I was unable to play an early version of Diablo Immortal. I pulled it only after the premiere, played it and… got mixed feelings.
Diablo Immortal divided fans of the brand early on. Some were annoyed that Blizzard turned petty and released a “mobilka”, while others were happy to receive another hack’n’slash in their chosen universe, whatever form it took. Some feared that the game was another free smartphone game, in which the most important thing is … the abundance of credit cards, while others argued that Blizzard would not go so far as to tarnish the leading brand in its portfolio. . Eventually it all turned out…somewhere in the middle. It is too early to pronounce a verdict, because I spent too little time in the Sanctuary (the authors announce that the realization of the plot is the business of about twenty hours), and besides, a lot will depend on how “Blizzard” develops its latest work, but now I can say one thing – Diablo Immortal is as addictive as Diablo.
Diablo Immortal is Diablo made of flesh and blood, only suitable for smartphones and… free-to-play, which means you can play without paying, but at a certain point it becomes more and more difficult .
Divided Game Boxes
Blizzard’s latest work divided fans long before the premiere, and the decision to introduce lootboxes into the game meant that people in the Netherlands and Belgium couldn’t (and probably couldn’t) make it work. In both of these countries, the gaming element in the form of paid packages with pop-up content (sometimes better, sometimes worse) has been banned. Let’s answer the most important question for many: can you play Diablo Immortal without paying? Yes and no. Blizzard has actually offered a lot of content even for those who don’t want to spend money. However, the grind of this series has never been more emphasized. Payable in the new “Blizzards” hack’n’slash aren’t just cosmetic items. In principle, you can buy anything with real money, which will make your fun faster, easier and more enjoyable. You can keep your credit card in your wallet, but be prepared for a pleasant, if arduous journey through the Sanctuary.
I suspect the relatively long time to complete the game is largely due to strenuous grinding. However, from what players who have already done so (some of them got pre-launch access) write, it only gets worse afterward. The most valuable items in Diablo Immortal are traditionally obtained by entering Rifts. These are caves with a fairly high level of difficulty, in which not only monsters are hidden, but also the most valuable loot. However, they are designed in such a way that it is difficult to get the most interesting items without using the micropayment system. In short – if we want to have a chance of getting the most valuable loot, we have to be prepared for the expense. The issue of cosmetic items was also poorly resolved (from a player’s point of view). These are assigned to a specific character on a specific server. So you have to pay for the same things a second time, if you change character (this is understandable all the same) or server (it’s hard to justify).
Diablo like Diablo, only smaller
What about grind and microtransactions? Diablo Immortal is a Diablo game that anyone can play. The canon versions of the series weren’t complicated, but now we’re dealing with the simplest formula you can only imagine. After the initial character class selection (barbarian, demon hunter, wizard, monk, crusader, necromancer) we are guided all the time by hand. The game clearly shows us where to go, where to click (or tap the screen), what to do. During the fight, just press the part of the display that corresponds to the blow, and the hero (or heroine) will swing the weapon automatically. When we enter the inventory, we don’t even have to compare the statistics of individual items, since a small green arrow will immediately tell us which weapon or piece of armor is better than the ones we are currently using. Banality.
In Diablo Immortal, most things happen automatically. When the character goes to higher experience levels, we have almost nothing to do – we can only decide which skills (unlocked and of course, automatically) we want to use. Blizzard has also prepared a crafting system, but too bad, since the creation of a sentient object forces us to spend a lot of time looking for raw materials, and in addition – in order not to accidentally speed up – the creators have limited the number of things we can create ourselves for a week or a month. Sure, we can speed up the process, but…yes, you guessed it, you need to get your credit card back.
Blizzard has very effectively adapted Diablo’s mechanics to smartphone screens. I was comfortable gaming on the sub-7 inch touchscreen. I always had all the important things close at hand, spaced far enough apart to avoid accidental activations (and believe me, there’s a lot going on on the screen). However, I had even more fun after connecting to the pad. Playing Diablo Immortal this way is probably as responsive and fun as playing Diablo 3 on consoles. And if something in the controls turns out to be unsuitable for your habits, you can easily change the configuration.
Technically, Diablo Immortal is the top shelf when it comes to smartphone and tablet games. Playing on an almost 7-inch screen felt like I was playing the mentioned Diablo 3. Diablo 3, to which Blizzard’s latest production is aesthetically identical. Unfortunately, dear fans of the more serious and darker Diablo, it looks like you have to wait for “four” (or you can fire up Diablo 2: Resurrected). Location and character designs, effects accompanying skills, smooth animation – everything is at a very high level. The same goes for the soundtrack – both with the music that inspires travel through the Sanctuary and with the character voices that accompany each dialogue. It should also be added that Diablo Immortal – like other “Blizzards” titles – has a Polish-language version.
Diablo Immortal is a big-budget mobile game that inherits everything good from its “big sisters”, and at the same time everything bad, free-to-play productions for smartphones and tablets. As in any title of this type, the beginning looks very promising and the pleasure attracts you quickly. The first levels of experience jump at lightning speed. At a similar rate, we are becoming owners of ever more powerful weapons and armor. The first symptom of the “pay or grind” mechanism occurs right after completing the tutorial, but it’s innocent. This is a beginner’s package for only 4.99 PLN. However, anyone who has dealt with free-to-play on smartphones knows what will happen next. The grind and microtransactions start to take over over time.
Can you do without paying? Kind of
Fortunately – contrary to the vision created by a large group of gamers – Blizzard has given away a lot of content in Diablo Immortal for free. It is true that access to the store (where we buy not only items and cosmetic kits, but also platinum and eternal orbs – the base currency of the game) is obtained immediately after completing the tutorial, but in fact , for about 10 hours, you can have fun without spending a single zloty. Well, it might be worth spending PLN 4.99 on a beginner’s package, but that’s it. After that, all you have to do is get used to the grind. Fortunately, this one is only really annoying after a few evenings spent with a smartphone (or tablet) in your hands.
I don’t want to be misunderstood. I have no problem paying to play (I’ve been doing it for about 20 years), but I’d rather pay 150 zlotys for Diablo Immortal once and have peace of mind than having to pull out my time wallet in time, not yet knowing how much to spend. I’m not a fan of free-to-play. But that’s the game and that’s the business model. I’m aware that millions of players around the world – big and small – agree with this and leave huge sums of money in Blizzard’s bank account. If that’s okay with you, go for it. And if not, grab as many as you can without paying (or only paying up to a certain self-determined threshold), then just keep waiting for Diablo 4. Hopefully there’s – at least in the story campaign – a tedious chore We won’t experience any intrusive microtransaction systems.