Diablo 4 Reinvigorates the Action RPG Genre with Updated Features

▲ Image from Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment was under scrutiny after BlizzCon 2018, where many gamers were anxious about the announcement of Diablo 4. They were let down as the developers announced something out of the ordinary, Diablo Immortal, a mobile port of the popular franchise. A chorus of moans echoed throughout the Mythic Arena in 2018 with no sign of optimism after the opening ceremonies. 

Fast forward to BlizzCon 2019, and Blizzard surprised many people in the Mythic Arena. To make up for the 2018 debacle, they opened up the opening ceremonies with the newest installment in the Diablo series, Diablo 4. It seemed Blizzard answered many Diablo fans' prayers from its positive reception. There is still a sense of doubt, though. Will Diablo 4 fix issues apparent in Diablo 3? Will Diablo 4 be a derivative of Diablo 2? Or will Diablo 4 reinvent the Action RPG genre? Inven Global's Chris Cuevo got the opportunity to sit down extensively with the game and share our thoughts about it.

▲ Image from Blizzard Entertainment

New Year, New Me

One thing that I noticed right away was the graphics. A new game means upgrades to its graphics. However, I felt this specific tone I did not think with Diablo 2 and 3; it felt grittier and rugged. The cinematics hit the tone where Blizzard wants to take this game. You can see each playable class (barbarian, sorcerer, and druid) is larger than life. You can feel every spell you cast to hordes of enemies, leaving you craving for more.

Additionally, a new user interface is introduced into Diablo 4. The UI that you remember from previous Diablo installments is gone. Coming is a simplified UI that does not fill the entire bottom half of the screen. Instead, gauging your health and magic is easier than ever, plus seeing your ability cooldowns is more apparent than ever before.

An updated equipment interface makes things more obvious on what items are better to equip during your quest. Green and red arrows designate if items denote positive or negative stats compared to your equipped item. 

▲ Image from Blizzard Entertainment

You got my attention. What else?

The gameplay demo introduced new features to the series. When going through the tutorial, one of the first things that pop up on your screen is a new evade mechanic. Spacebar is the designated button to evade. When running through enemies, you can press spacebar to dodge attacks, similar to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The comparison is farfetched, but the idea is there. With the right timing, you can evade incoming attacks. You can also use the evade button to move faster throughout the map. 

A feature introduced into the series are in-game cutscenes. When switching from one level to another, a cutscene occurs that tells more about Diablo 4's lore, no matter what class you decide to play. If you thought you saw something horrific in the cinematic trailer, you got another thing coming when you play Diablo 4. 

What else can we expect?

Everything you experienced from previous installments are here in Diablo 4. A skill tree, talent tree, side quests, dreary dungeons, hordes of monsters, and colossal bosses are a few of the features you come to love and remember. 

As far as the pace of the game is concerned, it felt slow but methodical. You have to choose your battles wisely, making sure to avoid critical damage from enemies, especially bosses.  It felt like playing Diablo 2 all over again, without the constant spam of spells from Diablo 3. 

▲ Image from Blizzard Entertainment

Overall Thoughts

This Diablo 4 snippet felt like playing the greatest hits of Diablo. There are small features from Diablo 1, 2, and 3 that are in Diablo 4. With other games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that highlight its greatest hits in one game, is it crazy to think that Diablo 4 will have a similar approach? Blizzard Entertainment looks to regain many fans who were turned off by Diablo Immortal. The question is, with games like Path of Exile and Torchlight, will Diablo 4 be the game for fans to come back?


Follow me on Twitter @itsjustchris for more coverage on Overwatch League and various games.

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