While I didn’t get to sample as much of it as I would have liked, I did manage to get hands-on with upcoming MMORPG Black Desert back in December. There were many things I liked about it – the colourful visuals, the combo-based combat system, the fact mounts need to be tamed and fed, and that housing is phased within quest and social hubs. I’d go into more detail, but I’m going to save my in-depth thoughts for after the second Closed Beta test, which is due to take place in February. This is mainly because of the addition of a new class, the Valkyrie, and numerous changes to the game’s systems, but also because I haven’t tried out the crafting element yet.

However, one aspect of Black Desert that impressed me the most was its extensive character creation suite.

Not only are the character models some of the best in the genre, but the amount of customisation available is staggering. Hell, I’d even got as far as saying it’s intimidating if you aren’t expecting how much depth there is. The nearest comparison I could suggest in terms of the options available is APB: All Points Bulletin – another title I spent far too much time in perfecting my avatar – but the online cops-n-robbers title looks positively last-gen in comparison to Black Desert’s visuals.

Because of this, there’s something of a running joke that making a character within the suite is practically it’s own game, and so it comes to no surprise that earlier this week developers Pearl Abyss released the suite as a free standalone application. The Black Desert Character Creator is now available to download at no cost, meaning you can experience the copious amounts of options (and probably lose hours of your day) while making the perfect avatar. To highlight this, I invited my other half Rebecca to see what all the fuss is about. Having never seen or heard anything about Black Desert up until sat her in front of the computer, what you’ll see / hear in this episode of So Let’s Investigate… are her genuine reactions to the Character Creator.

Do be warned though – the word “jiggle” is used a lot. Make of that what you will.

Black Desert will be releasing on PC later this year. Pre-purchase packages are currently available from the official website, and the second Closed Beta test will begin on February 18th. Not willing to pre-purchase but want to see what the game is like first? You could always enter the Beauty & The Beast competition where the most monstrous and hideous creations could win Closed Beta 2 access, a T-shirt, and other in-game goodies.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Black Desert next month!