Diablo 4’s beta shows a gripping, if self-conscious, revitalisation for the series


Father forgive me, for I have spent the weekend conversing with the damned. No, I haven’t gone all Alan Moore and grimoired up a demonic pal to go gallivanting around the big Tescos with. That is next weekend. Instead, I’ve been playing Diablo 4’s beta, closed to all except an elite cadre of press, pre-orderers, and, uh, chicken enthusiasts. And so, axe in hand, I set forth, confident that whoever I found myself temporarily adventuring with would at least be fortified with adequate protein to wield rippling gains against the lords of hell.

Mouse-clicking connoisseurs of a certain age may remember a time when the name Blizzard was synonymous with the most gorgeously impressive CGI cutscenes your tiny mind had ever been blown by, and while Diablo 4’s lengthy introduction comes at a time where there’s far too much widespread talent for any one studio to claim that crown, it is still a goshdarn treat to take in. Not just technically, either. This chronicle of a cursed expedition is a mission statement for Diablo’s new (old) tone, and it sets the scene for things to come spectacularly – even if that tone straddles the line between gripping and noticeably self-concious about past accusations of cartooniness.

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