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Massively popular MMO Black Desert Mobile launches in Korea, here's what we think and how to access it

Desert never looked so good

Massively popular MMO Black Desert Mobile launches in Korea, here's what we think and how to access it

Wow. That's obviously the first word you'll utter when you first get into Black Desert Mobile, the port of the massively popular MMORPG from Pearl Abyss.

On PC, it was already a fantastic looking game thanks to the amazing self-developed custom engine but, here on mobile, it's on another level entirely. We've been telling you about the game and how it South Korean launch was imminent and we've played a bit of the game.

How to play it

First you'll have to follow our usual Soft Launch guide here but choose Korea as the country in the App Store. On Android, you'll have to download the APK but we can't provide a link here and you'll have to be really careful where you get it from as viruses are rampant.

You won't need a VPN to play. The game, after a quick update, took down any geographical restrictions. Be prepared to download a massive 2GB of download up front though so you might want to play over wi-fi, at least initially.

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So do you need to speak Korean to play? Well, if you've ever played any MMORPG, you'll not be disoriented as it uses a lot of the tropes and mechanics you're familiar with. You can even use Google's own Translate app on your phone to get instant translation via the camera if you're stuck.

A gorgeous journey into the desert

There's a story here but it's rather bare-bones and mostly just an excuse to kill a bunch of animals and monsters.

And boy, do you kill stuff. I think PETA's already on the hunt for me as I've probably killed about a million wolves in this game.

That's the really strong point of the game. After the initial shock of the game's graphical beauty, the combat is extremely satisfying with plenty of graphical effects coming alive on the screen each time you execute a spell. Every attack has a visceral feel and connects with other powers to create combos.

That means that you can take on dozens of foes at a time - and in case of danger you can always use your trusty dodge move.

This is a fully featured port of the game with even the pets system and fishing mechanics being integrated. The weird family system, that lets you have relationships with NPCs, is also in and can make for an interesting mechanic.

Of course, some modifications had to be made for mobile and, on top of the usual button to get to the designated quest area automatically (or to let the game play itself), you'll see that each area is limited by loading screens and thus the game is not a seamless open world experience.

That is also rather dry

And that's also where the game can sort of fall apart. The draw distance is horrendous and when you move quickly, especially with a mount, things are constantly popping up in your face even on the highest-end devices.

You should also know that the game's quest lines are really basic, tasking you with killing a bunch of random monsters and then doing it again in smaller instances which finish with a boss fight. Just like the PC version, the PvE side is extremely easy and you'll rarely take damage.

Still, if you're curious about it and don't mind the usual MMO shenanigans (and slight lag depending on your connection), download it here or wait for its worldwide launch - it should hopefully arrive later this year. It's going to be at least a good showcase for your latest iOS or Android device, as long as you don't move much.