Overall - 90%
It's been a long time coming, but Diablo 4 is the game fans deserve. Put simply, Diablo 4 will easily be many people's Game of the Year.
While Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III is much-beloved now, lest we forget the launch was a train wreck. Does their new title Diablo 4 fare better than its predecessor? Check out this review and find out.
Diablo 4 Review
When Diablo 4 begins, you get to pick from five different classes. I mostly played the Druid, but got some Necromancer time during the beta. After creating your character, you get caught in a storm and need shelter. A local town nearby takes you in, but they need help with creatures at the temple. You deal with them, return, and the whole town tries to sacrifice you. Beating them, you soon learn about the Cult of Lilith.
Lilith has come to the lands of Sanctuary and is intent on taking over. A man named Lorath explains what is happening and that you two need to try to stop it. From there, you set off to the various settlements around Sanctuary to help out and kill demons. The main story is very long; I’d say roughly around 50 hours. However, the end game can easily last another 50.
As a druid, I mostly played melee as the werewolf and werebear. As the bear, I would rush in and tank enemies while doing crowd control. As the wolf, I’d focus on damage and building up my poison dot, ripping through certain bosses. I had access to tornadoes, lightning storms, rock slides, and other elemental attacks, but shape-shifting carried me to the end. The skill tree is vast, and you could have dozens of builds – even within the same class.
Combat starts off far too easy, but players will quickly hit a brick wall of challenge later. Controls are responsive, and moves feel impactful. My favorite bear move is a huge ground slam; when you spam it, you feel the earth shake. Even my normal swings felt good when I was hitting hordes of enemies. One downside is the enemy buffs early on. Sometimes they have more HP as a buff, and it’s not needed. You rarely lose to these creatures; they only serve to consume more time.
One good thing the development team took from Diablo Immortal was its shared world, not unlike an MMO. You don’t get matchmaking, but you can run into other players on the map and team up with them. Unlike most other games, people happily team up in this because you get more experience, and it means enemies go down quicker. There are also events in-game that players can team up for and get chests from. These spawn randomly, and it’s first come, first serve.
Other points of interest on the map include dungeons, hideouts, forts, Altars of Lilith, and waypoints. The waypoints are fast-travel, so you want those. Forts need to be taken and sometimes become another settlement with fast travel. Altars of Lilith give permanent boosts to stats and are shared between all characters on the accounts. Hideouts are basically mini dungeons with one room and a quick fight. Then the dungeons are huge sprawling instances with bosses, loot, enemies, and sometimes events.
It’s important to note that this the stuff you can do BEFORE you beat the game. Once you beat the story, you get Nightmare Dungeons, World Boss Events, Legion Events, Blood Tides, and the Whispering Tree. All of these help you unlock Legendary gear to keep you getting more powerful for the final difficulty tier. Honestly, this game will be a job for some of you. There is so much to do it can quickly become overwhelming; and I didn’t even try the PVP.
Then there is Diablo 4’s equipment. With item design, they knocked it out of the park, and transmog is free. With crafting, you can remove stats you don’t like and replace them with better ones—aspects altar your abilities, meaning that builds can get even more in-depth. Gem slotting and unique items return as well. One downside is that you can’t pull aspects off of the unique gear, which is often very good.
Diablo 4 is not without blemish, however. For one thing, it takes far too long to get the mount. You do get it on all characters when you unlock it, which is nice, but the game world is enormous. You need to run back and forth multiple times with no waypoint, and a horse would have made it that much better. In addition, playing on a console makes it very hard to see what buffs and debuffs you have going on you in combat. I know limited inventory slots are a staple of ARPGs, but bigger bags would have been nice. Also, the team desperately needed to put an overlay map in; it blew my mind that this wasn’t included.
I did have a couple of crashes and some server issues, but nothing that changed my impression of the title.
It’s been a long time coming, but Diablo 4 is the game fans deserve. Put simply, Diablo 4 will easily be many people’s Game of the Year.
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