Since the more than controversial announcement of Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018, the Californian studio has remained more than silent on this topic. Only one new trailer was released at ChinaJoy 2020. Aside from that, the silence and lack of news had an impact, making the slightest concrete announcement all the more evident in the eyes of the gaming community. With that in mind, we’ve been invited to attend the Diablo Immortal Summit on December 15, hosted by Wyatt Cheng and Caleb Arseneaux, an outstanding member of the game’s development team, and check out the technical alpha, “We learned a lot … because we didn’t know much.
Our video preview of Diablo immortal after 6 hours of play
A new story, but many famous characters
All fans of the Diablo license insisted on asking the question, and the answer was given a few months ago, but the details arrived very early in the summit. Yes, Diablo Immortal will have its own narrative arc that will highlight characters, friends, or opponents we’ve already met. On the lore and timeline side, the action takes place shortly after the events of Diablo II that destroy Baal and the stone world, and just before those of Diablo III. To add substance to it all, Blizzard wanted to give players an experience that was both innovative and nostalgic. Deckard Cain will be there, advising your heroes this time, and no longer just an identifier of objects on legs. We also find Xul the Necromancer, Leoric the Skeleton King and many others like Akara, Charsi or the Dark Countess. In short, beautiful people: enough to bring old players back into their comfort zone and attract new ones with a story that is completely independent of other works. Localization level, Farewell Tristram. Welcome to Wortham and its demons, living dead and other slimy and rotten animals invading areas, all themes of Skarn, Herald of Terror.
Pure Diablo in the text
For a fan of the license since his first work, the feeling was mixed around this title announced on the mobile phone. It’s hard to imagine a game running up to the PC versions with the same lifespan or sensations. And the shock was severe during the tests, which lasted almost 6 hours. Because yes, the game is good. The first preview we tested at BlizzCon 2018 already seemed encouraging despite the reviews, but it all came true on Tuesday..
On the contrary, the monk, the witch, the barbarian and the demon hunter have lost none of their brilliance. Her talent trees are almost fuller than Diablo III’s, the lifespan seems infinitely renewable, and the feeling of progress and achievement is very pleasant. We’re watching the return of spells, revised nephalem rifts, we’re improving our equipment bit by bit … Everything that can be expected from the license.
In the seven zones that we were able to cover, Westwalk at the top, the NPCs were very useful in explaining the intricacies and novelties of this mobile episode. Getting started with the joystick and aiming system, new adventures and bonuses, the gem market … everything has passed and time has passed at breakneck speed as the enemies fell under our hammer blows and other fireballs by the dozen.
Special mention deserves the aiming system, which is sometimes capricio us with special abilities and is very well designed to lock a target and not let go, even if the thumb gets tired or moves
Convenience but also many new functions
During our 6 hours of gameplay, we reached level 32, followed closely the main storyline, and completed the optional quests that appeared on the screen without actually deviating from the beaten path. As stated by Wyatt Cheng, we were there to test leveling early in the game and “midgame” activities. The level limit has therefore been set at 45 and will be 60 for release. As soon as this maximum is reached, the Paragon system takes over from Diablo III in a much deeper version, which above all allows the gameplay to be completely varied within each class..
In terms of graphics and atmosphere, we find again the essence of the license, with a very strong influence from Diablo III. Desert landscapes follow cemeteries and other caves or huge graves. Something familiar, but also comforting. It’s hard to get a real idea of the graphics quality with the rendering you get on the screen since the pictures were taken on a phone, but the game looks fine and actually very thin on a screen of the right size.. Note that there are four graphic layers available to suit the different configurations of cell phones.
On the economic system side – THE big question about this title – the developers were rather reassuring. And even If we didn’t have access to the monetized part of the game during this technical alpha, they assured us that no “useful” items, no equipment, would be affected by in-store purchases. It will only be devoted to cosmetics and other expendable items, in the form of a battle pass and so on. It’s simple: every device and weapon you own must be collected from a creature or chest. Exchanges between players only concern gems.
A couple of caveats and unknowns
Despite the pleasant surprise with this tech alpha, two or three things should be cleared up. If the handle is honestly fairly easy and instinctive for those who are used to the license, it will necessarily take a little longer for the new ones, especially those not particularly in phase with the target system. Under your right thumb, the target of your specialty skills can sometimes slip out a little, and your skill will go completely empty.. In the midst of a tough fight and with a cooldown of sometimes 15 seconds, we only taste very poorly …
As for the tech, your device shouldn’t be too old to run the game, even if you can reduce the graphics performance to improve the gameplay. Tested on an iPhone XR, the game did very well in ultra graphics, but the minimum seems to be the iPhone 6S on the iOS side. Developers shouldn’t make lengthy concrete lists of technical specifications to reassure (or not) future players.
Last thing to note: sometimes a little unpleasant collisions with the environment that we could do without, especially since we are necessarily less precise with the tactile joystick than with the mouse in hand. Stumbling into tombstones for a few pixels or the door frame of a door can be frustrating at times, although ultimately it’s quite rare.
This Diablo Immortal alpha tech looks very promising without a doubt. Diablo in the gameplay, in the atmosphere … the return of famous faces is really a very important strength that will delight many players when they come out of whom we do not know the date at all. We can only imagine that after a few weeks of alpha and bug fixes, we’ll have some real news on BlizzConline this coming February.
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December 18, 2020 at 12:00:08 am