Diablo IV Honest Review

After spending countless hours on Diablo 4 it’s time to give my honest review without holding any punches. There will be some “spoilers” later down in this review, so in case you don’t want to know anything come back after you have completed the main story. Right now the game is available on consoles and also for PC, which will be the basis of this review – you can pick a Digital Deluxe Edition (79,99€), Ultimate Edition (99,99€), or Standard version (69,99€) to get started with your journey, however, there are some lower prices on Kinguin as well… but hey lets actually start talking about this game itself now.

Improving on the Old

Looking back on the Diablo III release which was quite messy as I recall it and obviously, there was a critique about legendary items being garbage and PvP not ready on launch among other issues. I believe they were also supposed to release an additional expansion for it, but that was eventually scrapped because Reaper of Souls not being successful commercially. We can’t obviously forget Real Money Auction House (RMAH) which in my opinion was a revolutionary concept and ultimately pro-consumer, but since Blizzard has fostered a pseudo-socialist player base they didn’t like it and eventually forced their hand to remove it. I guess we could say it was ahead of its time and I wish it had stuck around longer so I could have profited more from grinding it.

What is different from Diablo III? 

  • Instead of Linear Zones broken down into Act’s now you have an Open World map that is openly traversable almost from the beginning with a couple of zones that are only accessible after you progress in the story.
  • Actual side missions, treasures, altars, optional dungeons, events, World Bosses, and other things to explore outside of the main story quests.
  • You can get a mount now which you can use in cities and also outside of dungeons to travel in the world faster a feature that didn’t exist in any previous Diablo game.
  • Skill Tree is a lot more complex and has a lot of traits and elements that were not present in previous games, also when you hit Level 50 you can access paragon nodes which brings another form of customization in this game.
  • Act I & II can be done in any order you desire basically allowing a bit more options on how you progress in the game..
  • The potion system has been revamped
  • A clan system has been added, but very barebones as of right now.
  • There is no Auction house in the game, just vendors basically – but you can still give items to people by dropping them off if you are in the same zone or party.

The World & Story are also a lot more darker and serious than they were in Diablo III For instance which is a great thing. Almost in every level, the game feels more advanced and better compared to its predecessors.

Gameplay & Class Experience

Overall gameplay experience with Diablo IV is great, there aren’t really any major bugs or server issues outside of a couple of times the boss ends up just staying and idling as I keep spamming attacks on them. Blizzard never really had any issues when it came to optimization outside of the clusterfuck that was known as Warcraft III Reforged obviously. What is cool is that classes do feel different from each other in the weapons they use and skills, but also they have unique class quests that other classes cannot do. It’s too early to comment on actual balance because most people aren’t doing PvP yet and meta hasn’t emerged, but it’s safe to say that some classes probably are better in PvP than others and some are better at farming mobs fast.

I mostly played around with Sorcerer and Necromancer, but I did try all five classes and I do believe Blizzard probably has the plans to bring up Amazon, Monk & Crusader/Paladin at some stage or perhaps even create a completely new class. There is a way to play most characters as ranged but also as melee, there are kinda three different specs that each class have such as Necromancer with blood, bones, and shadow.

There are plenty of settings and options you can play around with in the game too, but there are some key things missing like support for WASD controls (Support coming soon allegedly) or allowing you to see the health of your minions for instance in a convenient way. I also don’t remember seeing color-blind mode being their option either, but these are minor things.

Quality of Life Changes Missing in Diablo IV 
 – WASD Support on PC (Coming soon…)
 – Mount Access Earlier
 – Need more PvP Zones at least one with a different layout
 – Legendary Aspects need icon changes for respective classes
 – Clan system doesn’t have enough customization
 – Proper Character customization (See below)
 – Random Generated dungeons (not that hard to do)
 – World Bosses spawn too infrequently

But that’s what I gotta say about the QoL stuff that pops into my head for now. Maybe there could have been some more advanced options on tooltips and having to toggle the comparison tab each time I log in to the game is freaking annoying.

Wardrobe & Mount Customization

One of the things Blizzard put emphasis on this time around is to improve the aspect of customizing your armor and weapons with different color pigments and looks. This is something they had in WoW and they are bridging that over here, something that they did a lot with Diablo IV when you look at all of the new aspects of it. By smelting armor and weapons, you basically unlock different variants which can be changed without a cost, you have multiple ensembles but that will have gold cost to them if you want to see more. Also by doing PvP and other quests, you will be unlocking some of these cosmetics too, so it’s not just limited to smelting.

Character is not the only thing you can customize, On top of this you have the ability to change your mount (once you unlock it at the start of Act IV) the Pre-order came out with a nice Horse model, but I wish we would see those black camels as rideable options, well maybe they throw them in on the season pass who knows…

Fatness was Never cool Blizzard and it Never will be…

Someone has to drop a truth bomb about the Blizzards BBW fetish that they have developed since the beginning of World of Warcraft. Pushing for body positivity is a net negative for society altogether and the idea that we are limited to playing a fat version of a barbarian or a druid in a game is just a repulsive concept. Blizzard’s character customization screen In WoW is very far behind most other MMOs from the West and Asia especially, the idea that I can create the body type I want and boob size, etc. is part of the important immersion to me and others.

This relentless pandering to fat people and the LGBT crowd on Blizzard’s side is feeling more cringe as time goes on. The only people who want to play as fat characters are doing it for the comedy factor or are in absolute denial about their own weight situation.

Luckily this trend hasn’t really migrated to other gaming companies and games, it seems to be stuck mostly at Blizzard for now and perhaps if we keep pushing Blizzard on this they will eventually yield and bring the option to change the body type of all characters.

An Overhyped Story? <SPOILERS>

So Diablo IV is great at building out a dark atmosphere with a decent soundtrack and some cinematic flavor – but that doesn’t mean the core aspects of its story & plot are amazing. Lately, a lot of people are adapting this Game Of Thrones style writing meta where you are gonna introduce a bunch of characters, but you actually going to end up killing 95% of them by the end of the story and that’s what Blizzard thought was the concept of great storytelling.

Almost every minor/side character that gets introduced actually dies in the game. The reason why we have characters in general (well-written ones) is to make them go through character development and when it’s major characters they will usually go a few arcs themselves. If you kill a character that puts a closure into their arc and you cannot develop them further unless they return as ghosts, undead, zombies, vampires or just resurrected (which is not something that they do here technically). Characters can be written off in many ways like escaping the country, going into a coma, becoming blind, or being paralyzed for instance – death is not the only way to bring an end to a character.

I Do like the beginning of the story, there is a good introduction to Lilith and there is a shroud of mystery, but that is unveiled too early on and the plot spirals into a very predictable conclusion around Act 2/3 in the game. The Wolf ended up being Mephisto was the biggest twist that this game delivered and that’s where it ends really, even the confrontation between Inarius and Lilith was kinda lame because Inarius was so undeveloped in terms of the story, he literally made only one appearance prior to that fight, so we didn’t get to understand him that much or learn to know him and his behavior.

Blizzard threw too much stuff at sidequests which could’ve been easily part of the main storyline there to develop certain characters instead. Do I really give a fuck about Donan more because he went on an Ayahuasca trip in the swamps? I Don’t… because he’s grieving the loss of his son which we barely got to know ourselves In the story. If Yorin (Donan’s son) was introduced in Act 1 already we might actually care about him more, but his stay was very brief in the first place. What makes characters iconic is really how they stand out and how they look, obviously, Diablo IV has a more realistic approach here so some characters don’t have a distinct silhouette that makes them appear very different. The issue obviously is that people only remember Deckard Cain and the Prime Evils (Among the archangels too) and most of them being dead already brings out this issue of building characters that are there to stay in the franchise.

So What about the Season Pass and the Ingame Real Money Shop?

To simply rate the prices on the Diablo IV in-game store I would say they are pretty kosher. Some of the sets are priced at ~25€ which includes usually 5 item pieces and then there are some cheaper options too that will include fewer items. Far as I understood the price of a season pass will be at ~10€ and Blizzard is planning to include four seasons per year, so breaking it down to three months each there is an option for the Accelerated Premium tier which will be priced at ~25€ that allows players to skip 20 tiers of the battle pass and get additional extra cosmetic.

Season 1 will begin in mid to late July, and to embark on this next chapter, you must first complete the Campaign. Because of this, we recommend you begin your pursuit of Lilith in advance so you can jump into the first Season as soon as it becomes available. ~ Blizzard Dev Post

Don’t worry there is also a FREE version of the Season Pass so you don’t have to throw money each time a new one pops out. However, even if you buy a season pass sadly you are not going to be able to buy the next season’s pass with the rewards you have, unlike in Fortnite and some other games that have adopted the battle pass model in the past.

Overall I feel the price point of the game itself and its content are very high and it’s gonna turn off a lot of people from the game, even if there is solid backslash regarding it blizzard won’t budge and rather let the ship sink than swallow their pride and lower the costs.

Final Thoughts on Diablo IV

When you look at this game on a holistic level it’s pretty great it has good graphics, is well optimized, the soundtrack is solid, and the gameplay is refreshing with different classes and some quest variety while also keeping you interested to change and rework your build. The issues that the game has are pretty minuscular and Blizzard can in theory overcome them, however, they won’t likely change their policy regarding the prices of their cosmetics (they have never done that).

Time will tell how the late-game content will pan out and will the battle pass turn out to be fiasco? We know that they are working on two expansions for Diablo IV right now and I’m really hoping they will be putting a bit more effort into transforming the dialogue into proper cutscenes than isometric hand signaling and babbling. It’s unlikely that there will be any sales for the game anytime soon outside of possible collab with Microsoft if the acquisition goes through.