What kind of Game is Diablo Immortal?

We can only access pre-release versions of Immortal from smartphones. So I can’t speak for the PC version right now. I’m playing on iPhone X. Diablo Immortal runs there at 30 FPS at its highest graphics settings, but only at phone resolution. So don’t be surprised if the screenshots in this article look a little brittle. Also, the store is already included in the beta but not yet live. Once Immortal is available on PC, we’ll update you with the results for that version of the game. Before we give our final rating, we’d also like to dig into the Pay2Win mechanic’s store and dig deeper into endgames and possible polish.

Suits you if…
you already had a lot of fun with Diablo 3.
you think a gloomy world with demons and magic is cool.
you have no problem dealing with it in the long term.

Doesn’t suit you if…
Diablo 3 was already too colorful for you.
you don’t feel like dozens of progression mechanics.
Free2Play and ingame purchases are the devils for you.

Does this feel like Diablo?
Mobile Diablo. This creates a very uncomfortable feeling for many people. After all, the most mediocre gameplay with lovely graphics comes to mind first. And at this point, it has to be made clear again: Immortal is by no means an utterly alienated variant of Darkness that has nothing to do with its predecessors.

Of course, the optics are closer to Diablo 3, which fans also found a little too colorful. But Immortal did not heat this oven any further and continued to cook with the usual flame.

I can live with the look, and it’s more important to me whether it’s gameplay-wise deep enough to be worthy of the Diablo name. Short answer: yes. This is my conclusion from the first technical alpha. Nothing has changed in the past year and a half. You can immediately dive into the world of Sanctuary with your character, and in less than 20 seconds, the first zombie monster stumbles in front of your blade.

Diablo 3 fans will also feel more comfortable with combat than Diablo 2 purists because all available classes contain the same noses that we were allowed to play within Diablo 3. The only exception is Witch Doctor, who may only get credit for a free update after release. Necromancers are available from the start.

The heroes use many well-known skills, said to be the collars of zombies. Monks used naked Rotten teeth to knock out of your jaw. Barbarians shred dead flesh with blades, sorceresses froze before burning him, demon slayers pierced him with lightning, necromancers fought back zombies with skeletons, and crusaders drove him away with divine power.

How does Diablo Immortal play with a controller?
If you want to save your hands, you can also play Diablo on your smartphone or tablet using a controller. For example, you can connect an Xbox One or PS5 controller via Bluetooth. On a PC, of course, anyway.

However, you realize that Immortal was not designed for these devices. The controller feels good as long as you run around and defeat the monsters. However, scrolling through menus isn’t going to be much fun. You have to simulate the movement of your fingers with the joystick, and you can’t switch directly through the menu items. This makes the operation very difficult.

This is initially a bit unusual to control on the phone, but anyone with controller experience will quickly find their way. You can hook up an actual controller anyway and even start hacking with a mouse and keyboard on your PC when in doubt. How well the latter works, I can’t say yet.

Combat is fun, at least on smartphones, and develops a lovely flow thanks to practical explosions, but without the brutal hardness of Diablo 3. The monsters reacted too little to our attacks.

Can I complete the story alone?
Diablo Immortal isn’t just the first Diablo designed primarily for smartphones. It’s also the first Diablo to also consider itself an MMO. Here, you can not only cooperate with friends but also occasionally meet strangers in ten open areas. You can join them, complete several dungeons together, or even create your clan that will later be used in big PvP battles.

Like me, you’re not too interested in all this multiplayer hustle. But Diablo doesn’t force you to interact with other people. You can’t altogether avoid them, but you’ll never rely on other players to complete the story.
Immortal tells a Diablo – usually less complicated story, about 25 hours long, and it’s about finding the shards of the destroyed world stone that you probably killed yourself in Diablo 2.

Even if the story isn’t the most crucial factor in Diablo, the Immortals do a worse job connecting us emotionally with what’s going on. The story is somewhat unfavorable between the second and third, making it challenging to enjoy narrative freedom.

HOWEVER, what I found to make matters worse is that Immortal relies heavily on connections to well-known characters and rarely introduces new or exciting characters. Neither new opponents nor companions will be remembered for long. Instead, Immortal always pounces on the famous. Once again, Skeleton King Leoric was brought out of the grave, with Dakar Cain on hand to offer help and advice, even finding ways to awaken evil or characters who shouldn’t be there at the time.

Immortal feels less like a standalone piece and more like a Diablo standout, which highlights its heavy reliance on the D3 class.

Whether this moderately funny episode bothers you or whether fan service lands on fertile ground is essentially up to you. Regardless of your tastes, there are also structural issues with story campaigns. You can’t just play a story from start to finish without interruption.

How is fun Leveling?
Starting at level 30 at the latest, Immortal will associate campaign orders with level limits. So you are unsuspectingly slaughtered in a burial chamber full of desert skeletons, slaying a monstrous, spider-like abomination, and suddenly this quest appears in your quest log: reach level 35. hmm, okay?

This was unexpected as if someone at ICE suddenly pulled the red lever at full speed out of curiosity. You can’t even take the next quest to find out for yourself how strong your opponent is. Immortal does not allow progress until you have honed yourself to the desired level.

This grind will continue. Exactly how long, I can’t say for sure. Because in my version, I’m missing some XP options. For example, the battle pass is disabled in some places, and side quests are also missing. It also makes it difficult to assess whether there’s a nasty Pay2Progress idea behind these hurdles or whether Blizzard just screwed up the balance. But anyway, I never thought it was good to stop progress in such a clumsy way.

The grind is also tedious, to make matters worse, as the leveling up in Diablo rarely delivers real excitement. In Immortal, Strategic decisions never expire. With my Necromancer, I already have all the skills I want from level 15, and after only four or five hours, any upgrades lose their appeal as I hardly ever expect anything new. Combined with the urge to level up, I quickly got pretty bored.

Is there a motive for finding an item?
I just got bored during the grind. I wanted to continue the story undisturbed, and the bounty (slaughter this, slaughter that) and old portals with somewhat repetitive portal guards weren’t much fun for me in the long run. But that doesn’t mean the Immortals don’t know how to motivate.

After all, Diablo always involves finding new and better items. This is also in Immortal, where I found great carrots that I happily chased after. However, there are limitations.

Because finding items only get exciting when the first rarity, especially legendary gear, comes along. Nothing you gather in advance will force you to weigh. Standard equipment increases your damage or health. You already know from the numbers which is the best fit.

Magic gear also has various improvements to stats like vitality or strength. Still, the bonuses are minimal and irrelevant due to the difficulty of taming, so much so that any thought is wasted. If an item in the inventory has an up arrow, it will be equipped.

You can even safely transfer higher level and magic Diablo Immortal gems to the blacksmith as long as you have the correct slots. This makes items other than legendary gear practically interchangeable.

Rare items have better bonuses, such as higher fear resistance. But even here, there is no need to pay attention to it. The legendary weapons and armor alone sparked my collecting instinct. These pieces look chic, but they also change your skills.

With this, legendary items become essential to play your character the way you want. For example, my Necromancer can now freeze enemies with his corpse explosions thanks to my Lone Keeper Shoulders. My Welcome End shield turns a stationary Skeletal Mage into a winged demon with his scythe attacking my enemies.

How about Pay2Win?
Legendary gems are required to add more flair to your build. However, these trinkets are not simply dropped by mobs or enemies. Legendary gems can only be found in ancient portals – and even then, it’s only possible. To increase your chances of getting stones, you need to use badges. Legendary gems are guaranteed if you spend real money on them.

In theory, you can make stones yourself with the help of runes (these are also only available in portals) or hope that they will appear after a few tries. However, with real money, the process can be done much faster. Since these gems with powerful bonuses are critical to good builds, especially in endgames (with PvP!), it’s doubtful that this approach is at least close to Pay2Win.

However, despite Free2Play, badges are not the only way to earn a few euros in Immortal. There’s also a full shop with cosmetics, two different in-game currencies, materials to reforge legendary items more efficiently, and packs where several of these parts are sold together. Oh, and there’s also a monthly subscription that offers more inventory space and daily rewards.

Much of this isn’t fully integrated into my build, so it’s still hard to estimate how quickly this can all be achieved. I haven’t been able to say precisely whether this is fair or unfair. But one thing’s been clear to me: anyone with a pervasive problem with payment mechanics in Free2Play games is certainly not going to be happy with Diablo Immortal.

Who is this for?
But one thing’s for sure: Diablo Immortal isn’t a disastrous shallow action RPG without substance. The game is fun, and the fights are good. But it also suffers from a boring level system – unfortunately, the event’s progression is tied to that. This only applies to a limited extent if you want to play the Diablo campaign again or plan to do it multiple times in different classes.

Immortal is a game for those who are persistent and have their own goals. Who love to work through bounties, want to compete with others in challenge portals, or even fully immerse themselves in multiplayer and PvP. Because this game is designed to keep you lost in activities outside of the main storyline, you should look for new gems and try to find the perfect combination of legendary items and Gems.

These are also the people the payment model is targeting. If you don’t care, you won’t have to invest much money. But not the fun you get from other Diablos.

Preliminary Scoring Box

CategoryPros and consrating
presentation+ surprisingly handsome models
+ varied areas
+ very well set to music and musical accompaniment
– attacks without noticeable force
– textures with few details due to mobile origin
3/5
game design+ Classes with many noticeable differences
+ Maneuvers by bosses loosen up fights
– annoying level blockades
– uninteresting level ups
? How motivating is the game pass?
2-3/5
balance+ all classes with dedicated strengths and weaknesses
+ game mechanics well explained
– undemanding in the first run
– campaign not enough to level up
? How fast can we earn XP in the real game?
2-3/5
Story/Atmosphere+ captures the Diablo atmosphere well
+ well-written dialogues
+ many nice details for Diablo fans
– no gripping main story
– hardly any new and interesting characters
3/5
Scope+ dozens of collectible items
+ numerous different activities
+ story can keep you busy for a long enough time
+ many progression
options – portal guardians are often repetitive
4/5
rating bias72 to 75 (further devaluation by Pay2Win possible)

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