Finally, Diablo 4 is flesh and blood, and I’ve played the demo at BlizzCon 2019 – twice – watched the ‘Unveiled’ panel and talked to the team making it. Here’s what I learned.
I played as the barbarian and the druid but not the sorceress – the three classes (of five) announced so far – and the thing to know upfront is Diablo 4 is gorgeous, muscular fun. Abilities have a chunky, physical presence in the world, like the druid’s boulder, which bowls into enemies and keeps knocking them back as it rolls. Freezing, smashing, charging – it’s a game which makes you constantly feel powerful, and where pushing enemies around is more important than ever.
I was also impressed by the attention lavished on your bread-and-butter left-and-right-click attacks. The barbarian now has four weapon slots (and reaps the benefits of every weapon equipped, statistically) and could, in the demo, switch between a dual-wield attack with two weapons, and a two-handed shockwave attack, at the click of each mouse button with no interruption. Similarly, the druid, a returning Diablo 2 class, can seamlessly change from attacking in werewolf form to pulverising the ground in bear form. In and out of shapes he shifts and it feels terrific.