Throughout the course of the game, you will come across Lilith’s insignias, which, when activated, will show you what transpired in the minutes and seconds before you arrived at the proverbial “scene of the crime.” To demonstrate that Diablo’s story will take you to some dark places, your character was drugged early in the game and was about to be dragged and slaughtered for a ritual. This was done solely for the purpose of demonstrating that D4 Gold will take you there.
The overarching goal of the game can be summed up as “find Lilith and stop her plans”. In addition to this, the game does its best to reveal Lilith’s motivations; provide hints about familial issues involving Lilith, her ex-lover, and her son; and explain how the Horadrim survivor Lorath Nair enters the fray to provide you with some assistance. I have a sneaking suspicion that notable actors like Ralph Ineson (who probably voiced Lorath) and Marina Sirtis (notable Star Trek actress who probably voiced Lilith) are involved in the voicework that is portrayed in the key scenes and how they are framed and presented. It’s not like Activision Blizzard doesn’t have the money for it.
It’s no big secret that one of my favorite things to do in action games is to blow stuff up. Therefore, when Diablo 4 presented me with the options to use a Rogue who can chain shadow explosions with her dash slashes, a Sorcerer who summons Hydras with ample firepower to go with her large area-of-effect fireballs and a Necromancer who has a Bone Shard that functions similarly to a Contra spread gun and has a large number of minions at his disposal, I was spoiled for choice.
These three classes give an example of the enjoyment that can be had during the game’s two difficulty tiers and give a glimpse of how powerful they can become when they reach level 25 and have their Class Specialization skills sorted out (after completing a quest that is specific to their class in the Act 1 region). The Necromancer begins with the Book of the Dead, which contains information that allows him to personalize his skeleton army. The Sorcerer has the ability to use Enchantments to passively boost the power of their attacks by employing one of their unlocked spells. For instance, if I use the Meteor spell as an Enchantment, there is a 3% chance that it will rain the meteor down on whatever I hit.
There are three distinct fighting styles available to the Rogue; the Combo Points and Sightless Eye fighting styles are currently available in the open beta. You can use the points you earn from using your basic skill to improve your core abilities. If you have maxed out your combo points, for instance, your Barrage attack will deal more damage and have a wider area of effect. Through the use of Sightless Eye, you are able to gain “Sightless” energy by killing enemies that have been arbitrarily marked; once your energy gauge is full, you are granted unlimited energy for a period of time. This means that you will be rewarded for being quick with your proverbial trigger finger, killing things on sight, and getting unlimited opportunities to use the D4 Boosting.
It doesn’t matter which of the three you choose to play because they are all fantastic to do so, and they all demonstrate how entertaining the loot grind can be, particularly when done with friends. You do not need to wait to begin changing your equipment; all you need is some starting cash. You will receive more than enough to allow you to alter your build on the fly according to your whims and desires. Do you want to play as a melee Druid and use the Werewolf/Werebear shout in conjunction with the ground-pound melee combo? Go ahead. You’ve noticed that a significant number of your foes have keep-away options; would you like to switch to a Storm and Hurricane/Tornado ranged build? Simply look for a secure location, and start the process over from the beginning.
Once players reach level 70 and progress through a couple of Paragon levels (extra levels with perks for those unfamiliar with Diablo), I have a feeling that the game’s builds will become more interesting, particularly with regard to the Imprint system (find a Legendary skill or Aspect, imprint it onto the gear of your choice). Nevertheless, the first 25 levels demonstrate that you are capable of developing playstyles that are effective, provided that some appropriate balancing is done. During a quest in the Aspect Dungeon, when the Butcher greeted me, I was absolutely petrified because I was unprepared to deal with him. He moves surprisingly quickly for such a big guy. It’s obvious that he defeated me, but the experience taught me not to take my questing lightly in the future.
In a similar vein, tracking down Treasure Goblins is one of the riskiest yet most exhilarating things I’ve done. While these goblins do not appear very often, tracking them down while fending off an ever-present mob is one of the most exciting things I’ve done. Even though the random World quests are entertaining in their own right (especially the ones marked with an orange radar), it is the random encounters with elite bosses and literal loot goblins that serve to remind us why action RPGs are still able to excite us.