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  • Writer's pictureAlex O'Connor

Thoughts on Diablo IV

Now that I've had some time with Diablo IV in early access and finished the campaign, I wanted to discuss my thoughts on the game.

Spoilers follow for Diablo IV.

Diablo IV was my most anticipated game of 2023 and, in many ways, it lived up to the hype, but in many ways, it also let me down.

First off, I want to discuss the campaign which presented an illusion of choice all throughout the game. Lilith wanted you the player to join her and take over Sanctuary. Throughout the campaign the choice is offered and each time, the player character rejects the offer. This important choice for the story was not given to the player to decide if they wanted to join Lilith or not. Instead, the illusion of the choice was present throughout the story which ultimately did not let you decide what to do. My main experience with the Diablo franchise is Diablo III which I played frequently and enjoyed. I also played Diablo II briefly. While neither of these games present you with any story choices to make, things can change in a game franchise over time. Diablo IV’s story waived the choice to join Lilith or not in your face the entire time to just have you take down Lilith in the end.

Which is a shame as I would have joined the Blessed Mother. She made some compelling points.

The gameplay is solid throughout presenting some challenging moments. If I never have to fight Duriel again, I would be okay with that. I am a member of the Dad Gaming Diablo clan and I saw many people posting on how they had no issues while others were posting about having issues. I was 50/50 on having issues with difficulty as some parts were simple and others were a nail bitter. Many people were using build guides online which I didn’t want to use personally as I wanted to have an all-fire sorcerer. After increasing the world tier difficulty, I ended up looking up a guide to find out that an all-fire build for a sorcerer was one of the weakest, if not the weakest, builds in the game to an already squishy class. This was heavily disappointing to me and once again brings up that illusion of choice. You can play how you want, but you are going to be penalized for that. By that I mean that I found almost no gear to support the fire abilities of a sorcerer, only a piece or two, and had to rely on the abilities I got for completing dungeons. The game heavily caters to the shock or ice abilities that the sorcerer can have. Still, I want to commit to my all-fire build until I have to give in to a build guide that I foresee myself having to do if I want to continue playing the game solo without any difficulty.

I haven’t tested out the multiplayer yet, cooperative, or competitive. For a game like Diablo, I have no interest whatsoever in the competitive multiplayer. Cooperative multiplayer in Diablo III was fun and I expect it to be no different in Diablo IV. I wanted to finish the main campaign first before jumping into any type of multiplayer. However, I did help one of my fellow clan mates with a dungeon boss. That was a few minutes of playtime and not enough to form a solid opinion on how cooperative multiplayer handles.

Aside from the gripes that I have concerning the story and toon builds, Diablo IV is a solid game when it comes to gameplay mechanics, the overall sound of the game, and how the game looks. The graphics for the game look amazing and the gory sounds add to the dark atmosphere of Sanctuary.

As it stands right now having played the game for forty hours or so, I would recommend Diablo IV for ARPG fans. I will wait until I hit the eighty-hour mark and of course test the other gameplay features before I begin to form a full review of the game. From what I’ve read from other people, the eighty-hour mark seems to be the make or break moment on if you truly like Diablo IV or not.

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