My Notes on Diablo IV — Part One

Carrying the torch back into the darkness

Alex Rowe
7 min readJun 7


A rogue stands in a muddy grassy area near some portals in Diablo IV.
Diablo IV PC screenshot taken by the author.

I went into the Diablo IV beta earlier this year somewhat burned out on the entire franchise. This was as much due to my own overplaying of Diablo III in the decade since its release as it was due to the excellent Diablo games that launched in the last couple of years.

Recently, after years of dormant silence, Blizzard kicked out both Diablo Immortal and Diablo II Resurrected. The former is a safe free-to-play iteration on the mechanics and world of Diablo III, and the latter is a brilliant modern remake of one of the best action RPGs of all time.

So, we went from having almost no Diablo to maybe too much Diablo — and as such I wasn’t sure what to make of IV’s beta. You can see my earlier thoughts about it here and here.

Now, with several days of the final release under my potion belt, I’m having a great time, but I’m still also fascinated by just how weird and carefully crafted this new game is. It’s trying to thread the impossible needle between nostalgia and modern game design. I think those two things are directly opposed to each other in ways the game never fully resolves.

Join me for “My Notes” on Diablo IV, probably the first of several installments as this game slowly consumes my life over the next few years. The clumsy explanation I’ve come up with for my “notes” pieces is that they’re like a written podcast — or what we as a people used to call a blog.

They’re more relaxed than a traditional review or analysis article, containing my unprocessed-yet-gently-filtered thoughts after spending several hours playing a game. No one was reading my game reviews or deeper pieces anymore, so now I write these loose listicles without numbers in them.

A rogue stands on some rocks and snow in Diablo IV.
There’s lots of good micro detail in this game, and the zoom function lets you get right up into it. PC screenshot taken by the author.

A Weird Blend of Old And New

I think Diablo IV wants to be all things to all people. It had to confront the nightmarish task of satisfying lifelong fans of this iconic franchise while also existing in a modern world of online play, open worlds, and cosmetic storefronts. It sort of does a great job at all of this —…



Alex Rowe

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