Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing?
Diablo 4 is an M-Rated title, and this review may contain screenshots that some readers may find offensive/disturbing.
Diablo IV is a return to form for Blizzard, but how long they can maintain that form remains to be seen.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Action
Developer: Activision-Blizzard
Publisher: Activision-Blizzard
Price: $69.99+
Release Date: 6 June 2023
Supported Modes:

Narrative.

Diablo IV’s narrative is dark and foreboding but not entirely devoid of hope, and thanks to Diablo IV’s improved visuals and, most importantly, high-definition character models, there has never been a more cinematic way to experience Diablo than Diablo IV.

That being said, I must stress players who dislike dark fantasy or who have an inversion to blood & gore should give it a miss, as while good triumphs in the end, the journey to that point is anything but cheerful, and like all Diablo games, blood, gore and horror are present at every turn.

Open World.

Diablo IV is the first game in the Diablo franchise to offer open-world content alongside Diablo’s more traditional instanced narrative content, which has allowed the developers to create some truly epic encounters that can either be tackled solo or with other players in the open world, helping to make Sanctuary look and feel more alive than ever and the threat of demonic invasion both real and foreboding.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 35

Huge Amount Of Content.

Diablo IV offers a huge amount of content for new players and franchise veterans, and it’s possible to spend over 30 hours per region for players who wish to complete every quest, dungeon and cellar.

Because of this and Diablo’s punishingly difficult endgame content, in addition to content that will be arriving each season, I can safely say that Diablo IV is one of the most content-heavy non-MMORPGs on the market.

A bonus to having excessive amounts of enjoyable and often repeatability content is progression, and Diablo IV’s user-friendly method of progression gives players something to strive for, be it levelling their character, improving their gear, discovering new side quests, unlocking account-wide bonuses, or simply challenging themselves to unlock and overcome higher world tiers (difficulty levels), Diablo IV offers players of all skill levels and interests a reason to return to its dark and foreboding world time and time again.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 42

Live Service Game.

While Diablo 3 has continued to receive small season updates since its launch in 2012, the type of live server offerings that Blizzard has promised for Diablo IV is something else entirely, with standalone storylines, new open-world events, dungeons, and occasionally new zones, players who play beyond the end of the base game will be in for a real treat.

Due to this change of focus, Diablo IV has been forced to change its monetization model, with a premium battle pass and cosmetic cash shop being the central focus of its new business model, something which has pleased a sizable portion of the community while angering longtime fans who miss the olden days of games that were seldom (if ever) updated and post-launch content and server-based multiplayer was, but a fools dream.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 8

Combat Diversity.

With five unique classes, 15 weapon types, dozens of active abilities, and untold thousands of unique upgradeable weapons and armours to choose from, Diablo IV’s combat is never dull, and being able to copy a proven build from the internet or forge your path with a build tailored to your play style ensures that Diablo IV has almost unlimited replayability, something that is made much easier due to players being able to carry over some of their progress and unlocks to additional characters, once they have been earned on their first character.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 23

A Return To Form For Blizzard.

Blizzard has not had the best few years. World of Warcraft suffered from immense player attrition and community ill-will due to the disastrous Shadowlands expansion, which saw even the most die-hard fans question their loyalty to the MMORPG.

When combined with the awful Warcraft 3 remaster and Diablo Immortals’ controversial launch, and the internet’s reaction to its monetization model, many players had begun to question if Blizzard now lacked the talent to create magic.

Thankfully that was not the case, however, and World of Warcraft DragonFlight and now Diablo IV has proved that in the right hands, Blizzard can still make magic, and with Blizzard soon to become part of Xbox Game Studios, a remarkably patient and hands-off publisher, I cannot wait to see what Blizzard has in store for us next.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 4

Lack of Matchmaking Support.

While I understand that many people will be playing Diablo with a ready-made team of players, not everyone has that luxury, and for many people having to form a group via world chat manually is off-putting enough to make them either give up or go solo.

While matchmaking isn’t required for modern games, with Diablo supporting cross-platform multiplayer and cross-progression, I feel incorporating a working matchmaking system would be beneficial to those on console, where typing out LFG messages every few minutes is not only time-consuming but rather annoying without the use of a physical keypad.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 60

Imbalanced PvP.

While Diablo IV is excellent in almost every other area, Blizzard has repeated the same mistakes they made with Diablo Immortal by allowing high-ranked players to enter low-ranked PvP instances (and, in the case of Diablo IV world tiers). As a result high, levelled players in top-end gear, who know their build like the back of their hand, slaughter new players who are “learning the ropes”, and just one week after launch, the effects of this decision are starting to become apparent, with the vast majority of players avoiding PvP entirely, dooming the mode to irrelevance if Blizzard does not swiftly incorporate safeguards to keep veteran and causal players separate.

Satanic Panic Controversy.

Diablo has always been controversial, and Diablo IV is no exception, with many of the same complaints about earlier titles resurfacing.

Most prominent among these controversies are the accusations of promoting satanism and displaying satanic imagery, with some decrying the games as being “evil” or satanic, which, while I can understand, I do not agree with.

As a Follower of Jesus Christ myself, I prefer to avoid playing as evil characters, especially those who use satanic abilities; however, Diablo IV (for the most part) is the farthest thing from that, with players spending the entirety of each game slaughtering demons in a variety of increasingly gory and imaginative ways.

While admittedly, Diablo IV is bad theology and swords and spears are of little use against demonic beings in the real world; I cannot help but feel the religious right’s insistence that evil characters do not look or act in a manner that is even vaguely satanic rather ludicrous.

What better form for Evil to take than the ultimate Evil, and what better way to start conversations with interested parties about Jesus Christ, who through his sinless life, death and resurrection overcame the power of Satan, than franchises such as Diablo & Doom which place satan and satanic imagery in an antagonistic role?

In the Gospels, there are several encounters between Jesus and demons, and one of the most noticeable is when Jesus encountered a man possessed of an entire legion of demons.

What is curious about this encounter is this man lived in the tombs and had acquired superhuman strength through demon possession, and yet when he saw Jesus, the demons within him reacted very fearfully, saying:

“What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name, don’t torture me!” - Mark 5:7

The encounter becomes even more interesting when Jesus asks the name of the spirit, which indicates that demons (as fallen angels) still retain their names and that, at one time, this spirit served Jesus’s Father (God).

The demon’s reply, however, is terrifying, indicating that he was one of a legion of demons possessing the man.

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many”  And he repeatedly begged Jesus not to send them out of the area. - Mark 5:9-10

Fortunately for the man, Jesus was unmoved by the demon’s pleas to remain, and the entire legion was cast out of the man, and he was immediately clothed and in his right mind and wished to travel with Jesus; however, Jesus sent him back to his family and instructed him to tell others what had happened, showing that Jesus came not only to ultimately save humankind but also to bring hope to humanity when there was none.

Slaying and driving out demons is a very “Christian activity”, and while in the real world, it should never be attempted by those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior (lest they become the spirit’s new home), Diablo’s focus on battling demons is far from problematic.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 67

Diablo’s Theology.

Diablo is one of the most theological games on the market. Almost every part of the game references real-world religion; however, as it is only a game and has been created by developers and not theologians, much of it is “a little off”, and yet there is enough there that is true to encourage further examination.

The Light.

Very much in the same way that later Warcraft games replaced Christianity with the Church of Light to keep the world fantastical, Diablo has many references to “The Light”, a supernatural force that serves as a shield against darkness and humanities only true defence against the forces of hell.

While the denizens of Diablo may not know the identity of this light, we do, with Jesus Christ being referred to as the light many times in the Gospels, most famously in John 1:5, which states,

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. - John 1:5

Jesus later would go on to claim this title as his many times, most notably in John 8:12, which states,

…”I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life”. - John 8:12

Naming issues aside, Diablo’s representation of The Light’s power to dispel darkness and cast out demons is pretty on point.

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Lilith.

Lilith is based on rabbinic teachings about a disowned and cast aside first wife of Adam (the first man); however, no records, biblical or otherwise, have ever indicated that she ever existed; however, a curious reference to a screech owl in Isaiah could indict Lilith was a harpy like demon from Jewish mythology.

Although Lilith as Adam’s first wife, is a myth, it’s quite conceivable that an ancient demonic or pagan deity was called by this name. This could have given rise to the millennia-old legends of Lilith.

While such stories are fascinating, it’s important to acknowledge there is no biblical nor historical evidence for Lilith as a person ever having existed, let alone being Adam’s first wife.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 55

Demons & their Followers.

Diablo IV’s representation of demons as physical beings is just theologically untrue; however, their behaviour and lust to destroy all that is good are pretty accurate, with Jesus saying that the devil (Diablo) was a liar, and a murderer from the beginning, and that he is the father of all liars.

For you are the children of your father, the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning.

He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. - John 8:44

Despite demons being impervious to blood loss and swords being ineffective against them, their fundamental characteristics are accurately portrayed in Diablo IV and the depiction of those who follow them.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 65

Angels.

Uh, this is where things get tricky; Diablo has angels who are powerful warriors of light with wings; however, that is where the semblance ends, angels who did not follow Lucifer in his fall are 100% loyal to God, and all this gibberish about angels falling to help humankind is total malarkey.

Humankind needed saving, but no angel would do it, and that is why Jesus had to die, as humankind’s sin was so great; there was literally no way that a Holy God could walk among his children (humans) without destroying them.

That is why Jesus, who was both the Son of Man and Son of God, came so that he could reconcile man to God and take upon himself the punishment for their sin, reconnecting man to God in a way that has not been possible for thousands of years (The Fall Of Adam And Eve).

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. - Luke 19:10

Many atheists mockingly reduce the story of redemption to Jesus saving people from his or his Father’s wrath, and that is not academically honest; it was humankind who, by welcoming sin into the world, gave their destiny and that of all their descendants into the hands of Lucifer, a fallen angel with delusions of grandeur.

In contrast, the Father foresaw man’s fall and ensured that there was a way for humankind to be redeemed.

When God (the Father) created man, it was in the full knowledge that by doing so, he would have to sacrifice his Son, as he could not allow sin into his presence quite literally, as if he tried to do so, his glory would consume them, in much the same way a roaring fire could not allow snowflakes to warm themselves in its presence, no matter how much it longed for their company and well-being.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 74

Heavenly War.

Good and Evil have fought over the souls of humankind since the beginning, which is pretty much what happens in Diablo; however, unlike Diablo, the forces of good are entirely good. No harm has come to humanity because of the forces of good, rather the forces of Evil have at times assumed the mantel of good (the crusades etc.) to do great Evil in the name of God as a way to discredit him and lead humanity away from his plan and purposes for them.

Before the war for the souls of humankind, Lucifer, a former archangel, led a rebellion against God, resulting in Lucifer and his followers being cast out of heaven, which Jesus mentions in the Gospel of Matthew.

The seventy-two (appointed disciples) returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name”.

So He (Jesus) told them, “I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy.

Nothing will harm you; nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. - Matthew 11: 17-20

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Father.

You can hardly spend more than a few minutes around any good character without Father Inarius being mentioned as the one true hope of humanity (in their eyes); he is the saviour and redeemer. However, he is not a perfect replacement for the true Father (God), as while Inarius meant well, his actions and compromise with evil lead to further problems down the line, and his willingness to “do evil so good may come” is the complete opposite of our heavenly Father who acts righteously towards the good and the bad.

You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbour and Hate your enemy, But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

He causes His sun to rise on the Evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. - Matthew 5:43-45

Blood.

Diablo IV, like most of the franchise, is bathed in blood and references to it, however unlike what Diablo IV’s church teaches, sinful human blood cannot be cleansed by the shedding of their blood, rather only the sinless blood of Jesus could atone for humanity, so once again while Diablo IV come close, it misses the mark.

For this is My blood of the covenant, being poured out for many, for forgiveness of sins. - Matthew 26:28

Nephilim.

While some scant biblical references exist to humans mating with demons and producing giants, this is hardly theologically sound. While it could have happened, and giants’ remains have been found, we have no idea how or why they existed. With so many forms of gigantism in the world today, it is possible that Nephilim were just humans suffering from gigantism before the condition had been fully understood.

However, We know that, unlike Diablo IV, heavenly angels cannot reproduce.

When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Instead, they will be like the angels in heaven. - Mark 12:25

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 61

My View on Diablo’s Theology as a Christian.

While some Christians feel that if something isn’t portrayed perfectly, it is “evil and of the devil”, I feel that games like Diablo IV are a wonderful way to start conversations about heaven, hell and what it means to be redeemed. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I relish any opportunity to answer questions from friends and strangers who do not know the truth about Jesus so they can better know him.

The behaviour of mainstream Christianity, especially evangelicals in America, has given people a poor idea of Jesus and his teachings. I do not blame anyone for thinking Christianity is just another false religion when so many of its adherents act no better (and often act worse) than non-Christians.

And I feel that followers of Christ should take every opportunity to share his true Gospel in a way that is honest and occasionally blunt but also respectful, knowing that God himself has given humanity the right to choose their fate and that we have no right to attempt to force conversion. Rather we show the way to Jesus and leave the rest in his capable hands.

Is Diablo IV, Worth Playing? 64

Diablo IV FAQ

Diablo 4 is a action video game developed and published by Activision-Blizzard, it was released on 6 June 2023 and retails for $69.99+.

Platform Availability.

Diablo 4 is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Are The Developers Active?

Activision-Blizzard recently confirmed that Diablo IV will be supported for many years, with multiple seasons of content and two full expansion packs currently in various stages of production.

How Many People Play Diablo IV?

While we do not know exactly how many people have played Diablo IV, Activision announced that Diablo IV is Blizzard’s best-selling game, earning an impressive $666M in just five days, making it one of the highest-earning releases of 2023 in just five days.

How Long Does Diablo IV Take to Complete?

On average Diablo IV takes between 35 and 150 hours to complete.

  • Main Story: 35 Hours.
  • Main + Side Quests: 75 Hours.
  • Completionist: 150 Hours.

Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.

Is Cross-Platform Multiplayer Supported?

Diablo IV supports:

  • Cross-Platform Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Platform Parties.
  • Cross-Generational Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Generational Parties.
  • Cross-Platform Progression.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Unfortunately, Diablo IV does not offer any matchmaking options.

Are There In-Game Microtransactions?

The Diablo IV in-game store sells:

  • Cosmetic Items.
  • Cosmetic Item Bundles.
  • Premium Currency Bundles.
  • Premium Battlepass.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Diablo IV is rated PEGI 18+ and contains the following:

  • Bad Language
  • Gore
  • Mature Themes
  • Partial Nudity
  • Sexual Content
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Diablo IV is an excellent game that will be sure to please fans of older Diablo titles and longtime Diablo III players. With abundant content at launch and more in the following weeks and months, Diablo IV has enough content to keep even the most dedicated gamer sated.

However, with the Xbox’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard entering the stages, players who have a backlog and access to a Game Pass-compatible device may wish to hold off, as Diablo IV, along with the rest of the franchise, will become part of the Game Pass library at no additional cost once the merger is concluded.

Is Diablo 4 Worth Playing In 2024?

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Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Diablo 4" a rating of 8/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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