After 11 years, the Diablo III phenomenon received its sequel. It wasn't an easy task for Blizzard, fans always have high expectations when it comes to a franchise as big as this one.
The critically acclaimed launch of Diablo Immortal further increased the pressure on the developer, who couldn't commit another “failure” with the community.
But the company understood the importance of this new title and did an impressive job. We at Cards Realm had early access to test the game, check out our full review on Diablo 4!
Diablo IV Overview
In general, the title represents the action RPG genre well, we find ourselves on a huge map, full of enemies and with a dynamic gameplay.
Diablo 4 greatly encourages exploration, its open world offers numerous random events that grant XP and Items to your characters, not to mention dungeons and side quests. You will never be bored or run out of things to do in the game, it's really fun.
We also have the Altars of Lilith, which unlock some bonuses for your hero. There are many (many indeed) around the world, it will certainly be necessary to explore well to find them all.
Of course, the game must contain a large map to encourage this exploration, and Blizzard got this right - Sanctuary is huge! Check out this image to get an idea of what was released in the beta, and how much will increase for the full game.
It's still a game focused on its Campaign and End Game (we'll talk about that later), but it also opened up space for more casual players, who are eager to explore an open world without too many worries.
As mentioned before, Diablo 4's gameplay is very dynamic, each class is unique and offers very different gameplay.
We have 5 playable classes in Diablo IV:
Excellent choice for those who enjoy hand-to-hand combat, Barbarians are like Warriors, they love a fight and use their brute strength and resistance to win it!
A Necromancer's strategy is usually to summon an army of undead for fights. There are 3 pillars for his powers: Bone, Shadow and Blood.
A typical RPG mage, with the power to control the elements. Pleases those who like to stay at long distance, causing damage with spells, whether they are Fire, Ice or Lightning.
A Rogue is agile and flexible, and can be a melee or ranged fighter. The combos are fundamental tools of the class.
Druid is unique and versatile, its mechanic of turning into animals is really fun. The Werewolf form offers a build with a lot of damage, but it's also possible to be tougher and land plenty of brutal hits by becoming a Bear.
Dark and Violent Setting
Back to Origins
As I mentioned in my First Impressions of Diablo IV, the game offers a more dark setting, reminiscent of the classics that older players were asking for so much.
We are in a decadent and melancholic world, full of dangers like bandits, demons and other monstrous creatures. The NPCs themselves demonstrate a depressing tone in the dialogues.
We also come across more violent cutscenes, blood and organs exposed by the scenarios.
Graphics and Sound Effects
I feel like I'm inside a movie during these cutscenes, the sounds and graphics increase our immersion in the story.
During some cinematics, we heard sounds of branches, carriages, and I literally felt inside the environment of Diablo 4.
Diablo 4's story is spectacular. It holds you at all times, in addition to having several twists (which is already common in the franchise). All the characters are charismatic and have strong personalities.
The campaign is full of characters and with perfect cinematics, as mentioned above, and the great graphics and sound effects make us feel inside the environment itself. Based on 6 acts and an epilogue, the story leaves many questions open in the future, making room for some expansion or DLC.
In the very first scene, we see Elias summoning Lilith, who returns to Sanctuary and deceives several humans, with some performing rituals and cults for her.
The Daughter of Hatred hopes to destroy the region, your duty will be to fight it.
The progression doesn't contain secrets at the beginning, your character releases Skill Points when you level up, which serves (as the name implies) to unlock or improve your skills.
Each class has a gigantic skill tree for the player to freely spend their points, allowing the creation of countless builds.
It is possible to reallocate your skill points for an amount of gold, in case you spent your points in the wrong way, or just want to change your build.
It will also be necessary to pay attention to the items, not during the beginning of your journey, but after a certain evolution, you will find items with powerful effects and that most of the time will fit perfectly in a specific build.
Therefore, it is essential to check which items are fundamental to your skill tree, and look for them.
When I played as a Druid, I made an Earth Bear build, and looked for the items Insatiable Fury and Vasily's Prayer, they were essential because of their effects. Note that the items interact very well with each other and with their abilities.
However, we have a simple and objective progression (initially), which becomes complicated in the future, due to the specificities and advances of a build, since each player will choose to specialize in a unique way.
Diablo IV gets closer to an MMORPG
Some MMO elements were introduced in the new title, such as World Bosses.
In addition to Seasons, Guilds and PvP systems. It will also be possible to find other players wandering around the map.
It's worth mentioning that we didn't have a good opportunity to use these multiplayer features, as we only tested an early version of the game (with very few players).
Even with these new features, the developer has already stated that Diablo 4 is still an action RPG, and we feel that when playing, it is still possible to have fun alone if you prefer.
The Diablo 4 Post-Campaign is a lot of fun. As previously mentioned, the open world is huge and with several possibilities for exploration after completing the story, both for casual players and for the most hardcore.
Tree of Whispers
Diablo 4 offers some missions in the End Game, which grant points, by gathering 10 points it is possible to exchange them for a set of equipment, with a high chance of containing a legendary item!
However, many missions are generic, most consist of just going to area X, and killing a certain number of enemies, or just performing a dungeon.
Some of these tasks take place in PvP Zones, being very interesting, they grant more points. Therefore, the enemies are more difficult, and we still have the danger of being eliminated by another player!
These dungeons serve to level up the Glyphs, an End Game mechanic (since it will only be unlocked at level 50) to increase your build!
Initially, there are only two World Tiers in Diablo, I and II. But that's what we have the capstone Dungeons for, we need to accomplish them to unlock tiers III and IV.
Whenever we make the game more difficult, enemies will grant more gold and XP!
Sometimes, Sanctuary will be taken over by hell, spawning various demons across the region. It's a perfect opportunity to farm experience and items, as these demons appear to have a higher level than your character.
It is worth highlighting the unique items, which grant powerful effects, often appear in the Helltides, going there will be a challenge, but it is certainly a good choice to farm equipment!
Blizzard announced in a Dev Talk that there will be battle passes in Diablo 4, but the first season will not come with the launch, the developer will wait an (indeterminate) time to launch this feature.
The pass contains 90 items for those who purchase the Premium, but still, yes, we have 27 free.
All seasons will be themed, with missions and new gameplay mechanics. We still don't have much knowledge about it, but if Blizzard "gets it right" in the seasons, as it is getting it right in other aspects of the game, Diablo 4 has everything to generate decades of content for fans.
Is Diablo IV worth playing?
We will see here the Pros and Cons accompanied by the conclusion and note!
- Builds System;
- Overall Map Exploration;
- Graphics and Sound effects.
- Too many identical Dungeons;
- Relatively easy game (expected to get more challenging on World Tier 3 and/or nightmare dungeon).
Diablo IV is the perfect chance for Blizzard to redeem itself with its audience, delivering everything it promises and being very well taken care of.
But not everything is rosy, as we saw above, we also have some negative points. For us, Diablo IV scores a 9.2, it's a delightful game.
How the press reacted
Metacritic has always been a benchmark when it comes to game ratings and reviews, and today Diablo 4 sits at an average score of 88 (0-100).
Out of 44 press reviews, 41 were positive, and we had 3 mixed, i.e. the title didn't receive any bad reviews.
Play Diablo IV today!
The game arrived on June 6 2023, and you can purchase it by accessing this link. Diablo 4 is available for the following platforms: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
See you in the Sanctuary!