Black Desert finally release for Xbox users!
BY DAVID JAGNEAUX Black Desert is finally making its way over to the Xbox One. Massive, open-world MMORPGs are still relatively rare on consoles, but games like Final Fantasy XIV and The Elder Scrolls Online are slowly reforming that perception.
Over on PC, Black Desert Online has earned its spot as one of the most popular MMOs around. By adopting a buy-to-play model, similar to The Elder Scrolls Online and Guild Wars 2, once you pay for access to the game, you no longer have to pay a fee anymore (a la Destiny 2) – unless you want to. There’s a cash shop with optional items and perks for premium users, but it’s totally playable as just the base game if you want.
Since a lot of Xbox One players are likely new to this MMO, we’ve put together five specific things to know when starting out in Black Desert on Xbox One based on time spent with the recent Open Beta period.
1) The World Is Gorgeous
Black Desert is a visually stunning game. After the opening tutorial moments it opens itself up to you for exploration with its vast high-fantasy setting that bursts with color. Classes fit the usual archetypes with wizards, sorceress, knights, and archers, with some variations between them. Despite the modernized look though, Black Desert is, for the most part, a relatively standard Korean MMO which means lots of grindy “Kill X monsters” quests.
2) It Has Insanely Detailed Character Creation
Black Desert has the most intricate and downright gorgeous character creator that I’ve ever seen in a video game. Not only do you have an immense amount of control over every single detail in your character’s appearance, but the quality of the character models and facial animations are top-tier. The only major downside for Black Desert on Xbox One at first will be the lack of the full roster of selectable classes with only six total. As of now for Xbox One, we’ve only seen Warrior, Ranger, Sorceress, Berserker, Wizard, and Witch, whereas the PC version already has over twice as many. They all appear to be gender-locked as well.
3) Expect Action-Packed Combat
Black Desert’s most intriguing feature, especially for gamepad-focused console players, will be the fast-paced and action-packed combat system. It’s entirely different from what most people think of when they see the MMORPG acronym. You don’t just stand in one spot and cycle through abilities until the monster dies, because instead you’ve got combos and you’ll actually trade blows with enemies, back and forth, blocking, and even kicking to create space. In a lot of ways it feels more like a fighting game than an MMO. At first the controls on Xbox One take a bit of getting used to with how spread out attacks are among the face buttons and shoulder buttons, but once it clicks, you’ll be clearing out entire fields of enemies in no time. What we saw in the Open Beta could have used a more clear and easily digestible tutorial to teach all of your class’ moves.
4) It’s 4K and HDR Enhanced
During the Open Beta period for Black Desert I played on the Xbox One X on a 4K TV and I’ve gotta say it really, really looked amazing. I’ve played the game on powerful PC attached to a 1440p monitor, so it looked great there already, but that wasn’t native 4K on a 70-inch screen in my living room. The art style reminded me a lot of the open, lush zones in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and the flashy combat really helps put it over the top. I saw some framerate hiccups here and there, but hopefully those get ironed out by launch.
5) The Cash Shop Could Be a Concern
Finally, since this is an MMO without a traditional subscription fee, it’s important to talk about the cash shop. Unfortunately, it’s not the best or most player-friendly that I’ve seen, based on existing knowledge from the PC release. One of the main issues is that with real money you can buy pets that let you more quickly loot and clear zones while fighting enemies, or give other passive benefits, which can lead to a pretty major advantage. Plus the slew of “time saving” items don’t help make it seem less pay-to-win. The reality is that Black Desert, despite the pretty exterior, is a very grind-heavy time-sink kind of game, so that temptation to spend will be there for sure.