Black Desert: Charming Smiles And Fast-paced Slaughter

Give us a smile.

I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Black Desert, my grasp of Korean largely starting and ending with the output of Joon-Ho Bong, but I’ll also admit that I like a lot of what I’m seeing in the MMORPG’s new trailer.

Alice posted waaay back in April about the game’s character creator, which is a frankly glorious thing offering a range of customisation I’ve not seen since City of Heroes. Developers Pearl Abyss should release it independently, as BioWare did for Dragon Age: Origins.

If you’ve ever wanted to tattoo a gentlemanly ‘tache or useless war paint upon the face of a human plaything, this is the character creator for you. I also strongly recommend – I really cannot stress this enough – that if nothing else you play the video and scrub to the 40 second mark. It is worth it for the smiles. Oh, somebody had fun making this video.

We’re also shown the game’s combat, which looks so far up my street it’s stuck a coathanger through the letterbox and has unlocked the door. I’ll probably come home to find it drinking juice straight out of the carton. Tsk.

Although the trailer doesn’t give many hints as to how the game plays it certainly gives you a sense of its pace, making Shadow of Mordor look like an uruk-hai tea party. Given that the game is a free to play MMORPG I have my reservations about how good its combat system will actually feel, but purely based on what can be seen here it could play like Darksiders or Dynasty Warriors – fast, frenetic and filled to the brim with over-the-top combos.

I feel for the elf trying to take on some giant rock monsters with a bow, though. Brother, I don’t care how many arrows you can fire per minute. You are still going to struggle with granite.

Publishers Daum confirmed plans for a western release a few months back, but they’re still hazy.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Uncanny Vally-dancing character generation?

    Ridiculous super-fast-looking combat?

    The archery techniques of the elf from Hawk the Slayer?

    I am interested.

    • Graves says:

      Wasn’t interested in this until you connected it with Hawk the Slayer. Now I am grinning and watching the trailer. Spot on reference, too.

      I think I’m going to go watch the rifftrax of it now.

  2. Holysheep says:

    Spend hours on character creation, but don’t count on seeing it as every single hit you do apparently makes a huge *insert random color* flash

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      But you know it’s there, though!

      Eitherway i need this thing pretty much now.

    • ssh83 says:

      Uh… isn’t that true even without the splashes of color? Most of the time is spent on face, and character is usually facing away from you during combat… so…

      But one thing to note is that Korean games tend to be more mindful about this than western. Games like Dragon Age and World of Warcraft will happily throw ugly helmets on your character, but korean games like Tera, Vindictus, Blade & Soul, and Black Desert would usually try not to mess with your character’s head slot (specially for the lady characters).

  3. B.rake says:

    Pro rec; Hong-Jin Na

    • Ex Lion Tamer says:

      Thanks for the tip. His films sound like they would be right up my alley.

    • Shaun Green says:

      I’ve read very positive things about The Yellow Sea, but only from one critic. Thanks for the second rec! I’ll bump his work up the list.

  4. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Now the character creation looks good, but I thought the combat unnecessarily flashy (what with the extra effects) making things less clean and readable. That, and then there’s the repeated sound effects which I can imagine might get annoying at some point. It just seems a bit silly. Although I can understand if that’s the point.

    • ssh83 says:

      Pro-tip: Play music in the background and turn down the effects volume of game. I don’t think there is much audio cue in BD so you’re safe with that approach.

  5. Guy Montag says:

    I’ve been patiently waiting on more news about this game since seeing the interesting mounted combat in this trailer (at around 3:15 and 5:45). Plus all the rest of it looks pretty smashing. Especially that big guy with the axes.

  6. Shooop says:

    It’s Korean.

    Expect nothing but grind.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Games like this can be grindy no matter the culture they come from.

      Sure, korean ones tend to have more focus on it ( to put it gently ), but at the end of the day it’s hard to escape this condition no matter if it’s from the west or the east.

      What i’m trying to say is that grinding first and foremost needs to be fun, and only then you can try and make it less prominent.

      This off course won’t solve the problem for those people who simply hate any form of grinding, but then again no game can really be made for everyone.

  7. thekelvingreen says:

    I like it best when they are glum. And oh! That moustache! Or 1:05 when Generic Swordsman looks like celebrity breadman Paul Hollywood.

  8. Phier says:

    Whenever I see an Asian MMO my first thoughts are either extreme PTW or extreme grinding. I’m too jaded for the first and to old for the second.

  9. Arglebargle says:

    Enough explosions to fill WWII, and a gazillion hits to your foes, but the group of rather standard looking guards are still flailing away at you.

    It does look very nice though. Not sure how many hours it would take to just get out of the character creator.

  10. Tukuturi says:

    Why do modern ememoarpeegees have to be filled to the brim with insane, flashy visual effects and sonic explosions? What sort of person enjoys this sort of thing? Most post-WoW MMOs I’ve tried give me severe panic attacks from sensory overload, and this one looks like it would be no different.

  11. Buuurr says:

    Pass! I couldn’t handle 3 seconds of the warrior saying, ‘Yah! Yah! Yah! Yah! Yah! Yah!’, the exact same way/time, every time he hit something.

  12. darkhog says:

    Fire the title guy. Title obviously should read Black Desert: We still can’t play it and here’s a video to make you furious about that.

  13. Artist says:

    So why exactly to I generate a generic high-res face for a born-to-fail hack-n-slash game like this? Not that you see the face at all…… just saying.

  14. EkoAzarak says:

    Korean MMO = Linear boredom, mind numbing grind, pixel overdose vomit to distract from shallow combat.

    oh and the Black Desert classes are gender locked.

  15. virtualmatrix258 says:

    James Hetfield is going to be upset they used his likeness.

  16. Muzman says:

    What, no Chan Wook Park?

  17. RPSGAME says:

    OMG this is perfect for mee !!!!!!!!!!

    iPhone 6S & iPhone 7

  18. baozi says:

    Even if I probably won’t play the game, I will totally download it for the character editor. No, wait. The character editor is the game.

    • Shuck says:

      I suspect you’ll be disappointed, as the character editor may be far more limited than it might initially appear. It seems like there’s a given face for each class, and besides hair, face-paint and some alterations to bodily proportions, the changes you can make to the facial features are pretty minor, not really changing the appearance.

  19. Bashmet says:

    Add a grin, your character looks like a Greg Land creation.

  20. nullward says:

    Reminds me a lot of Dragon Nest, another free to play MMO that came out of Korea. Even some of the combat animations make me think of DN’s classes. I really enjoyed Dragon Nest, so if this is similar with prettier graphics and a bigger world, I would definitely give it a try.