Tuesday, June 07, 2022

First Impressions of Diablo: Immortal

First off, I'm not going to discuss monetization in this post. I've observed before that F2P ends up poisoning the conversation around the game, and I'd like to to discuss the game itself. As well, I'm still pretty low level, and haven't reached a point where the monetization actually impacts me.

Diablo: Immortal is a Free-2-Play mobile phone/tablet game, though it does have a PC version. The PC version is technically a beta, but as character data is shared between mobile and PC, it's live for all intents and purposes.

Now, I don't actually play any games on my phone. But I decided to try D:I on the phone given that it's the native environment. I have an iPhone X, so a couple generations behind the very latest. The game ran pretty well. Controls are fairly straightforward and easy to use. Your left thumb controls a "joystick" for movement, and your right thumb presses the attack and ability buttons.

However, after about 5-10 minutes, my phone got uncomfortably hot. I'm not sure if this is normal, or if it's just a little too old, or if I should have turned down the settings. But in any case, I removed D:I from my phone and installed it on PC. Everything carried over, so I picked up where I left off.

Diablo: Immortal is a somewhat simplified Diablo III. Most of the classes and abilities are very similar to D3 abilities. However, there's only one primary attack, and 4 extra abilities, plus one ultimate ability. No runes modifying abilities so far. Abilities appear to be cooldown-based so far.

I'm playing a Crusader. Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Wizard, and Necromancer are also available.

The story is very Diablo, featuring many characters from the series. It's also rather grim, maybe aiming a little more towards Diablo II. It's pretty standard, you're chasing down and trying to destroy Shards of the Worldstone, which are being used by a variety of bad guys. For now I'm just following the main questline, but there are dungeons, bounties and a couple types of rifts you can also do.

D:I is kind of an MMO, but one where playing with others is very optional (at least so far). For example, you see other people when running around in the world, and you can opt to do dungeons and rifts with others using automated match-making. But if you don't want to play with others, you can do the dungeons and rifts solo.

The UI is interesting. It's obviously meant for mobile. So for example, there's no right-click or drag-and-drop in the UI. Everything is button-based. It does have a nice feature where gear and menu items have a red gem on them if you can do something with them.

You can upgrade rare items and gems. In a nice twist, if you equip a new item, you can automatically "transfer" the upgraded level and gems.

Diablo: Immortal is clearly a mobile game. The graphics are decent enough, but obviously meant for mobile. It's lacking a lot of the bells and whistles that a PC game would have. For example, it doesn't have destructible barrels and jars, which is pretty traditional for Diablo.

If you feel like playing more Diablo, give Diablo:Immortal a whirl.


  1. > Most of the classes and abilities are very similar to D3 abilities.

    I think it's funny that the classes in DI and D3 have more similarities than classes in WoW between add-ons.

    1. Hah, that's true. However, D3 also has a lot of abilities, especially if you take all the rune modifiers into account. Probably several times as many as a WoW class. So D:I only uses a small subset of those moves, but is still recognizable as a D3 class.

  2. Apparently the P2W and cash shop stuff kicks in really heavily once you get past L40s, so if you can avoid that, I guess it's okay.

    1. Maybe, we'll see. I'm a little disenchanted with the gaming community at the moment, what with the rampant RMT in WoW: Classic, and the refusal to pay anything close to a fair price for games. Sometimes I feel that we deserve the payment models that we are getting.