One of the more interesting things I did at this year’s E3 was check out the Black Desert party. It gave a good idea of how well this game was doing and showcased a lot of things that were probably exciting to the right audience. I briefly tried it out and it was honestly overwhelming. Lots of things to do, mechanics to work with, on a class I had no understanding of but it cemented my desire to, if nothing else, check it out. With the open beta currently running on the PlayStation 4 version that was announced at the event, this seemed like the perfect chance to see what it was like and, it’s certainly interesting.
MMORPGs and really RPGs in general is a big part of what we do at Just Push Start, so we’re not unfamiliar with the mechanics. I’ve personally beat most of the ESO trials on veteran, my associate and best friend beat all but the latest one, and have done countless time consuming tasks. So, when we loaded up the game, it was surprising how rough it felt.
While I’d usually write it off as it being a beta and the final version will improve a lot of these things, it’s currently set to release in 11 days, meaning this is probably very close, if not the outright final version of the game. This leads me to believe it might just be due to how many people are playing, most of the servers have been full by the time I load it up, yet neither bode well to the upcoming RPG.
The issues are actually pretty simple. Movement is a bit floaty, frames seem to get dropped, controls are not the most intuitive and it makes for a rather frustrating experience. There were plenty of times I was trying to move to a side and did a different attack or just found myself getting a headache from the frame rate.
Even the world itself wasn’t as pretty as you’d think. Nice locations are filled with rough models or overly smooth/soften images, leading to it not being as nice as, say, ESO. Even my friend who loves these type of games and was more than happy to platinum Tera, put it down after an hour or so.
Regardless of how much more polished the experience could be, there is a distinct struggle between giving players a lot of options and a genuinely fun experience. Just looking at the menu and the world around you, there are almost too many things you can control. It will come with time, as it always does, it’s just the type of thing that is extremely intimidating and as the world grows, it will make more sense.
As much as I could probably talk about the shortcomings, it’s important to understand it can be a really fun game. Given it’s an action RPG with a robust world to explore, I could see myself getting sucked in with the right amount of polish. Before writing this article I booted it up to see if things were different and found myself killing a couple hundred enemies, leveling a couple times and then proceeded to remind myself to finish the article.
The characters themselves play into a larger idea of how you want to play. There is close and long range attacks, different builds and enough diversity to make it fun. Even if you just mindlessly kill things there is enough to do, which is why the polish is so important.
In the end, it’s hard to really formulate a firm opinion based off the beta, so I strongly suggest checking it out before it ends. I found myself losing some of the hype I had, though not enough to outright lose interest. I have hopes the final version will either knock it out of the park or it will be a brief rough patch before becoming a fantastic game like so many before it.