The latest in the Diablo franchise takes a lot of big steps in the right direction.

Screenshot of Lilith from Diablo 4.

Diablo IV (referred to as Diablo 4 in this review), the highly anticipated action role-playing game from Blizzard Entertainment, takes players on a journey back into hell. Building upon the legacy of the Diablo franchise, this installment offers a dark and immersive experience that captivates players from the beginning. Diablo 4 is an impressive game with breathtaking visuals, polished gameplay mechanics, and a mostly engaging storyline. These are factors that make this latest entry an excellent follow-up to the previous titles in the series that often surpass those older titles in several ways.

Gameplay Mechanics

At its core, Diablo 4 retains the addictive hack-and-slash gameplay that made the series famous. Players choose from a diverse roster of classes, each with their unique playstyles and abilities. Players can choose from Barbarian, Sorceress, Necromancer, Druid, and Rogue. The Rogue has not been seen in the Diablo franchise since the original release of Diablo in January 1997. Whether you prefer unleashing devastating melee attacks, wielding powerful spells, summoning nature's forces, or employing stealthy tactics, Diablo 4 caters to a variety of playstyles.

Combat in Diablo 4 is fluid and satisfying. Each class has a multitude of skills and abilities to choose from. Building up a character to meet your play style is incredibly easy due to the depth of the skill trees. The revamped skill system adds depth to character development, ensuring a sense of continuous growth. Beyond the skill tree is a sizable Paragon system that serves to enhance your strength to aid in tackling more difficult World Tiers and combat encounters. The Paragon upgrade paths are less about giving you more skills to use and more about increasing your character stats to enhance the impact of those skills.

Screenshot from the game Diablo 4.

Exploration is a key aspect of Diablo 4, and the game world reflects this beautifully. The environments are richly detailed and hauntingly atmospheric, filled with dark and foreboding dungeons, desolate wastelands, and treacherous mountain ranges. Navigating through these diverse landscapes instills a sense of foreboding at every turn thanks to the bleak and hopeless atmosphere created by the game's impressive visuals, audio, and story. Exploring off the main path can lead to discovering chests to loot, uncharted areas, and even hidden Lilith statues that can provide stat boosts.

One notable addition never seen before in the Diablo franchise is the introduction of mounted combat. Players can now traverse the vast world of Sanctuary atop fearsome steeds. Horses add a dynamic element to the gameplay and create thrilling moments of intensity when you charge through a group of foes or outright use your mount to stun or deal damage before engaging the enemies on foot.

Artistic Design, Visuals, and Audio

Diablo 4 boasts stunning visuals that truly immerse players in its dark and gothic world. The level of detail in character models, environments, and spell effects is often awe-inspiring. The hauntingly beautiful landscapes are rendered with meticulous care, creating a chilling atmosphere that permeates every corner of the game. If you thought that Diablo 3 was too pastel or bright for your liking, Diablo 4 took a massive step in the opposite direction with an atmosphere that exudes a sense of melancholy. This dour tone is present both in the game's visuals and with several story elements.

While the game's visuals are a net positive, there were times when low-resolution textures reared their ugly head on the High texture setting. After long sessions, these rare but very evident lower-resolution textures seemed to pop up more frequently but could be "fixed" by changing the texture setting to Low and then back to High. There is also an Ultra texture setting that, while being noticeably more detailed than High, proved to be just a bit too much for my GTX 1080 Ti to handle even with 11GB of VRAM at 1440p. I preferred to have higher and more stable framerates over improved texture quality.

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Diablo 4's graphical options

Diablo 4 did run exceptionally well on my system with the caveats mentioned just prior. With most settings maxed out save for textures, SSAO, and shadows, I can easily hit my custom framerate cap of 100FPS. This is even without needing to use image scaling technologies such as FSR. There were a few hiccups here and there where my character would warp slightly around the environment, but these felt and looked more like server lag spikes than anything related to the game engine itself.

Character designs are both visually striking and thematically consistent. The demonic creatures and monstrosities that populate Diablo 4 are as terrifying as they are diverse. From grotesque abominations to towering demons, each enemy feels distinct and menacing. Several menus in the game allow you to get up close and personal with your chosen hero, allowing you to see just how detailed these models are that are typically seen from a high-flying camera. Thanks to a transmogrification system that is available right from the start, you can also proudly show off your favorite fashion when you are not getting drenched in the blood of the legions of hell.

The game's lighting effects further enhance the immersive experience, casting eerie shadows and illuminating spell effects with impressive realism. The lighting in Diablo 4 looks like a true generational leap over Diablo 3. Combined with the haunting musical score, Diablo 4 succeeds in creating an atmosphere that keeps players on edge throughout their journey.

The game's cinematics look incredible as you could have easily assumed. Blizzard is often praised for their fantastic CG work and it was once again proudly on display during key story beats throughout Diablo 4.
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A look at several Diablo 4 accessibility options and settings

Several accessibility options are also present. Options here include screen reader support, text to speech, item and NPC color highlight adjustments, audio cues, chat color adjustments, and more. There are also options that allow players to toggle damage numbers being displayed, a hit flash toggle, a screen shake toggle, and more. Even if you are someone that does not need some of these options, they are very nice to have to help reduce some clutter in a game where there can be a lot happening.

Enhancing the visuals is Diablo 4's fantastic audio work. The voice work is a special standout here with excellent performances coming from Caroline Faber, Anthony Howell, and Gabe Kunda who portrayed Lilith, Elias, and Inarius respectively. Ralph Ineson did an absolutely fantastic job as the game's narrator and voice of Lorath, a character that nicely fills in the role left by the late Deckard Cain.

Music is also of exceptional quality in Diablo 4. Several of the game's tracks were composed by artists such as Ted Reedy, Leo Kaliski, and Ryan Amon. Reedy previously composed audio for Dragon Age Inquisition. Kaliski has been with Blizzard for almost six years and has composed music for several titles from Blizzard. Amon is one of several composers that worked on the Bloodborne soundtrack. He also composed music for the film Elysium. The orchestral music appropriately swells and dips to match the onscreen action, with most tracks placing special emphasis on violins and other stringed instruments. Each main area of the game also has its own theme or mix. Fresh takes on familiar themes from prior titles are also present throughout Diablo 4.

Storyline and Lore

Diablo 4 weaves a captivating tale that delves deeper into the rich lore of the franchise. The narrative takes place years after the events of Diablo 3, where humanity finds itself facing a new and formidable threat. Players will uncover the secrets behind the resurrection of ancient evils, as well as the motivations of the powerful factions vying for control in the realm of Sanctuary.

Screenshot from Diablo 4.

Though the focus is the battle against Lilith, the mother of Sanctuary and daughter to Mephisto the Lord of Hatred, there will be several other key foes that are integrated into the story as you progress. Lilith is certainly one of the more intriguing antagonists brought to life in the Diablo franchise, even if her actions and intentions are not always immediately clear to the player or the hero character we control.

The storytelling in Diablo 4 is immersive, with well-crafted cutscenes and engaging dialogue that brings the characters to life. The lore is rich and interconnected, rewarding those who delve deeper into the game's world with fascinating insights and hidden lore fragments. These fragments often take the form of notes hidden throughout the environment, or even from some of the game's many diverse and intriguing side missions.


Diablo 4 offers cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes that cater to different playstyles. Whether teaming up with friends to tackle challenging dungeons or engaging in intense player-versus-player combat, the multiplayer experience is seamless and engaging.

Co-op play can be enjoyed in groups of four players. I only had one friend playing Diablo 4, so while I cannot speak for the larger group sizes, I can say that two-player online co-op worked just fine. It felt seamless, as you may expect from a title that requires you to be online even in "single-player" content.

As far as PvP is concerned, I have honestly yet to experience it. While I did venture into at least one of the designated PvP areas of Sanctuary, no PvP was going on while I was there. PvP is optional until you toggle a flag that allows you to be attacked or attack others. Unless you toggle that option on, even while you are in the PvP area, you can continue to explore the area as if it were a PvE zone.

Screenshot depicting one of the world events in Diablo 4.

These PvP areas offer a special resource that you can pick up from foes you slay, be they AI or human. You must convert this resource into a usable currency at one of a handful of locations within the PvP zone before you can spend it on special cosmetic items. Those of you who have played hybrid PvPvE content such as The Division's Dark Zone, Escape from Tarkov, or even the DMZ mode from Modern Warfare 2 should have an idea of how the system works in Diablo 4. The big difference in Diablo 4 is that you can simply go in and engage in the usual PvE, collect resources, and convert that to the unique usable currency without ever having to engage in PvP if you choose not to.

Endgame Content

in Diablo 4 provides endless replayability. Players can embark on high-level expeditions, face off against powerful world bosses, participate in competitive seasons, or engage in player-versus-player combat in dedicated areas of Sanctuary. The ever-evolving nature of the endgame ensures that there is always something new and exciting to strive for.

Those looking for more power, more exotic loot, and tougher challenges will focus on working their way through the game's World Tier system. Each World Tier offers greater challenges while also offering new loot drop types that are often far more powerful than anything you can get in the lower World Tiers. Higher World Tiers also offer more experience gains, which certainly help when working through the Paragon upgrades.

World bosses and other world events will often bring together large groups of players to one area. These mini-events will find players squaring off against large, powerful enemies all in hopes of earning unique item drops.

Screenshot from the game Diablo 4.

Other Diablo 4 endgame content includes content such as Nightmare Dungeons. These Nightmare Dungeons are extra challenging variations of regular dungeons that can reward you with unique loot, increased money drops, and plenty of experience. Helltide is another endgame activity that sees large sections of land seemingly taken over by hell and its minions. Helltide ups the difficulty of the area it infests while also offering a unique currency that must be spent at special chests within the area before the event ends. These chests naturally contain various pieces of loot that may be a good upgrade for your current gear. Another piece of endgame content focuses on the Tree of Whispers. The Tree of Whispers offers bounties and other world objectives to the player. Completing these repeatable requests for the Tree will get you access to even more loot options.

Finally, completionists will find that they have a lot to do for the endgame thanks to the numerous in-game achievements and through unlocking new aspects in their Codex of Power. Achievements typically unlock new player titles or cosmetics that players can outfit on their characters.

Still to come is everything that will be added in the seasonal content updates for Diablo 4. The first season for Diablo 4 is not slated to begin until sometime in mid-to-late July. We know that each season will include a Battle Pass full of cosmetic unlocks, experience boosters, and more in both a free and premium path. Each season will also include its own Season Journey featuring unique objectives to play through.


The new release of Diablo 4 has exceeded expectations by providing an engaging and dark experience that fans of the franchise have been eagerly waiting for. With its improved gameplay mechanics, often stunning visuals, a wide range of multiplayer options, and extensive endgame content, Diablo 4 has cemented its position as one of the best action RPGs currently available. Even those who were disappointed with Diablo 3 will find much to enjoy in this new installment. Whether you are a long-time fan or new to the world of Sanctuary, Diablo 4 is a must-play game that promises to keep you entertained for hours on end.


A review score showing 5 out of 5 on a scale that uses whole numbers only.

Additional Information

  • Diablo IV
    • Developed by: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Published by: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Price: Starting at $69.99 (USD)
  • Platform reviewed on: PC (also available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, & Xbox Series X|S)
  • Release Date: June 5, 2023
  • ESRB: Rated M for Mature 17+ (Blood and gore, intense violence, language)
  • This game was provided to Total Gaming Network for review purposes.