A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players rewarded for completing quests, their level of knowledge of world, nonplayer characters (NPC's), managing resources. Though lots of killing of creatures, humanoids to complete objectives, gain experience, it's not focus of game. Story, while deep, has little impact on overall goals.
Positive Role Models
Players get to create their own character, determine their class, profession, but essentially make their own choices as to whether they're going to be positive, negative role models. Nonplayable characters can be role models in this game; some are wise and benevolent, others not so nice but still imparting positive qualities, and still others demonstrate less desirable qualities.
Ease of Play
Simple controls. Character creation affects difficulty rating of game by adding layer upon layer of complex systems on your goals, objectives. It takes quite a bit to understand most nuances, but gameplay expands once this is grasped.
Violence & Scariness
Characters kill variety of creatures, humanoids with weapons, magic of their chosen class. Combat is fast-paced action with dramatic animations, sound effects as weapons, abilities hit their targets. Gore is minimal due to stylized graphics.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Though no nudity, players can purchase, wear lingerie in confines of their homes. Armor can be provocative in how they reveal the chest, legs, buttocks. Character customization allows players to exaggerate any bodily feature.
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Products & Purchases
The game is buy-to-play, but there's an online store that requires paid credits to use. Items generally cosmetic, but some greatly increase player experience such as pets, mounts for real money. May entice players to spend their way to obtain them rather than through in-game means. Many unique items only obtained by store.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol, liquor integral part of game mechanics, which players can make with right ingredients.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Black Desert Online is a downloadable massively multiplayer online game where players create a character to adventure in a fantasy-based world with other players. Players progress through the world, completing quests, exploring, communicating, gathering knowledge, and fighting. The systems for managing resources and tasks are very deep and engaging, making it a game more about planning and completing tasks than outright combat and conquest. This also tends to increase the difficulty level significantly, which can challenge some players. There are references to alcohol and tobacco usage, as it is a crafted item players can make, assuming they have materials. Character models, armor, and outfits can be provocative in nature. Also keep in mind this is an online game that could pose serious privacy and safety concerns through the in-game chat system.
Is It Any Good?
This open-world sandbox MMO is absolutely stunning in its scope, its depth, and its customization. Black Desert Online's visual level of detail in the world and character models is simply breathtaking. What's more, the depth of the gameplay is staggering; learning how to play can be intimidating at first, but the level of complexity is actually what makes it so great. With varied activities such as fishing, boat building, or horse taming and breeding, there's no shortage of ways to play the game. While character customization can be a bit over the top, it does allow you to pretty much make your character look like anything or anyone you would like. This can allow for some overly exaggerated body parts, so fair warning that you could see all manner of characters.
Combat is a skilled-based system that requires position, choice of action, and response to situations for success. This keeps it fresh even when you're grinding mobs for money or experience. And yes, grinding is a key part for some aspects of the game, which can be a detractor for some, but the way it's done in Black Desert doesn't feel too tedious. The world's very large, allowing plenty of exploration, but there's no fast travel, so if you're not into walking, you'll definitely want to grab a horse, donkey, ship, or cart to make your way around. With the additions such as farming and home ownership, the world really draws you in and makes you feel like you're a part of it. Take your time to enjoy the sites, decorate your home, pick your best outfits, and immerse yourself in the expansive world that is Black Desert Online.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.