Diablo Immortal – Good gameplay, bad design

I’ve always been fond of the Diablo games and other Blizzard products such as Starcraft and Warcraft.

However, with all the recent issues the company has been experiencing, I, like many others, haven’t felt much urge to give money to the tarnished company.

Diablo Immortal hasn’t been out for long, and despite my reservations, I decided to give this mobile game a chance.

As it turns out, my concern was well-founded.

Story and gameplay

Diablo Immortal very much feels like a Diablo game, albeit simplified and streamlined for mobile controls and graphics.

You can select your class at the start of the game and explore an extensive world filled with content while experiencing responsive controls and enjoyable combat.

Diablo Immortal, at face value, exceeded my expectations and is not the half-baked product most people, myself included, immediately suspected it would be.

Based purely on its gameplay and content, Diablo Immortal is a pretty good game. It’s not something that’ll redefine a genre or go down in history, but it’s satisfying enough that if you’re bored, it’ll offer amusement.

Where it falls flat is in its monetisation.

Design and monetisation

Mobile games are no stranger to monetisation; if anything, offering ways to enhance the game for micro-transactions is a standard on the platform.

So regardless of what Blizzard has said, we all were expecting some form of monetisation – most likely in the form of customisation, like skins and transmogs, or the ever-hated loot boxes that have already made their way into Overwatch.

However, Immortal’s monetisation extends far beyond such comparatively insignificant schemes.

As we already covered in a previous article, it costs an average of R1,7 million ($110,000) to completely max out a character in Diablo Immortal.

Additionally, many different sections of the game offer substantially higher returns for time investment when you spend money.

The game’s very design, therefore, incentivises you to spend exorbitant amounts of money to make any real progress. This is especially the case in the late game, where finding the rarest items can be beyond tedious if you’re not willing to spend more money.

It’s a shame since there is a fun and engaging game behind its bastion of paywalls – which are so extensive that certain countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have prohibited the game’s sale due to their laws over loot boxes.

It’s not surprising then that, as of writing, Diablo Immortal currently has a 0.5 user score on Metacritic.


If you’re looking for a bit of fun and have a Diablo itch, you should just play one of the actual Diablo games.

However, if you’re pressed, Diablo Immortal isn’t a bad option to keep boredom at bay, but it is sorely lacking as a full title and something to sink real amounts of dedication and effort into it.

Unless you’re a multi-millionaire or plan to sell all your earthly belongings, Immortal simply isn’t worth it in the long run.

You’d be better served just playing Angry Birds or Candy Crush if you desperately need some phone entertainment.

It will be interesting to see what Blizzard does in the coming months regarding monetisation and if it makes any changes to try and repair the game’s terrible reputation and design.

If it does, I may return to Diablo Immortal and give it another shot, but until then, I just don’t see the point in playing it any further – I simply don’t have the salary for it.

Read: E3 will return in 2023


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Diablo Immortal – Good gameplay, bad design

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