Diablo Immortal Review – Diablo Immortal is launching within a day! To those who don’t know yet, Diablo Immortal is free to play and it’s a new Diablo game designed for mobile devices (but it is also playable on the PC through Battle.net).
While it’s not Diablo IV and its original announcement got mocked by some fans, Diablo Immortal is a fresh, new game in the Diablo universe. I was given an early access by Blizzard and been playing the game for about a week and I truly enjoy it.
It’s a great Diablo game with new stories and full-blown graphics, it feels like playing a Diablo 3.5 if you want to think of it that way. But best of all, it is free and also playable on a mobile device. Playing Diablo while waiting for your train or bus, doing number two, or charging your Tesla at a Supercharger station? And for free? Come on, this is good, really good.
This Diablo Immortal review is based on the early access I’ve had for about a week before the official launch, so there will be lots of things that I haven’t touched or explored yet but it should give you a good idea about the game.
Diablo Immortal Review – Design & Features
Story wise, Diablo Immortal tells the untold story between Diablo II and Diablo III. But if you’ve never played any of the Diablo games before, fret not. You can either get a good summary from YouTube or just play Diablo Immortal because it’s not really a requirement to know the story.
Those who do though, will be rewarded by encountering well-known places and characters in the Diablo universe like Deckard Cain and the Mad King Leoric.
During the character creation process, you have to select from one of the many available Diablo classes: Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, and Wizard. I do wish we have a new Class here but I guess they are quite iconic in the Diablo series. There are some degree of character customisations but don’t expect it to be as advanced as Cyberpunk 2077’s character creation.
It’s pretty amazing to see that all dialogues including your character are voice-acted. Each class has a different dialogue line, along with different gender voice lines. Combined with Diablo’s iconic animation sketches during cinematic, soundtrack, and lore, Diablo Immortal is a full, complete, new AAA game indeed.
Each class will have up to four equippable skills that you can swap and levelling your character will level up these skills as well. New skills can be unlocked as your character progresses but unlike Diablo III though, there are no skill runes on Diablo Immortal to make things simpler. There are equipment runes and gems that can be inserted in the socketed items (to give you different effects in the game) and equipment also have ranks that you can upgrade, so at least that’s that.
On the mobile device, activating skills can be done easily with your right thumb, while you use your left thumb to move your character around. This also encourages the use of a gaming controller as the skills can be mapped easily on the controller buttons. You can also check other accessibility features such as Text-to-Speech feature for chatting, and more here.
You get an Ultimate attack which recharges as you keep using your primary, basic attack. While not exactly a game changer, it can make a quick kill to mini bosses when used at the right time.
Potions are no longer collectible, instead my character gets 3 Health Potions that I can use in the midst of battle, which will recharge slowly. You’ll get Health Orbs from enemies (including the bosses), so you should be fine as long as you pay attention to your health bars.
No mana and mana potions too here. Skills have a recharge time and some equipment runes can help you to recharge your skills faster.
Blizzard also makes sure that the little things you’ll encounter have been addressed properly to make a more enjoyable experience such as:
- In your inventory, you can quickly see if the looted equipment are better than the ones you equip through an “up green arrow” icon.
- When you equip a new equipment, the current socketed gem and rank can be transferred to it (there will be a pop-up asking you about this upon equipment change). Other similar free-to-play games might want you to re-grind the new equipment again.
- There is an “Auto Navigation” once you complete the main quest of a specific area, so if you want to go somewhere on the map, you can just put a pin and let your character runs there on his/her own.
- Load time is pretty quick on the iPhone 13 Pro. It only takes around 5 seconds to fully load the game once you open the app, assuming there are no new updates to download. Bigger, non-crucial updates can run in the background and the game still let you play, which is a plus. You don’t want to get stuck outside being able not to play when you do want to play.
Diablo Immortal Review – Free to Play, what’s the catch?
If you’ve been playing free-to-play games on your mobile, you might already get used to all the microtransactions in-game. Similarly in Diablo Immortal, there’s a shop where you can buy in-game resources quickly using real money though you can earn most of these resources in the game without paying a cent.
Sure, you’ll have to grind Rifts, Daily Rewards, Bounties, and other stuff before you can get more crucial resources to further upgrade your equipment or craft some legendary gems. But as always, this is not necessary to enjoy Diablo Immortal. I guess if you really want to play through the hardest difficulty or PvP, you definitely need all the upgrade you can get – but this is reserved to more hardcore Diablo players.
I haven’t tried the PvP aspect during my early access period unfortunately and there is also an option to Party up when entering Dungeons (main storyline), but it was quite rare to find players during the early access.
Diablo Immortal Review – Conclusion
A free-to-play Diablo game that you can play on a mobile device and PC, with your progress syncs between them at all times? It’s too good to be true, but Diablo Immortal is a new, fun, well-made Diablo game. You may think of it as a Diablo III Expansion, Diablo 3.5, or whatever – and it’s fine.
Diablo Immortal has an all new storyline, fully voice-acted dialogues, and new mechanics that you’ll have to learn and explore.
While some things are being simplified, they are necessary to make it a more enjoyable mobile gaming experience. And there’s nothing better than playing Diablo Immortal while I was waiting for my parents in law at the airport (while their flight was delayed), or when you just want to have a quick burst of fun or grind while waiting for your train to arrive. Diablo Immortal is quick to load and performs really well on my iPhone 13 Pro. You can decide if you want to play for just a few minutes, or a few hours.
There are lots of things to grind though and there are many ways to earn the resources too. While things can get overwhelming with dailies, rifts, challenges, bounties, cosmetics and all, I find that all of these are optional if you just want to enjoy and get through the story at your own pace. Sure, if you want to do PvP and replay the game at harder difficulty levels, then you might want to grind these resources to your heart content. But that can always come later and remember, this high quality game is free anyway for you to play without any restrictions.