Diablo Immortal First Impressions: Hack and Slash for Mobile Done Right!

by Jamie Inocian  June 8, 2021

We think it’s safe to assume that Diablo has a huge fan base. It’s a game that defined the action RPG, hack and slash gaming genre for a long time, which is why it feels fitting that the franchise is making its way onto mobile devices.

It’s been nearly 3 years since Diablo Immortal was announced at BlizzCon. While some people have already experienced this mobile game before us, we’ve only gotten my hands on it recently and it’s time to share our thoughts about the game.

Note: Possible spoilers. We haven’t gotten very far but if you want to get into Diablo Immortal blind, they you may want to click away. Don’t worry. We understand.

The Timeline

To paraphrase what Blizzard has put on their website, the events of Diablo Immortal happen in between Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III. The Worldstone has been destroyed but Diablo’s minions are hard at work gathering its corrupted fragments to try and bring him back.

We’re going to try our best not to spoil the storyline for you but we’ve also haven’t gotten too far as well but expect a few familiar names and places to pop up; especially if you’ve played Diablo III.

Wizard

 

The Gameplay

As of writing this article, there are only 5 classes open to be tested out.

You have the classic Barbarian, the Wizard, Demon Hunter, Monk, and the Crusader. The Necromancer is still on its way and we’re curious what the performance will be like once you have a dozen or so minions following you around. We chose to play as a Wizard but we’ve only reached Level 22 as of writing this article.

If you’ve been playing MOBAs on your smartphones, the gameplay experience should be extremely familiar to you with the movement of your character controlled with your left thumb and a plethora of skills to choose from on the right side of the screen. New skills will be learned as you level up but it doesn’t look like the skill rune system from Diablo III has made it on to this title. It doesn’t look like we’re getting the same amount of skills per class as we got in D3 but you still have a lot to choose from and we’re excited to see what meta builds will emerge from the list.

Honestly, I have to commend the team from Blizzard because they’ve adapted this beloved IP for mobile gaming really well and it truly feels like a triple A title for your smartphones. We’ve been trying it out on the Asus Zenfone 8 and it runs really smoothly on Ultra settings with the 60fps option turned on. No surprises there but Blizzard has always been good a scaling down their graphics for low-end machines and that’s still the case with Diablo Immortal.

It runs well on the vivo V21 5G, which is considered to be a mid-range smartphone that has a Mediatek Dimensity 800U but we also had a go with the Redmi Note 10 5G and still ran really well albeit at lower graphics settings. We’ll try to test this out on entry-level devices as well but no promises on when or if that article is going to see the light of day.

Illustrations for cutscenes that we saw in D3 is a great storytelling tool.

The overall presentation is just fantastic. They’ve taken a lot of the storytelling aspects from Diablo III and they’ve included some top notch voice acting for key dialogue to help move the plot along too.

As expected, there’s going to be a ton of loot that you can get by slaying monsters and from what I’ve read about the game the old rune system from D2 looks to be making a comeback in this one as well. There’s also going to be a Battle Pass system, with a free and paid tier, but they haven’t revealed the price of the paid model yet. Most of the people who we’ve seen cover the game have it estimated at around $10 per month so that’s around Php 500. Expect big time bonuses if you are planning to sink some real dough in this game though.

There is a multiplayer aspect to Diablo Immortal as well. We ran into a couple of other players while exploring and they can help you with World Events that happen across the map to get even more loot from baddies that are going to be more of a challenge on your own. You can also party up with some of them as you enter instances for boss fights and you can even join a clan once you reach level 20 though we haven’t really explored the benefits of that just yet.

Initial Verdict: Get Ready to Massacre Diablo’s Minions!

As a big fan of the franchise, I was very impressed at how Blizzard has brought one of their biggest IPs into the age of mobile gaming.

Blizzard says that, while the core game is free, there are in-app purchases. You can buy Eternal Orbs (though I have gotten 1000 just by playing) to get Legendary Crests to modify rifts and other in-game currency to craft better items; plus the Battle Pass subscription for some extra bonuses. They also mentioned that these purchases won’t be a roadblock to enjoying the game itself and more of an extra for those willing to pony up the cash. Here’s to hoping that it stays that way.

Diablo Immortal is looking to be a great addition to the Diablo Franchise though and I would personally recommend getting it as soon as it’s launched or you can try your luck to see if you can get into the Closed Beta tests. Unfortunately, and quite characteristically Blizzard, they haven’t announced when the game is going live but it is going to be worth the wait.

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    Pls dont make this a big deal, its a crap game. Nobody wants to be on their phone if they can play it on their pc.
    A better article is how much is blizzard paying you guys to write articles or try the game out