One of the titles that has been on the radar out of Korea is Pearl Abyss's Black Desert. The game was hidden away on the show floor because they are still working on launching closed beta testing in Korea proper. However we got a short sneak peek at the game and it made a strong impression. Even though the preview is short we will be following up this coverage soon with an interview to go in depth with much more information for you all. Also the game is looking at North American publishers and Pearl Abyss hopes to have more news on that by the end of the year.
Black Desert was built on its own engine and the graphics show off some high quality power. The company's CEO Daeil Kim explained that they worked to get one of the top Art Directors in the Korean game market because they wanted to have a very high graphical polish. They mixed this with building an engineering team to ensure all of the visuals made it sharply to the screen without sacrificing performance.
We asked about the format of the game with the sandbox style on the rise in Korea and the western audiences as well. They explained that Black Desert is a mix of both sandbox and theme park styles with a heavy emphasis on the former.
Current they are testing out eight classes in closed beta and hope to have ten at launch time. There are full plans for raids and end game content as well. They are also building some PvP-specific zones where players can battle it out. In these zones players will also find siege warfare. While watching the demo we saw player mounts and a variety of weapons and combat styles among the classes. The trailer was all from gameplay and gives you a good idea of the quick combat and spells some of the classes will be using.
Unfortunately, we only got to see a shortened demo. The largest thing we took away from Black Desert was that more games coming from the eastern market are much higher quality than in the past. It also had a lot of western artistic styles to the game and did not just look like an anime episode. The East is learning, just like the West, that the MMO can't expect to ride on WoW's coattails forever. Their character models for the wizard and barbarian had a strong western influence on them. We also saw monks and ranger classes as well.
We just have to wait and see how the Black Desert closed beta goes in Korea before we get word on launch there and also on who will be publishing the game for the North American market. Thanks to Pearl Abyss for giving us such an early look at the game and coverage is planned moving forward over the next few months. We see a lot of games come across our radar, but we'll be keeping this ours as we find out more this fall and winter.