While I’m hoping to see the Diablo 4 beta extended for at least another day due to its connection issues, I’ve done everything you can on one character. I completed the story, reached max level 25, attempted (and failed) to kill a world boss. And I like it a lot, really.
But do some aspects need work? Yes of course. And no, I’m not just talking about connection queues and disconnections, deeply annoying aspects of any live game launch, but something that Diablo 4 especially doesn’t need after Diablo 3 launches. It’s a bit obvious, though, so let’s dig a little deeper.
Other technical issues – One thing everyone immediately noticed on PC is that for some reason Diablo 4 is a memory hog. There seems to be some sort of memory leak issue in some cases which can really become problematic over time if not kill the game. which I want to avoid at launch. In some cases, I also kept running through areas that just didn’t load at all, and my character was left in place until I stopped and came back. Also, the game crashed about 75% of the time. return to the title screen or exit completely.
Map issues – There is no transparent overlay for the map, which seems like something you kind of need in a Diablo game, and basically any ARPG. Beyond that, even if you use the map tools they have, the minimap is borderline useless given its zoom, so you’ll have to frequently bring up the full map obstructing your view.
The user interface – UI is… good, but I would say not great. It looks a bit unfinished and a bit too mobile for my taste. It’s better than saying, Lost Ark, I guess, but not by much, and I think Diablo 3 wins in that department, so far.
fast travel – This may be a fixed issue with mounts, but it really seemed like there were way too many sprawling areas with no fast travel points nearby. Past that, the whole TP system is a little weird, as you have to teleport to a town SO at your party if you are one of them. It also took me all of the beta to learn that there is a separate, hidden way in the emote wheel to teleport me to a dungeon entrance.
Aesthetics, sometimes – While in general I like a lot of dark and gory areas of the map and understand wanting to get back to the Diablo 2 vibes, sometimes things go from spooky and gross to kind of… lackluster. The graphics are great and some areas are stunning, but others are desaturated to the point of blandness where art direction can seem all but lacking. I’m curious to see more places, certainly, before giving a final verdict here.
MMO stuff – I have mixed feelings about the MMO elements of this, because instead of moving Diablo more in MMO territory, during all those server errors, I certainly found myself wishing for a fully offline single-player version of this, which I guess is an impossibility in 2023. I find it odd that despite the emphasis on multiplayer, things like dungeons and strongholds don’t have matchmaking like Lost Ark. And the world boss? Although a cool concept, I felt like I had no control over my instance, which had too few people and too many of them underleveled for us to even have a please beat the thing. Maybe that will change for the better in live play, but it’s not great in the beta.
Enemy density and diversity – I feel like I’m encountering the exact same 8-10 groups of enemy monsters literally everywhere outside of brief horde segments, and I wanted to mix things up a bit. And while I know that many specific enemies are staples of Diablo lore, I feel like 95% of the stuff I’ve seen has been remixed from previous games, and not in a very interesting way. . Again, it’s a big game and there’s a lot more to come, but I didn’t see a lot of creativity in this early on here.
Play it safe? – This is perhaps my general criticism of the whole experience. I love old Diablo games, like all of us. It feels like a new Diablo game that’s been slotted into a lot of Lost Ark-like MMO stuff without changing much else. Oddly, the biggest leap forward is probably the narration with fantastic cutscenes and a really intriguing plot with Lilith, something that was missing in previous games. I just feel like maybe I wanted the game to evolve in a number of ways rather than trying to “fix” Diablo 3 (which was awesome!) going back to a bunch of Diablo 2 reworks but modernized . But again, it’s still early days, I haven’t seen all the changes or explored every new system.
What do you think?
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