Diablo 4 Beta Impressions – Our Possible New Addiction

Diablo 4 Beta Impressions - Our Possible New Addiction
Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

The best compliment I can give Diablo 4 is that, despite its flaws, I was hoping we’d get more time with the beta. Yes, Diablo 4 is an enjoyable experience, particularly with combat. And also, yes, there are some flaws and issues that became apparent over the weekend. 

But again, I’m excited and eager to dive back into the world of Sanctuary. Some of these issues will be solved by advancing beyond the game’s first Act. We were only given an introduction to the game. Therefore, we don’t know how things like class balance and itemization will shake out long term. 

If anything, the Diablo 4 beta tells two simultaneous stories: one of concern and another of endless optimism. 

The Open World of Diablo 4 Looks Hit or Miss

In what may be the biggest change in Diablo 4, the game has gone fully open world. Sanctuary is yours for the taking, however you see fit. We’ve only gotten a taste of what to expect, too. The game looks absolutely massive

Many express concern at this change in direction for the popular action RPG franchise, and rightfully so. This isn’t a “core Diablo experience.” World bosses where dozens of players can team up aren’t what you’d call “traditional.” Yet, in terms of gameplay, it is a pretty cool experience. You can help your fellow adventurers, admire their efficiency at mowing down enemies, or even get jealous of their damage. 

This last point, in particular, has a two-pronged effect. First, there’s the fact that someone lower level than you may be doing more damage. It’s the ultimate feels-bad moment, but one due to the game’s itemization. But, again, we’re nowhere near the end game, and I don’t expect this to be a long-term issue. 

Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

One thing that may be an issue is how quickly you may realize that your class is ineffective. It’s one thing when playing with friends and within your confined playgroup. But when you’re a Druid, and literally everybody is doing far more damage, you start to question your choices. 

The Potential for a Launch Day Disaster

Another consequence of the open world is poor technical performance. While in dungeons, gameplay ran smoothly. However, the experience in Sanctuary was a mixed bag. There were substantial issues with latency and lag, especially in cities. 

The amount of rubber banding I experienced is, to put it lightly, astronomical. It got to the point where I reset my router multiple times. Thankfully, I experienced no issues getting into the game and playing with friends. Other people in my party, however, weren’t so lucky. 

While Blizzard has gotten better about launch day experiences, Dragonflight wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. We all remember too Diablo 3 being completely unplayable on launch, too. As a result, all signs point to spending far more time waiting to play the week after June 6th than actually playing. 

Diablo 4’s Gameplay Keeps You Coming Back for More

In all honesty, that’s looking like something we’re all willing to put up with. Diablo 4’s gameplay is fantastic. Combat feels smooth, satisfying, and visceral. Even in the poorly performing classes, there’s still joy to be found. It keeps you coming back for more, even when the game tries to push you away.

Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

As enticing as the idea of procedurally generated dungeons is, they all follow the same formula. You’ve seen them once, you’ve seen them all. Yet half the time, I don’t care. Instead, I’m having a blast exploiting certain skills in my talent tree. Finding the most optimal builds and doing more damage than I thought possible is a lot of fun. 

Even though Diablo 4 often tries to stand in the way of my enjoyment, I’m more than able to move past the roadblocks the game puts in front of me. Combat is that enjoyable.

Wrapping Up

Blizzard may be on to something extraordinary with Diablo 4. Is it perfect? No, nor is it a “typical Diablo experience.” Instead, it tries to reinvigorate the ARPG genre with fresh air and a sense of accessibility. As a result, I could dive in and get lost with minimal barriers to entry. 

It may not play like typical Diablo, but it sure looks like it. The dark, gritty experience draws you in, and the combat keeps you returning for more. If Blizzard can iron out the end game and nail class balancing, this will be a legitimate Game of the Year contender. 


Written by Jake Valentine

I am the Editor-In-Chief of BossLevelGamer. I'm also a lover of video games, food, and beer.

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