As if EA taking a big steamy dump all over the Command & Conquer franchise wasn’t enough with their greed-mongering mobile drek Command & Conquer Rivals, Blizzard seemed content with getting in on that action for that sweet mobile game money.
And while we don’t know for sure if the game will include micro-transactions, there’s some suspicion among the gaming community that this will be a F2P cash grab. Since the game is being developed alongside NetEase, Activision-Blizzard’s Chinese partner, there’s a lot of concern that the game isn’t as unique as we’re being led to believe. A growing number of gamers are convinced that Diablo Immortal is just a rehash of another NetEase game, Endless of God. And while there is a distinct similarity, there may be some hope that it’s still good. Game development is unfortunately rife with cost-cutting measures like this where an unscrupulous developer renames a game, changes a few assets, but essentially ends up with the same generic ARPG. We’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of these suspicions when Diablo Immortal releases.
If you’re at BlizzCon, there is a demo of the game ready to be played. Maybe it’s not as bad as we think. Maybe. Judging from the gameplay and opinions we’ve seen, the game feels like a Diablo III that’s just been scaled back quite a bit. The touch controls feel OK, and while the loot system is less complex, which is expected, it still feels like a Diablo game. Some aspects of the six classes definitely need some work. Some of those magic-based classes look really clunky. The scale of the class systems is reduced as well, characters will be limited to five skills at a time in-game. So don’t expect tons of variance as the best combos for each class will quickly be found out and posted online.
Fans aren’t as optimistic though. The cinematic trailer currently sits at a very disappointing ratio of 7,000 Likes to 210,000 Dislikes on YouTube. There’s also reports that comments are being deleted. But a cursory glance at the negative feedback across the internet does reveal a common trend that I have to call out. This is another instance of gaming outrage that’s being used as fuel for some far-right and reactionary political messages. Once again, a certain segment of the political sphere online is capitalizing on backlash to grow their audience. The typical social media edgelords are all over this one. These tornadoes of impotent rage at the decisions of gaming companies are sometimes justified, but it’s disheartening to see exactly who gets their message across the loudest at these times, and online that often means some unsavory characters are going to benefit from this stuff.
Check out the cinematic trailer for Diablo Immortal down below. There’s a gameplay trailer down there too.
The weird thing about this is that Blizzard has a history of cancelling games that didn’t live up to their high standards. Highly-excited gamers were left disappointed when projects like Starcraft:Ghost and Project Titan were cancelled. And Blizzard even managed to turn Titan into the massively successful Overwatch. So a lot of people are left scratching their heads trying to figure out what changed. Whether it’s money, a changing of the times or what, I can’t say. But I’m fairly certain that if this doesn’t turn into the best mobile game on the planet, there’s going to be a lot of angry fans out there.
If you’re disappointed, but still want to check out a decent Diablo game you can take on the go, check out Diablo III: Eternal Collection on the Switch. If anyone cares, Diablo Immortal comes out sometime in the future, no release date yet. We do know that Diablo Immortal will be on Android and iOS.