'Diablo IV' is looking set to be another huge hit for Blizzard, and will likely allow them to move past the controversy (see: pay to win, loot boxes) of 'Diablo Immortal'. 

Launching the game just before 4pm on Friday as a queue was expected, there was a surprisingly short wait to get into the servers. There were reports of connection issues during the closed beta so it was greatly appreciated that Blizzard addressed this in the few days between. Throughout the weekend there were no further queues or connection issues – with luck, this is a peek at how the full release will go.

Character Creation and Customization

Once you get past the initial accessibility options which are quite in-depth, you’re faced with the character creation screen. There are a lot of options for tattoos, makeup & facial hair, hairstyle and colour, however, there are only two options for ‘body type’, large and muscular, or smaller and muscular. More customization options for body type would have been appreciated, but the iso view and typically being quite far zoomed out means you don’t often have a close view of your character, making this essentially a non-issue when you’re actually playing. End-game fashion will be a much more important part of making your character look the way you want. You’ll be happy to know that armour items can come in some bold colours, our Necromancer at one point had a blood-red breastplate and blue leg armour, making them stand out against the browns and greys or the dungeon. It’s confirmed that there will be cosmetic items – like the beta challenge award ‘Beta Wolf Pack’ - as well as an in-game cash shop for other cosmetics.

Graphics and Performance

This game is beautiful. Blizzard has done an incredible job bringing the world to life, the level of detail in every environment really draws you in. Wild animals populate the world and run from you and your enemies as you do battle. Certain environmental objects get destroyed during fights, the ground shows hints of recent struggles. The colour pallet makes the world and environment feel bleak, which is appropriate but is far from boring thanks to the splashes of deep red blood, the spectral blue glow of your skeletal minions, and spells flashing and exploding. The dynamic shadows, light from fires and lamps, and reflections from puddles of water also go a long way to making the fantasy world feel reel.

A beautiful world to play in is worth nothing if the game doesn’t run well, and thankfully the devs behind 'Diablo IV' have avoided this. All of their hard work above doesn’t come at the cost of performance 'Diablo IV' is well-optimised. The only performance issues we experienced over the weekend were rubber-banding due to server load rather than stuttering or FPS drops. 


There were five available classes to play in the open beta: Sorcerer, Rogue, Druid, Barbarian and Necromancer. Each class offers a unique way of playing the game, and depending on how you decide to spec out your character with skills, it's likely no two players will ever have the exact same experience with 'Diablo IV'. This, of course, means there is a great deal of replayability with the game, as we have come to expect from its predecessors. Having spent the weekend playing Necromancer, it was very impressive to see the way the skill tree was built. You can tell Blizzard has put a lot of thought into the end game, and the limited number of skill slots – 6 total, 4 spells/skills and primary and secondary mouse attacks – mean that you have to put careful thought into your build. Thankfully you’re not locked into your choices too much as you can pay a small fee to refund one or all of your skills. 


'Diablo IV' looks great, is fun and engaging, and looks to be set up to have a focus on end-game content. Just as 'Diablo III' improved on the formula of 'Diablo II', the latest instalment too has taken the formula and made tweaks and changes while staying true to what made its predecessors so good. This series doesn’t need massive innovations to make a great game, and Blizzard knows that. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, they have focussed their resources and efforts on making the best true sequel that they could, and it shows.