Reviews

Diablo Immortal Review — Humanity just can’t seem to stay safe

Diablo Immortal came out a little while back now and I have been trying to dump as much time as possible into the game so I could talk a little better about it. However, Diablo Immortal isn’t just a simple linear experience — no Diablo game is — so I could probably have had days worth of playtime and still be learning and experiencing new things. As a newcomer to the Diablo games, this has actually been a really good entry point for me and I can’t wait to tell you about my experience with it so far.

Immortal is set between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III, shedding light on the events that took place during that timeframe. Presumably, the archangel Tyrael is dead and people are left to pick up the pieces of his destruction. However, a darkness is creeping back over the land as Diablo’s minions are hunting for the shards of the destroyed Worldstone. Humanity is yet again plunged into the fight for their own survival, and it’s up to you, the player, to collect all of the shards and destroy them once and for all.

You’ll begin the game by creating and naming your character. As per the usual, there are six different classes to choose from — barbarian, wizard, demon hunter, monk, crusader, and necromancer — each with its own skill sets and special abilities so you can pick what suits your playstyle best. I am pretty basic so I went with the crusader, you can’t really go wrong with a longsword. After choosing your class you can adjust your character’s hair, skin tone, and other features to your liking, and then you give them a name (mine is Kaya). After creating your character you are launched right into the game, arriving by small boat to what appears to be the shores of a completely devastated wasteland.

Diablo Immortal is an MMORPG, a genre of games that I’d nearly sworn off altogether. I’m not a huge fan of having to grind, grind, grind, just to be able to progress a story and I’ve never been the type to chase all the latest and greatest gear. I’m mostly in it for the story. That all being said, I think I’ve found my new favorite MMO.

The game features simple hack-and-slash combat that has been well adapted for mobile as well, and the skills and weapons you equip turn your character into an absolute boss. Any weapons and gear you do acquire are able to be ranked up and gems can be socketed for bonuses. I didn’t pay too much attention to the stats themselves, however. If it said it was an upgrade, I equipped it. What’s nice about that part is those socketed gems were able to be quickly transferred to the new gear without having to visit a corresponding NPC.

The story of Diablo Immortal has been super fun. With most MMOs I’ve played, I didn’t really pay much attention to the story, just mainly rushing through the missions so I could level up and join my friends at the higher ranks. But especially with this game being fully voiced, I have been fully immersed in all of the details. Even the internal monologues of my character are fully voiced, ensuring I’m not missing any details. Normally a game like this would just resort to a massive dialogue box for the player to read through. It’s certainly easier, probably cheaper on the development side as well, but it’s not practical. I really do appreciate all of the effort and detail that has gone into this aspect of the game.

Completing the story is, in fact, my only objective for playing Diablo Immortal. Like I said before, I don’t care to chase the gear or anything like that, I just want to see the story progress. Unfortunately, as is typical in MMOs and, let’s face it, RPGs overall, occasionally one’s progress in a story may also be dependent on the level of your character. And now we are back to my least favorite thing about MMOs: grinding. I absolutely HATE having to grind out levels and gear in order to progress a game. To me it is the most boring thing to have to deal with in any game and has completely stopped me from playing on multiple occasions.

However, I guess it’s not all doom and gloom on the grinding front as there really is a lot you can do to get that much needed experience. Of course, you can always go out and curb stomp a bunch of mobs or do some side missions, but Diablo Immortal also presents some interesting dungeon-like experiences as well – Elder Rifts and Challenge rifts.

Elder Rifts are replayable dungeons where you can apply crests of varying rarities to alter the Rift rewards, the higher the rarity granting higher rewards. You also get Fading Embers after completing a run, which can then be traded to a merchant for runes that are used to craft legendary gems for your armor. The Challenge Rift, on the other hand, levels up after every successful completion, getting more and more difficult the higher you go. Both Rifts can be done either solo or with a party in an ‘instance’ format, meaning you and your party are the only people to enter your Rift, so that way you’re not having to compete for the mobs and the loot. In each Rift your objective is to take down the Rift Guardian as quickly as possible to maximize rewards and also to climb the Rift leaderboards.

Immortal can be played either solo or co-op. You can party up with people in Rifts and also with those on the same quest line as you, but you are also able to create or join a Warband. A Warband is a group of up to 8 people that play together regularly, like a guild or an alliance, but smaller. Being in a Warband allows the player to take on Helliquary bosses to earn ranking rewards and also gives members a 5% increased chance for item drops from monsters when in a party together. There’s also a Warband Storage Box where each member can borrow a single item at a time.

This game has been absolutely phenomenal, in my opinion. I’ve had very little to complain about, although there was a brief period of time where I would be randomly disconnected from the servers and I would have to reload the game. These always happened at the most inconvenient times too, often resulting in my death. But that seems to have been resolved thankfully. Some would also comment on how Immortal has also fallen victim to the plague that is mobile/MMO microtransactions, referencing the pay-to-win model that many games have fallen into in the past, but I’ve found that these microtransactions are very easy to avoid, especially for the casual gamer.

Immortal does look absolutely stunning, even on mobile, and I have had a ton of fun playing it so far. I can’t wait to continue my journey. Who knows, maybe I’ll go play other Diablo games now too. Also important to note, if you log into your BattleNet account while playing on mobile, your progress will be saved and can be quickly picked up when you hop on your PC, making the game super easy to pick up at any time, anywhere.

90

Excellent

Diablo Immortal

Review Guidelines

Diablo Immortal is an absolutely stunning experience, even on mobile. The game is really easy to pick up, even for people new to the Diablo series. Gameplay is smooth and impactful and the voiceover work is top tier. Aside from hating the ‘grind’, this is my new favorite MMO experience!

Known online as MzPanik, Cassie Peterson is an editor and part-time content creator, mainly in the FPS and action/adventure genres. She didn't really start playing video games until after graduating high school in 2010, but quickly fell in love, and the rest is history! In her free time, Cassie also enjoys reading and spending time with her kitties, Zoey and Molly. Recently she has also been trying her hand at web development.

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