So what was bad about the Diablo 4 beta?

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While I’m hoping that the Diablo 4 beta will be extended by at least one more day due to their login issues, I’ve done everything you can with a character in it. I finished the story, hit level 25, tried (and failed) to kill a world boss. And I really, really like it.

But do some aspects need to be worked on? Yes, of couse. And no, I’m not just talking about login queues and disconnects, deeply annoying aspects of any live game launch, but something that Diablo 4 especially doesn’t need after Diablo 3 launches. That’s a bit obvious though, so let’s dig a little deeper.

Other technical problems – One thing that immediately struck everyone on PC was that Diablo 4 is a memory hog for some reason. There seems to be a bad memory leak issue in certain cases, which can become really problematic over time unless the game is killed immediately. In addition, there was quite a bit of stuttering on the PC, which I want to avoid on startup, even without running out of memory entirely. Also, in some cases, I kept running into areas that just wouldn’t load at all, and my character would stay in place until I stopped and went back inside. Also, the game would crash about 75% of the time I attempted to go back to the title screen or exit altogether.

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card problems – There is no transparent overlay for the map, which looks like something you need in a Diablo game, and essentially any ARPG. Additionally, even using the existing map tools, the mini-map is borderline useless given how much it’s zoomed in.

The user interface – The UI is… ok, but I’d say it’s not great. It looks a bit unfinished and a bit too mobile for my taste. It’s better than saying Lost Ark I think, but not by much, and I think Diablo 3 wins in that department for now.

Fast travel – This could be an issue solved with mounts, but it really seemed like there were way too many sprawling zones with no fast travel points around them. On top of that, the whole TP system is a little weird since you have to teleport back to a town Then to your party if you are in one. It also took me the entire beta to learn that there is a separate, hidden way in the emote wheel to teleport back to a dungeon’s entrance.

aesthetics, sometimes – While I generally love many of the dark, blood-soaked areas of the map, and I understand wanting to return to the vibes of Diablo 2, sometimes things change from spooky and gross to just kinda… drab. The graphics are great and some zones are stunning, but others are so desaturated that the art direction seems almost absent. I’m excited to see more places before I can make a final judgment here.

MMO things – I’m mixed with the MMO elements as Diablo doesn’t move more Stepping into MMO territory, I’m sure I wished for a fully offline single player version during all these server bugs, which I think is impossible in 2023. I find it odd that despite the focus on multiplayer, things like dungeons and forts are missing. I don’t have matchmaking like Lost Ark. And the world boss? While it was a cool concept, I felt like I had no control over my instance, which had too few people and too many of them underleveled for us to even pray to beat the thing. Maybe that will change for the better in live play, but it’s not that great in beta.

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Enemy Density and Diversity – I feel like I ran into the same 8-10 enemy mob clusters literally everywhere outside of short horde segments and I wanted to mix things up a bit. And while I know that many specific enemies are staples of Diablo lore, I feel like 95% of the things I saw were reshuffled from previous games, and not in a particularly interesting way. Again, it’s a big game and there’s a lot more to come, but I didn’t see much creativity in this area here at the beginning.

Play it safe? – This is perhaps my general criticism of the whole experience. I love Diablo games from the past, as do we all. This feels like a new Diablo game that’s thrown in a lot of Lost Ark-like MMO elements without changing too much else. Oddly enough, the biggest leap forward is probably that Tell stories with fantastic cutscenes and a really intriguing storyline starring Lilith, something that was lacking in previous games. I just feel like I wanted the game to evolve in more ways than trying to “fix” Diablo 3 (which was awesome!) by going back to a bunch of Diablo 2-but-modernized overhauls . But again, it’s early days, I haven’t seen all the changes or explored every new system.

What do you think?

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I’ve been writing about video games, television, and film for Forbes for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all types of console and PC games, but when it comes to looting or shooting I’m definitely up for it. When I look at something, it’s usually sci-fi, horror, or superheroes. I’m also a regular on IGN’s Fireteam Chat podcast and have published five sci-fi novels.

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