Diablo 4 has been a long time coming since it was first announced at BlizzCon in 2019. The long-awaited sequel to Diablo 3, which still enjoys a healthy player base more than 10 years later, promises another round of dungeon-crawling full of deadly traps, fearsome monsters, and of course, epic loot.
The reviews have been generally positive, agreeing that while not necessarily a revolutionary turn for the classic franchise, it is a very good entry that modernizes its approach and learns from its own storied history. GameSpot’s Diablo 4 review by Alessandro Barbosa says it “confidently delivers gameplay that has been carried forward and refined from both Diablo II and III, while also establishing a strong foundation for the franchise’s future.”
On the less positive side, though, Barbosa said that the boss fights are generally lackluster. And while this game takes a much more personal look at the story mostly to its benefit, the visuals are said to lose some of their appeal when the camera gets up close and personal with the characters.
We’ve rounded up a variety of critical reviews for Diablo 4 below. And for an even broader view from around the industry, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic. Diablo 4 releases June 6–6/6, get it?–and early access begins June 1 for those who preorder the Digital Deluxe or Ultimate editions. For more details, check out our Diablo 4 preorder guide, and if you plan to delve into the adventure yourself, check our guides hub.
The reviews for Diablo 4 are out, and though the game is set to be a critical success, many players feel the microtransactions of its in-game shop are overpriced for a premium title. With the embargo officially lifted, the Diablo community has a much clearer picture of what to expect in their latest journey in Sanctuary beyond the Fractured Peaks. The open beta and server slam for Diablo 4 have certainly enticed players from a gameplay standpoint, but a major point of contention among fans has been the way Blizzard developed Diablo 4’s monetization.
I am stopping. I am forcing myself to stop. I am enjoying Diablo 4 too much to throw another 30+ hours into this only for my PC review copy to kill off my powerful Necromancer for a clean-slate start on launch day, as no progress saves. But after playing this long, beating the story, exploring the map, tasting the endgame, I can tell you what I think about it all.
Diablo 4 is an ocean. The map is vast, no longer broken up into disparate, walled-off pieces, but sprawling and wide and explorable. The story probably took me 15-20 hours or so, and then you can add some extra sidequest exploration and dungeon crawling on top of that. It’s big, and that story path carved me through maybe half the map, if not less. The rest is just there. You need to go explore it. You have to find the PvP Fields of Hate manually. You have to root out dozens and dozens of hidden permanent stat boosts that apply to all account characters. You have to beat all the dungeons and farm all the unlocked aspects. And you have to power up to progress through world tiers.
It is easy for me to say that if you like Diablo 2 or 3, you will like Diablo 4. If you have previously found the series overly grindy and repetitive and endless farming holds no appeal for you, there may not be much to change your mind here. Except, perhaps, the story this time, one that held weight for me in a way the past games didn’t. But I’ll get to that.
What we see here is an attempt to marry the best aspects of both Diablo 2 and 3, and I’d say it mostly succeeds. We are back to the bleak, gothic horror of the second game. I think D3 got unfairly maligned in that regard but yes, this is pure D2. Washed-out, bloody, but still in many areas, grotesquely gorgeous. At worst, a bit muddy in a few zones. Fresh detail has been put into your hero specifically, between the character creator and some really beautiful work on the armor and weapons this time around that will greet you each time you log into the game. I’ve already had a blast going through transmog with my limited farmed selection of gear.
“I cannot overstate just how satisfying it is to play Diablo 4 on a moment-to-moment basis,” wrote Twinfinite, “and with so much replay value to be had from its various classes and build possibilities within those classes, Diablo 4 feels like a true return to form for the series,”
Our in-progress review is among the more critical at the moment: Tyler Colp writes that “by reconfiguring its entire structure around what used to be relegated to the endgame,” Diablo 4 loses much of what appealed to him about the series. Other reviews also point out friction between Diablo’s best qualities and the live service structure, though. In its unscored, positive review, Polygon expresses “mixed feelings” over the “MMO-ification of Sanctuary,” for example.
One caveat to these reviews: the battle pass and real-money cosmetics shop were not live during the pre-release review period. Reviewers did see a video of the features, though, and that was another focus of the live service-related criticism. Destructoid, for instance, found the shop’s placement in an in-game menu unseemly.
“If we’re treating the game like an MMORPG, I can allow some leeway for cosmetic microtransactions,” Destructoid writes. “However, the avenue to purchase them has no business within the core gameplay loop of a $70-$100 game. Not only is this immersion breaking, but it also subtly inflicts a psychological temptation that builds over hours of playing and seeing that ‘SHOP’ tab stare you in the face.”
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