Preview: 20 Hours of Diablo 4 on PS5 Makes Us Believe in Blizzard’s Final Trip to Hell

Over the past week or so, we’ve spent about 20 hours creating a preview of Diablo 4 on PS5, with near-full access to a large (and often snowy) portion of the game’s open world map. Complete with a series of main story missions and a bunch of side missions, it’s fair to say we’ve got a pretty good idea of ​​what the next RPG is all about.

The short version is that Diablo 4 is more ‘earthly’ than Diablo 3, while being more ambitious in scope. There is no doubt that it still is Feel Like Diablo, but it’s Diablo in the mold of a fairly traditional role-playing adventure, as you travel from village to city to city, solving people’s problems and beating up all sorts of monsters along the way.

You still have hub areas – in the build we played, our central port of call was the distinctly gray city of Keuvachad – but there’s a clear focus on exploration in this long-awaited sequel. Once again, Diablo 4 is set in an open world, filled with mobile teams of monsters, procedurally generated events, and bumbling quest-givers. You’re completely free to go and do whatever you want, though some areas require a higher player level than others, so you don’t get cannibalized by much stronger enemies.

Based on what we’ve played, the game does a great job of coaxing you off the beaten track. It almost feels like an isometric Skyrim at times, thanks to a map full of dungeons and points of interest, intentionally teasing you away from your current target marker. And of course, that’s without mentioning the promise of the all-important loot, which is found in treasure chests and dropped by dead enemies.

Despite playing an unfinished — and covered in content — build, we couldn’t help but invest in our character progression. Diablo’s addictive qualities really shine through, as the game keeps you hooked with low gear and an almost constant stream of experience points. Even the branching design of the skill tree draws you in, forcing you to choose between different abilities and then disagree versions of those capabilities. It wasn’t long before you considered character builds with increased potency, resetting your skill point allocation for a small amount of gold before committing to an entirely new and exciting style of play.

In fact, there’s plenty of room for experimentation here, especially since you can always roam the open world and test your combat prowess without restrictions. We only had access to three character classes – Barbarian, Rogue, and Mage – but each one feels as unique as you’d expect, and that becomes more and more evident as you make your way through the aforementioned skill trees.


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