Diablo 4 was the subject of a long presentation during the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase. The least we can say is that this new episode has convinced the fans. Blizzard seized the opportunity to restore the image of the franchise after the stormy release on mobile and PC of the much criticized Diablo Immortal. Is this the redemption of the saga?
A premium adventure
Diablo Immortal, the spin-off of Blizzard Entertainment’s famous saga, has been available on mobiles and PC since June 2, 2022, and the reception from players and the press has been cold, not to say freezing. However, this Hack ‘n’ Slash merges the best of Diablo II and Diablo III, namely an artistic direction with “dark” tones and nervous gameplay. Blizzard’s title is also showing great generosity with no less than 30 hours of play before seeing the limits of a system based on… tune!
You guessed it. Diablo Immortal’s business model is the source of anger among gamers, and they’re making it known by practicing review bombing. To put it simply, players express their displeasure by assigning a very low rating. The iOS version of Diablo Immortal boasts a scathing “user score” of 0.5/10 on MetaCritic. It’s even worse on PC where the user rating does not exceed 0.2/10. It must be said that the economic model of Diablo Immortal is particularly aggressive. According to content creator Bellular News, you’d have to spend the “modest” sum of US$110,000 just to max out your character.
Without waiting, the Diablo community fell head over heels for the spin-off, and rightly so, despite the obvious playful qualities. What about Diablo IV? Will the next main episode follow Immortal’s path? The answer is no. Diablo 4 will be sold out and will be released in 2023 on PC and consoles with a ton of content to be expected. Blizzard Entertainment is even considering expansions. Here are the comments posted on Twitter by Adam Fletcher, the Global Community Lead on the Diablo series:
Diablo 4 is released for the price of a full video game developed solely for PC and console audiences. The content of the game is extensive, and there will be tons of post-launch content for all players. Paid content will be reserved for optional cosmetic items and full expansions. More information to come soon!
A legit sequel
Diablo IV is the direct sequel to Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and actually takes place after the events of the last main episode. The world of Sanctuary lives in relative peace, blamed on the fragments of the Black Soulstone, as life resumes its course. However, cultists seeking power summon the daughter of Mephisto. Lilith, already seen in Diablo II, thus becomes the main antagonist of this new episode. His presence, even lurking in the shadows, darkens the hearts of the beings who inhabit the realm. Faced with the return of darkness, a handful of chosen ones take up arms to fight this new threat.
These heroes stand out because of their angelico-demonic filiation. In effect, these warriors destined to protect the kingdom are Nephalem, a powerful race born from the relationship between the angel Inarius and the demoness Lilith. These two all-powerful entities behind the creation of the Kingdom of Sanctuary have come into conflict in the past. Seeing her children threatened, Lilith attempted to destroy their opponents… which forced Inarius to banish her into the void. Mephisto’s daughter is now back.
While Diablo Immortal strives to fill in the gaps left in the Diablo saga timeline, and shed new light on the period between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III, Diablo IV continues the story of Sanctuary and opens up a whole new, more down-to-earth chapter of Nephalem life.these legendary beings dedicated to defending the kingdom against the threat posed by their demonic descendant.
Diablo pure juice
Diablo is the perfect marriage between highly intense action sequences and complex role-playing game mechanics. Diablo IV promises to be all of these and more. Blizzard Entertainment does not seem to want to distort the formula, quite the contrary, but to refine it, enrich it. We’ll come back to what’s new in Diablo IV a bit later. Let’s focus for the moment on what makes the DNA of the franchise. Make no mistake about it, Diablo 4 is indeed a Hack ‘n’ Slash in the purest tradition. Whether in terms of its playful and narrative structures, the rise of avatars and of course the loot, this new episode embraces the vision of its predecessors.
Level campaign scripted, the return of Lilith does not bode well for our heroes. Blizzard Entertainment artists have always been able to highlight their universe through breathtaking cinematics, and the opposite would be surprising on Diablo fourth of the name. As for the fights, fans of epic games will be served. From what we have seen, the bestiary looks varied and particularly tough. Your skills as a warrior and tactician as well as your deep desire to survive may be put to the test. For the more adventurous, the End Game, a must in the series, promises to be just as extensive and epic as the main adventure.
Let’s talk a bit about the visual aspect of Diablo IV. After surprising fans with an art direction that fans called “too” colorful on Diablo III, Blizzard artists have darkened the whole thing slightly on Diablo Immortal. Diablo IV goes back to the source… Diablo II and its graphics inspired by Dark Fantasy. The fans demanded a gothic and mature universe. One thing is certain, their grievances have been heard. Diablo IV “finally” joins the dark side, and it is not to displease us.
The way of the hero
Diablo IV is equipped at its release, scheduled as a reminder during the first half of 2023, with five classes. The Witch, the Druid, the Barbarian and the Thief are joined by the Necromancer. The announcement was made during the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022. Five classes therefore for five very different destinies, because in Diablo the path matters as much as the destination. The adventure begins with the selection of an archetype among those we have just mentioned. Already present in one or more Diablo games, these classes will of course be reworked by Blizzard.
Casting spells, summoning creatures and curses, letting your omnipotence speak in close combat, attacking from a distance or even transforming into an animal… the choice is yours. Of course, customization of the hero or heroine and its rise in power are at the heart of the experience concocted by Blizzard Entertainment. According to the developers, the RPG dimension has never been so “absolute”. It is now possible to create your character and modify its aesthetics via numerous options. The loot, which is always so central and probably generous, determines the styles of play adopted by the heroes of the kingdom of Sanctuary.
A true MMO
All games with the Diablo seal are structured around a central hub, rifts and a series of semi-open areas to explore. For the first time in its history, Blizzard’s saga tears down the walls of its universe and gives players an open world to explore according to the missions… or not for that matter. Adventurers are invited to liberate territories, participate in random events, roam over 150 dungeons and uncover the mysteries of the realm of Sanctuary. Another good news and not the least, Diablo 4 is fully playable with 1 to 4 players onlineand the multiplayer dimension does not stop there.
This Hack ‘n’ Slash is cross play and cross-save. Understand here that you can play between PC and console players and that your progress is transferred from one platform to another. In addition, Blizzard Entertainment is doubling down by integrating World Boss and other world events. All players on the server are then invited to join the area and cooperate massively in order to defeat gigantic monsters together. Sanctuary becomes here a shared world where the players are. Diablo IV turns into social experiment fully fledged.
Added to this is the creation of clans, a ranking system and above all the Player versus Player. By eliminating other players, the hero in question obtains the title of Champion and in fact becomes a target to be killed by all those present on the server. And as if that weren’t enough, the title is playable for two locally, on home consoles only. Building on the experience acquired on Diablo Immortal, Blizzard Entertainment is pushing the MMO aspect (for massively multiplayer online game) even further with Diablo IV.
Diablo IV will be released in 2023 on PC and home consoles and could well mark the return to grace of the Blizzard saga.