Black Desert Online

Game review by Franklin Rinaldi, Common Sense Media
Black Desert Online Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Online fantasy world full of crafting, trading, conquest.

Windows 2016

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 4 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Parental oversight needed, but lots of opportunity

Gamer of 40 years here, and father to sub 10 y/o sons. BDO is not Animal Crossing. It's certainly not a light game for younger audiences. However, with the right oversight and guidance it's an incredibly complex and rewarding time sink that boasts cutting edge visuals and an unprecedented depth to it's game systems. Another reviewer complained about 'forced PvP'. In 4 years of playing this game I have never once been engaged in player to player combat. It's there if you want it, but easily avoided and no barrier to enjoying the game. The same reviewer also stated that players are not made aware of forced PvP combat - this is entirely incorrect. Player to player combat is only available after level 50, and players must complete a specific action to unlock it. Full warnings are given, and all non combat activities can be accessed without passing level 50. The general in game chat can indeed be toxic, as is the case with many mmo games, but the chat window is easily deactivated (I never engage with it at all). There are numerous Discord channels for different character builds that are all super helpful, and sites like GrumpyGreenCricket offer excellent guides for new players. Obviously, the usual rules apply as with any online game and parents should BDO's depth and strength lies in its 'Lifeskill' activities - farming, fishing, mining etc, and in this sense it does resonate with games like Animal Crossing. However, BDO'S systems are incredibly complex and multilayered, and require time to master (not to mention a spreadsheet!). There's an active economy which gives these activities purpose and relevance. Non player combat (fighting monsters etc) is as complex as any dedicated fighting game, and takes time to master. Combat includes some blood, but this can be turned off in the settings. Yes, there's a cash shop, so parents need to establish their boundaries, and some of the female character armour is 'glamorous'. However, there's no nudity or bad language in game. BDO is a 'grown up' game in the sense that it requires and develops patience, maths, and organisation at a high level. However, I'd rather my kids explore this world than the endless loop of Fortnite or the bully simulator of Among Us. BDO used an anti cheat system to regulate fair play, so parents should familiarise themselves with what that means in terms of privacy (answer- nothing much on a day to day level). Following a change in publisher last year, this system has moved from the slightly notorious XIGNcode to EasyAntiCheat, which is also used by Fortnite, so is much less of an issue.
age 16+

Beautiful game.

This game I really beautiful, though it is very time consuming. It has a cash shop, where you can buy some cosmetics and other things. There is no nudity, blood can be turned off in settings. The game itself shoots for the 18+ audience, so you might see some swearing in chat, the game has a built in filter against it.

Game Details

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