Community Review: The Diablo IV Open Beta

Community Review: The Diablo IV Open Beta

Welcome back to Community Review! We know, it’s been a while.

Now that we’ve had two full weekends of Diablo IV open beta access, perhaps it’s time we talked about what we thought? Get in the comments — I’m ready to hear your takes, good, bad, and in-between.

I’ve already given my thoughts on the early access portion of the Open Beta, and those thoughts remained more or less unchanged in the second open beta period. My personal feeling is that, in the moments that it embraces the oppressive gloom of Diablo II, this new game feels like it’s operating at its absolute best. The moments when it returns to the open world, embracing a more communal space for players online, are where it loses quite a bit of steam.

I didn’t get to spend as much time with the second weekend’s open beta as I did the first, though I did put a couple of hours into the Druid and Necromancer classes added for the second round. While the Necro still felt and played similarly to its counterpart in D2 (not a bad thing), the druid felt markedly different. This was not a squishy druid — both the male and female presenting models are muscular slabs of sweaty, dirty beef. They resemble boulders, rolling over the land from which they commune and draw their power. It actually felt like a bit of the Paladin class had been woven into the druid? I attached a chain lightning effect to my M1 physical attack and found it prodigiously effective. I was neck-deep in skeletons in the game’s first dungeon, watching the lightning arc between enemies before I made the connection to the pally.

Though the beta answered a lot of my own questions about what the game is and what it’s trying to do, I still have plenty about how the game plans to handle its open world, its battle pass, and its real money transactions. Those concerns, and how the game will sustain itself into the future, of course, remain to be seen.

Over to you, Kotaku Australia community. Where are you now that we’ve had an extended, hands-on look at Diablo IV? Are you more excited? Less? Is it different to what you expected, or is it hitting just right? Are you done with Blizzard for good, or are you prepared to give them one more chance? Let me know in the comments down below.

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