Diablo 4 Review in Progress: Beta Impressions

Diablo 4 Beta Weekend Impressions

After the disappointing launch of Diablo 3 in 2012, many gamers are understandably nervous about the upcoming release of Diablo 4 this June. However, with more than a decade of steady improvement to its predecessor, the first beta weekend of Diablo 4 has shown that Blizzard has learned from their past mistakes and made significant progress for the sequel.

Even though the beta weekend only included a level-capped Act 1 and three of the classes, it has exceeded expectations in almost every way, with stunning dark storytelling, the best combat to date, and a strong live-service foundation to ensure that Diablo 4 becomes the beloved ARPG of gamers worldwide.

The Improved Storytelling

The first aspect of Diablo 4 that stands out is the incredible improvement in storytelling. Following the resurrection of Lilith, the Daughter of Hatred and Queen of Succubi, players embark on a journey through Sanctuary as humanity descends into madness at her behest. Lilith’s complex and messy relationship with humanity and the Heavens is a vast improvement over Diablo 3’s tedious demon smack-talk, and it makes players invested in the story with each piece of lore uncovered.

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While there is filler in the beta’s storytelling, such as wandering around in the snow, the overall story is engaging, and players will have a real desire to work their way through the main campaign to see how it ends.

The World and Quests

Moving around the overworld is far more engaging than expected, with spontaneous activities along the way, such as giving your blood to a demonic obelisk while fighting off waves of enemies. The dungeons are thrilling, with challenging boss fights that require players to jump through more hoops than just burning down a demon’s health bar.

The gorgeous top-down environments and characters are more detailed than ever, and the zooming in on characters and cutscenes lets players see them up close and personal when appropriate. The disgusting and creepy monsters are satisfyingly present, a return to the series’s original style of grime that Diablo 3 missed the mark on.

The Combat

Diablo 4’s combat is absolutely nailing the ARPG formula. Players must dance around hordes of enemies, dodge-rolling precisely and making use of their most powerful abilities at the proper moment. The decision to do away with continuous healing in favor of consumable potions adds challenge by forcing players to navigate the map for resources and strategize when to use their potions.

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The real fun comes from mastering the skill and loot systems, and we can’t wait to see what else Diablo 4 has in store when it releases this June.

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