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What The Critics Are Saying About Diablo 4

The "Diablo" franchise has seen some epic highs and lows in recent history, with "Diablo Immortal" being a controversial entry in the series, to say the least. Following the mixed response to that mobile-only title, Blizzard Entertainment is looking to bring old school "Diablo" fans back into the fold with the next mainline entry in the series, "Diablo 4." 

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Early reviews of the game are in, and it's looking like Blizzard has another hit on its hands — with a few caveats. Critics have argued that the new game doesn't take quite as many risks or deviations from the classic "Diablo" formula as longtime fans may prefer, but that familiarity with a new coat of polish may still deliver exactly what gamers are looking for. This is spooky, bloody, loot-grinding comfort food gaming at its finest.

Let's take a look at what critics have to say about "Diablo 4" ahead of its June 6 release date.

Diablo 4's story and characters receive praise

Despite some critics noting the generic evil of its big bad, Lilith, the story of "Diablo 4" has been one of the game's most commonly praised elements. In particular, reviewers have praised the game for giving special attention to the motivations of each character the player meets along the way. Everyone has been impacted by Lilith in some fashion, either through the loss of a family member or some other horrible wrong done to them. These stories are explored through gorgeously rendered cutscenes that bookend the dungeon-crawling carnage, resulting in a storyline that Videogamer's Ford James says "blows any previous 'Diablo' narrative out of the water."

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This story can only be told on a grander stage than any previous "Diablo" game, and you'll want to explore every nook and cranny of the larger map to complete the campaign. And luckily for fans who like to pump hundreds of hours into Blizzard's marquee titles, there's so much more to do after the game is complete. As noted by Alesandro Barbossa for GameSpot, "Outside of increasing the World Tier, the map becomes littered with additional side activities that join regular side quests, rotating open-world dynamic quests (similar to patrols in 'Destiny 2'), and Strongholds."

That's all well and good, but players looking to do all of that are probably wondering how well "Diablo 4" plays.

Diablo 4 is definitely more Diablo

Blizzard has not missed a beat with "Diablo 4" gameplay, bringing in tons of new character classes and abilities for players to wreak havoc upon the legions of the damned. If you like the gameplay loop of previous "Diablo" games, you will not be disappointed by the more polished take in "Diablo 4." If you find slicing and blasting through dozens of monsters at a time to be a bit repetitive, it doesn't sound like "Diablo 4" will change your mind. 

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Luckily, as pointed out in IGN's review, the game does throw some fun curveballs every now and then. In addition to the larger bosses, Travis Northup writes,  "you do get the occasional breath of fresh air, like shamans that summon new enemies to the battlefield ... or skeletons that slowly shamble toward you with big, beefy shields until you're able to tear through their defenses and finish them off."

On the downside, many of these reviews were written with the specter of microtransactions hanging over the game. While these were not in play during the review period, outlets such as Destructoid expressed some trepidation regarding the game's cosmetic shop and other live service elements that will arrive with the title on June 6.

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"Diablo 4" sounds like more "Diablo," in all the best and worst ways. Whether you're a fan of the series or a newcomer, it sounds like this is an exciting refinement of what came before. Check it out on June 6 to experience what Windows Central is saying "might be Blizzard's most important, pivotal game since 'World of Warcraft.'"

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