When Diablo was initially released, it essentially created the looter genre. The endless chase and robust mechanics made an addicting experience that has stood the test of time. Decades later, Blizzard Entertainment released the fourth installment, poised to take the experience to the next level. Given the last title had a rough start, not to mention several beloved companies making divisive choices, is Diablo IV an excellent addition, or is the franchise better left untouched?
Taking place after the events of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the story follows your adventure to track down the infamous demon Lilith. Most of your time will be spent chasing after her and seeing the devastation she left in her wake. It isn’t the most engaging story, but it’s nice how Diablo IV focuses on world-building over a centralized plot.
Is This a Bad Thing?
This choice makes the endless side quests more interesting since they add to the larger whole. Often they tell different stories, add insight into the world or give players a reason to explore everything. It adds much to the core adventure, significantly enhanced by gameplay elements.
To put it simply, Diablo IV is a lot of fun. There are many places to explore, optional dungeons to loot, and events to overcome. It doesn’t feel like half the game is present; if anything, it feels somewhat overwhelming with the seemingly endless number of things to do. This feeling will dissipate over time, but it’s enough to carry the adventure for the foreseeable future. At that point, there will potentially be new content where the cycle begins again.
Even when I get sidetracked, optional tasks stand out by being the right difficulty balance. I’ll get swarmed by enemies, forcing me to either have the plan to escape or use my skills to best them in combat. There is never a shortage of things to kill, making every encounter extremely engaging. It also helps that loot is almost too plentiful compared to similar experiences.
Eventually, I couldn’t pick up gear below rare due to limited storage space. If I picked up everything, it wasn’t uncommon to have all my slots full before finishing a dungeon. This also plays into some of the best aspects of Diablo IV.
There is never a sense that your grind is done. There is always better loot to discover, especially once you get an idea of your build. Finding items that boost levels allows more skill points to be invested in passive skills, increasing your overall potential. Those uninterested in the ultimate dream of power still have other ways to achieve vast power. Certain perks, such as All Stats, can be game-changing.
All these options allow players to control their experience without being bogged down by a single path to greatness. It’s also possible to reroll enchantments, take certain perks off legendary gear, and find other ways to make the grind more manageable.
Such Helpful Information!
While many of these things are expected for Diablo, and honestly, the genre, Diablo IV stands out by being a more accessible version of the experience players love. Many beloved mechanics are already present, such as transmog, or just simplifying the user experience.
Instead of wondering what they must do or constantly searching for online guides, players are told the pertinent information. Let’s say I want the random Codex of Power mentioned above. I know the task needed, Derelict Lodge, along with the location. After that, it’s a simple matter of looking at my map and finding the icon, and even then, I can eliminate a good number of options by simply seeing if they’ve been looted. It’s small things like this that make the experience quite engaging.
Playing with friends is also a lot of fun. I contacted one of my buddies, who was a bit further than me, with the core experience feeling good on both sides. Everything felt like a good challenge, so assisting me wasn’t quite detrimental to their experience, nor did it eliminate any challenge from mine.
Diablo IV Review Verdict
Diablo IV: I wouldn't say Diablo IV reinvents the wheel, but I wouldn't say it needs to. The core experience is quite fun that is just a pleasurable experience. Add in the endless amounts of content, the ability to play as multiple different classes, and upcoming changes, and it should be a safe choice for anyone looking for their looter fix. Especially if they love everything, Diablo has to offer. So if you're on the fence, there is no better time to join than now. – Mark