There is no release date for Diablo 4, but Blizzard has allowed the press to see an early – and very limited – build of the game.
After a week with this build, we have a good idea of what the game is about and what players can look forward to when it finally releases.
You start with character creation, and there are a surprising number of options for a Diablo game.
It’s not on par with Cyberpunk 2077 or Elden Ring, but it’s a positive change for the series.
You then sit through a couple of cutscenes, which we’re not allowed to talk about, before being thrown into the world of Sanctuary.
Where previous Diablo games felt dark and menacing, D4’s Sanctuary takes it to a whole new level with the sense of foreboding.
It’s tense at every moment and more akin to a horror game than a typical Diablo title.
Visually, it keeps the cartoon-like style, but everything feels more hostile and dismissive.
The sound design also plays a major role, because in the distance the wind is howling and trees are creaking.
Steps are heavier than before, conveying a sense of danger and urgency. You have to go places, kill monsters, and yet Diablo 4 asks you to be very careful.
Once you’ve learned the basics of combat, the game will open and Sanctuary is a massive world that invites players to explore.
You’ll head to your next objective only to be distracted by a dungeon or a winding path, and in that regard it feels more like Diablo 2 than other games in the series.
It digs up the nostalgia of those Diablo best days in combat, atmosphere, and design, which likely has something to do with Blizzard’s recent overhaul of it.
Still, Diablo 4 has refined the old style of combat and put things together in a way that makes sense.
It’s dynamic and still has a sense of weight and strategy. If you hit something, you know you’ve hit it, and if something hits you, you’ll be very accurately informed.
Three of the five classes were available in the preview build; the barbarian, the sorcerer and the scoundrel.
The Necromancer and Druid will be available at launch, but we chose the Wizard for its ranged magic.
There’s a subclass system that lets you follow three different skill paths depending on your playstyle, so each class is versatile.
However, we were also limited to 25 of the 100 levels available, so we couldn’t see exactly how each path unfolded.
With all the limitations, it was difficult to give an estimate of what the final game will be like.
Not being able to access the mount restricted our movement, although Blizzard stated that this will only be a late-game option anyway.
We could only reach Fractured Peaks, a mountainous, snowy region teeming with wolves.
Each area is said to have unique biome-specific monsters, which unfortunately we weren’t able to encounter.
Since we don’t have a release date, we don’t know how much more refinement can happen between this preview and release; Still, Blizzard seems to be on the right track.
If things continue like this, Diablo 4 could be one of the best in the series.
Written by Oliver Brandt and Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9869393/diablo-4-preview-a-darker-take-on-the-devil/ Diablo 4 Preview: A Darker Version of the Devil