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Diablo IV Spoiler-Free Review

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Diablo IV Spoiler-Free Review

Devil is a Woman... 

Real-time strategists rejoice! Diablo IV is an insanely polished experience that follows through on core fundamentals that have garnered the franchise critical acclaim across the globe. The fourth entry into the franchise leaves all subtleties at its onset and brings on the bloodshed quite boastfully. The meticulous nature of an RTS always puts pacing at the forefront, with fans questioning narrative quality over core features keeping them engaged. Well, Diablo IV pushes all core facets into on sensationally sadistic frenzy, pushing the envelope in all-round quality, raising the bar for the RTS standard in 2023. A gameplay loop that presents real-time strategy players with just the right balance of role-playing, action, cinematics, and tactical gameplay amalgamating one of gaming’s greatest this year.

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Right off the bat of understanding its framework, Diablo IV’s inherently detailed presentation is a stark contrast from its immediate predecessor. I don’t use the word renaissance so superfluously, but damn if this isn’t a monumental comeback for the franchise. While familiar, it keeps facets fresh through campaign narrative that’s relative to established players that have devoted arduous hours to Diablo’s illustrious history, without re-treading any tedious details of its past. It contains its prowess through lightly sprinkling an extended lore and recourse in its antagonising party. The reprisal of a deluded deity that seeks to destroy all from within their own like, causing rebellion and corruption through deception and lies that are false hopes of grandeur, with one hero – of five classes – brave enough to face the devil, and save us from an inevitable rapture.

Praise be to Lilith...

So, without going into detail on its barbaric campaign, the gist is Lilith’s back and she’s pissed. It’s no secret as her face is all over the promotional materials, and an opening act has already shown her unruly ways infecting the minds of the Scosglen people. That withstanding, the forefront of this review will be primarily focused on gameplay and design, to which I can unequivocally say is absolutely tremendous on all fronts. Diablo’s prior mechanics and features such as simple attacks and strikes are topped at their prime with an ecstatic flair to them, given which respective class you may choose for your campaign. I personally went with the Necromancer, as it would deliver a nice hybrid of both sorcerer and rogue-like abilities. The quickness of dodging a mammoth boss’ attack, and to command an army of skeletal warriors is so satisfyinng.

This coinciding a brewing bloodbath that’s backed by both melee-type weaponry that can be collected, unlocked or purchased throughout your escapades makes exploration an encouraging expedition. Learning new offensive strikes such as ranged arcane attacks that can be unlocked through your skill-tree – to which ranged attacks may also be upgraded – are purchased through in-game points, which are earned through each ascending level. Depending on the size of the battle, and how you execute each combination chain, you can earn yourself a quick boost at the beginning of the game to unlock more branches through the skill-tree. Certain attacks delve a respective damage; this is dependent on your class, but also entails a key passive for each tree to which only one can be selected.

Variable environments will contain all sorts of impeding obstructions that aren’t just hazardous cultists, rabid wildlife or the re-animated dead. These of course being very few examples of the opening act’s ominous opposition. Explosives, gasses, pits, lethal objects and small creatures of many sorts aim to halt your hero in their tracks. While XP farming is one way to steamroll through numerous waves, discovering chests with health potions for healing, an costume upgrades for improves character stats. Switching out from a pair of swede pants to a fancy leather kilt with armoured knee-caps, and chest shield to match made me feel indestructible – that only for a short period before being pummelled by droves of undead skeletal swordsmen. It’s a rinse and repeat cycle that pushes you to continuously cycle mindlessly through upgrades, experience and more until its time to shed your old skin for a new pair of fresh kicks to play ball.

It's sure to satiate those that are looking to sink their teeth into another grind for endless hours, while giving back an authentic experience that's not just written in blood but its developer's bearings. Diablo IV is unmissable. Praise Lilith.

This again plays in part of Diablo’s trading system. Meeting vendors and selling your used or obsolete items, can bank you gold for more weapon or arms upgrades through your travels. The inventory system is eloquently managed and easy to decipher once seeing how simple it is to navigate. This in tandem with the in-game UI which displays all shortcut keys against each option. It was a little confusing to acclimate myself with at the beginning, but I was seamlessly swapping weaponry and storing items in my quick access like it was second nature. Equipment and consumables are both available to choose and sort, while quest objectives and aspects are also easy to manage and choose through the Inventory menu. This with Materials and Stats, money, your concurrent stats (STR, INT, WIL, DEX) all shown with your character in clear view.

Obey Mother...

SOLID POINTS

✔️ Deviously Delightful. Diablo IV delivers one of the greatest strategy titles, ever.

✔️ Gritty in its charm, engrossing in its escapade. An RTS like no other, D4 has perfected the genre.

✔️ Praise Lilith. Obey Mother.

❌ Very few moments of texture pop-in. 

Changing-up your experience through designated weaponry comes into play with respective items toward your hero’s class. As a Necromancer, I was given large kupre-like butcher knife to start with before upgrading to a dual-wielding hand-glaive to mince my mightiest opponents. You can assign respective weapons to your characters main hand or both hands, while applying a list of accessories to their neck, ring fingers, head, while the rest is clothing/armour.

Again these are all shown on your in-game UI, that is all clear and concisely placed on-screen, encompassing your Life and Essence – represented by orbs filled with blood and an unspecified miasma respectively – with their respective MAX scores that will accumulate over time. What I did find in the opening act was health potion drops being overly generous, but as your campaign progresses, slowly abstains from giving you the chance to heal quickly. This was a great way to pace the beginning of the campaign, but as health slowly begins to become sparse, increases the overall difficulty of each altercation.

Diablo’s everchanging landscape of design comes in a myriad of aesthetic choices that seem to apply to its campaign’s tone. This of course being one of the most violent Diablo titles I’ve ever witnessed, comes into play an insatiable bloodlust and grittiness adorned within its expeditious pacing. The snowy fields of its opening, to the baked sandy cliffsides of enormous peaks and dreary humid aura of moat ablaze, the design choices made in Diablo IV are insanely gorgeous. It’s honestly one of the most detailed titles I’ve had the privilege of playing on PC – that in part of it being an RTS, gives the opportunity to soak in major foundations of its environment. The swell and beat of heavy instruments gauge an oncoming swarm of enemies, but also matches the aesthetical charm of Diablo IV.

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In the same vein, interactivity of Diablo IV is at the essence of its of its core values. This is aided by consequential dialogue through its cavalcade of NPC’s, backed by numerous notables of Voice Acting royalty. I was elated to hear many recognisable voices cameo through my quest including Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Mortal Kombat 11, WoW: Shadowlands), Laura Bailey (The Last of Us Part II, Persona 4 Golden), Jennifer Hale (Bayonetta 3, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart), Yuri Lowenthal (Marvel’s Spider-Man, Persona 4), Robin Atkin Downes (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, The Last of Us), Jamieson Price (Persona 5 Royal, Octopath Traveler II), Steve Freakin’ Blum (Toonami, Cowboy Bebop), and the incomparable Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Death Stranding) just to name a handful amongst them.

Diablo IV delivers quite possibly the greatest strategy title, ever. A well thought out campaign paces an astonishingly engrossing gameplay loop, backed by one of the most gorgeous terrain designs and congregate of classes to choose from. Visually clean, while delivering a nasty overlay naturally sets the tone for one of real-time strategies’ darkest engagements of all time. Diablo IV reaches across the table to its predecessors and takes it by the throat, and sucks the lifeblood from each experience delivered and capitalises on its illustrious foundations by giving gamers its greatest, most prevalently polished demonstrations ever. It’s sure to satiate those that are looking to sink their teeth into another grind for endless hours, while giving back an authentic RTS experience that’s not just written in blood but its developer’s bearings. Diablo IV is unmissable. Praise Lilith.

Diablo IV Spoiler-Free Review

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Diablo IV is an upcoming action role-playing game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, and is the fourth main installment in the Diablo series. The game was announced at BlizzCon 2019 and is scheduled for release on June 6, 2023.

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Story
9
Gameplay
10
Presentation
10
Sound
10
10

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