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Needs improvement: first impressions of the Diablo 4 beta - voila! The gaming channel


If we ignore the bugs and server problems, Diablo 4 mostly offers the same experience that past games offer. Some will connect, but we don't think this is what will bring the series back to its greatness

Many thanks to Adli United for providing us with the beta review copy

Watch the Diablo IV trailer

Diablo IV (Blizzard)

As a longtime fan of the Diablo series, I was eagerly anticipating the opportunity to participate in the Diablo 4 closed beta test that took place this past weekend. The series has come a long way. The launch and disappointment of Diablo 3, the announcement of (the infamous) Diablo Immortal for mobile and of course - the disappointment of it. I was curious if Activision-Blizzard could still understand the fans (the few they have left) and the genre they more or less created.Unfortunately, my overall experience with the beta was quite disappointing.

Diablo IV (photo: official website, Blizzard)

What is a beta without bugs?

The bugs and technical problems the game had were predictable.

After all, it's an early beta.

We had everything from game crashes, visual bugs, slow loading times, network issues, etc.

It's rare for beta versions to have bugs, but in this case the number of glitches and issues made the whole experience extremely frustrating and very difficult to enjoy.

Diablo IV (photo: official website, Blizzard)

Gameplay that remains stuck in place

The gameplay itself also left a lot of room for improvement.

The whole thing hasn't innovated too much and it mostly feels like a new coat of paint to the mechanics of Diablo 2, (and I'm sure there are those who will take that as a positive thing), without significant improvements to the famous formula and style that gave birth to an entire genre.

But I'm sure that, unlike me, there will be those who will take it as a positive thing.

Because let's face it: Diablo 2 was and remains excellent.

For me, the battle system lacked excitement and challenge, with their biggest addition being an active dodge button with an unimpressive jump forward animation.

I was hoping for more innovation and creativity from the game, but it felt like the developers were playing it safe here and with a design conservatism bordering on laziness, when even the biggest innovations for Diablo 4 are features we've seen in the genre for years.

It is important to note that in beta you can only go up to level 25.

All the equipment you get will only go to the additional open beta that will take place this coming weekend. This means that as soon as you start a new game, your character and all the stats and equipment will be reset.

Diablo IV (photo: official website, Blizzard)

Also, to justify the constant need for an internet connection throughout the game, make Diablo 4 even more of an MMORPG than it already was, and now you'll constantly see other players on the server when you're in town.

From time to time you will also see them on the open world map, you can participate together in random events that take place outside the dungeons, chat with each other and join a group to explore dungeons and story quests together.

Graphically the game looks... okay.

Not amazing.

Not bad, just ok, there is a situation that is even a little disappointing, especially when it comes to character design that feels outdated.

I've seen many games that came after Diablo that had a much stronger and more interesting art direction, where the equipment on the character looked good both during gameplay and during transition scenes.

Diablo IV (photo: official website, Blizzard)

Another problem with the beta was the lack of content.

While this was only a small part of the game, it felt repetitive and boring after a while.

For example, the dungeons and missions felt uninspired and lacked variety, and after only one hour of play I felt and saw how the various parts of the dungeons and the random map (a Diablo hallmark) were repeating themselves.

Even the structure of the dungeons started to feel predictable.

They didn't even let us experience all the classics properly, and in the beta there were a total of 3 classics out of 6. Until they bring back the great droid from Diablo's expansion (2 Lord of destruction) I have to wait for the open beta and the even more massive server load, so it's worth trying it and the Necromancer .

And yes, I know it's really petty.

In the meantime you can play a barbarian, a rogue and a magician.

Diablo IV (photo: official website, Blizzard)

And of course all the missions are "go there, kill it" in different variations.

It didn't feel like the game offered anything new or exciting, which made it hard to stay engaged.

It is true that this is Diablo's style, but today it does not feel enough.

Especially after everything we have experienced and seen in the market since then.

The only quest type that required "thinking" was taken directly from Alden Ring.

Only without a fraction of the grace, refinement and challenge that the original offered.

Despite these claims, there were some fun things in the beta.

The sound design is great, the dubbing is excellent and the sound of the capabilities is crunchy, powerful and satisfying.

And there were some interesting ideas that could be expanded upon in the full game, such as the mage's battle system that allows unused spells to be turned into passive abilities.

However, these positive points just weren't worthwhile enough to make you want to return to those icy mountains of the first act.

Diablo IV (photo: official website, Blizzard)

In conclusion

Overall, my experience with the Diablo 4 beta left me disappointed and frustrated.

While it's possible that the finished game will be much better, the beta didn't give me much hope.

The Diablo series may have built the genre on its own, but right now it mostly feels like a More of The Same situation, instead of trying new and intriguing ideas.

If you expect the fourth game to change the picture and return Diablo to its past greatness, it probably won't happen.

I just hope the developers take the feedback they got from the beta and make significant improvements before the full game is released.

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Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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