Illustration of Inarius and Lilith above people

Diablo 4 Review

need to know

(Image credit: Tyler C./Activision Blizzard)

what is it? Loot-filled action RPG set in Hellworld
release date June 6, 2023
estimated payment $70
developer snowstorm
publisher Activision Blizzard
Comment time: RTX 3080 Ti, i9 12900K, 32GB RAM
steam deck not support
associate Official website

Diablo IV tries to place us in its dark fantasy world, but that’s an impossible task for a game that can pull a legendary two-handed ax from a wolf. The storytelling is as nuanced as a Marvel movie, about five times as long, and no matter what the dour characters in Diablo 4 tell you, you’re a superhero born with an empty inventory and eager to fill it.

The title of Blizzard’s latest action RPG hides what’s really going on: Diablo 4 is a reboot. It’s an unnecessary reboot, but one with a clear goal: to reconfigure the series’ strengths into a modern live-service format that fits the lives of players who may still have other games to play. Its glorious depth emerges once you’ve worked through its campaign, but overwhelming grind limits creativity with its complex RPG systems.

Today’s popular real-time service structure (represented by Destiny 2) seems to be a good fit for Diablo’s historically replayable co-op design, but it actually requires a huge structural shift. Diablo IV starts out like a story-driven adventure, but the best parts of it don’t start to unfold until you’ve completed the campaign. Entire features, like the MMO-inspired Grim Favors quest or the near-roguelike Helltide event, are delayed until you’ve gone through a 10-hour storyline that attempted to reset Diablo 3’s over-the-top tone, but was too dark without fundamentally changing the Diablo game’s theme (killing demons).

cause of misery

Blizzard’s response to complaints that Diablo III wasn’t “dark” enough has resulted in something dark enough to be suffocating. While the campaign focuses on the growing threat of “Mother of Sanctuary” Lilith, the side quests present a different kind of misery. Almost every character you meet does something terrible, like betraying their own children, making a pact with a demon, or murdering someone over a petty dispute. I’ve helped a lot of people find dead family members, or had to kill them, so I don’t listen to NPC pleas anymore. I’m so desperate to find joy or hope in all the people I’m supposed to be fighting for, but often can’t find it.

Tides of Hell is the best argument for Diablo 4’s semi-MMO functionality.

The “return to darkness” or return to Diablo 2 theme promised by Diablo IV only works if the horror has a meaningful impact on the way you play. An early dungeon set in a monastery led me to follow the trail of Lilith. I expected demons and dead monks, but what I found were empty corridors. In the distance I heard doors closing and screaming. Instead of fighting nameless enemies in another dungeon to finally find my target, I’m stalking a murderer out of my reach. Aside from the sound of my footsteps echoing in the halls, this sense of urgency makes for one of the creepiest scenes in Diablo IV.

This kind of subversion of expectations is rare in Diablo 4’s missions, though. Much of this was saved for features like the endgame Helltide event, which covered part of the map (literally) in blood and supercharged all the demons there. You have one hour to kill as many as possible, collect their anomalous cinder drops, and open as many rare item chests as possible. Doing these alone will put you at risk of dying and losing half your cinders, but grouping up can greatly reduce the challenge. Tides of Hell is the best argument for Diablo 4’s semi-MMO capabilities, adding an exciting sense of urgency and risk to Diablo’s usually comfortable combat (even if the rewards aren’t too different from running a dungeon). This resistance forces you to think of encounters not as ladders to the next level, but as puzzles of survival.

(Image credit: Tyler C./Activision Blizzard)

one painting per class

The six-act campaign will take you around the mouth of the river in an attempt to stop Lilith from opening the gates to hell. Some boss encounters, like a sudden fight with one of Diablo’s iconic imps in a sandstorm, stand out for their importance to the story. Several of these fights are undercut by MMO-like mechanics that force you to dodge highlighted shapes on the ground until you win. It’s not until after the campaign that you encounter bosses that pose enough of a threat to require a deep knowledge of your class to defeat.

Diablo IV’s ridiculously slow pace and inability to create a villain with understandable intentions makes its campaign justify how long it will take to beat. It offers few surprises, and even if it looks like it might, it quickly returns to the same stories you’ve seen in these games before. Diablo IV’s campaign doesn’t resolve the eternal conflict between angels and demons, and its ending is so irrelevant that I happily use the option to skip it on every new character I make.

After finally finishing Diablo 4’s campaign, I went on various treasure hunts in the open world. Dungeons get harder and the game starts asking you to squeeze as much damage as possible out of your class, which is a pointed attack on my character-obsessed brain. Years of playing Blizzard games does just that for you. It started with World of Warcraft and continued with Overwatch 2. Developers have a talent for getting to the heart of a genre and digging into its core.

Diablo IV’s skill tree frees me from having to think too much about the treadmill under my feet.

The basic experience of playing Diablo IV, tapping on demons and watching items pop out of them, fired up my neurons in a way that’s almost hard to admit. Until now, I hadn’t realized that the core mechanic of an action RPG like this is the guarantee that the last enemy you kill on a team will drop loot to interrupt your 30-second fun. It’s a slightly disturbing but clever design to keep you hungry in a game full of food. I’m definitely a mouse in a box, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying both solo and co-op, though your first co-op playthrough might feel too easy until later with the world-class difficulty option.

Diablo IV’s skill tree frees me from having to think too much about the treadmill under my feet. Since Elden Ring, there hasn’t been an order on my YouTube recommendation page to try this broken version or use this OP item before it’s too late. All five classes–Barbarian, Druid, Rogue, Sorceress, and Necromancer–despite doing the same hack-and-slash job, are quite different from each other. Their skill trees are a throwback system from Diablo 2, modifying and synergizing your character abilities in such specific ways that no one seems to agree on a single best build–which is exactly what you want in a Diablo game.

On top of that, the Legendary aspect, earned from dungeons and even from items, lets you create your own Legendary gear to enhance your skills. Earlier, I found a breastplate that made my Bonestorm Ultimate also provide the barrier. All of a sudden, I can run straight into any group of enemies with Whirlwind of Bones and come away unscathed. After level 30, rare and legendary items start dropping, and you can make these aspects a permanent part of your class.

(Image source: Blizzard)

Seconds after you fall into the Broken Peak, you’re killing a few wolves, leveling up, and earning your first skill points–it’s an exciting time, and the game doesn’t stop giving you chances until you start approaching the 100-level cap. Skill points and their eventual successor, “Paragon Points,” are like carrots dangling in the air, and they’ll still keep you clicking for hours long after you’ve seen everything the class can do. Planning your build and then spending your hard-earned points strategically is still incredibly satisfying.

I started out as the necromancer driver of the skeleton army, standing still and shooting bone-piercing spears while my bone mates crushed my enemies. This approach worked perfectly for a few hours, however, out of curiosity about the build, I spent a fair amount of gold redesigning my approach. I went from commander of an army of the undead to a god, imbued with the power of my sacrificed demons and a massive crit rating. I am an engine that runs on the corpse of my enemy. Tendrils grow from their remains, pulling the demon straight into my bouncing bone spears, which now do so much damage I just have to cast some before everything dies.

What better way to be a witch than to be so proficient at magic that you can mix spell effects?

Once you have an idea of ​​how to proceed with your class, the skill tree will likely give you a path to get there. If you want to go all out with Bone Spear, you can find tons of abilities on top of its base effects, or set it up to do ridiculous amounts of damage. This can be further modified with unique effects through the legendary aspects gained by completing dungeons or finding legendary items. One of my rings causes my Bone Spear to deal 100% more damage to enemies I make Vulnerable. With the Plague Corpse Tendril ability, each enemy attracted to it becomes vulnerable for three seconds – just enough time for a bone spear or two.

The sheer number of creative options in the skill trees I’ve tried makes me eager to see what other classes are hiding in their skill trees. For example, witches can equip spells as passive abilities. At first glance, you might think this gives you double access to the school of magic you choose to use, such as a 5% chance to cast free ice armor for your ice buildings. Not quite. If you put a point in Firebolt and use it in a passive enchantment slot, it will cause any of your skills to deal burning damage to its target. With one skill point, your entire spellbook can now benefit from the fire skill, opening the door to a whole world of potential builds. What better way to be a witch than to be so proficient at magic that you can mix spell effects?

live for grind

(Image credit: Tyler C./Activision Blizzard)

The more you know about Diablo IV, the harder it will be to change your playstyle. This is one of the consequences of undermining Diablo III’s excellent rune system, which allowed you to swap skills for free at any time, in favor of a Diablo II-style skill tree. It’s only going to get worse if your gear is how important it is to your build. Various aspects of legendary items change how your skills play out, many of which can define your build. If I forgo the aspect of spawning necromancer resources while slowing down enemies, I won’t be able to cast enough bone spears to survive late game dungeons. The power of phases and the cost of imprinting them on rare items limits how many times you can try them unless you spend a lot of time farming gold and materials.

Now, I need to spend 100,000 gold coins to reset my skills, and then I need to spend more gold coins and salvage rare materials for legendary items to replace various aspects of the equipment. It’s not impossible to respec, but the cost of doing so almost feels like a penalty for me not being able to easily switch to a better build without resorting to all new ways to get resources. All I hope is that Diablo 4 loosens the restrictions on live services so that the fun of clicking demons in creative ways can really flourish.

It comes pretty close to channeling the energy of eager progression I need in a game that turns legions of hell into my prized loot crop.

If reconfiguring isn’t expensive, you could theoretically change your build for each Nightmare Dungeon or Helltide event, simplifying an event designed to keep you playing longer. go through…

Find more articles in our categories Gaming & News et Anime.

Thanks for visiting we hope our article Diablo 4 Review

, we invite you to share the article on Facebook, twitter and e-mail with the hashtags ☑️ #Diablo #Review ☑️!

Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.