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News Opinions 20 March 2023, 13:48

author: Krzysztof Lewandowski

After the Beta, I'm Sure I'll Play Diablo 4 for the Story!

It's too early for definitive judgments, but after what I saw in the beta, Diablo 4 seems to bring an intriguing story. Some of the game's elements may be questionable, but the story itself, and the way it is constructed, seems fantastic.

Launching the Diablo 4 beta didn't go without a hitch. I had to wait for an hour and a half twice, I got disconnected from the server once, and also started getting error code 316719. Nevertheless, I managed to play for a few hours and my impressions are positive – mainly thanks to the fragment of the story I witnessed. Even side quests can surprise you with powerful moments!

Medal-worthy horror

I have no sentimental relationship with the Diablo series; I used to play the second installment and that's where my experience ends – but the release of part four should change that. After the beta, I especially want to discuss the story. Blizzard apparently often shows surprisingly drastic cutscenes – the camera deftly switches from isometric perspective to the side view, without breaking the immersion. We see crazed people, plain violence, and our hero involuntarily finds himself in the middle of this thoroughly messed up and dark chaos.

I don't want to reveal the details, but the introduction isn't done with simple means – the plot is more than a mere excuse for slashing demons, it's a value in itself, motivating the player to fight their way through legions of enemies. During the game, we are often accompanied by strong side characters. I was enchanted by a spirited girl driven by personal motives, determined to face Lilith. What's nice is that the companions have a personality and will sometimes offer a comment on this on that, and some tasks require making a short detour to talk to them. I hope this formula prevails throughout the game.

After the Beta, Im Sure Ill Play Diablo 4 for the Story! - picture #1

The world of Diablo 4 is grim even without demon interference.Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment, 2023

There's quite a lot of content here, certainly more than I expected from a hack'n'slash. Lilith also seems an exciting villain – so much so that I would be tempted to stand by her side if given a chance! She's a real daughter of darkness, able to mess with people's heads with the promise of fulfilling desires or liberation from the shackles of morality. The backdrop of the story is built with interactive elements and characters (even if they don't offer any quests), and the locations have been prepared with due care – all this occultism (altars, rituals, blood) serves the story well.

I approached side quests with reservations, but I was pleasantly surprised once again. One of the missions is shocking, leading to a scene that can give you goosebumps. Blizzard isn't fooling around and uses the convention of gore to show some real horror.

Fleshed-out combat, whimsical wizard and MMO style

Combat has given me a lot of satisfaction already. My lord-of-lightning wizard was fantastic, and the single boss fight revealed the need to approach fights with a tactical sense. I only regret the limited capabilities of character development – apart from learning new abilities (we also unlock trees over time), there are no increases in stats like strength, dexterity or endurance.

I also had mixed feelings about the outfits. Blizzard doesn't convince me with its sense of style – the magical items, for example, looked out of place. Encountering other players also wasn't all that fun. On these occasions, Diablo 4 feels a bit like an MMO, which will not appeal to fans of single-player campaigns, as well as those who want to play with friends only.

After the Beta, Im Sure Ill Play Diablo 4 for the Story! - picture #2

Do you think my wizard would impress at a fashion show?Diablo IV, Blizzard Entertainment, 2023

However, these issues do not change one, fundamental conclusion I have about the game – Diablo 4 has solid foundations to be a tour de force for lovers of dark stories. Everything is in the right place: expressive characters, good comedy breaks (I expect more!), drastic convention, an alluring and charismatic antagonist, addictive gameplay that sometimes requires a more careful approach to tactics, and a vile, sinful world that has no mercy for its own people. I know that the Diablo series is very popular, but if someone, like me, hasn't had much contact with it and is thinking about starting with part four, then after playing the beta, I can strongly recommend it.

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