What Diablo 4 means for the fate of all Hack’n’Slays

MeinMMO Editor Benedict Grothaus is looking forward to it Diablo IV Like a kid at Christmas. But with every moment of joy, anxiety also grows, because the future of the entire genre may depend on ARPGs. Fans were thirsty for the new and usable New Years.

“Looting and leveling up – that’s a must have in a game.” That’s what a wise man said, Its damn catchy melody It buzzes in my head every time I play Diablo or any other hack’n’slay game.

Because damn it, Trent is right. A really good game doesn’t need much to be entertaining. If I can improve my character and thus be able to hit the bad pugs on the cap better, I’m happy.

No other game does that like Diablo. No wonder, because Diablo Invented loot in video games. “Big bangs” or secret caves spurting with dopamine, as if they were a beauty at a carnival.

Diablo IV is finally here – a game that fans and I have been waiting for over 10 years. Diablo 3 was released in May 2012. It was easy for Loot nerds to get a sequel Seen in the emotional outburst in the Diablo Immortal commercial.

This is not surprising. Because since Diablo 3, there have only been a handful of RPGs that can quench this thirst for loot in such a satisfying way.

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I have a deep love for role-playing games, which I love to live out in fun ARPGs and dungeon crawlers. I’ve been a fan of Hack’n’Slays since my youth, starting with Sacred and Dungeon Siege, and fell in love with the Diablo series with its dark gothic style early on. Diablo 4 is definitely my highlight of 2023.

Hardly a good big ARPG in the last 7 years

when you’re our List of Diablo alternatives When I reviewed them in early 2023, I noticed that almost all of the games we recommend are either really old or don’t have high ratings.

Of course, I would never recommend garbage to you, but the problem is: there really aren’t that many good, up-to-date alternatives to Diablo. The best backup options from the list, as ranked on Steam, are:

  • Torchlight 1 from 2009
  • Torchlight 2 from 2012
  • The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing from 2013
  • Grim Dawn from 2016

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is particularly innovative. Here is the trailer:

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Der Trailer zur Extended Edition

Even Diablo’s biggest competitor, the free Path of Exile, launched back in October 2013. That’s been nearly 10 years now. If you look at the newer versions, they all wobble somewhere in the “balanced” ratings – or worse.

For example, the acclaimed Wolcen crashed terribly quickly on SteamAfter it was initially well received. ARPG fans have been reaching out for every topic, hoping for their next Diablo. But they didn’t understand that.

After a comparative look, Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr still performs best among the ‘newer games’, but that too was released in 2018 and with 75% of the positive votes it was ‘mostly positive’.

Minecraft Dungeons is probably the most successful game out there, but with its fun look, it doesn’t appeal to every slash-and-loot fan. The latest RPGs have been okay at best, but they are no longer a blockbuster.

People who should know better fail

The worst thing about the whole thing is that an overwhelming number of studios seem to realize the potential. Gearbox, the publishers behind Torchlight 1 and 2, released a third part in 2020 – but from a different development team.

Torchlight 3 was miserable and disappointed fans of the series in a big way. On the other hand, the series’ original designer created a new mini-game using “Hob” and received significantly better reviews with it.

Then Blizzard came right around the corner with Diablo Immortal. I want to be clear: Diablo Immortal’s gameplay makes it the best “Diablo-like game” in at least 7 years, possibly longer. It’s fun, diverting, feels rewarding, and action-packed.

But if you really love playing ARPGs, you’re pretty much grinding. But in Diablo Immortal, there were certain limits to grinding, which can be benefited in part – but not entirely – with money. Not a good approach and a pity the really solid framework. Because I still hope Diablo 4 takes over Immortal’s approach to gameplay:

I want Diablo 4 to be like Diablo Immortal

Indie games and AA products usually step in where the big publishers fail and provide fans with new content. But even that did not happen here. If you look at Vikings – Wolves of Midgard, Last Epoch or Wolcen, you can see that even here there is plenty of room for improvement.

For me, that’s a really bad sign, because it reminds me of my not-so-secret love for video games, which has dumped me on a number of occasions.

The latest trailer for Diablo 4 really got me hooked – I hope the level holds up in the game:

Diablo 4: Trailer release date

I’ve kind of seen die softly before

Real-time strategy games are my passion and would probably still be my favorite genre today if there were good current cast. Because with them I experienced exactly what the ARPG genre is destined for: a drought so severe that good games are no longer available.

The only RTS series that has consistently run at some point is Age of Empires. And even here the third part was controversial and I uninstalled the fourth after two weeks.

There haven’t been any new real-time strategy games for many years, at least not known from AAA productions. The best RTS game for me so far is Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War from 2004 and the RTS with the most potential is semi Standalone version of Command & Conquer.

ARPG games are not at the same point as strategy games yet. For one thing, hack ‘n’ slays attracts a much larger audience than full-time RTS nerds. On the other hand, games like Diablo have always evolved and improved.

Strategy games always get worse with sequels or maybe they just kept the quality of the first part, see Stronghold. If you take the Diablo series as a comparison, the gameplay in Diablo 3 today is simply better than Diablo 1.

Diablo 4 should be fine – and so far everything seems to be working:

Diablo 4 takes the best features from its predecessors – this is how it looks so far

There are already early reports of Diablo 4, including my colleagues at GameStar and GamePro. I’m totally enjoying everything I know about the game so far. All classes have deep gameplay with unique skills and builds, visually I finally have a nice dark flair again and the story is really drawing me in.

But Diablo 4 has yet to prove that it will be really good. You won’t see it until after release. Diablo 4 is very important because it can keep this genre alive. I don’t want to see another kind of music that I like – I’m not Jürgen after all:

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