Diablo Immortal for PC and Mobile Reviews

Diablo Immortal for PC and Mobile Reviews

Diablo Immortal is here to take over your life! Whether on mobile or PC, the latest entry in the long-running Diablo franchise has been expertly designed to give you the experience of a lifetime. All the Gacha mechanic hell of the mobile space here, along with great visuals, solid performance, and a silly fun MMO stripped-down take on the Diablo III formula. The big question is, can you have fun without spending your life savings? I spent almost 40 hours on the game and spent $5 on the battle pass and am very happy with my experience. Let's take a look back at everything in this huge and fantastic mobile take on the beloved series.

Your soul (good money) is mine!

The biggest narrative surrounding Diablo Immortal's launch is about monetization, so let's get to that first. The game doesn't have much of a pay-to-win feature, preferring endless pay-to-skip. Timers and resource limits are everywhere in the endgame, and you can spend a lot of money trying to maximize your character gear if you want. I haven't found anything that can't be accessed without paying, but there are multiple areas where it's easier to get stuff if you cough up some dough. This is the proven and truly terrible monetization scheme behind almost (all?) major mobile games. It's been interesting seeing people's first real forays into the world of Gacha mechanics, and I hope this heralds a sea change, though I doubt it. There are enough "whales" willing to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and they're going to pay for self-made folks like me who might buy the occasional season pass for as much as $5.

The biggest culprit in MTX arena is the fabled gem grind, which is really hard to get after a while and very expensive to upgrade. If you want to minimize/maximize your gear, which is the real focus of any Diablo game, you need to run Legendary Rifts over and over as fast as possible. You have a slim chance of getting a legendary gem drop, which you can then use or destroy to upgrade the gems you already have. This treadmill is a Diablo game at its core, but its time is here because it's a free mobile game. You can pay to bypass this restriction whenever you want, which is at the heart of how Blizzard and developer NetEase make a lot of cash.

The month-long battle pass has 40 levels and costs $5, along with a host of in-game resources and some cosmetics. Boons of Abundance add extra resources, drops, and various inventory slots for more money, but only for a short time. It's all bad, scary, and not new. Yes, the monetization of this game is terrible if you have the addictive personality, and if you want to spend half your salary quicker to prepare a single course bound to one server, you should avoid it at all costs. Another big problem with Diablo Immortal is this server system and its lack of cross-server play.

MMO-lite? ok, ok, ok

If you and your friends want to better stomp some demon heads together, make sure you both start your characters on the same server. Once you put a character in the only place they can play, it's totally old fashioned Warcraft style, and unless Netease has a plan to change that, you can't play with people outside of the server from everything I've tried (I would like to be wrong). The reason for having these servers is that it's pretty cool, almost MMO-style, for everyone to play together. It ended up being one of my biggest complaints and favorite features of the game. For all the constraints, when I'm fighting mine, it's pretty cool to see tons of people around me fighting enemies they (occasionally) can't see. Having a dungeon run that I can match in seconds and finish in 5 minutes is great for Diablo on mobile. They did a great job of stripping down every aspect of Diablo III into something bite-sized but still massive.

The story begins like most people, you're a damn powerful adventurer trying to stop a new Lord of Hell. This guy has a stupid name, Skarn, and he's a big jerk. You'll work alongside series familiar Deckard Cain to drive out the demonic hordes and save the Sanctuary. The story is good so far, neither brilliant nor scary. Much of it is voice acting, both well written and well acted, in its own right. Its biggest advantage is that it never gets in the way of me jumpstarting and powering up my character a little in the brief moments I have/want to play. On mobile or PC (stuck at 1080p but otherwise looks/works fine), it's a pretty big title. The full mobile install totals over 11GB, while the PC maxes out at 26GB.

Input on mobile is touch (of course) or a controller, on PC a mouse is added to replace touch. In both cases, I found the controller to be my go-to way to play, as the WASD and number key setup on PC ended up being difficult to use easily, and clicking to move mostly caused me to attack due to the mobilized UI size.

volkswagen diablo

Everything in this game is highly simplified to work within the constraints of a touchscreen UI. Everything from the menus to your gear and combat works really well on the touchscreen. Combat-wise, though the controller is by far the best for me, and the mouse that quickly switches to the UI is my go-to combo for handling the game's various systems. Right-clicking on the d-pad brings up a cursor to select something in the UI, which feels terrible. Acceleration is completely off, and the cursor feels attached to certain UI elements, which makes it difficult to be accurate. On a phone, you can use your thumb to start pressing things, but if you're gaming on a PC, keep your mouse close at hand if you want to reduce frustration.

In general, one big way they help with frustration is how you handle gear. You now basically upgrade slots instead of upgrading each item individually. Do you have an upgrade, but you've already upgraded a previous item to level 3? Once you've equipped the new one, the game lets you simply swap in any upgrades and gems you had in the previous one, easy! Around level 30 or so (level 60) I started getting legendary drops, which changed my moves in interesting new ways. Gear sets are also in there, although there aren't many entry points for each class, and they're hard to come by (which is good, it's Diablo!). The controls are simple but fun, with main attacks and 4 hot-swappable special moves. Every main attack has a metered ultimate connected to it, which helps when the going gets tough, and you have a 3-charge potion that refills the meter pretty quickly.

Combat-wise, it's easier to pick up than Diablo 3. You're stronger and more capable, and that's fine because while grinding on mobile is by default requires less stuff. The real beauty of this game is how it adapts to both short and long-term sessions. There's a ton of content on offer, but none of it takes more than 10 to 15 minutes to finish, and if you have to log out and rejoin, you're always right back where you left off. I have never been punished for having to turn off my phone to take the dog out or cook. When I came back a few hours later, I was back where I was and was able to continue having fun, the game was a lot of fun. As with all MTX matters, the endgame balance never felt like any of the fun I was having was taken away from it. I don't care about leaderboards or PVP, so if you do, then it's going to be a tougher experience for you.

Vault Ruins, Sounds, and Crashes

Graphically, the game looks great on mobile and is good enough on PC. I have a fairly powerful rig that averages 250 fps in large battles and 1000 fps in most cities and menus. It's not a demanding game for most PCs, but it did make the back of my phone feel like the face of the sun when I cranked up the settings. 60fps is a must for me, and my Galaxy 21FE runs fine with zero perceived drop. Connections to servers can be trickier, as I often feel the sting of lag, but the game corrects itself quickly, never kicking me, and always doing me a favor when it sabotages incoming.

Sound-wise, the music is fantastic, the opening soundtrack is a bombshell, and the in-game cutscenes look great when the music is at its loudest. It can be a little quiet when traveling the world and fighting stuff, but My Monk's voice acting is well done and sets off the desolate mood well.

The last major negative is crashes on PC. My game crashed about 40 times in about 15 hours of my time. Everything loads so quickly and the game keeps returning me to where I was, which isn't as frustrating as it could be, but it still needs to be worked out. I have no crashing issues on the mobile client and it loads almost as fast as my computer.

in conclusion

Diablo Immortal is fun, looks great, sounds great, has a Diablo grind, and provides the now-standard for the horribly unbalanced monetization system that has plagued mobile for years. The good news is that you can enjoy this game without spending a penny, but if you lean towards MTX - which is or really cares about PVP - it can greatly unbalance the endgame. For me, though, this is a title I'll be playing for a long time while I wait for the next mainline entry in the series to hit. It's a great game, and with some love, care, and not being greedy, it might just be the best mobile game ever made.

review date Android and Windows PCs
release date June 2nd, 2022
available at Android, iOS, Windows PC
development tools NetEase & Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher Blizzard Entertainment
rated M is for mature
Finally, if you want to quickly upgrade your level or get Diablo Immortal, you can buy it from us, which is cheap, efficient and fast