Time and Money Cost of Diablo Immortal
There’s no shortage of video games in the world and new ones are being released all the time. One that’s certainly got plenty of tongues wagging is Diablo Immortal, but is this game worth your time (and money) or are you better off passing? Read on for all you need to know.
If the story is what gets you going it’s important to note that this is a sort-of prequel and sequel in that the game takes place between Diablo II and Diablo III. Areas and characters from both the aforementioned games make an appearance here, which might appeal to those who enjoy a side order of nostalgia with their gaming. The pesky Skarn is on a mission to resurrect his boss, Diablo and the player’s job is to destroy shards of the Worldstone to stop this from happening. However, the repetition of old areas and characters can make this game feel a bit too thin on its own account, and lacking its own distinctive feel. The core experience here is the gameplay, and this also ties into the monetization which has drawn so much ire. We’ll assess the gameplay before moving onto the money.
Alternative Mobile Games
Diablo is not the only big game or franchise to opt for a mobile or free-to-play approach. If you prefer guns to magic then Call of Duty: Mobile ticks many of the right boxes, and includes many different game modes to add the much-needed spice of variety to the FPS action. Mobile gamers who are Diablo fans and looking for something similar might want to try their hand at Titan Quest: Legendary Edition, an ARPG with a mythic setting and lashings of loot and violence to boot. Or you might prefer the hack and slash action of Bastion.
Beyond the world of video games, mobiles are also perfect for enjoying a quick slots gaming session at online casinos such as Jackpot City Casino, which offers a great selection of games. The advantage of opting for a top casino site is that there’s a plethora of different games (such as slots, table games, and live casino tables) all in a single place and accessible at your convenience. And, unlike when shoveling money into loot boxes and microtransactions with certain cash-gouging video games, online casinos always provide the chance to end up with more money than you started with. There’s even the outside shot of winning a bundle, which you won’t find with the likes of Diablo Immortal.
Designed to appeal to the mobile market first and foremost (unlike other entries in the series), this does have some impact on gameplay, if only because you won’t be using a controller. (Using a controller is technically possible, but only advisable for masochists until the developers improve how the game functions, particularly cutting down on lag). Using a keyboard and mouse on a PC is a better (though still imperfect) experience if you opt for the PC version. The gameplay is reminiscent of Diablo III if a little simplified to account for the mobile platform emphasis. Also, auto pickup is very much your friend here, unless you really love taking five minutes after winning a big fight scouring the battlefield for every nugget of loot.
Dungeons are on the small side which might be a good thing if you like things nice and quick, but for those after prolonged delving into perilous places, this might be a letdown. Speed is a factor when it comes to getting new mechanics in the game, which happens very regularly to start with.
Monetization – as Bad as Reported?
Monetization in video games has been increasingly under the spotlight in recent years, whether it’s the sky-high cost of lootboxes from gaming series that have a release every year to being fleeced with microtransactions (makes the good old days when armoring your horse was laughed at rather than indulged seem very long ago). Diablo Immortal has copped a lot of flak for its monetization, but is the criticism justified?
To elaborate a little further, within the first hour, if not half hour, you will probably be offered the chance (how very generous of the game) to buy a bundle based on a beaten boss. It’s worth noting you can earn rewards just by playing in-game rather than handing over your hard-earned cash. One-time purchases tend to be cheap, and players can opt for different types of battle pass (the more expensive featuring cosmetics and a rank boost). There’s also a Boon of Plenty that can be bought for a certain period of time, and bought again to renew it, but the right to renew it requires a certain amount of playing (for the privilege of spending more money…). Between that and the more expensive battle pass, monthly bonuses will be costing $25. And that’s before we get to other matters of spending.
The currency situation is faintly ridiculous as not only can you buy in-game currency, this can then be used to buy platinum, a second in-game currency, for trading in the player market. As usual with this sort of thing, discounts apply the more you spend, encouraging higher costs to players. And this is a one-way transaction, you can buy premium currency but you cannot convert that back to real-world money. Cosmetics can be purchased, and you can use the in-game currency for items necessary for the top-tier gear (which can also be crafted).
In short, this is pay to win. However, you can play to win but there’s an onerous time investment required, which may be ok for those with time to spare but otherwise can make Diablo Immortal an expensive proposition (ironic, given it’s technically free to play). Some games (including Clash of Clans) have achieved significant success with this model but the widespread dismay of fans with Diablo Immortal on the monetary front is a warning shot to developers.
Diablo Immortal (I can’t say if it’s Freudian or not but accidentally typed ‘Immoral’ before proofing the text) does have a good game at its heart, but the multiple currencies, pop-ups to buy one-time-only purchases and the feeling its monetization plus a game, rather than a game with monetization, does leave a sour taste in the mouth.