• Publisher: GameOn
  • Release Date: Mar 3, 2016

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Apr 6, 2016
    A beautiful and entertaining new take on the classic MMO, with a strong player driven content path. I welcome that.
  2. Apr 7, 2016
    Black Desert Online has many faults, but the sheer scope of the game’s systems and variety in your day to day MMO life can more than make up for its shortcomings. So far, Daum and Pearl Abyss have proven very receptive to Western gamers’ wants and needs, and I’m hoping that in time Black Desert Online will be an even better experience for all. But for now, it’s still easily one of the best MMORPGs on the market, and the best non-traditional experience any fan of the genre could hope for.
  3. Mar 21, 2016
    It is a pleasure to find a new sandbox oriented MMO in the market. While the beginnings are tough and confusing, the game rewards our patience with lots of combat and non-combat activities, a fascinating world to explore and fantastic graphics.
  4. Apr 6, 2016
    Black Desert is one of the few MMORPGs that sees all professions as equals. Some days you can have fun fishing on a boat, while others you might enjoy hunting trolls on the ground. This is an MMO unlike anything we have seen the last few years.
  5. Mar 15, 2016
    The biggest issue for me is how dense the complexity makes the game. Crafting, particularly cooking, requires a lot of experimentation or wiki-diving, and finding out the game’s systems isn’t always represented, even in the quests. There are always quests that give you reasons to gather or play the many mini-games—moving a wheel-barrow requires you keep a cursor in between two points, and the fishing system is actually rather fun.
  6. 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.
  7. 83
    Black Desert Online has proven to be a real, nice surprise: an action title that hides a top-notch managerial, with tons of activities to keep you busy. It's a title worth to be tried, but only if you're ready to invest a lot of time, patience and dedication.
  8. Mar 22, 2016
    There are so many interesting elements to it, each of which could provide you with many hours of enjoyment. Ironically, its strengths are not PvE battling, dungeon crawling, and other things most MMORPGs are known for. But it makes up for those shortcomings with so much other deep content and a gorgeous, polished visual experience, that it is still a great game – provided you are willing to put in the time learning.
  9. With it's massive and unique open world, Black Desert Online is inviting you to a great adventure.
  10. Aug 11, 2016
    Unusual MMORPG that will surprise and captivate with a variety of fresh features. Although it can disappoint you with its random element, it can also please you with the astounding amount of options and activities and the huge, completely open world. Phenomenal visuals have no competition in the genre in the moment.
  11. 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.
  12. Apr 24, 2016
    Black Desert Online is an addictive and interesting game full of changes. It is so huge and it is so full of options, that it might scare away a few gamers. That would be a pity because this game is worth your money: after 138 hours there is still so much to discover.
  13. Apr 4, 2016
    Black Desert Online is a different kind of MMO, less focused on character progression and full of side activities that can hook you for a long time. Its visuals are incredible but obviously not without a cost.
  14. Mar 24, 2016
    Black Desert Online is a sandbox MMO with a great action combat system, an incredibly powerful character editor to give shape to every fantasy of yours, and spectacular world filled with life.
  15. Mar 29, 2016
    Black Desert is a game full of content that offers many things to do in a way that feels refreshing. It's hard to get into it, but once you're in, you'll find a great RPG.
  16. 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.
  17. Power Unlimited
    Mar 24, 2016
    Not all the activities in Black Desert Online are interesting or coherent but it’s still a cut above the masses of boring MMORPGs that dominate the landscape. The gorgeous visuals are a big plus too. [april. 2016 / page 62]
  18. Pelit (Finland)
    Nov 9, 2016
    Black Desert Online had potential to be ground breaking, but suffers from a monotous PVE grind and some questionable practices regarding its cash shop. [Oct 2016]
  19. Apr 3, 2016
    A beautiful and complex sandbox game full of activities without a real endgame, lots of grind and weak PvE.
  20. 70
    Black Desert Online comes to the table with an intricate character sculpting tool, gorgeous graphical presentation, and a nuanced, exciting combat system overlying a less immediately apparent, but very unique, sandbox-style resource management simulation. Those looking for a rich narrative, complex or groundbreaking PvE questing, or highly unique monster design may be disappointed, but those seeking a mechanically rich, visually striking MMO will find themselves at home.
  21. May 4, 2016
    The game itself is solid, but just not quite there enough to be a strong recommendation as of this publishing.
  22. Apr 11, 2016
    Quotation forthcoming.
  23. Apr 9, 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.
  24. Apr 8, 2016
    Black Desert is a fully fledged epic MMO that can compete with the biggest and the best in the genre and is absolutely the prettiest one of them all. The world is a bit strange and gamers will need time to adjust but reasonable amount of interesting gameplay mechanics should interest experienced players and newbies don't need to be afraid - Black Desert is very easy to get into.
  25. Apr 6, 2016
    Developer’s inexperience hinders the game enough for it to not be an instant recommendation, especially to newcomers. But, for experienced MMO players, Black Desert Online offers months or even years of content. Considering that's how long it takes to just see everything that's on offer.
  26. Apr 2, 2016
    Black Desert Online is a beautiful game marred by inept tutorials and an impenetrable story.
  27. Apr 1, 2016
    Black Desert Online will attain greatness when it can provide good answers to those and other questions. Yet even now, it's hard not to heed it's call, which it sounds out the moment you enter its robust, genre-best character creator. I imagine that it will be even harder to tear myself away when player-versus-player siege wars are in full swing.
  28. Mar 22, 2016
    Black Desert Online is a MMORPG game with gorgeous visuals and a great and versatile combat system, but the game needs to solve several problems.
  29. 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.
  30. Mar 8, 2016
    Black Desert Online is a MMORPG which provokes mixed feelings. A great and versatile combat system and beautiful graphics are being diminished by the countless bugs and a confusing user interface. Maybe a little too much information with too few tutorials.
  31. Mar 30, 2016
    Those desperate for a way to stay busy will find a seemingly inexhaustible number of grains of gameplay here.
  32. Mar 8, 2016
    The best you can say about Black Desert Online is that it has an impressive character editor.
  33. Jul 27, 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.
  34. CD-Action
    May 30, 2016
    It’s one of the most beautiful MMO games and it offers a really cool combat system, but as a whole it is simply boring and most of the time I spent with it I was considering going back to ArcheAge. [05/2016, p.46]
  35. 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.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. There’s so much to see and explore, so many concepts to wrap my head around, that Black Desert Online is a truly memorable MMORPG—if not always a great one. It can be hard to embrace what it is instead of trying to force it to be what it isn’t, but Black Desert offered me a chance at escaping from the by-the-numbers slog that MMOs have become.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1605 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Mar 3, 2016
    Not for people who like to give up, Who dont enjoy spending 100 hours perfecting your play to the utmost and making a name for yourself in aNot for people who like to give up, Who dont enjoy spending 100 hours perfecting your play to the utmost and making a name for yourself in a game that has no limit. You will never forget the days u see your first ents walking through the forest. Or the first time u hammer on a cyclops in a far of forest. The first time u succeed in building a fishing boat and go on the hunt for whales or just see the sun rise above the islands. Cant praise this game enough but its not for people who dont like the grind. This is for people who like to work for their stuff and wait for that feeling when u finnally get that +15 upgrade on your weapon. Full Review »
  2. Mar 5, 2016
    This is a hard one to review, but i'll be trying to be as unbiased as possible... The game has a brilliant character creation system, by farThis is a hard one to review, but i'll be trying to be as unbiased as possible... The game has a brilliant character creation system, by far the greatest i've ever used, to the point i spent hours in it. The graphics are nice and controls fairly easy to get the hand of. Unfortunately, in it's current state the game is in a bit of a mess...

    There is a point where everyone leaves their horses in certain spots, and due to not being able to toggle them from your own vision, the screen can get fairly clustered with other people's horses, not just yours. The game feels also quite like a mobile game, in the sense there's quite a few "waiting" portions, however, while some may have a problem, the game offers multiple ways to shorten that time, if you're observant.

    While my biggest complaint is directed at the character customization, and don't confuse that with character creation, it's much different. When you first receive new armor or a weapon, you're excited to equip it to change your characters default look, only to realize, it doesn't actually change. Some going in blind to this game will be incredibly disappointed, for a game that stresses character customization there is a significant lack of.

    One of the "best" ways to change your looks is through the cash shop, where my other large complaint comes in, through purchasing of costumes and accessories. I completely understand vanity items, and that they're not a necessity, but $30 for a full set, or $16 for the torso/main piece only. If this had been a F2P game, i would completely ignore this matter, but that isn't the case.

    However, this game does offer a lot in the sense you can leave your computer running, and it will accumulate points for various sections of the game, and even when offline. However, while this is a nice time saver, this relates back to the feeling of a "Mobile game", which it shouldn't be, it's an MMO on a PC.

    Combat is nice and fluid, but some classes are more interesting than others. The skill tree system (currently) feels vast enough for me to say it's enjoyable to try out new skills when I get them.

    Voice acting in the game is... actually really bad. It pains me to say it as they must have put a lot of work into it, as a lot of NPC's speak when you're simply idling in town. If i had the option to just have the korean audio, i would take it.

    Overall, BDO gets a 4, a deserving 4. Does this mean the game is crap, no, no it does not. Does it mean you should throw your wallet on the screen, as i did, no, no you should not. The developers need to really consider what it means to have a game "Buy to Play", for as it stands, it feels like i've been playing a glorified farmville, apologies for the analogy to those hurt by that comment, but think about it...

    You start out with nothing, go out do missions, eventually get to crafting and the core section, and things start costing points that are returned by waiting: making food costs points, chopping trees costs points, making swords costs points, and getting those points back takes literal time. There are ways to get points back besides quests and waiting, through "loyalties", or real money, speeding things up, like a mobile game.

    I, like others, believe Black Desert will go F2P if things continue as is, and that's a shame, as i would love to see it prosper.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 4, 2016
    Black Desert Online is enjoyable if you like pvp or running goods between cities for profit. But the games pros are outweighed by its cons.Black Desert Online is enjoyable if you like pvp or running goods between cities for profit. But the games pros are outweighed by its cons.

    - An amazing parkour system where you can climb over any wall and onto roofs etc.
    - The game looks great and has good optimization
    - The autorun feature means you can set a destination to a quest or location and just hit your run key
    - The lack of fast travel gives the game a more life like feel to it. Combined with a trading system that has you running goods between cities.

    - THE ENERGY SYSTEM. Everything you do requires energy, if you cut down 10 trees you then have to wait HALF AN HOUR to cut down another 10.
    - The voice acting is atrocious
    - Such little effort has gone into the quest text and dialogue, combined with how fast you level it might as well not exist
    - The ludicrous cost of cash shop items. An outfit will cost the same amount as the game itself. Your auto loot function costs $10. And the dye system is a joke.
    - Daum's business practises. The way they interact with the community, the prices they put on items and the fact they had you waive your rights to a refund if you pre-ordered the game all ties into the fact that Daum can not be trusted. I really would not be surprised if they made the game free to play 6 months later.

    You will get enough fun out of $30 if you can ignore the cons just don't support bad business practises; don't buy cash shop items.
    Full Review »