Diablo IV Review | As the fourth instalment in the series, Diablo IV takes us through the corruption of Sanctuary in an open-world action-adventure title where cultists have summoned Lilith – our main antagonist and notably the daughter of Mephisto. Taking place fifty years after the previous game, Diablo III – Reaper of Souls, it’s time to select your class as “the wanderer” and fight against the many evil entities that plague Sanctuary while being plagued with visions created by petals of blood from Lilith which undeniably creates a unique connection to her. It’s important to say that the main story is not the only content Diablo IV has to offer; side quests, dungeons, levelling, upgrades – Diablo IV has plenty for you to get stuck into. Blizzard Entertainment has created a phenomenal realm that possesses countless opportunities for each individual player; how you conquer evil and explore the world is entirely in your hands. Now, time to get into the details and let you know exactly how our experience was!
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Incredible campaign | Yes, call me a baby but I may have shed some tears during the Diablo IV campaign and found the entire experience beautifully brutal and wholesome. Yeah, that’s a combination. My emotions were all over the place with beautiful cutscenes playing an important role in following the story which heightened everything to a whole nother level. The campaign is broken into six acts and will make you explore each region of Sanctuary, giving you a complimentary mixture of quests to complete to progress your adventure. The length of the campaign is also perfect in my opinion, whether you do it all in one go or take breaks in-between. You’ll start off feeling vulnerable but gradually become empowered with the support of Sanctuary behind you and trust me when I say it’s not a story to be missed. Even when I’ve been given the choice to skip the campaign (unlocked once completed once) when creating a new character, I’ve decided against it. It’s just unbelievable.
- Variety and replayability | The replayability value of Diablo IV is very quick to represent itself in the form of difficulties and class selection as soon as you start the game. With five classes to choose from, it can take some time to find the class that fits your playstyle best. Even then, there is still more to explore with the gear you choose to equip and the abilities you assign to your character. These can be detrimental to your build but it’s easy to reassign your points by spending gold to try different approaches. You may find you take too much damage and want more survivability or you aren’t a fan of a particular skill. Either way, this can be changed almost immediately which is superb. As previously mentioned, gear should also be regularly changed when improvements are obtained but more on this in the next point.
- Upgrades and gear improvements | As you level up, you’ll unlock different vendors who can ultimately make your gear better and help you along your adventure whom I visited incredibly frequently. First comes The Blacksmith who can upgrade your gear at an increasing cost of materials and gold but also salvage unwanted gear and repair damaged gear. Next, there is The Jeweller who can add gem sockets to your gear which increase different stats depending on their colour and quality. Then there is The Occultist who can enchant your gear with and imprint earned aspects. Last but not least is The Alchemist which allows you to use materials to craft potions and elixirs with different effects. All of these have incredible benefits for your character; they should not be ignored or you may miss out on valuable upgrades. Valuable resources can be rare to come by so using them at the right time was the most important thing I kept in mind.
- Beautiful visuals | The cutscenes have to be the first thing I mention here as they were perfect and beyond outstanding. Their production value was second to none, making the story even more captivating to witness with their occasional appearance when it mattered most. As for the gameplay, for a top-down style of open world, I found that everything surrounding me had its place and gave the almost defenceless world its feelings of helplessness mixed with thriving communities who still shared the hope that Sanctuary would once again become peaceful. The colour palette sticks to more saturated hues which worked wonders with the world’s state; portraying that evil is trying to shut out the light and colour of those who reside in Sanctuary but with glimmers of colours providing the positivity everyone so desperately clings to. Diablo IV is just gorgeous in every way imaginable and allowed me to fight within its beauty.
- Open-world adventure | Whenever you fancy a change of pace or maybe want to break up your gameplay from the main campaign, dungeons and side quests can be tracked instead to give you something else to complete. I found this a great way to split up my objectives and explore other avenues, forcing me to explore previous hidden sections of my map. Dungeons are great fun because the layout, objectives, and enemies within them change and often are finished by slaying the boss within. By completing dungeons for the first time, you will obtain the specific rewards called a ‘Codex of Power’ so you’ll never leave empty-handed. Side quests are… Well, side quests – They often reward caches and XP if nothing else. You can also unlock waypoints which were extremely convenient when needing to fast travel, statues of Lilith for permanent stat bonuses, defeat strongholds for great renown – the list goes on. You’re never held down to one path – being able to explore and take whichever route you wish means the game accounts for everyone. Just be sure you’re strong enough before you get in way over your head!
- Audio and sound effects | The soundtrack that has been composed for Diablo IV is one of the most striking and impactful ones I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Its ambience made me connect with the world around me and without a doubt showcased the mood/setting of the current world state. Combined with the visuals, the audio in Diablo IV effortlessly creates an atmosphere I could only have hoped for. As for the sound effects, they were too flawless. The abilities I cast, the environmental sounds, ferocious enemies and destruction – all of them pieced together created a world full of audio stimuli in which I became fully immersed. Finally, there are the voiceovers; they didn’t disappoint either. With emotions flowing through the characters, the voice actors/actresses managed to capture the personality of their characters incredibly well with a few exceptions but even with these, they were still to a high standard.
- World tier and Difficulty | I must praise Diablo IV on how its difficulty system functions to give players the freedom to try out harder difficulties once they’ve been unlocked (condition requirement) but change back if they don’t feel able to handle the challenge. This is because there are four playable World Tiers – Adventurer, Veteran, Nightmare, and Torment – for you to climb up as your character level progresses should you want harder content with greater rewards. Levels generally tend to stay around the same level everywhere you go as when you level, so do your enemies around Sanctuary. Eventually, I think it’s necessary to change World Tier as the experience, gold, and loot rarity increase is too tempting to decline meaning you best be ready when you make the jump. Not only are the enemies stronger and healthier, but they will also have additional affixes to contend with. Then there is the hardcore option – also known as permadeath mode if you’re ready for the intensity that comes with it. In summary, there is a difficulty and choice to suit everyone making it great for newcomers or seasonal players.
- Multiplayer element | Having the ability and option to team up with your friends and conquer Sanctuary together is fantastic. The world of Diablo IV is “Online Only” which means you’ll consistently encounter other players on your open-world ventures which I believe brings the game together. Taking on events and enemies as a stronger unit can be incredibly beneficial but this is strictly in the world of Sanctuary; dungeons can only be completed with a party of players who enter together (maximum of four). Additionally, there is no need to worry about being under/over levelled compared to your friends as enemies will always scale to players individually. You could have a mixture of classes and play on your strengths or enter as a full squad of necromancers with your mass-scale skeletal army but either way, multiplayer is a brilliant inclusion. Oh, and who said it was all about being allies? If you’re a lone wolf and PvP is more your thing, you can enter the specific areas dedicated to PvP and prove yourself against other players.
- End-game content | After you complete the incredible campaign, there is still more content for you to complete should you wish to challenge yourself further. With the inclusion of World Tiers, grindy achievements, seasonal content, and increasingly harder enemies to contend with – you’ll have more than enough to keep you going. Plus, there are five classes to try and explore if you haven’t already. My gripe with the end-game content is it does feel somewhat repetitive as you’re ultimately doing the same content – Helltide Event, Nightmare/Ancestral dungeons, Tree of Whispers, World Bosses etc. over and over again to get the experience required to level up. Getting better gear suited to your character is always the way forward so you can fully utilise everything but getting there does get tiresome and can take pure dedication to the cause should you wish to exceed your build.
- Character customisation | Now I know I’m not the only one who loves some in-depth character creation and customisation so when I was greeted with choosing my class and deciding on their appearance, I was left feeling relatively deflated. Not only was there not a great deal to customise but there also wasn’t much choice in some categories – for example, having four face profiles to choose from was a massive letdown. Once within the game, you can edit some previously chosen cosmetics but, more importantly, you’re given the ability to change the look of your gear slots with transmogs. These aren’t just handed to you though – you must collect gear and salvage to unlock them, allowing you to equip and colour them to suit your aesthetic. On another negative though, the colouring has a preset collection, disabling the ability to change saturation and specific detailing. Perhaps I expected too much but I certainly expected more than the necessities we were given.
What we Disliked
- Frustrating bugs | Unfortunately, Diablo IV does have numerous bugs which can make the game incredibly irritating to play at times. Nobody wants to encounter issues with the gameplay but the majority of the time, there is always something – whether it’s minor or major. A couple of the problems I encountered within Diablo IV were being unable to engage with enemies even though their health bars were visible, the inability to lock onto enemies when casting abilities, and abilities not casting successfully even though the animation went through. Now, these weren’t all a massive concern as they didn’t occur all the time but frequently enough to mention them. The more distressing problems included those such as AI blocking my path thus forcing me to reset my checkpoint and my game crashing when I initiated entering dungeons and used the fast travel teleportation points. Although I’ve experienced far worse within my gaming lifetime, I was disappointed to come across these. Thankfully, none of my progress was lost but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned it could happen if fixes aren’t applied soon enough.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 15-20 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 100+ Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Previous Diablo Games, Path of Exile, Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem
A fantastic addition to the series – Diablo IV is a masterpiece that has given me plenty of enjoyment and still has plenty to give with constant updates and new content being added. The game wasn’t without its fault but the positives outweigh the negatives. If you’re looking for a new action-adventure RPG with heaps of replayability to sink hundreds of hours into, I wouldn’t look any further as I believe Diablo IV will satisfy that urge and keep you coming back for more.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!