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Black Desert Review
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Posted: 11 days ago, last updated 9 days ago.

Author: Ben Kendall and @GeekDadGamer.

OverviewOverview

Black Desert is an online role-playing game. Unlike other large online games (often called MMOs, Massively Multiplayer Online Games), it doesn't just focus on combat; you can explore the vibrant fantasy world, interact with inhabitants and choose how you want to live your life. This unique blend of online play, combat and thoughtful, detailed storytelling makes it unique.

The game is set in a high-fantasy world, not unlike Tolkein's Lord of the Rings, and the map is split into four regions, which were once at peace but descended into conflict at the outbreak of a deadly plague. After an uneasy period of peace, two of the regions, the materialistic Republic of Calpheon and the spiritually-guided kingdom of Valencia once again go to war over precious Black Stones that can only be found in one place: the Black Desert.

You create your custom character then explore the intricately detailed world to meet and interact with characters to learn their stories and aid them if you choose. You can fight, in a combat system that allows you to team up with other players to overcome harder challenges. If you choose, you can forgo this aspect of the game, and instead focus on living a simple life; farming, fishing and hunting are equally as fleshed out as the combat. The game also receives regular updates that add more content and ways to play.

It's a unique game that allows you to fight in collaborative quests, or simply forge a simple life alone, all while being surrounded by, and interacting with, a world that's fleshed out with interesting characters, varied scenery and a novel and engaging story.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2015, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Play Black Desert (@PlayBlackDesert)

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 60 hours and 300 hours to complete. As the game doesn't have any ending point, you can play for as long or as little as you want. The average play time is about 70 hours overall.
 
Players: You can play this with 100 players online. Each server has capacity for over 100 players.

Cross-Play: Play between Xbox One and PS4.

CostsCosts

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent.  

You need to purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with PlayStation 4.
 
You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online with Xbox One. The game comes in several different editions on consoles:
  • Traveler Edition, the base version of the game.
  • Explorer Edition, which comes with some extra items bundled in.
  • Conqueror Edition, which comes with some fully-upgraded items.
You can get the base game then upgrade to either of these editions later on.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 16 for Frequent Strong Violence and Drugs. Violence consists of human and fantasy characters engaging in combat using a variety of physical and magical weapons. Damage is represented through life bars and injuries are not shown. However, once killed corpses will remain visible in order to affect a sense of realism which can impact on the overall game rating. The game also includes the ability to purchase or brew your own alcoholic beverages which can then be consumed yourself or given to your workers to provide them with a boost.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Skill Rating

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. The ability to avoid combat, as well as the huge world to discover, makes this enjoyable for younger players who would usually struggle with online combat.

Account Rating

You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.
 
You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4.

AccessibilityAccessibility

This report is based on the PC version of the game's settings (excluding gamepad and touchscreen control schemes). Other versions differ in the settings they offer.

While the subtitles can be made large and are clear (but it is very small as default and need to be made large in the settings by changing the UI scaling), some of the other text in the game can be hard to distinguish.

Some of the combat requires quick button presses and reaction times, sometimes having to use multiple buttons at the same time.
 
Our Black Desert Accessibility Report documents 29 accessibility features:

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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