Blizzard recently launched a technical alpha testing of the mobile game Diablo Immortal, giving some players access to the build. We also played the alpha, and also - visited the online event, where the creators of Immortal shared the details of its development. Below - the impressions of the mobile Diablo, which, contrary to the expectations of fans, looks and works great on smartphones. True, not on all - at least for now.
You'd think that for mobile Diablo the developers won't think much about the story and go into the lore, but Blizzard still decided to pay a lot of attention to the story. Of course, you shouldn't play Diablo: Immortal just for the story, but I'm sure, that long-time fans will enjoy learning about the events that were previously unrevealed.
Immortal takes place almost immediately after the finale of Diablo 2 Expansion Set: Lord of Destruction, when the archangel Tyrael destroyed the desecrated Stone of Peace. Shards of it were scattered all over Sanctuary and even though Baal was defeated, his minions and other demons again invaded the human world to find pieces of the Stone. And that's exactly the kind of devil players will be fighting in Immortal - and it's not going to be without some old acquaintances, by the way. At least the Countess from Diablo 2 will be fought again.
Thus, in the timeline of the series, the new Diablo takes place between the second and third parts. At a time when the Old Tristram hasn't been destroyed yet, and the New Tristram hasn't been built yet. Immortal will also feature other familiar Sanctuary territories, such as the city of Westmarsh from Diablo 3 (which will become an online hub) and the Dark Forest from the second part.
In terms of controls, Diablo Immortal isn't a revolutionary game - it just... well, works. There was something similar on mobile devices before it, there will be after it too - no revelations here. On the left half of the screen you have a virtual stick to directly control your character, and in the right corner you have a few icons for basic attack, skills, and healing potions. Special skills work on a kuldan.
It is clear that it is more convenient to play on a tablet, because the screen is larger, but on a smartphone is also quite comfortable, but, again, without revelations. The problem is something else: for some reason Diablo Immortal requires at least iPhone 8 and iOS version 12 during the alpha test. For me, a proud owner of SE, this was an unpleasant surprise - this phone and with mobile EVE: Echoes without problems coped with, but with Diablo Immortal can not?
Had to switch to a tablet. I don't know if they'll add support for budget smartphones at release, but I see no reason not to. Immortal is certainly a very beautiful game (the detail is certainly not worse than in Diablo 3), but the iPhone SE is far from the weakest smartphone on the market. Especially since Immortal will add graphical settings! Well, as settings - you will be able to choose between "quality" with 30 FPS and "performance" with 60 FPS.
And a few more facts about Diablo Immortal:
- There will be six classes at release: Barbarian, Warlock, Monk, Demon Hunter, Crusader, and Necromancer. In the alpha, only the first four.
- There is no gamepad support, but the developers are willing to consider adding it.
- The game will be a lot of "legendary" items - you can only find them yourself during the passage.
- Unnecessary items can be disassembled into parts, which are then used to improve other things.
- Diablo Immortal is completely free to play, so all the content updates and additions will be free of charge. The developers are going to earn money by selling "battle passes" (no details yet) and the same glyphs for the portals.
- The release date remains unknown.