Set 30 years after the last game in the series, DIABLO 4 feels largely disconnected from the larger world.
Sanctuary is now thriving, filled with towns and camps scattered across the beautiful landscape.
The world feels alive, and that’s a big change compared to other games in the series. The human touches bring a fresh feeling to the world.
Despite the improved world-building, the story still leaves a lot to be desired. While it’s not bad, it’s clear that it’s copying beats from other games in the series.
We see the same character archetypes playing out the same storyline from the first three games, without major changes.
On the other side is Lilith, one of the worst antagonists the series has ever seen.
While in many series the villains are black or white, Lilith is painted in shades of grey, making for a compelling character.
One of the best achievements of Diablo 4 is the huge, continuous open world with no loading screens between the map areas of the overworld.
It can be harder to stay in the places that are relevant to the current state of the story. The world adapts to your level so you can go anywhere you want.
Despite this, it is clear that it was developed for multiplayer, which the developers explained in an interview with GLHF.
Enemies appear in large groups, which can quickly overwhelm solo players, even at the right level.
Playing online with strangers is pretty much what you would expect.
Even if you help others attend world events, most likely won’t do the same for you.
The best solution here is to team up with friends, but of course this requires a group of Diablo 4-playing friends.
As you unlock more skills, it becomes easier to master alone, but there’s always a chance of a surprise encounter.
To Blizzard’s credit, Diablo 4’s multiplayer runs smoothly, and both cross-play and cross-progression work smoothly.
Some classes have great synergies with each other, which makes working on theoretical structures in groups even more exciting.
The combat is as good as it’s ever been, maybe even better. It is based on Diablo 2 and is more deliberate and impactful than Diablo 3.
This is best demonstrated in the boss fights, which are the best in the series, and there isn’t a single fight that doesn’t make you try twice.
The new sense of challenge comes from positioning. Between managing potions and your skill cooldowns, there’s a lot of strategy involved in any battle.
Our only problem with the combat system is that it forces you to choose a path from the start when it comes to classes.
This gives you a better sense of your skills and how they work together, but takes away a lot of freedom.
All of this is nothing compared to the problems with monetization and microtransactions.
It’s important to remember that Diablo 4 is a full price game. One that strongly encouraged players to buy the £90 deluxe edition.
While the shop is limited to just cosmetics and nothing that can boost your progression, the pricing is absurd.
It feels like the game is pushing you into paying these absurd prices as there are very few variations on armor in the game.
Each set looks and feels similar, an obvious attempt to lure players towards paid cosmetics.
Also, it hides the price behind its premium currency, platinum, which can only be purchased with real money.
There’s no way to earn it in-game, and the platinum pricing helps hide the true price from players.
This also means players must purchase platinum in bundles, which are rarely the exact amount corresponding to the item they want.
This encourages you to either buy more or leave unspent money in your account.
Diablo 4 is probably the best the series has ever had, even if it’s a bit more difficult in single player.
Aggressive monetization makes recommendation difficult, and practices like this must not become industry norms.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.
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