After five long years of anticipation and marketing hype, “Diablo: Immortal” was announced earlier this week at Blizzcon, developed by NetEase in partnership with Blizzard for mobile devices exclusively. An MMO Action-RPG described aimed at gamers on the move. Diablo Immortal will recreate the franchise’s traditional multiplayer point and click action gameplay with optimizations for touchscreen controls. It may not be the Diablo fans were expecting but could potentially keep fans entertained until Diablo 4‘s eventual release. Early details regarding Diablo Immortal confirm that the mobile game will feature six different classes at launch: Barbarian, Monk, Wizard, Crusader, Demon Hunter, and Necromancer. More classes post-launch is planned, with developers hinting at Diablo 2‘s Assassin and Diablo 3‘s Witch Doctor. Each class will have a unique selection of 12 or more different skills to choose from.
As for how Diablo Immortal fits into the greater Diablo universe, Diablo Immortal’s storyline will take place between Diablo II and Diablo III. 20 years passed in the Diablo Universe between those two games which were released in 2000 and 2012, respectively.The story in Diablo Immortal focuses on the aftermath of the destruction of the Worldstone in Diablo II with demonic invaders trying to bring back a rule of terror. Players will work out of Westmarch, a social hub where players can meet and show off their armor. Through Westmarch, players will visit 9 different outdoor zones, hunting corrupted fragments of the Worldstone and the demons left in their wake.
The gameplay uses a virtual thumb stick on the left side of the screen and an ability cluster on the right. When using abilities that require precise aiming, holding down the button will let you draw where you want to aim. Despite being a fast-paced action game on a phone, the controls seem to work pretty well.
The Diablo Immortal announcement received a mixed response that Blizzard didn’t expect. Blizzard has been teasing a Diablo-related reveal for Blizzcon ever since the convention was announced. Fans were quick to express their disappointment on forums and social media, and at Blizzcon, one attendee’s had to ask if the game was “an offseason April Fool’s joke.” Fans were so lead on to believe that Diablo 4 would be announced and Blizzard went out of its way to inform fans that there would be no Diablo 4 at Blizzcon 2018, but confirming that it was in development, fans were still surprised. Other rumors had swirled prior to the event regarding both a potential Diablo and Diablo 2 remaster. The NetEase mobile exclusive Diablo Immortal that was announced instead was a surprise on all fronts. While no release window has yet been announced for Diablo Immortal, players can visit the game’s official website and google play store to pre-register and potentially be invited to future beta tests.
Diablo Immortal is planned to release “when it’s done” exclusively on iOS and Android devices.