Can Diablo Immortal save Blizzard from hell?

Can Diablo Immortal save Blizzard from hell?

Let's get it clear right away, this is not a review. It's not because Diablo Immortal took us by surprise and did it for the good. Even net of the various presentations, and of the various gameplay already widespread in unsuspected times, we feared that at the exit the game would be presented as a sort of "bignami di Diablo", with many ideas yes, but also with little real concreteness, as well as the bugbear of a monster that has long plagued the mobile gaming sector: micro transactions.

Why we must admit it: when a big name in the gaming world enters the mobile market, there is always that ill-concealed fear that things will fall apart, because if you say "mobile" you almost always say "free to play", and if you say "free to play", the boundless horizon of the gloomy world of micro transactions widens which, let's face it, are not a good life and never pleasing, especially if you then expire in pay to win.

With this premise, and seeing what happened to Ni No Kuni who had the misfortune to go out just a few days before (on the other hand, with a whole series of problems related to the and transactions), it is obvious that when Diablo Immortal arrives on the various App Stores (and on PC, because yes ... there is also there), we have been pervaded by a certain fear, namely that Blizzard (and NetEase Games, which the game has largely developed it) would have destroyed even that last bastion that was left of the company's historic legacy, at least before it ended in the middle of a media hurricane from which, as you know, it is still struggling to recover .

Spoiler: it didn't happen that way ...| ); }
This is not the place to discuss the sad events that have tainted the company, nor the controversial management by Activision, however there is no doubt that Diablo Immortal, rather than being "only" the most mobile title always expected, also had on itself the burden of cleaning up a bit the image of Blizzard, proposing itself with a product that could restore luster to that general public from which not only the company had distanced itself, but from which it had been also avoided, given the accusations and legal proceedings that followed, even aggravated in the eyes of the fans, for the long and nerve-wracking wait for Diablo IV.

Well, waiting for a worthy review to be delivered of this name (for which it will take a little longer, given the amount of content in the game), let me tell you in the meantime that Diablo Immortal is not only one of the best mobile titles that have ever been seen but that, except for the artistic direction, taken by d i weight from Diablo 3 (and there are tastes), is even higher than the latter in terms of content and, by eye, also for the actual size of the game world.

* Basically we are talking about a Diablo 3.5, done and finished, which even if sacrificed in the screen of a smartphone, manages to return with power and elegance what is the mood of the original series, surrounding itself with a bunch of secondary activities accessible practically immediately, and combining these with a no MMORPG skeleton, which will allow you to constantly interact with other players, without their presence affecting, even if only remotely, the possibility that you want to play the entire campaign (or the whole game) by yourself.

Starting from the character selection menu, which showcases a well-refined and satisfying version of the models of the various classes, you immediately have the idea that what you have on your hands is not a mere decoy, but a product built with a certain know-how, since not only the models are excellent for details and finishing, but the title also has a very rich editor, that will allow you to create your avatar according to what your tastes are, and with very few limits.

Obviously everything must be analyzed according to a very specific key, that of a mobile title, whose complete software requires d and a footprint of just over 12GB of storage space. In this sense, although it is far from the most versatile and powerful editors in circulation, and although the graphics are not effectively refined as that of Diablo 3 (even only in the console version), it is clear that Diablo Immortal is proposed as a medium miracle, especially when, after passing the editor, you start playing the game itself and you can test its performance.

Our test was largely carried out on the Huawei P30 Pro, a smartphone that at the time it could be considered a top of the range, but which today is obviously insertable in the mid-range of the market, both in terms of price and performance. In short, we are not talking about a device that would seem able to cope with exorbitant titles in terms of performance, and which for this reason we have chosen as a reference point, aware that not everyone can count on top of the range of very recent release or, even better, of gaming smartphones.

We already imagined problems galore, at least in terms of framerate, clipping and imput lag, and instead already before the release patch, which solved many problems in terms of stability, Diablo Immortal performed just fine, especially thanks to its numerous performance parameters, which allow you to optimize the game's performance based on the device you have. What the game does automatically, however, and in an excellent way, preferring the overall rendering of the game experience to the general visual rendering, which is still very satisfying, especially for those who have not despised the style of the third chapter.

Immortal runs very well, whatever the circumstances. To squeeze even more the game we decided to start our campaign with the necromancer, not only my favorite class, but also the one that, thanks to the creation of various undead, allows you to already bring with you a small handful of characters, on the other hand controlled by the AI. The purpose was to test if the game held up the blow, or if in addition to a party (which can even be made up of 8 players), and if net of the numerous players now present on each server, our small group of skeletons could somehow put the smartphone in difficulty and, therefore, the yield of the game.

Well, even in this case Diablo Immortal works very well, and even if we do not deny some very slight drop in framerate in situations that we have deliberately made problems (huge party, unconditional aggro of monsters, and summons and effects to the utmost), the game responds well practically always, also guaranteeing a very fast loading of the different game areas, especially after you have done your utmost in the complete download of each single data package.

Even the controls are more than decent and, given the possibility of using a pad to connect to the smartphone, the touch screen controls are comfortable and responsive, and allow you to play even for a few hours in a "comfortable" way, although playing on smartphones - we know - is not an activity for everyone, especially if the screen is placed horizontally and we are talking about gameplay that includes a screen button panel.

Now, we repeat: this is an appetizer, a premise to what will be the review, but the beauty of Diablo Immortal, its indisputable quality and, above all, its great playful proposal , rich in purchasing possibilities, but never really influencing the game economy, make the Blizzard title a small pearl and, undoubtedly, one of the best chapters of Diablo, net of those that are the limits that depend on a purely production mobile game oriented.

Why does it work? Because everything is in its place, and because you can breathe that air of adventure and constant action that has always characterized the series, and which in this little role not only is not lost, but even allows you to enjoy it in pieces, even if only for about ten minutes, to meet the hit and run nature typically relegated to mobile gaming.

In its small (which is not small), Diablo Immortal demonstrates two important things: not only that it is time to eradicate the concept, often superficial and conveyed by prejudice, that gaming on mobile is the prerogative only of the most casual players, but also and above all that Blizzard is retracing its steps and is determined to do things right. Not because the company has not failed to excel in recent years (Hearthstone and Overwatch are there to remind us), but because after the media events that have led many members of the old guard to leave (or worse) it is obvious that Blizzard has not lost. only credibility and polish, but also those skills that made it one of the most loved and celebrated houses in the world of videogames.

The development problems linked to Diablo IV, slowed down by the abandonment of some key figures, had also cast a shadow on Blizzard and its state of health and this, of course, is something that impacts players in a consistent way, especially because we are talking not only about one of the most anticipated titles on both PC and console, but also a of the most loved, copied, emulated and awaited series ever.

Thanks to the support of NetEase Games, whose job will be evident to anyone who has even played Diablo II, Blizzard has succeeded in the not easy intent of creating a graceful, fun, rich product, not without spaces for micro transactions, but balanced just enough to be able to galvanize any Diablo player who just wants to play and that's it, without spending a cent and maybe in the company of some good friend.

Diablo Immortal is the new chapter of a company that seemed (and perhaps was) on the brink for a long time and for many reasons. A company that has undoubtedly betrayed, in various ways, the trust of its users, but which now seems animated by a spirit of pleasant and concrete revenge, so great, so powerful, so evident that it can transform a potential bloodbath into a mobile game, in a success that is already huge and well deserved.

In short, back to the title: can Diablo Immortal save Blizzard from Hell? For now we would say yes dryly, it is very clear that we cannot (nor do we want to) express ourselves on the state of health of the company, in terms of image as well as its legal situation, we would say that the game is so good and well done by however, return a certain confidence in the name "Blizzard", which will undoubtedly remain forever stained by the nefarious and recent acts that have tainted its history, but which from the point of view of development alone, right now, seems more ready than ever to wanting to get back to doing things right.

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