Diablo 4

Review: Diablo 4

By three they come. By three, thy way opens. By the blood of the willing, we call thee home. Hail, Daughter of Hatred. Creator of Sanctuary. Hail...Lilith.

The Diablo series has been a part of PC gaming for decades now. With Diablo 4 only a day from early launch, it’s hard not to be excited for a franchise that had me (Dave) personally connecting to my parent’s fax line to play for 200+ hours in the early 2000s.

We were lucky enough at Console Creatures to play a pre-release build of Diablo 4 in the days leading up to the 1.0 launch. This review in progress will be updated as we spend more time with the game. We couldn’t tackle the entire title and all it has to offer, and we didn’t feel it was fair to fully judge it without digging deeper. The fact is that Diablo has always been about the endgame and working with other players; this is doubly so in Blizzard’s latest release.

Several elements were missing, like the Battle Pass. We also haven’t spent time in the endgame content yet, so we’ll include that in the review as soon as we get there. We’ll share our experience and thoughts here and on Creature Cast, our official Console Creatures podcast.

Diablo 4 Keeps Things Classy

The first thing you’ll do is choose your hero or class and customize them. You know what to expect if you spent time with the previous beta weekends. If you haven’t: there’s the Necromancer, Sorcerer, Barbarian, Rogue, and Druid available on launch. Each with its abilities and strengths, and weaknesses.


During the pre-prelease review time with Diablo 4, I spent most of my time with the Druid. I speak about it on the podcast, but I had a lot of fun with the same class I cherished in the Diablo 2 days. I did find some of the damage output to be underpowered. Luckily that became less apparent over time, and I found a great groove with the dozens of abilities at my disposal.

Based on feedback, Blizzard made some changes to the classes. Depending on who you ask, these changes are welcome or unwarranted, but personally, it makes sense if you want people to have tons to do and want them to return each week.

The Barbarian will receive a 10 percent passive damage reduction, Whirlwind deals more damage but consumes more Fury, and Double Swing refills Fury cost when used on Stunned or Knocked Down enemies.


Next, the Druid’s Companion skills will deal heavier increased damage, and all Ultimate skills have had their cooldown period reduced, both Maul and Pulverize have had usability improvements made to them, and non-Shapeshifting skills transform the Druid back to human.

The Necromancer is no longer overpowered; minions will die faster, so expect to use more corpses often. The bonuses in the Book of the Dead have had their stats increased, the damage dealt by Corpse Explosion has been reduced, and the brightness of Skeletal Warriors and Mages has been reduced.

The Rogue’s Subterfuge skill has increased its bonus with multiple passive skills, and all Imbuement skills had increased cooldowns.

I found myself more and more impressed with how much there is to do and what’s available… so far, I think this will be a damn good game and something worth your time.

Diablo 4’s class system not only provides a robust offering of powers and skills to try out but incentives to play the game multiple times. Even if you’ve been a Barbarian main in previous games, the differences in builds may compel you to start a campaign with a Rogue or Necromancer down the line. Plus, with Diablo 4’s “live service” model, meta changes can fluctuate with nerfs and buffs over time. This can help keep gameplay and character grinds feeling refined and fleshed out throughout the seasons.


Demons and Dungeons Galore

Diablo 4 is massive. So big in fact, that we didn’t have time to get our hands on many late-game experiences. Our time with the game primarily came from the first two Acts. In Act 1 alone, you can eat up dozens of hours of playtime. Main quests are varied and exciting, and the open map and exploration allow you to mainline your task list or venture off and see what you can explore on your terms.

As big as Diablo 4 is, it hasn’t felt bloated or overcrowded. Yes, there are far more side quests, but they all feel meaningful and serve a purpose. On top of that, they feel rewarding and potentially even more critical for long-term play. Whether it be chests, items, or even the boss battles themselves, it’s all been incredibly fun and worthwhile.



Quests no longer consist of dungeon diving, grabbing a reward, and returning to town. There are far more exciting environments and characters you meet before, during, and after, creating a rich world to play in. Those dungeons are now primarily optional. Each one with its elite or boss and each with a class-specific or account-bound stat boost as a reward. Of course, you’re able to mainline the story-based content but in doing so, you’d be missing out on some really substantial side content. Optional missions gathered in towns do wonders to not only make Sanctuary feel like a living and breathing space but fleshes out the world-building.


Lucky Loot

The loot system in Diablo 4 is excellent. It’s critical that the dev team focus this aspect of the game. It simply won’t be as enjoyable without troves of awesome loot. In the first two acts of Diablo 4, I picked up many incredible high-level items that put me in a challenging position.

I think Diablo 4 is this generation’s Diablo 2. There is a lot of things to get excited for if you are a returning player or hoping to become one.

It’s a good problem as you sift through an abundance of riches mid-dungeon crawl and back in town. It felt great to experiment, whether it was a bow, helm, boots, staff, or jewelry. It also appears that the higher tier drops were more frequent compared to the closed and open beta weekends earlier this year.

Diablo has always served as a vessel to chase and horde loot. There’s a cathartic feeling when picking up a high-powered exotic weapon. It’s such a wonder to see your character gradually evolve into a badass as armour set design and weaponry continually get better across your playthrough.


Regarding the Battle Pass, it’s no news that this approach is a proven money maker. One that can be viewed cynically, and one as a good long-term plan to keep an ongoing game like this alive and the developers paid accordingly. Regardless, Diablo 4 has a Battle Pass and with it comes loads of cosmetics and links to several currencies the game will have.


Diablo 4 is a massive step from its predecessor in nearly every imaginable way. The content you’re getting caters to players who want to return and access better loot repeatedly. The story is now told in detail that are leaps and bounds better.

Blizzard’s latest entry has a tactile feel, making the impressive abilities and battles feel even more epic and impressive. Sure, tweaks to the systems will happen over time, but that won’t minimize the joy you can feel from crushing a dozen enemies in one cast of your crashing meteor.

From the particle effects to the unsettling background sounds that queue in at the perfect moment, it’s already clear that Diablo 4 provides an awe-inspiring presentation. It’s a critical component that could be overlooked at times, but rest assured, the dev team has put the work in to make this game look, sound, and feel satisfying on several levels.

Diablo 4 is not only the natural progression of a nearly 30-year-old franchise. While it does modernize the classic dungeon-crawling loot grinder, it does so while making it accessible. Fans of the franchise will have so much to sink their teeth into. Beyond that, new fans will be welcomed by the best version of Blizzard’s demon-slaying franchise.


[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PC, PlayStation 5

Diablo 4
Diablo 4 is an impressive and massive conquest of demons, loot, exploration, and wildly fun mechanics. It's already clear that this game brings tons of new content to the franchise and handles it incredibly well.
Lots of rewarding and purposful side quests and dungeons
Strongholds, quests, and dungeons are all unique and we'll thought out
Interesting and varied loot drops
Incredible detail in it's look and sound
Didn't Like
Some classes still feel a little underpowered
Because there's so much to do, navigating menus can be cumbersome on a controller