Black Desert: Prestige Edition Review
Fans of Black Desert Online will already be familiar with most of the content offered in Black Desert: Prestige Edition, with the base game, all DLC, and additional goodies included. Gamers who don’t know what to expect from Black Desert will be embraced by a welcoming community right out the gate in a vast open-world MMORPG that offers some of the most complex character customization I’ve seen in an MMO since City of Heroes. I set off on my adventure in the world of Black Desert Online as the funniest looking Berserker I could create, which quickly gained the attention and admiration of several other players that were constantly swarmed around me in a celebration of Black Desert Online that reminded me of the most fun leveling experiences I’ve had in other MMO’s such as World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The community of Black Desert Online is its key selling point beyond the vast open-world and character customization, but a lot of people wouldn’t know it because it’s best experienced first-hand.
A Vast Open World
The character customization seems limitless in Black Desert Online barring anything that extends beyond the artistic vision of Pearl Abyss. One thing I quickly noticed is you could make the hottest waifu badass, or a comedic, stupid-looking tank, with anything and everything in between. While it’s likely that you can go crazy by making a look-alike to your favorite celebrity or influencer, I noticed a few particular looks that were easily accomplished such as a beefier Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Jessica Nigri in various cosplays, and Kristoff from Frozen. The variety in character customization allows you to go crazy or just go for a default look in order to get into the action immediately. Sizes are adjustable, faces are equally as customizable as something you’d expect from a Bethesda Studios game, and each class offers its own unique style.
There are seventeen unique classes to choose between that cover the expected MMORPG tropes: tank, support, and DPS. These classes are the Witch/Wizard, Warrior, Ranger, Berserker, Sorceress, Tamer, Valkyrie, Maehwa/Musa, Kunoichi/Ninja, Striker, Dark Knight, Lahn, Mystic, Shai, Guardian, and Hashashin. I opted to play as a tank-built Berserker in an attempt to revitalize the energy I felt from playing as a Dwarf Slayer in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. While I wasn’t able to fully get into the rhythm of combat the way I was with the Dwarf Slayer, the skill-based combo stacking combat system of Black Desert Online is a refreshing change of pace from MMO leaders such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2.
An Excellent Package for Existing Fans of Black Desert
The following content is included in the Black Desert: Prestige Edition: the base game Value Package with 4,000 pearls (an in-game currency used to purchase items, cosmetics, pets, etc.), a Tier 3 Horse with Calpheon Chargers’ Horse Gear Set, a pet Snow Wolfdog, an exclusive pet Black Leopard, limited edition Glorious Shudad Premium Set, an Enhancement Help Kit II, Advice of Valks, and Blessed Message Scroll that lasts for 100 minutes. The package and all of its contents are being touted as a $140 value by Pearl Abyss at a measly $30 cost, but the value comes down to the eye of the beholder when it comes to in-game cosmetics and limited-edition items.
Taking the full package into consideration, it’s likely that the additional goodies will appeal more to veterans of Black Desert Online than it will appeal to new fans coming in. For example, while the Pearls will be beneficial for fans of Black Desert Online new and old alike, veterans will know the best bang for their buck, while a noob may get swindled by something flashy. Ultimately if you’re a noob of the MMO, this is a great way to get a good head start from the beginning, but it’s best to play the game before shelling out the cash for this package because you may not end up enjoying this MMORPG as much as The Elder Scrolls Online or World of Warcraft.
Create Your Ideal Waifu Character or a Bumbling Tank
The variety in gameplay offered by the various classes brings some replayability to Black Desert Online as you’d expect from an MMO, allowing you to switch characters in order to refresh the experience and play the game with a new set of eyes. Playing as a support character feels a lot different from playing as a tank, so getting full enjoyment from the game really boils down to trying each role and figuring out which one plays right for you. I didn’t enjoy ranged DPS as much as melee DPS, but tanking was the most notable combat method for me. Traditionally I prefer MMO’s that offer fantastical races to choose from such as Orcs, Trolls, and Pandas, but the character customization of Black Desert Online allows me to make a character that’s completely unique to me even if it resembles several thousands of other characters in the game.
A new area recently opened up in Black Desert Online known as O’dyllita, which requires being level 60 to access and a lush forest to explore full of powerful monsters to defeat. While I wasn’t able to personally access this chunk of content, the community is already delving into O’dyllita and the recent update has been received positively. Just like any other MMO, Black Desert has seasonal events to enjoy with other players, with the one I experienced focusing on the Harvest event themed around Thanksgiving. While I’m a Canadian who celebrated Thanksgiving last month, there are always reasons to be thankful, and Black Desert Online does a great job encapsulating the Holiday spirit. Now I’m excited to see what Pearl Abyss has cooking up for Christmas/New Year’s Eve.
While Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is a more impressive console MMORPG for gamers to delve into this Holiday season, Black Desert Online is a relevantly comparable experience for MMO console gamers that aren’t interested in the popular Final Fantasy or Elder Scrolls universes. An MMO’s community is essential to the experience and I’m happy to report that Black Desert Online has one of the most welcoming and nice communities I’ve discovered in any MMO. There are around 30 million gamers exploring the world of Black Desert Online and I failed to encounter any outrageous toxicity which is something that’s almost expected to some degree in online communities these days. This includes experience with City of Heroes/Villains, Runescape, EVE Online, Everquest 2, Dark Age of Camelot, and many more.
Oftentimes, someone’s enjoyment of an online game is dependent on the people around them and if you find yourself having more fun when you’re surrounded by like-minded people, I recommend checking out Black Desert Online. Veterans of Black Desert who are looking for an upgrade should definitely consider Black Desert Online: Prestige Edition considering everything that’s included in the package. While the price tag may be a bit much for new players, it’s also a great way to set up a noob for success provided they have some guidance beyond the in-game tutorial.
***Xbox One code provided by developer***
- Beautiful visuals
- Great community
- Valuable package
- Rich character customization
- Big learning curve
- Still a console MMORPG