Blizzard’s upcoming Diablo IV recently had an early beta playtest for those who pre-ordered the game. The exclusive beta was playable on March 17 for every major gaming platform you can think of.
Diablo IV will certainly be one of the more anticipated titles due to how iconic the Diablo series has been, and it’s also been a long time since the series finally made a sequel to Diablo III.
As someone who’s a big fan of Blizzard and the Diablo series, it was only right that I participated this event. After all, I was already preparing myself with another Diablo-like game that I’d recommend you action role playing aficionados to try out before Diablo IV launches.
Diablo IV is definitely doing a lot of things to fill up its predecessors’ shoes. Now, the real question begins: is it worth your time?
The open beta is just around the corner. It’ll happen on March 24 and it includes the Necromancer and Druid as playable classes. The full release of the game will be on June 6.
Story – A Grim Hint at What’s to Come
The beta only allowed us to play two sections of the campaign: the Prologue and Act One. Obviously, there wasn’t much story to be exposed from due to how early the game was, but it still left me interested of what the later story content could lead. Even though there wasn’t much story to be seen, it did leave me a good first impression because of one thing.
The game had a good source of story telling with the cutscenes that was portrayed. Lilith, who’s the main antagonist, is simply a mysterious but also fascinating character based on her actions and performances.
The story campaign was definitely fun to experience, and it’s nice to see the tone that the game took is very grim. Without spoiling some of the story elements, this game is trying to let the player know that once you enter the world of Diablo IV; you’ll learn it’s not a pleasant place to live.
Before the campaign was finished, there was a cutscene that definitely teased me into wanting to know where the story will go.
Gameplay – Plenty to Do and Plenty of Fun
Despite being a place that no sane human being would want to live, it is certainly a fun game to play, and there’s so much to do. Once you are done with the campaign, you can try out the side quests you missed out, or experience the many dungeons you can get your demon slaughtering on.
I have no ideas how many hours I clocked in while playing the game, but I’ve definitely been playing it extensively. I have two characters: a level 25 Sorcerer and a level 24 Barbarian. I’ve explored a good amount of the map, did a lot of endgame activities including the dungeons, randomly generated events, and Stronghold.
The Stronghold event is interesting. It’s basically similar to the veins of the dungeons you go through. There will be a lot of mobs waiting for your arrival, and it generally ends with an epic boss fight.
Once you finished a stronghold, you basically create a new town that you can go to. I believe it will probably allow players to do more optional quests for the future. It’s certainly an interesting feature for a Diablo title, and I think it does have its place.
The optional dungeons are basically Diablo IV’s version of Greater Rifts. These dungeons will throw in a lot of monsters at you, and generally end it with a big boss fight at the end. There were a decent amount of different bosses you’ll fight. However, there will be times where you will bump into the same bosses if you do a lot of the dungeons. Also, there were some dungeons that didn’t include a boss fight to change up the pace.
Character Building and Combat
The skill system was also nice to experience. It has a good balance of accessibility, and brainstorming. You can easily respec your abilities for the price of gold to experiment the many different skills on the fly without the fear of bricking your character for the endgame.
This skill system approach may seem inconsequential to the most avid Diablo II players. From my experience, if you want to create a well developed build to survive those dungeons, you definitely need to spend some time and look over the skill tree carefully.
The Diablo games have always had satisfying combat whether you are the one who wants to get up close and personal with a sword or spamming magical spells. Diablo IV is no different. All the abilities I’ve expertised in are very fun to use
It was a lot of fun to see new and familiar spells from the past titles. Out of all the abilities I’ve used, I believe my favorite one is the Call of the Ancients from the Barbarian. It is an ability that originated from Diablo III, but I think it’s more cooler to look at it in action in Diablo IV.
Not only that, it is an Ultimate ability for the Barbarian, and it’s a massive power spike for him once you unlock it.
This may be a beta, but there was so much to do when it comes to the gameplay aspect. Even though, I didn’t completely experienced everything, it still left me wanting more. That is because I’m wondering what the other dungeons, world events/bosses, and Strongholds would be like in the unexplored areas we have yet to see.
Graphics and Audio – A Smooth Diablo Experience
I played through the beta on my precious Xbox Series X, and as far as performance goes, it ran smoothly. I didn’t notice any frame rate drops while doing the endgame dungeons where the density of the mobs really does start to become crazy. Visually, the game looks decent.
Diablo IV doesn’t look like a game that’s designed to push the technology of this current consoles, but I think it still looks reasonable enough for a high budget title. Most of the time, the graphics really does shine when it comes to the environments you’re traversing.
Speaking of visual design, Diablo IV certainly feels like a Diablo game. There are definitely some grotesque looking areas while playing the game, and this is something that Diablo III really missed the ball despite having satisfying combat.
The beta also had a lot of snowy environments which I thought was cool to experience a lot because it reminds me of Act 5 from Diablo II which has always been one of my favorite acts to experience during a casual playthrough.
Overall, the diverse environments was nice to explore, and I look forward to seeing more of them in the full version.
The early access beta of Diablo IV was played on the Xbox Series X.