Diablo Immortal first impressions: a rock solid free to play mobile title

After years of rumors, announcements, delays and scandals, Diablo Immortal is finally available for Android, iOS and PC and is having a worldwide success. In the United States and 40 other countries around the world it is the most downloaded app of the Apple and Google stores with millions of downloads at the time of release. It is free to playand this helps, but, in contrast to other mobile RPG MMOs from Asia like Genshin Impact – which surpasses in any all parameters -, all narrative content is free. This means that abilities, world zones, quests and items are all available at no cost. This story is only 2 days of gameplay, I didn’t get the preview title, so I only have about fifteen hours on my Necromancer. She will serve a further study on the endgame and above all on the invasiveness of microtransactions because I haven’t spent a minute of my time in the game shop to focus on story, gameplay (the jewel of this game) and performance.

Diablo Immortal is better than Genshin Impact: semi-review

How to download Diablo Immortal

It sounds like a trivial question but it’s not as simple as it sounds. What you will download from the store of your platform is none other than the game client and the necessary for the first introductory mission (about 3 gigabytes). You will have to counter 8-10 more (whether you want HD textures or not) throughout the game. Most of my playing time, then, has been on tablet, the real home of this Diablo in my opinionbut fear not, the control system is so well done that even on smartphones your thumbs will occupy a minimal portion of the screen.

Diablo Immortal is better than Genshin Impact: semi-review

What classes are there in Diablo Immortal?

Let’s start by saying that each class has its own male and female version, which is a feat that many other MMOs have failed to accomplish (true Lost Ark?). Then you can expect at launch the Necromancer (skeletons and hybrid spells), the Barbarian (melee), the Demon Hunter (firearms), the Mage (from a distance), the Crusader (hybrid between melee and magic) and finally the Monk , a martial arts expert. Blizzard has already announced that new classes will arrive as part of the game’s live service with new skills and new ways to play even for those already released. Whether this content will be paid or not remains to be seen.

The gameplay is a mixture of old and new

The feeling of playing the classic Diablo, one of the video games that is the basis of the modern concept of gaming, is there. Action never failsthe story is dark and incomprehensible at times but slaughtering demons remains a satisfaction that Blizzard always knows how to give to all his fans. Casting spells, mowing down enemies and blasting corpses with my necromancer has been fun for all 15 hours I’ve played with it, and I can’t wait to finish writing to get back to it. Levels are semi-linear, the amount of enemies is (almost always) balanced as well as the alternation of moments of combat and narrative or crafting moments. You almost never run out of things to do and each quest manages to entertain.

How is Immortal’s inventory managed?

Inventory management can’t be ignored when it comes to Diablo, and in Immortal it’s managed really well. The screen is the classic grid screen with items (weapons and armor pieces) occupying one, two or 3 slots. The real revolution is that the power of each piece of equipment is contained in a single number therefore it is extremely intuitive to equip the best pieces available and dismantle the others. Don’t throw away too many though, Scraps are one of the main currencies (along with gold) in the game and if you manage to get your old armor to the blacksmith, you will be generously rewarded. Another gem that simplifies everything: when you improve a piece of armor you will unlock a “Level” of mastery that you can transfer from object to object without anchoring yourself to a specific armor, especially in the end-game. I do not recommend (although it is well implemented) the use of the controller not just because the touch inputs are done just fine but also because navigating and managing menus from the controller is notoriously cumbersome and expensive.

Skills and experience are (almost always) well balanced

By fighting you will have at your disposal 5 skills plus an ultimate. I can’t tell you which class is the best yet because I’ve only tried one thoroughly but based on the experiences of other reviewers, I can tell you that they are all fairly well balanced. With experience and levels you unlock new skills and there is always something for dps, something for area / multiple enemy damage and something to defend against or escape. The thing I liked the most is the fact that the basic attack self-aims allowing you to escape or move without stopping dealing damage. Then there is the gem system, an absolute novelty for Diablo. These stones can be attached to equipment and also have levels. Each guarantees hefty benefits and I can’t wait to be able to tell you more about the most effective builds and the stats to keep an eye on as soon as I have a moment more with the game.

How much grind is there in Diablo Immortal?

The answer is very little. The first 10 levels and the first 2 zones are a mad rush of death and dismemberment which amused me like few other AAA console introductory missions have managed to do. Then to progress and unlock new areas you will have to level up your character a little but Diablo Immortal is never short of things for you to do that are not trivial fetch quests. There are bounties, gountlets, and mini dungeons to explore with notable rewards in the end.

The graphic style is very pleasant

If the in-game cutscenes leave something to be desired, from the usual top-down perspective of Diablo titles the show is majestic. From the lowest creatures to the bosses, every enemy is as beautiful to look at as they are to fight and the fact that never, in the campaign, is required to spend a euro to progress or having a more powerful character made me breathe a sigh of relief. Diablo Immortal is a complete and free experience that will entertain you like very few other mobile titles can.

But wasn’t it an MMO?

Yes it is, and seeing other players exploring Sancturium with me was a joy to behold. The problem is that I did not understand a damn about the Immortals system and the guilds that should oust them so I leave you the words of Blizzard and I hope to to be able to tell you more in my next study on endgame, social media and micro-transactions. “Players can form a Brigade to challenge themselves in eight-player raids, join a clan, or simply craft items, trade and interact with other players in the busy city of Cuor della Marca. All while accumulating enough skill and power to be able to conquer their own server during the Cycle of Conflict, where they will fight brutal 30-on-1 battles to win the title of Immortals “.

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