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Diablo 4 Review – The Best Diablo Yet

In this Diablo 4 Review, we’ll tell you all about the latest installment of the Blizzard Franchise, having played for over 120 hours, reached endgame with all classes, and explored every last corner of Sanctuary.

If you are wondering if Diablo 4 is worth the price, how performance and connectivity work, how the classes develop and if there is longevity, this Diablo 4 Review will answer all your Questions. If you decide to play the game, make sure to check out our Diablo 4 Wiki, the Interactive Map we have completely filled out, and the many, many builds for all classes that we are releasing starting June 2nd!.

Diablo 4 Review – The Best Diablo Yet

Developed by: Activision Blizzard
Published by: Activision Blizzard
Release date: June 2nd 2023 (early access), June 6th 2023 (regular)
Platforms: PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X (reviewed on PC, code provided by Activision Blizzard)
Price: USD 59.99 ~ 89.99

Diablo 4 Review – Story and Setting Impressions

The setting of the world of Diablo is actually well crafted and interesting. As a franchise started in 1997 and with releases spanning several decades, there has been plenty of time to add nuance and intrigue to the worldbuilding of Diablo, and the latest installment does an excellent job at bringing it together.

The story of the game follows the legend of the origins of Sanctuary, where the Demon Lilith and Angel Inarius created a “Sanctuary” world to escape the eternal heaven vs hell conflict. Angel and Demon eventually drifted apart, but their offspring, humanity, populated the world.

Diablo 4 Review - Lilith

Something is now amiss, and you quickly discover that Lilith has been re-summoned into Sanctuary, and has nefarious plans that will likely mean the end of humanity. Thus you seek out allies to find the knowledge of the Horardrim order and counter the evil propagating through the world.

The main story of Diablo 4 is told through optional NPC dialogues and cutscenes, that follow the now familiar act-based storytelling. Your quest takes you to unexpected places and brings surprising findings, which can keep you entertained and engaged into what is happening. Lilith, the main villain, is exceptionally well acted and her story well presented, so she does not seem like an empty “evil” from the previous games.

Similarly, other characters and supporting cast have backstories and personal development that adds depth to your progression beyond what is typical of the older games, and flavor text and special appearances of Unique enemies also hint at a deeper correlation between lore, world and gameplay.

Diablo 4 Review - Lorath

Unfortunately, despite the excellent worldbuilding and a good tempo for the main story and its crescendo, the actual plot is rather stale and predictable, and your character has no personality or development, remaining a pre-made hero stereotype.

Most people don’t play these games for depth of character or excellence of narrative so the shortcomings in this regard were expected, however it does seem like a wasted opportunity to truly take on the excellent setting and worldbuilding and bring it to life. In that sense, the world of Diablo features a very well crafted mythos, but I think you’ll do better to explore those via external content such as our D4 Lore Shorts than within the game.

In addition, I feel like some of the “feel” that I had for the story and world came from the unexpected benefit of playing during the press review period, meaning my world was actually completely empty of other players. This made the open world feel very diablo-like: I was alone, it was grim, and there were no distractions. I feel like regular players will never be able to experience that Diablo 4 that I just played, because they will be forced to constantly watch “skippy232” running by with his fancy cosmetics and a multitude of other players crowding quest NPCs and vendors. This will surely detract from the wonderfully crafted atmosphere that i got to enjoy.

Diablo 4 Review - Lore

Overall, the story of Diablo 4 will keep you entertained as you progress through the main campaign, and you will come to appreciate the characters you meet along the way. But there will be no reason for you to relive it a second time, and you’ll likely use the “skip campaign” button for your second character.

Diablo 4 Review – Gameplay

When I set out to play for this Diablo 4 review, I was concerned that I may not be able to experience the ‘true’ game as it would require an incredible commitment of hours within the short review period. As it turns out, the gameplay of Diablo 4 is so addictive, that we ended up leveling all characters to Over 50+, tried out all the activities on offer, and even created multiple builds per class. Let’s talk about how this comes about

Diablo 4 Review: Exploration

A frequent struggle I have with Diablo games is the Fog of War of the randomly generated maps of the games. I am an explorer and completionist by nature, so I felt compelled to try and clear every black spot on the map everytime I ran into a zone. This of course became frustratingly pointless eventually, but it always felt like I was missing out if I did not. I am thus really happy that the new open world Diablo approach allows me to keep the map cleared after I have done it, even if dungeons re-fog after exit.

Diablo 4 Review - Combat

Traversing and exploring the world of Sanctuary is interesting and rewarding, with a great amount of cellars, dungeons and events to find, and sprinkled with Altars of Lilith to act as milestones to your progress by giving you small boosts as you find them.

The regional renown mechanic and the significant amount of sidequests made the game feel vast and engaging, rewarding me for going into nook and crannies and not running past all enemy groups to my pinned objective. I very much enjoyed discovering each unique location, meeting its inhabitants and learning about their customs and troubles.

D4 Review Impressions: Combat & Customization

As an action RPG, Diablo 4’s most important aspect is without doubt its combat and the depth of character customization and progression. The fun of these games rides mainly in giving you plenty of options for fun and unique builds that feel interesting and fresh, and that can be applied to your game farming and be satisfying.

Diablo 4 Review - Customization

I personally had a fantastic amount of fun leveling up the Sorceress, and felt like there was a significant reward for getting to higher levels and tiers and unlocking more of the endgame progression. I ended up getting that sorceress to level 62 or so in the few days we had for a review just because I could not stop playing and making builds, with each legendary and unique I found giving me new ideas for ways to try to play.

Diablo 4 Review: Side & Post Game Content

There are really many activities to undertake in Diablo 4. Besides your normal main quest progression, there are 120+ quests and dungeons that certainly add a lot to do, but they can also feel quite cliched or copy-pasted at times, so temper your expectations if you plan on doing them all.

You can also find Unique enemies that drop powerful rare items with unique affix mixes, take on World Bosses with a group, and participate in many events that reward gambling materials. Most of this is best ignored for your main quest progression time, as you’ll want it to feel fresh when you get to the core of the game’s brilliance: Endgame.

Diablo 4 Review - World Boss

During the beta, we had concerns that things felt very “samey” when doing dungeons, and there was a feeling that legendaries weren’t adding enough uniqueness to really shape a build. I am happy to report that the endgame in Tier 3 and beyond blossoms your character and build in subtle and smart ways, ensuring that you have consistent progression and creating plenty of incentives to re-run the content.

There are certain endgame modes that I quickly became addicted to:

Helltides: These are special, timed zone-wide events where an entire area is overrun by demons. These enemies drop special currency that you accumulate as you play. Unique reward chests spawn within the zone with the promise of hidden legendaries within, with one chest per armor slot, one for jewelry, and two for weapon types (one handed or two-handed). Your objective is to gather enough currency to open as many chests as possible, but there’s a catch: If you die, you lose half your currency. Helltides have level 72 bosses and many mini-bosses roaming around them, and additional hazards such as random meteors, so you are kept on your toes as you try to quickly kill everything while staying alive. Events last between 30 minutes and an hour, and come by every few hours of play.

Nightmare Dungeons: These are special dungeons that you create with Sigils, obtained from high level content. The sigils apply a special effect and Tier to a dungeon, elevating the difficulty by introducing new mechanics and buffing enemies, while also improving the in-dungeon loot. The real motivation to make the most out of this dungeons, however, is to gain experience for your Paragon system special slots. The paragon system doesn’t just let you select buffs from a skill tree, but it allows you to collect “glyphs” that can be slotted at specific nodes in the paragon board. Those glyphs have powerful effects such as giving +x% boost to rare nodes in range, making your existing points count for much more than what they are. Running nightmare dungeons allows you to allocate XP to your glyphs, that become more powerful and expand their range as they level up.

Bounties for a special NPC: There is a special quest type that also unlocks after main story completion. This allows you to undertake specific tasks just as killing enemies in an area, clearing a specific dugeon, or finding a specific enemy to kill. Doing those bounties earns you points and every 10 points received you can return to the bounty NPC for a chest with an almost guaranteed legendary inside.

All these activities combine with other aspects such as zone events and World Bosses to create a varied landscape for farming, and this is without considering social activities such as group clears on dungeons, clans, or the PvP zones of the game.

In short: the main story and your initial playthrough will take you through Sanctuary in a discovery tour, but even then you will have not done all of the possible content types, and you will find renewed interest in exploring and completing objectives from the many rewards that become available as you level up.

Design, Audio and Visual

Diablo 4 is a visually beautiful game with a unique aesthetic that makes the game feel like a classical painting. The design is well thought out and coherent through the world, and in everything from the town appearances to your extensive and unique wardrobe choices. Magical effects are beautifully thought out and walk the difficult and fine line of being flashy while also functional, making each spell cast, effect and chain reaction satisfying to trigger.

Equally, the audio track for the game is excellently put together. The main themes and tunes for towns and zones are suitable matches for the visual design, creating a harmony that delivers a properly grim but adventurous atmosphere. Boss battles and main quests have their own unique scores and have been realized beautifully. Plus, the voice acting of the game is really well done, even if you end up hearing the same person doing lines for many different NPCs.

If there is a flaw in Audio/Visual it’s actually on its performance, and may have nothing to do with the design itself. Server lag is a thing and I experienced it heavily while playing to put together this Diablo 4 Review, which had a very limited amount of participants. I must disclaim that Blizzard warned us they would “intermittently conduct stress tests and this may generate rubber-banding and invisible walls” so it may have been the cause, however I feel I must mention this for the review to have full disclosure: I checked in with people playing in different regions of the world, including N. America, Europe and Asia, and everyone said they had extreme rubber banding and other such issues come and go. This is concerning, and my beta and server slam experience had not had these big spikes, so I’m unsure if it’s simply a smaller server for press test, their own stress testing, or if we are in for a launch where nobody can log in.

Optimization-wise the game actually runs very well but you should be ready and upgrade your graphic drivers as it will conduct a check and not let you launch with old drivers. I had no game performance issues outside of server lag, and I did not encounter any of the “known issues” that were warned on the press preview. Overall the game is well-polished and the only serious issue I encountered was a persistent crash and error after killing a specific boss for a main quest. I redid the boss 3 times before I was able to proceed, and I’m unsure as to what was causing the crash on kill.

D4 Review – Playtime, Replayability & Longevity

As an open world game, Diablo 4 would normally categorize as content available rather than replayability, however the nature of the game actually merges the best of both worlds.

Your main story and first run, if experienced without skips, can be enjoyed over the course of 25-30 hours. I personally took my time and reached level 50 in about 60 hours (you can do this A LOT faster), then spent over 60 hours playing endgame builds. This means that my extreme D4 marathon got me to level 62 and a reasonable amount of world completion (renown max of most zones, found altars of lilith, etc) in about 120 hours of inexperienced / chill gameplay. Fellow team members on Fextralife played a lot faster with skips, and leveled several classes to 50 and created multiple beginner and engame builds in the same time, so your own mileage will vary.

With the vast amount of open world content to complete and the availability of endgame special runs in the form of helltides, bounties and nightmare dungeons, players can expect to get a lot out of the game. In addition, the game offers fantastic replayability in the form of build variety for each class and class distinctiveness, which really made it a joy to do a Diablo 4 Review.

Making an alt and skipping the main story allows you to quickly get your second character to an endgame farming stage, and since each class plays in its own unique way this adds a fantastic amount of variety. Your loot is mostly for the class you’re playing, so you won’t be doing much farming on one class to give to another, but I found that all classes can be excellent endgame performers and learning how they tick is very rewarding and fun.

Now you may be thinking that it will get boring or stale to redo the same content type just to get new or better loot, or level up your paragon tree. This is true, however I played A LOT and I did not feel burnt out in the slightest, and this is even when playing uniquely solo. The availability of multiplayer adds a whole new dimension of fun: helping your friends find gear on the dungeons they have to do, taking on world bosses, or even farming world events and helltides in a group can give a lot of freshness to the content.

If this wasn’t enough, Blizzard has also revealed that they have planned for frequent content updates, with a post-launch plan spanning years. Diablo 4 will have seasons, with each one adding a gameplay feature and questlines, similar to what Path of Exile leagues have been doing. There will also be free “Season Journeys”, for players to get time-limited rewards that escale with completion progress, with the best one locked behind a challenging boss encounter.

Diablo 4 Review – Pricepoint

An important factor in all games is the pricepoint, but moreso when a game has the now-so-dreaded ingame shop. Unfortunately, the review period did not include the shop so we have no way to see the actual cost of items or verify what is available, but we have limited information from Blizzard regarding what to expect. I’m quote verbatim what we have been told:

The Shop is an optional experience that allows players to purchase cosmetics for Premium Currency in addition to collecting the hundreds of transmogs unlocked from in-game drops. Shop cosmetics include things like character armor sets that can be mixed and matched with other in-game armor drops and mount cosmetics to alter the appearance of your horse.

The goal of the Shop is to give players even more options to customize the visual appearance of their characters, and nothing offered grants a direct or indirect gameplay advantage.

Diablo 4 Press Review Guide

TL;DR Blizzard claims the shop will offer only cosmetics, so if you can resist the urge to look a specific way or have a specific mount skin, you should never feel the need to spend more than the cost of the base game. In addition, they claim the battle pass has a free tier that is unlocked just by playing and leveling:

  • The Battle Pass awards cosmetics, premium currency, and free Season Boosts.
  • Players can purchase Tiers-but they won’t speed up getting Season Boosts.
  • The Season Journey accelerates Battle Pass progression.

Since I cannot verify how this all works in practice, I’ll instead focus on what matters to me which is: what do I get for what I paid for? In this regard, I feel Diablo 4 actually delivers an excellent value for money, and I can see myself playing this game for years to come.

I managed to cram 120 hours into the press review event, and I felt like I could play for at least three times that before considering I may need a one day break. The game’s content scope is fantastic, the combat is engaging and addictive, and the production values deliver polish consistent with the pricepoint of the game. Personally, I feel few games give you as much bang for your buck as Diablo 4 will, so even if the store ends up tempting me into buying cosmetics, that will end up being my personal choice and since at no point during my gameplay I felt I was missing something from not having a shop, I can conclude that it’s entirely possible to play and enjoy the game while completely ignoring the store.

D4 Impressions – Final Thoughts

My time spent for this Diablo 4 review was actually incredibly fun, surprising even me of how much I was enjoying each small aspect of the game. Having played the game in essentially “solo mode”, I may have had a different story experience than what many players will encounter, but I also missed out on the fun and engaging aspects of the cross-platform cross-play at offer.

Few games allow you to play with your friends across platform lines, and to carry your progress from one console to another, and the novelty of that flexiblity is very appealing.

Giving us a complete and satisfying experience with an effectively limitless level of replayability, Diablo 4 has become my favorite game this year, and I wonder what any of the many upcoming RPGs could do to try and win me back from its addictive clutches.

Be sure to check out our Diablo 4 Wiki for any other questions you have about the game and the Builds page if you are looking for more Diablo IV Builds, as well as our Ultimate Beginner Guide and Best Class to Play Guide if you are looking for more Diablo 4 content!



Story & Setting 8
Gameplay 10
Design, Visual & Audio 8.5
Replayability & Multiplayer 10
Pricepoint 10


Diablo 4 is an excellent game and a fantastic next step for the ARPG genre. Smartly melding Open World and Online elements with traditional dungeon crawling and loot farming, this game will become the favorite time-sink of millions for years to come.

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