Black Desert Online Review: More than just Grinding

Black Desert Online has some aspects that make it better than your average MMO, but could still use work.

Black Desert Online is a Korean MMO, which means you should expect a lot of grinding (killing repeatedly) enemies. It also has a cash shop for players to spend real money for items they can use in the game.

There is much more to the game than simply killing enemies over and over again, and the cash shop does not currently offer much to make the game P2W (Pay to Win).

If you are looking for a structured experience as you get in the upper levels and finish the main quests, you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a sandbox experience where you can choose whatever you want to do, you are in luck.


The combat in Black Desert Online is my favorite thing about the game and one of the things that makes it so unique. It is very fast-paced and requires more than simply pressing one key on your hotbar for each skill.

You use the mouse buttons for your primary and secondary attacks, other keys for other attacks, and a combination of the two. Example: Pressing S + F could do an attack and pressing S + Left Mouse button could do another attack.

Many attacks go well with each other and you can make some good combos using this fast-paced combat system.

Graphics and Character Customization 

The graphics look beautiful, better than most games I have seen. The only issue is that you will need a good computer and graphics card if you want to see what this game looks like on max settings and still get a good frame rate.

The character creation is more in-depth than I have seen in nearly every other MMO I have played. You can mold your character just right and even though I'm not that great and making unique creations, I have seen some unbelievable characters come from other people.

Black Desert Online Character Creator

In terms of what your character wears, however, there aren't many options. Even the cash shop has a limited supply, especially for males. 

This brings me to another complaint I have, gender-locked classes. There are some fun classes to play in Black Desert Online, but I don't like that almost every one is locked to a specific gender. For a game that really want you to be immersed in the game, this was an odd choice.

Business Model

I can't say I'm a fan of the business model they are using for the NA/EU version of the game. You have to buy it, unlock the other versions, but there are still some pretty expensive cash shop items.

The good news is that some the things that could be consider Pay-2-Win were taken out or toned down since beta. Overall, I don't find this game to be P2W, but I think there could be less of the cash shop since you have to pay to play.

Things to Do

Even though combat is amazing, you will mostly level by killing enemies. Even I can get tired of doing this for long periods of time.

Luckily, the game has so many other things to do, including a unique trade system that makes me actually want to do something other than combat. Farming, mastering the economy, buildings things like boats, fishing, and even horse taming, are some of the things you can occupy yourself with in this game.

This is the main reason I give this game a 8 and not a lower score. If all this game has was beauty and a fun combat system, it would get old if there was nothing else to do.

You can have plenty of fun even if you never fight enemies, and that is the real beauty of this game.

Our Rating
Black Desert Online has some aspects that make it better than your average MMO, but could still use work.
Reviewed On: PC

Guide Editor

After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel ( and Twitch (

Games Black Desert Online Genres Massively MultiplayerRPG Platforms PC Tags
Published Jun. 27th 2016

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