Diablo Immortal caused outrage among the players at the announcement, although it looked rather strange. It would seem, well, what’s wrong with Blizzard starting to develop new platforms? Well, it wasn’t the long-awaited Diablo 4, but the question from the developers seemed appropriate – do you really have no phones? However, fans eventually made the studio to port the game to personal computers, so everyone should be happy. At least in theory, in practice now Diablo Immortal is the game with the lowest rating on Metacritic. But is it fair? Let’s see.
|iOS, Android, Windows
|Blizzard Entertainment, NetEase
Chronologically, Immortal is between the second and third parts of the series. After Tyrael smashed the Worldstone in the Lords of Destruction finale, its wreckage scattered throughout the Sanctuary, and infernal legions began hunting for it. With what aim? That’s what we are going to find out. The player can choose from one of six game classes – barbarian, wizard, demon hunter, monk, crusader, and necromancer. And a whole bunch of old acquaintances, led by Deckard Cainto, will help destroy the evil.
I don’t even know if it’s worth looking at the gameplay in detail, as Diablo is the same Diablo on the phone. We destroy hordes of monsters, collect loot, which helps to destroy stronger monsters and get even more loot. Repeat indefinitely. Each of the game classes has its own set of skills, but only four of them can be active. We routinely move from location to location, opening portals, clearing dungeons of monsters we’ve seen in the second and third parts of Diablo, and periodically returning to hubs to clean up and identify unknown objects.
Ordinary monsters are rarely dangerous, although they are more aggressive than Diablo III, with bosses being more difficult: some require tactics and can get on your nerves, especially with a redesigned healing and resurrection system. You can restore health with spheres that sometimes fall out of monsters, and the usual “bottles”, but with the latter there is nuance. There are only three of them, and they have a recharge time, you cannot pick up or buy new ones. In the event of the character’s death, you can either be reborn at a checkpoint (usually the beginning of the location) or near the body, spending a charge of the resurrection stone. There are also three of these charges and they recharge as the monsters are killed. According to the description, the resurrection charges are to be restored in the cities as well, but this is not the case at the moment.
As Diablo Immortal is almost an MMORPG, you will come across other players everywhere, as well as group activities: regular, raid, and PvP dungeons, fraction war, well, by the way, well-reasoned. On one hand, this is great and opens up opportunities in the endgame, on the other, when upgrading on a densely populated server with quest monsters it can be a problem. Sometimes I had to run in circles and wait for respawn much more than I would have wanted to.
This time you have to spend less time in inventory than before, because the game automatically highlights items that are better than those already worn by the character, and over time the menu of recommended builds becomes available, where you can see which of the things you have collected and what is missing, as well as a set of recommended skills in addition. C – Convenience. You can also simplify your life by instructing the “autopilot” to take your character to the right point on the ma, just put a marker or make an active quest from the list and go forward.
Since we still have a mobile game with a focus on touch control, the developers were forced to make some changes to the usual mechanics, the most obvious of which is the rejection of mana. Spells and other skills now have time to recharge. The scale of the locations has suffered a bit: the areas in Diablo Immortal are more compact than in previous parts, and the camera is closer to the character. The latter solution is clear when playing on the phone, but on the tablet and PC causes a little discomfort. I would like to see the ability to control the camera. The only thing that saves it, is that visually the game has a great look, sometimes much better than the third part.
Personally, I had some doubts about whether it would be possible to combine the usual dynamic gameplay with touch control, but Blizzard managed. Yes, it doesn’t work as well as with a mouse, but after about three dozen hours of playing on iPhone, iPad, and computer, I can say that it’s more comfortable to play on mobile devices, with touch control, not gamepad, although Diablo Immortal also supports it. By the way, the optimal platform for the game seems to me to be the iPad, the picture on the phone is blurry, and on the PC, where the game is still in beta, on the contrary, the interface is too cumbersome, and the interaction with the menu is obviously adapted to taps and swipes. There are sometimes bugs when skills refuse to be activated, or, on the contrary, work independently.
In general, it seems that Diablo Immortal came out the way we wanted to see it, it’s a full-fledged Diablo, which is always with you, so why are Metacritic users so angry? The answer is simple, Blizzard miraculously released almost AAA game on phones, and then almost killed it with microtransactions. And here we need to make one important comment – now many call Diablo Immortal “pay to win”, which is not quite true, so far I had neither the desire nor the need to pay for anything, even for such a familiar thing as battle pass. All content in the game is available for free, you can not buy a sword that will cut off monsters or armor that will make you invulnerable, the game does not limit you in choosing activities and does not set unbearable limits on inventory, which we see in some analogs. No, play for fun, but there is one “but”.
The game will bother you with messages that the store has a “beginner’s package + 800% added value” (whatever that means), special offers, and hints that your character’s equipment is weak. All activities are carefully scattered over dozens of menus, making sure you will come across a reminder that something can be bought. Did you go through the dungeons and complete daily quests? Great, the level of the free battle pass has increased, here’s your reward, and here you can buy a normal battle pass. By the way, here’s a level gate, while you do not have plot tasks, and in the new locations the monsters are too strong. Go do the daily, well, or buy a battle pass, with it you can get to new levels. Oh, did you wear anything from the recommended build? For this, you need to be rewarded, go to a separate menu, where you will also see that you are dressed like a piece of shit, go buy stones.
Wow, this is a new level of paragon, the rewards for this we issue directly in the store, look at special offers, then go to the services, to the page to buy a battle pass (it’s between cosmetics and game currency), and switch to a separate tab where you will see that you can pay another $24 and receive additional rewards in the form of resources to improve equipment and legendary coats of arms, which will increase the chances of obtaining legendary stones in the lootbox dungeon. Yes, we have a lootbox dungeon, where you have to kill the boss and only then find out if something useful will fall out of the chest, and the use of items available for real money slightly increases the chance of getting a good loot here.
By the way, legendary stones can not only improve the characteristics of the character but also literally change the skills. Do you want the black hole not only to attract monsters but also to move forward? Look for the right stone. Have we already said that stones, like equipment, need to be improved? Of course, this requires more stones and various ingredients, a guide to farm lootboxes. Yes, legendary coats of arms are sometimes issued for free, and another can be bought once a month for in-game currency, yes, stones can also be created from runes from a jeweler, but it will take soooo long, considering how many legendary stones you need to collect to make your character most effective.
And here we come to the main question. If you’re an overachiever who wants to get the highest numbers physically possible while fighting bosses, Diablo Immortal will be very painful and expensive because even thousands of dollars invested in legendary coats of arms do not guarantee to get the desired loot, tested by the guys from Reddit. If you’re going to spend up to a hundred hours of your time playing to get a new part of the story and beat up a few thousand demons in anticipation of Diablo IV’s release, Immortal will easily provide it: despite the awful monetization, it’s one of the best mobile games ever played. To date, more than 8 million players have downloaded on mobile devices alone.