There are many series that rise and fall through the life cycle of the gaming popularity contest, and few series cement themselves in the hearts of gamers. The Diablo series has been a staple in Blizzard’s content model since the first entry back in 1996. As the years have gone by the series has amassed a huge following like many of Blizzard's IPs.
With the 2nd and 3rd entries within the series scratching that devil-killing itch, fans have been waiting for the much-anticipated Diablo 4 for years now. Little did many fans know that the series wouldn’t have this announcement until just a few weeks ago. But this isn’t a review of Diablo 4, as at Bliz-con 2018 a big announcement was made, and it’s safe to say the reception was less than happy.
Diablo Immortal was announced in place of Diablo 4 and was also described as a mobile game. This left fans feeling…. Well, they booed to be completely honest, one fan even asking if this was a terrible joke. This was not a joke, however, and before gameplay was even shown many had written this game off. As of June 2nd, Immortal hit android, IOS and PC and to the surprise of many fans who were willing to give it a shot, found it to be a solid entry. But many are still on the fence, so I decided to jump in and see just how similar this game was to its predecessors. Please note that as a Samsung junkie I was forced to play the PC version for the most part due to the chipset issue but was able to play on a tablet to see how the handheld experience was. So, let’s jump in.
To start off Diablo Immortal wastes no time throwing you straight into the game, with a simple menu that allows you to jump straight in or manage assets or DLC. Choosing to enter the world brings you to the character management screen, where you can manage the single or multiple classes for different playthroughs.
As a new player, you will be prompted to create a new character and select one of the 6 available classes within the game.
The Barbarian is the dedicated Tank class, allowing you to fight up close with every enemy and deal as much damage as you take.
The Crusader is a similar class in style to the Barbarian, allowing you to stay in close range but providing more mobility.
The Demon Hunter class is a ranged high damage class, able to dish out major damage from a distance, however, this glass cannon cannot take heavy damage.
The Monk is a melee fighting class that stands as the support of the group. Providing shields and buffs whenever needed to the group as a whole or to specific members.
The Necromancer is again very similar to the Demon Hunter, the difference being they can raise the dead and provide powerful buffs for the team. This is a class that arguably when used correctly, can be one of if not the most powerful character type available.
Finally, the Wizard is arguably the safest and more powerful class to use on a general basis. Being provided with a flurry of spells and AOE attacks that can leave any battlefield in ruins, the trick here is managing all the spells in a timely manner between cooldowns.
To any returning players to the franchise, I am more than happy to report that Immortal's mechanics and gameplay reflect that the series is loved for and is crafted incredibly for mobile. On the PC you will play much as you would on any of the previous titles, mimicking the point-and-click style albeit with fewer slots for using any spells or abilities.
The world also looks incredible, with shaders and assets that are clear upgrades from the series' previous work. The theme of the Diablo games has always been very gothic and dreary and that is still the case here, but I’d be lying if said this world didn’t look incredible. As always, we are treated to a voice-cast for both our characters and the NPCs within the world, all selling the tragedy and horror of the world they dwell in. The music and sounds of the creatures and monsters also add a horrific effect as you progress through the numerous landscapes. All of this comes together to provide an excellent experience that although isn’t as lengthy as the usual Diablo journey, it’s damn good for what you pay.
What you pay by the way is nothing, this game is a free-to-play experience that you can link to your Battle net account so it can be accessed on multiple devices. This includes the Mobile and PC versions, meaning you can play on the go and then settle down at your desk as well. As always though, they’ve got to make that dollar somehow and microtransactions is how they do it. It goes without saying that you are fully within your power to get through this game solely through grinding and levelling up. The problem however comes in the late game, as you will need to farm items that can also be purchased. They are also quite a grind themselves to achieve, thus the issue that many players may have when they reach this stage. This can absolutely be done without paying a cent, but as the trend goes this will take some work and some time.
All in all, the Diablo Immortal is a good experience that highlights all the great mechanics and trends that the series is known for. From a gameplay perspective, it mimics the combat and teamwork-based system that make many fall in love with the series to begin with. However, the inclusion of pay to win is always a damper on an experience, free or not. Although most versions of the game run fine, Samsung devices still struggle to run the game entirely due to a chipset issue that wasn’t taken into mind when the game was developed. This has left many (myself included) unable to play the game casually on the go, which was the major selling point of it.
If you are on the fence about this game then I highly recommend giving it a bash, as it’s free and honestly is a solid time whether you’re a team player or a lone wolf. However, be aware that microtransactions are very much a part of this game's model, and any who are easily swayed by this should certainly be aware.
If you want to check out the video review of Diablo Immortal, here it is:
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