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News video games 08 December 2022, 12:30

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Press Got Their Hands on Diablo 4; Journalists are Delighted

Journalists had a chance to play Diablo IV and are looking forward to returning to the dark world of Sanctuary.

Diablo IV still has no release date (at least officially - no further than this morning we saw another leak on the subject), but we should hear about the new installment of Diablo again soon. However, if you do not want to wait until tomorrow's The Game Awards 2022 gala, this past weekend numerous industry journalists had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the fourth Diablo and shared their impressions.

Diablo 4 in one act

The journalists spent several hours in the first act of Diablo 4, with character progression limited to level 25 (in the full version characters will be able to advance up to level 100). So their experience with the title was relatively limited, but not so much as to hinder them from checking out most of the highlights of this early version of the game.

Story and world - Diablo's "newest protagonist"

Beginning to discuss a Diablo game with the storyline may seem strange, but the game's dark atmosphere and design proved surprisingly absorbing. The developers promised that after the "colorful" Diablo III the next game will be more gloomy, in the likeness of the second and first game. Here Sanctuary is a world where hope has long been extinguished and its inhabitants are bitter or almost mad with despair.

At the same time, it is not the pushy or even exaggerated "grimdark" that most players would accept with an embarrassed smile. The world of Diablo IV is much more tangible and real (and "less flat"; we often move vertically as well), and thus immersive than in previous installments. Joe Piepiora, the game's associate director, even went so far as to say that Sanctuary is the game's "newest protagonist" (via Polygon).

Even the storyline and series of side quests caught the interest of journalists. Of course, in the first act the story is not overly complicated, and also the optional missions are unlikely to shock anyone with the level of complexity. Another thing is that they are connected in a neat, natural way.

Press Got Their Hands on Diablo 4; Journalists are Delighted - picture #1
The world and storyline in Diablo IV are unlikely to disappoint players. Source: Blizzard Entertainment.

Diablo 3 on steroids

Nevertheless, the storyline and atmosphere - even if excellent - are not the reason most gamers are looking forward to the next installments of Diablo. Fortunately journalists also had no reservations about the gameplay. Visually, the clashes with the infernal hordes come out as good as the whole world of Diablo 4 and are very satisfying.

Many solutions were taken from the third installment, but apparently Blizzard has not remained deaf to the criticism of fans. The pace of character progression seems to be well balanced: the players clearly feels that they are becoming more powerful, but are unlikely to acquire a god complex. If this balance can be maintained throughout the game, we can admit that Blizzard has kept its word.

The same goes for the skill tree (which, after several revisions began to evoke associations with Path of Exile, but fortunately it is much less overwhelming), rich character customization options and a more open world.

Diablo 4 is still in development

These and other elements can be seen on gameplay footage released to the press by Blizzard. Unfortunately, the company did not allow for the publication of one's own gameplay footage.

This is most likely due to the fact that journalists were still playing on a fairly early version of Diablo IV. Hence the comments, among others, about the sound effects, which in places all too clearly sounded like temporary replacements.

Nevertheless, journalists are unanimous in their assessment of this modest sample of the game and most of them are looking forward to revisiting the fourth Diablo.

Journalists play, fans comment

Fans have already checked out journalists' materials. Most players are not worried about the gameplay, and reports of a darker atmosphere make them optimistic. Nevertheless, some Internet users are worried about the issue of monetization. Admittedly, Blizzard has promised that money won't buy an advantage in the game, but not everyone is convinced that this will also be the case in the full version.

Diablo IV will be released next year on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. According to the latest leak the release date was set for June 5 or 6, 2023.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).