He was vilified, insulted, despised. From its loud announcement at Blizzcon 2018 to its official release in June 2022, it has had a number of missteps in terms of communication and more. When it launched, its monetization system was so controversial that players shouted their displeasure with a review barrage at least as aggressive as the prices charged in the in-game store. How much is Diablo Immortal really worth? Is it made for hardcore fans? Is it designed for neophytes? Can we have fun without spitting in the bassinet? We will try to answer all these questions in our test video.
The pages are burning in hell
Resurrected by Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase, Diablo lands for the first time in his reign in the mobile platforms of the market. In this episode designed for smartphones that takes place between the events of the second and third parts, the minions of absolute evil want to find the fragments of the corrupted World-Stone to bring back the Lord of Terror. The adventurers have the mission to stop this terrible plan traveling the world of Sanctuary, alone or accompanied. The scenario, which is developed by going to talk to the characters and completing missions, goes on quite well in the end because we remind you that we are in a Hack’n slash.
Our reserves are mainly in the main mission objectives. that most of the time they are reduced to NPCs that ask to activate such a switch, to meet such a character, in short, to do thankless tasks that make us go through the different areas of the game. Nothing really repulsive, don’t worry, but with that typing, you’ll probably want to quickly skip the dialogue to focus on the search marker. Which isn’t a problem for an action game where you just have to pummel armies of monsters, although there are sometimes little puzzles that require you to exercise your gray matter.
Handsome as hell
If you have a fairly new smartphone or a fairly capable tablet, Diablo Immortal will be quite. The mobile version is really easy on the eyes. We tested on a Samsung Galaxy S20, and the graphics are beautiful, as well as smooth when the servers are not overloaded. Which is a bit of a feat, because generally games of this scale have a lot of slowdowns on mobile. Additionally, it displays detailed textures along with well-managed lighting effects. On its run, Diablo Immortal sits at the top of the basket of the best games available on mobile, we’re not afraid to say.
Nevertheless, if you have a PC and plan on roaming the lands of Sanctuary on your good old computer, know that the version of Diablo Immortal looks like an emulated version of what’s on the smartphone. On screen, it’s even less successful than Diablo III, which was released 10 years ago! This is largely due to the lack of graphical options, since, for example, it is not possible to choose the screen resolution. This PC version is in beta, it may need some updates before it’s worth it. At the moment, it mostly looks like a patch designed to let historical fans of the license play the game on PC. Fans who are suddenly not happy with the lack of finish on this version.
We’ll quickly go over the soundtrack, which is made up of music that adequately covers the action and sets a good mood. Some compositions are a bit reminiscent of what can be heard in Witcher III, which is not a bad reference, you will admit. As for the sounds used, they mostly come from Diablo III, as do the graphic resources and the monsters encountered.
Devil in the pocket, who answers finger and eye.
Diablo Immortal is neither more nor less than a Diablo 3 “lite” designed for mobile devices, although it can also be played on PC, as you know, and takes place in a shared world with other players going about their business alone or with others. In the shoes of a barbarian, a crusader, a monk, a demon hunter, a wizard or a necromancer, you must use the skills available -linked to your class- to destroy the armies of the enemies and thus advance in the story, win experience and gain access to better equipment. With thoughtful touch controls, the Blizzard Entertainment app accepts Bluetooth devices. In this setup, the player benefits from real joysticks and “hard” buttons to press to hit and swing spells. The fact that the abilities are activated by “cooldowns”, that is, actions that recharge after a certain period of time, instead of magical energy, mana, brings a good dynamism to the confrontations and offers a touch of strategy.
All of this gives the Blizzard title an action MMORPG look. and although it is still a Hack’n slash, Diablo Immortal does not offer a talent tree on which to distribute characteristic points, nor runes to modify abilities. Yes, the app seeks simplicity at the risk of offending historical fans of the genre.. Fully designed for casual gamers who play games from time to time on their smartphones, this Diablo offers relatively short quests to complete, 15 minutes on average, numerous saves, auto-walk to objectives, and frequent teleport points.
A business that is not a model
If the progression to level 31 is done easily following the scenario, things get complicated later on. Starting at level 30, the player must reach specific levels, first 35, 40, then 43, 46, 51, etc., to unlock the rest of the story. A mechanism often used in free-to-play games to force users to explore the corners of the universe, log in daily to collect bonuses, and possibly spend some money on the Battle Pass. So doing Ancient Rifts, finding bonuses, redoing dungeons, and tirelessly completing Battle Pass objectives is necessary to hope to progress. Maybe that’s when some casual gamers get away. Diablo Immortal’s monetization is so invasive and designed to waste money that it alone explains the poor feedback the game has suffered.
First of all, Diablo Immortal’s monetization system is complex. There are many currencies and there are many ways to spend your money. Loot boxes are present and prove to be the fastest way to access legendary content. The very difficult Legendary Gems to obtain without spending money and the Rifts to level up for real dollars are evidence that Blizzard and NetEase have injected a lot of monetization into the many veins of Diablo. To the point where all the mechanics put in place to slow down progression are irritating. Yes, a paying player will progress drastically faster in optimizing his gear than a warrior with no money, which is a problem in PvP. When the “real” game begins, that is, when you have to find legendaries to constitute the final construction, spending euros is encouraged so much that it becomes difficult not to do it otherwise. and that’s ugly. However, Diablo Immortal still offers a good experience for players willing to refuse to buy anything. Yes, the multiple activities offered by the app can be done without spending a dime.
Although it is classic in what it offers and is inspired by many other productions, the famous Hack’n slash in its pocket MMORPG version has effective gameplay and successful technique on mobile devices. It’s especially the excessive monetization, both ubiquitous and obscure, that greatly tempers our enthusiasm, albeit usual for a NetEase game. Passed a course, the engaging adventure sinks into the grueling grinds of the free-to-play hardcore MMO.
If you’re new to Diablo, love Immortal, and get to the end of the main quest, opt for Diablo 3 or wait for Diablo 4, rather than risk losing too much with that mobile version’s metagame. If you really don’t mind having legendaries and just want to play an accessible action RPG in the Diablo universe, alone or with other players, Diablo Immortal will give you what you came for, and this for free.