When first announced, some rejoiced, and some were disappointed (“Do You Guys Not Have Phones?” incident), but after long years of waiting for it, Blizzard has now released the mobile game Diablo Immortal for Android and iOS. The development of the title was outsourced to the Chinese gaming unit of NetEase. Based on the announcement and the teaser material, it was never entirely sure what the gamers could be expecting, so we took a look at it for you.
Diablo Immortal appears to be technically based on Diablo III, but it’s not a port. Also, from a story point of view, it takes place before the events of Diablo III. Except for the Witch Doctor, they made all Diablo III classes available for mobile players. It’s still somehow heavily based on the original ARPG elements of the Diablo franchise, but they also added MMORPG elements, and this gives it a new feeling in comparison to previous installments on PC and consoles.
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What I really liked about Diablo Immortal, however, is the fact that you can now not only choose the class you want to play, but you can even customize your character. In 2023 this might appear to be a given, but actually changing how your character looks was never a feature in any other Diablo title, except for changing the gender, which was introduced in Diablo III, and of course, visual changes based on changing weapons and armor pieces.
Is it important to be able to create your own character like that in a game that will give you a helmet to cover your face eventually only a short time after starting your playthrough? Possibly not important, but certainly, I still appreciate this kind of immersion in any roleplaying game. I know that when I take my helmet off, there’s my character right there.
Is Diablo Immortal, the mobile game, actually fun?
I was worried and concerned throughout the waiting time. Would it be a clone of Diablo III with just some changes to the setting and controls? That would have been okay as well since there is no way to play a Diablo game on smartphones yet. The worst thing that could happen is that it becomes a clone of a bad mobile game with only licensed characters and lore from Blizzard added in. Obviously, it arrived only today, and I haven’t put dozens of hours in yet, but my feeling is that it has some elements of an average mobile game, but it’s fun to play, and the combat feels rewarding and satisfying, which is imperative to any sort of ARPG or MMORPG. Nobody wants another dull auto-pilot or idle-progression game.
So this was a relief for me, and right after picking a class to play with, you can make some basic changes to your character’s appearance, at least on the face, and then you enter the story introduction, which also acts as a game mechanic tutorial. After you’re done with the tutorial you’ll be added to the normal shared server in which you’ll be able to see and interact with other players.
Diablo Immortal also for PCs
Diablo Immortal is also available for PC, so you can use your Blizzard Battle.Net account and play on either platform and enjoy the benefits of shared progression. Play it on your PC if you want the best performance if you don’t have a high-end gaming smartphone, and still be able to use your time on the commute or elsewhere to invest some minutes into grinding gear for your character.
If you can’t be bothered to use a PC, you can still connect a controller to your smartphone, and you’ll have an experience that’s a bit closer to console gaming. However, I found the controls on the touchscreen were fine, and while I have such controllers, I didn’t feel an urge to use the controller. So if you’re okay with touchscreen controls, you don’t have to buy a controller, and since the game is also free to play, you can give it a god without worrying about any cost.
Not perfect but fine
Was the launch perfect today? No, certainly not. There were some issues with load and capacity, just like with any game which is hyped and relies heavily on servers to provide online features. Some players also had issues connecting their Blizzard Battle.Net accounts to the game, and they could either start playing as guests or have to wait until there’s a fix for that issue. It’s very likely that soon there will be patches and updates that will address these early problems.
From my end, I recommend giving Diablo Immortal a try is something you should consider even if you’re not a fan of the franchise. The game seems to be fun, and playing it feels satisfying. There might be in-game shops to buy something, but I didn’t feel very pushed to put any money on the table. I found no issues, and while it might not be a full Diablo game, it is likely to help us wait for Diablo IV, or at least it gives us our Diablo fix while we’re not at home. I hope they’ll not turn this into a pay-to-win game, and I hope all future changes will add even more fun to what it is. I think I’ll log off now to play some more. Maybe I’ll see you there.
YouTube: Diablo Immortal | Release Date & PC Announce Trailer
Photo credit: All media shown is owned by Blizzard.