Diablo Immortal Review – The Price Of Playing With The Devil

My fingers hurt for hours after playing Diablo Immortal; My hands haven’t spent this much time wrapping around my phone like this in years. Despite the pain my aging hands endured during my first few days with Immortal, it was worth it for the fun I had. The series’ core action/RPG smash and loot gameplay makes the transition to mobile delightful, thanks to responsive controls designed for portable play and adherence to the sights and sounds of the franchise. With this mobile facelift comes a free-to-play model that most can avoid spending money on, but some specific parts of its monetization model hamper this game. This is disappointing as the game otherwise offers a strong experience.

Immortal feels like a modern Diablo game thematically and aesthetically, often reminding me of a great mobile version of Diablo 3. If you choose between the six available classes – barbarian, wizard, demon hunter, necromancer, crusader or monk – you will quickly find the shards of the shattered Worldstone, an important relic from previous games. Though Immortal is set in the 20 years between the events of Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, the narrative is surprisingly rich in gripping lore. A demon called the Skarn aims to fill the power vacuum left after the fall of Diablo and Baal, wreaking havoc on the never-peaceful Sanctuary plain. Classic characters like Deckard Caine return, while new faces like Jin and Rayek expand on the established Diablo narrative in ways I appreciate.

Playing Diablo Immortal is a pleasure; The intuitive and responsive touch controls are among the best I’ve used in a mobile game, barring a few minor hiccups. Abilities can be cast by touching the area around a virtual button and aiming with a swipe of my thumb. It feels great to launch a fireball or plunge your character into a demonic horde that way. Still, there’s room for improvement in hit detection for some ranged attacks that miss when spawning on target, causing some frustrating moments in the heat of battle.

Adventures in Sanctuary’s zones feature other players taking on monsters, underscoring Immortal’s inherent MMO nature. While this design decision sacrifices the traditional randomization of the world map, I’ve come to love how alive each zone feels when real people populate the area. Immortal offers many ways to group with others. These include 8-player warbands for close-knit squads alongside larger 100-player clans that can show their allegiance to the PvP factions known as the Immortals and Shadows. I love getting a group together to run a custom four-player dungeon, or even teaming up with someone on the fly to clear out area bounties and complete a few quests in the Battle Pass.

As a free-to-play game, Diablo Immortal offers a handful of monetization options. In my experience you can play almost every aspect of the game without paying a dime and I appreciate that. A premium battle pass (paired with a free rewards track) and cosmetics sold in the shop are among the less intrusive spends, implemented in a way that doesn’t feel exploitative. Of concern, however, is that certain items are extremely limited for free-to-play players but are available for a real-money fee. These crests offer legendary gems with variable star ranks and stats that greatly benefit end-game progression. Not only is this particular crest extremely hard to get for the non-paying players, but the likelihood of a high quality gem dropping even if you spend big makes this part of the free-to-play system gross. Given how excited I am about most other aspects of Diablo Immortal, the monetization systems currently in place are deeply disappointing and really tarnish what is otherwise a great experience.

I was looking for a substantial Diablo experience to play with Immortal on my phone, and it often meets that bar. While I don’t see myself getting deep into the endgame unless Blizzard fixes the Legendary Gem issues, I still plan to spend hours in Diablo Immortal, leveling up a character in each class, and playing until my hands pains.

https://www.gameinformer.com/review/diablo-immortal/the-price-of-playing-with-the-devil Diablo Immortal Review – The Price Of Playing With The Devil

Sarah Ridley

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