Black Desert Xbox One X Beta Preview

Black Desert is a fairly well known MMORPG and perhaps the game with the best character customizer out there. I've been playing this port of the game for awhile now at various events from Pax West 2017 to E3 2018. Recently the game was presented in open beta for anyone to check out on Xbox One. This brought the entire experience with some tweaks so that they could gather feedback and further improve things. It was mentioned at their E3 event this past year that a release date would follow shortly after this beta event so you may see a Black Desert Xbox One release in December 2018 or perhaps early 2019.

Whatever the case, it's time to discuss the beta event and what it provided. You really did get the full package and it was Xbox One X enhanced. You needed to select certain menu options to turn the 4k on and it's nice to have the visual choice. It was strange not to see it by default. I found the performance to be about the same for either, but some situations did provide a deeper impact than others. I did notice the HDR lighting was a bit too bright, but there are choices to tweak it. Same choices are present with the glowing path as I saw some individuals mention they weren't a fan of it. This is a very typical MMORPG console experience, slightly aimed more on fancier combat with lots of particle effects. I did find it a bit grindier than I recall having reviewed it on PC back at launch, but I still had a grand time with it again.

The character customization was particular impressive, you can adjust so many aspects with a vibrant selection of colors selections to choose from. They ported that aspect over very well, I will also mention Black Desert Xbox One does not feature cross-play with PC, they are standalone experiences so no cross-progression either. There are a number of classes for launch, a variety of named servers to jump into and there was a pile of players engaging in this. It was rather impressive to see the quantity of players in one small area and it seemed to handle it fine. I did notice some visual problems though and I believe this to be more game than server. There was lots of pop-in at strange places which was usually close to you, whereas the far draw distance had rendered fine.

There were some performance drops and other minor issues, which I saw last at E3 as well. That being said, it did run fairly well for the most part and this could be very successful on the platform bringing a higher, more modern type from the genre to the platform. I definitely had a good time and this is an expansive world if you care to spend the time. When it comes to betas I try not to invest too much time, but played a fair bit of this one to get reacquainted with the world. It's looking good, especially when it's enhanced on the premium console and I look forward to seeing if they can iron everything out for the final release, whenever that is. I will leave a last mention that the combat feels good with the controller, it handles the complexity decently.

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Black Desert Xbox One X Screenshot
Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner