Have microtransactions doomed Diablo to oblivion? Find out in our (ongoing) Blizzard game review.
Warning: this is an ongoing review. It includes the first impressions of the game under analysis, namely Diablo Immortal, but does not yet express a definitive evaluation. It will be updated later with the final verdict.
The launch of Diablo Immortal was not the best, given the amount of controversy that the game has brought with it. The Blizzard fantasy saga has certainly not returned in the best way for fans, the same ones who have already made their voices heard with a review bombing that has made, in fact, this new spin-off of the series intended primarily for platforms mobile one of the most hated games of the company.
Since the world began, it is true that those who despise buy, so much so that in the first seven days, Immortal has totalled some really important numbers managing to collect over 24 million dollars in consumer spending.
Starting as a free-to-play title, with a rather intelligent microtransaction system right at the centre of the fierce discussions among fans, the game has left its mark on the community. However, now the time has come, to sum up: is there any good in Diablo Immortal, or is it a video game unable to entertain, whose sole purpose is to fleece the poor users as much as I can?
Once upon a time, there was Diablo Immortal.
Let’s start by saying that Immortal is neither the successor of Diablo 3 (of which you can buy the Eternal Collection with fast delivery on Amazon) nor a game that wants to pair with the much more ambitious Diablo 4 coming out in the coming months.
In February of last year, after having had the opportunity to try the game and talk directly with Blizzard (here is our original article), the feeling of being able to have a strong product in your hands (both commercially and playfully) was quite strong, net of some distortions. Now, with the game available, things haven’t changed that much.
The free-to-play for smartphones and tablets – but with the possibility of playing it on PC in cross-play – aims to please and be pleased to all those “casual” users. They, with the Diablo franchise, have always had little to do, with the possibility of having fun wherever you want, either on a classic latest generation mobile phone or perhaps thanks to a more traditional gaming station.
Taking place five years after the events of the second episode and before the third, Immortal is, therefore, a sort of prequel useful to meet again known faces of the franchise, such as Deckard Cain and Charsi, as well as King Leoric, Baal, The Butcher. Everything kicks off in the traditional way, that is, with the ability to create a character by choosing the class and appearance before embarking on the real adventure. We can choose whether to be Barbarian, Monk, Wizard, Demon Hunter, Crusader or Necromancer before leaving for the dark universe of Sanctuary.
Each class has 12 abilities that can be automatically upgraded with level up or through objects that we will be able to recover along the way, with the ability to change everything before and during the clashes against our opponents. Lacking a real skill tree, the system does not appear particularly complex to manage – and perhaps not even as varied as one would expect – since each character will be similar to the others in terms of the powers and skills provided (and this is not a positive aspect, to be honest).
Furthermore, Diablo Immortal does not betray or deny its origin from a naked and raw mobile title: the interface is, in fact, expressly designed for touch controls, with the skills at the bottom right and a virtual joystick available to touch and positioned on the left side of the screen (there is, in any case, the possibility of using a compatible pad).
All this anticipates gameplay that does not betray the classic spirit of the series, going to approach what was seen with Diablo III but with crucial differences. The dodge is, in fact, completely fugitive, as well,l as the movements always and in any case appear slower and more reasoned than. To the furious and frantic fights seen in the third episode of the franchise.
This results in a game system that is pure Diablo, but which, in any case, also tries to please everyone who has close to the series for the first time.
Even the difficulty level is not prohibitive since the monsters will easily fall under our blows without giving us particular thoughts. The only situations of real danger are those dictated by mass attacks by opponents since not even the bosses at the end of the dungeon are particularly difficult to take down.
In a nutshell, Diablo Immortal is accessible to newbies, with a learning curve that highlights a “casual” experience designed for mobile devices. Furthermore, we are not talking about an open-world title such as it promises to be the next Diablo IV: the various areas that make up the game universe are interconnected and separated by short loads, with the possibility of moving more quickly thanks to the quick travel aid, unlockable from time to time.
Diablo Immortal, in name and fact
For the rest, Diablo Immortal is chock full of missions to face, whether primary or secondary: the initial village square will be useful for interacting with a large number of NPCs ready to entrust us with missions of various types, whether they focus on exterminating evil creatures. Or save some native lost in some little place to be reached in the shortest possible time.
The game, therefore, first of all, meets the lovers of single-player titles. However, Sanctuarium is also populated by other players connected online to the servers, ready to collaborate with us. Nothing prevents us from joining a group with another user present on our same server, from perhaps facing the same mission we are engaged in at that particular moment.
It is important to underline that by participating in groups of four players, the rewards will be significantly better, with a greater chance of finding legendary and non-legendary gems.
As for the graphic and artistic style, Diablo Immortal approaches Diablo II, including the fixed isometric view that will accompany us during our raids within the dark universe of the game. Moreover, who knows which latest generation device will not be needed, given that the Blizzard game manages to run very well even on relatively modest smartphones and tablets and without who knows how much RAM from them (here is the list of requirements for Android and iOS).
Similar speech in case you decide to play on PC, considering that who knows what recommended requirements will not be needed to be able to enjoy the game to the fullest of possibilities.
The “neo” of Diablo Immortal (if we can call it that) is related to microtransactions: recovering rare items is very difficult if we decide to play without spending real money.
By spending real money, you can obtain currencies and precious objects in large quantities, which is why it is obvious that the game pushes you to spend money with the promise of obtaining rare, legendary or other equipment faster.
It is also true that Diablo Immortal is also enjoyable for those who decide not to spend real money, perhaps having more luck in the loot or deciding to enjoy the game more slowly, with all the pros and cons of the case.