Desert Online Remastered only makes you pay upfront to play as much as you want.
The main thing that put this on everyone’s radar in the first place is the character creation. I began playing this shortly before the Remastered update, and the amount of detail in the character models was undoubtedly stunning. The update makes them even better, it’s just unfortunate that you rarely have a reason to get a good look at them outside of the odd cutscene here and there. And in said cutscenes you don’t even see your own character.
The character creator is very in-depth, allowing you complete control over every aspect - or you can just click the “Apply Most Popular” button, which is basically a polite way of saying random. Personally, I’ve never been much for customisation, so I made my Dark Knight look somewhat presentable (with purple hair, because Third Street represent!), and went to work.
The basic plot is that your character (whichever class you choose to be) wakes with amnesia, having forgotten a promise to help a black spirit. What could go wrong? Black spirits that only you can see, and that have red eyes, are always benevolent right?
And so begins your quest into the world of… what was the world again? In fact, I’m sure there’s a bigger storyline at work, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it is. There’s just dozens of NPCs who need you to murder monsters and faceless enemies.
In fact, the quests are mostly that. Go somewhere, kill a set amount of enemies of a certain type, finish, get sent back to exactly where you just were to destroy their totems, or tents, or something… They’re not very interesting to be quite honest. Whether it’s a quest for an NPC or the Black Spirit, it boils down to the same thing, at least in my experience. It could be that when you get 50 hours into the game, you get a bunch of fishing quests or something, but I haven’t gotten 50 hours into the game.
That said, you can go fishing, but that’s a whole ordeal, at least until the endgame from what I hear. You can also buy houses in most towns, which you can set to different purposes. If you want to increase your local storage, then you definitely need to set some property to storage - if you’re a hoarder, you’re going to use up storage space quickly.
Other options are setting it to lodging or workshops, for your workers who can make things for you to sell. The final option is to use it as housing for yourself, which allows you to decorate it however you wish. Some furniture gives you buffs, so decorate responsibly - though you can only receive the buff if you use the furniture.
I mentioned storage, and that’s one of the main problems that Black Desert Online has. You have a very limited inventory, which you can upgrade with premium currency, or wait until you unlock more in certain quests or as login bonuses. It’s not ideal, but you can overcome it fairly early in the game. What really threw me, was that money has a weight in this game. I was carrying almost nothing in my inventory, and when I realised that it was my cash that was preventing me from running, I couldn’t find a way to get rid of it. The shops didn’t even sell anything that cost enough to get rid of it. That’s where storage comes in.
Each major town has storage - a guy you can speak to, to keep all of your nicknacks (and cash) safe for you. However, you can’t then travel to another town and get your stuff out of storage, you need to pay for it to be delivered to you. The money is another story, as each area shares that between storages. Travel to another area though, and you’re having to pay to get it delivered. It makes sense in practice…
While Black Desert Online Remastered might have its issues (and apparently PvP which I haven’t tried out is atrocious), one thing I’ve had fun with is the combat. Past MMOs I’ve played (Marvel Heroes and Star Trek Online) have you doing the same attack over and over again, or a couple of them linked to number keys. Your skill tree in Black Desert Online gives you a variety of attacks, all of which are done using the mouse and various keyboard keys. The Dark Knight has a number of cool attacks, and I can obliterate an enemy camp in a couple of minutes - less if I round them up first by letting them chase me.
With some great looks and decent combat, what we have here is a very flawed - but fun - multiplayer game. It’s not a bad game, but you’d really have hoped that they would change more than just how Black Desert Online looks and sounds for this big remaster.
Black Desert Online (Reviewed on Windows)
Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.
There is a lot to enjoy, but also an equal amount to dislike which is a shame for such a beautiful title.