On June 6th, the gaming world eagerly awaits the release of Diablo 4, the latest installment in the renowned video game franchise that immerses players in an epic war between Heaven and Hell within a fictional fantasy realm. Recently, a closed beta test concluded, providing an opportunity for those who pre-ordered the game to experience the first act of the story and explore three of the five available characters. This text aims to delve into the history of Diablo, and the challenges faced by the development team, and offer insights into the highly anticipated Diablo 4 beta.
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Let’s take a closer look at the Diablo 4.
The impact of Diablo on the industry is hard to overestimate. Initially an ordinary RPG of the nineties, during its development it mutated into a completely new genre of action RPG. For the video game industry, each part of this series was an event on par with the release of the new Star Wars. And every Diablo went through production hell. This fate did not bypass the fourth part, which fans have been waiting for more than 10 years.
The development of the project was constantly restarted, and the team and especially its heads changed. All this was superimposed on the sad situation of the publisher of the game Activision Blizzard. The company regularly went through PR scandals (for example not long ago the court decided that Blizzard should pay SEC $35 million to settle claims), where the most innocent sins turned out to be low-quality releases. In general, things were not going well for Activision Blizzard and Diablo itself.
Meanwhile, imitators and competitors (Path of Exile, Grim Dawn) have long caught up and surpassed the legendary game. The franchise features such as procedural generation and multicolored gear (rare-epic-legendary items) have become ubiquitous across video games of every genre, from RPGs to shooters.
In such an atmosphere, even the most loyal Diablo fans were losing faith that something good would come out of the fourth part. The industry rarely remembers a time when a long development with so many problems resulted in a good video game. And that’s why the Diablo 4 beta surprises us so much: it seems that a miracle really happened.
What is Diablo and what were the past parts?
Diablo is a video game series where you click on enemies until they die. To click faster and more efficiently, you select good equipment, potions, and active and passive abilities for your character.
The ancestor of the entire series, the first Diablo (1996), now seems to be the most primitive game. Three heroes (warrior, archer, and mage) descend into the dungeons to slay the dread lord Diablo, one of the seven highest demons of the Underworld. All sorts of undead, monsters, devils, and demons interfere with users. For its time, Diablo was innovative due to two ideas: real-time combat (instead of the then fashionable system of division into moves) and ease of perception (especially the interface). Here’s a sword for you – hit the skeleton with it and take its gold.
Diablo 2 (2000) was a real hit. It has had a huge impact on video games in general and has solidified the basic rules of game design. It also had one of the best expansions in video game history, Lord of Destruction (2001), and one of the best remakes in the industry, Diablo 2 Resurrected (2021).
Diablo 3 (2012) was also successful, both in terms of sales (10 million copies at launch) and community response. However, in history, it remained the most controversial part of the series. It was criticized for a lot of bugs, controversial ideas like a game auction for real money, and a change in style to brighter colors. The situation was corrected by numerous patches and the addition of Reaper of Souls (2014).
What does the Diablo 4 beta look like?
The Diablo 4 closed beta included the first act of the story and three of the promised five characters: the Wizard, the Barbarian, and the Rogue. All characters are limited to the 25th level of development, and the territory for research is the northern region of the large open world.
Diablo, a legendary video game franchise, has left an indelible mark on the industry, pioneering the action RPG genre and captivating gamers with its immersive gameplay. Overcoming significant development challenges and industry competition, the long-awaited Diablo 4 has finally arrived in the form of a closed beta.
This early glimpse into the game, featuring a portion of the story and a selection of characters, has sparked hope and excitement among fans, suggesting that Diablo 4 may be a miraculous comeback for the franchise. As gamers eagerly await the full release, Diablo 4 promises to continue its legacy of engaging gameplay, intense battles, and the timeless conflict between Heaven and Hell in a thrilling fantasy world.