It’s safe to say that Diablo IV went through nine circles of hell before even getting to public testing. At the end of March 2023, users had the opportunity to feel the project in order to understand for themselves whether they should wait for the official release.
In this article, we will talk about our impressions from the beta, having analyzed the main gameplay moments. It is important to note that all conclusions are made only on the basis of the content presented, therefore, after the release, the opinion may change.
Looking ahead strongly, we will answer one important question, namely: “Is it interesting to play the new Diablo?”. Yes, the game is addictive. But it will appeal to fans of the franchise more than newcomers. The thing is that stylistically and gameplay-wise, the project feels like a good continuation of the legendary Diablo II. A popular phrase like “That’s how Diablo III should have been” in this case is more relevant than ever. Although many have long resigned themselves to the third part, and in general, after many updates, it has become much better.
The gameplay of Diablo IV, as mentioned above, is not as dynamic as in modern, for example, Korean ARPGs, where there are a thousand different explosions, flashes, millions of combos and so on on the screen. In terms of speed, the combat system feels a little faster than the cult parts, which fans may well like. That is, the battles look beautiful, dignified and cheerful, but without the aforementioned excesses.
Speaking about character development, the passive and active skills leveling branch resembles the skill tree from the notorious PoE, but in a greatly simplified version. At the same time, at the time of open testing, there was an impression that Diablo IV has good potential for various builds. But, again, so far these are just hypotheses, because we were shown only a grain of content, where there is no talk of any end-game content. It is there (in the endgame) that any builds pass strength tests and often most of the idea is eliminated.
Fans of loot, knocking out a variety of armor, staves, bows, axes and more, can be satisfied. In the new part, the developers did not change themselves, leaving an abundance of items on the ground after the wild battles of one of the main chips. Of course, you will no longer get those feelings that you used to, when you proudly put on your hero and ran to test it in action. In our opinion, this happens because almost every game already has similar elements, where after the battles the player rakes his inventory with items marked in different colors depending on the rarity. Pall! But in the case of Diablo it is necessary.
Despite the fact that only the first act was shown to us, a few words can already be said about the basic content. As before, Blizzard makes great cinematics, so from the very start, the player is shown amazing scenes, introducing them to the main story. The world, in addition to the main quest line, is filled with various dungeons, basements, additional tasks, bosses, temporary events like battles with a crowd of creatures for a chest, and so on. However, we have already seen all this in the previous parts. However, in Diablo IV, the developers have introduced more of a social component: now players will be able to join clans, gathering groups for activities, meet other users as they explore the world, exchange items using full-fledged trade mechanics, and so on. Of course, for many, this may seem like a deviation from the conventional principles of the franchise, but these are the trends, and more and more single-player games are getting co-op or other types of multiplayer.
Speaking of graphics and audio components, the developers from Blizzard did their job more than worthy. Unlike the third part, some cartoonishness was “removed”, and exactly the gloomy atmosphere that fans had imagined in the classic projects of the series (Diablo, Diablo II) was added. The shadows, reflections, fog effect, and so on are well-designed, with which the effects of using the skills of different heroes harmonize well.
With regards to music. Of course, the background themes don’t compare to the soundtracks from Diablo II, but they sound quite nice. The screams of monsters, blows, spells cause only pleasant sensations in the ears. There are even sounds from classic parts that fans of the franchise will immediately recognize.
Summing up, we can say that everything demonstrated in the past testing looks good. Diablo IV may well be a good continuation of the franchise and, most likely, will be popular among fans of the series. You may ask, they say, “Why are there a lot of uncertain phrases in the article?”. And such a question would be fair. The fact is that the main feature of Diablo has always been precisely the replay value, and without having a complete understanding of the end-game content, one can only assume what exactly awaits us. Therefore, a full review with a final opinion can be expected only after the official release.
Otherwise, at this stage, Diablo IV left only positive emotions, although some kind of wow effect was not achieved. Be sure to write in the comments what impressions you have from the open testing, and do not forget to share your predictions about the future fate of Diablo IV.