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Diablo 4 Review

(Image from Blizzard News Page)

Since the release of the last game, full-fledged installment in the series, I’ve been anticipating Diablo 4. My hunger has been filled, but I can’t get the feeling that we’ve been given a “remastered” mix of “two” and “three.” The game is lovely, has a large environment, and enough to do, but it falls short due to the emptiness and repetition of side activities, and you can’t truly play solo here.

The adventure begins with the creation of a character. We select one of five classes, all of which are vastly distinct from one another and allow us to customize our look. The latter, on the other hand, is restricted to a selection of pre-made faces, hairstyles, and tattoos. “By default,” we seldom see heroes in anything other than full gear, but there is an option to visually conceal portions of armor. At least five hours could be saved if it weren’t for the long trips from point to point and the artificial extension of dungeons. I admit that it was difficult for me to focus only on the campaign because the first three acts are fairly dull – despite being capped with well-prepared boss fights – so I frequently dabbled in exploration and side diversions. You may, however, remain for a long time since if we want to see all the game has to offer, we can easily spend over 100 hours in it. Fortunately, the plot is cohesive and follows the canon. There are plenty of unexpected story twists, but we have little control over the outcome – the Diablo series has never been about making choices. The game introduces new heroes on a regular basis and then explores their backstories. The characters are intriguing, but their personalities are rather stereotyped, so it’s very easy to root for some while avoiding others. Because there are so many cutscenes, the gameplay sometimes feels like an interactive movie. Their level, though, is superb, which is precisely what Blizzard has previously acclimated us to – watching the closing act moments gave me goosebumps. Overall, the plot is a positive, and I’ll probably return to it soon.

(Image from Cnet)

Combat is Diablo 4’s second stronghold. It’s slower, more tactical, and more reminiscent of Diablo 2 than Diablo 3. Good posture and response time to enemy assaults are critical – when playing the barbarian, I focused more on evading than executing pirouettes with the ax and monitoring opponent behavior. The difference is most noticeable in the case of bosses, when the ability to correctly position yourself on the battlefield and comprehend opposing dynamics is critical to success. The player can have six talents active at the same time, each with a distinct impact: defensive, area of effect, and consuming or creating a resource. Imposing negative statuses on opponents, delaying or knocking them back, as well as scorching or freezing returns. It’s a lot of fun smacking waves and waves of foes, and I’ve had the most pleasure bringing out a bunch of adversaries with one spell or an elite monster with two hits. I didn’t grow tired of slicing adversaries after several hours, and the more tough the opponent, the more fun. Importantly, the power of monsters increases with the hero’s level, so the challenge is always increasing, and you can’t keep up with obsolete equipment and unequally distributed skill points. We fight this tremendous battle in a world that is large, but also, sadly, empty, and as a result, you have to run a lot to find anything tangible to accomplish. Strongholds, side quests, and extra dungeons are all separated by large distances and waypoints. This makes the world less exciting than it could be, and more akin to a massive arena for fighting. The Sanctuary’s structure is even more unsatisfactory because the treasure boxes dispersed throughout it or elite foes seldom deliver valuable things, thus exploration and inquisitiveness do not provide the desired results. It’s a shame, considering each location has distinct qualities and look amazing. The Strongholds are a new additions to the series; these are regions plagued by evil that must be cleaned by destroying the foes that nest there and, on sometimes, completing riddles. These items are rather nice, especially because each one has a narrative attached to it, and completing the Stronghold opens an intriguing location on the map – it may be a city, new side quests, or a dungeon. The images are precise and developed, much more “serious” than in earlier performances, but additional darkness is needed. Still, seeing the tracks in the deep snow, the view from the top of the cliffs, and the lush greenery is entertaining, and the ability and aura effects vividly indicate what’s going on in the heat of combat. Blizzard also included a night and day system, but it was merely aesthetic – the nighttime visibility limitation might compensate for this discomfort with greater loot or experience.

However, Diablo 4 demonstrates that numbers do not equal quality. Over 200 side quests and nearly a hundred dungeons to explore have been devised by the designers. I rapidly became bored because the repetition just grows greater each time. The task takes an average of 10 minutes to complete. Unfortunately, the prizes for such missions are the most underwhelming, consisting of skins, herbs, or elixirs. Occasionally, the customer would offer us some equipment, but owing to weak statistics, everyone instantly ran to the next shop. Dungeons, an essential component of all Diablo games, disappointed me greatly. Again, repeatability is quite high, and the pay is disproportionate to the work expended. The chance of collecting so-called aspects, i.e. qualities that we may offer objects to increase skills, is the key motivator for exploring dungeons. In my situation, it came down to rushing through passageways and dodging adversaries that didn’t need to be slain in order to achieve what I came for as soon as possible.

(Image from NerdStash)

It is worth highlighting the series’ primary feature, the forced multiplayer option, since Diablo 4 forcibly inserts other players to the single-player game. Simply said, you won’t be able to play Diablo 4 without an online connection, and you may have to wait in line to open the game in order to finish the solo campaign. “Solo” is a bit of an exaggeration because you can actually forget about a genuinely lonely “just me and the world of Diablo 4” experience. Although interaction with other players is absolutely voluntary, and you can even ignore their presence, odd nicknames and weird outfits detract from the atmosphere. You should also be aware that Diablo 4 is a “casual” game, not to mention simple. On the one hand, this lets anybody to sit down and play, even if they are unfamiliar with hack’n’slash titles; on the other hand, it does not necessitate significant grinding to construct a competent character. On the other side, the sensation of difficulty fades fast. In theory, bolder players may proceed to regions with a suggested level higher than their present level, but this would result in a very swift death. This requires the player to take the one right path of exploration via each particular site. I’ve always like creating my own builds. Diablo 4 makes this clear and allows you to reassign skill points. After investing in one costly improvement, you no longer need to use a calculator to compute ticks and percentages of damage, like in the second episode in the series. You may now reset skills and create fresh builds whenever you like. In this manner, you will return each incorrectly spent point to the pool and spend it in a different branch of the development tree. This allows you to learn all of the powers and modify the character as needed. As someone who is familiar with the series, it was pleasant to get right into the fight, constructing a character similar to the hero I played in the last episode, because I rapidly acquired access to sophisticated skills. Each hero has 25 talents in total, but only six of them may be employed in combat at the same time.

Unlike earlier games in the series, shopping and trade are practically negligible aspects of the gameplay this time. Instead, a rudimentary crafting and item improvement system has been included, but it necessitates regular travelling in search of components, as we can’t buy them for money. Resources, such as mana and energy, are replenished automatically or with the assistance of relevant perks – there is no need to purchase potions or prepare for the excursion; this system did not sit well with me. I surely missed a good instruction or piece of code. True, when we unlock new actions, such as utilizing gems or offering item aspects, we receive a brief task detailing the technique, but there are no specifics or even the chance to double-check what the game has previously indicated. Some aspects, such as Crippling or Luck, are briefly discussed on the skill panel, but they are merely snippets of knowledge, forcing us to hunt for data or uncover hidden mechanisms on our own.

Diablo 4 is a tempting treat for ravenous Diablo fans, but their appetite may not be totally fulfilled. The monotony of side activities and the mediocre prizes that result from them bring us primarily to the storyline, which at first also leaves a lot to be desired. Blizzard, on the other hand, is betting on the game-as-a-service model for a reason, so expect more content and surprises in the future. Fortunately, the development foundations are good, because the fighting is pleasant and effective, and the scale of the environment allows you to enjoy the game for a long time. If only there were more things to do here soon.

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