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Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Black Desert 20 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 14 months ago.
The game is set in a high-fantasy world, not unlike Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and the map is split into four regions, which were once at peace but descended into conflict at the outbreak of a deadly plague. After an uneasy period of peace, two of the regions, the materialistic Republic of Calpheon and the spiritually-guided kingdom of Valencia once again go to war over precious Black Stones that can only be found in one place: the Black Desert.
You create your custom character then explore the intricately detailed world to meet and interact with characters to learn their stories and aid them if you choose. You can fight, in a combat system that allows you to team up with other players to overcome harder challenges. If you choose, you can forgo this aspect of the game, and instead focus on living a simple life; farming, fishing and hunting are equally as fleshed out as the combat. The game also receives regular updates that add more content and ways to play.
It's a unique game that allows you to fight in collaborative quests, or simply forge a simple life alone, all while being surrounded by, and interacting with, a world that's fleshed out with interesting characters, varied scenery and a novel and engaging story.
Cross-Platform: Play between Xbox One and PS4.
You can play this game in the following styles:
Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB TEEN for Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Violence. Characters mostly use swords and magic to defeat enemies; battles are frenetic, highlighted by cries of pain, blood splashes, and impact sounds. Some larger enemies can become stained with blood during combat. Female characters are sometimes depicted wearing revealing outfits (e.g., lingerie, garter belts, low-cut bodysuits). During the course of the game, players can order rum, wine, or beer at a tavern; characters are sometimes seen drinking beer. The word “b*stard” appears in the dialogue.
12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. It's also important to ensure children understand in-game purchases and have spending limits set-up. The ability to avoid combat, as well as the huge world to discover, makes this enjoyable for younger players who would usually struggle with online combat.
- You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.
- You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4.
Black Desert: Conqueror Edition
Black Desert: Explorer Edition
Black Desert: Traveler Edition
- In-Game Loot Boxes: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. These include in-game purchases of random items (known as 'loot boxes') that offer a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent.
- You need a subscription to play online:
The game comes in several different editions on consoles:
- Traveler Edition, the base version of the game.
- Explorer Edition, which comes with some extra items bundled in.
- Conqueror Edition, which comes with some fully-upgraded items.
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Release Date: 03/03/2015, updated in 2019
Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS
Content Rating: PEGI 16
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Players: 1 (100 online)
Accessibility: 28 features
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
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