Feature Article

Diablo Immortal: Everything We Know

While the Diablo games have been a PC staple since 1997, Blizzard Entertainment is now taking the series' signature dungeon-crawling action on the go in Diablo Immortal. Here's everything we know.

Since 1997, Blizzard's Diablo series has been a much-beloved PC staple, offering up hundreds of hours of fast-paced dungeon-crawling and loot-grinding set in a dark fantasy world overrun by demons and other monstrous creatures. In more recent years, these games have made their way onto other platforms, embarking on the voyage from PC to Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo consoles and granting even larger audiences access to the devilishly fun series. Now, however, Diablo is preparing for its most ambitious and widespread release yet: mobile.

Announced back in 2018, Diablo Immortal is the first mobile-based MMO in the Diablo series--a fact which, admittedly, both shocked and even frustrated fans. However, while Immortal might not be for everyone, there certainly is enough jam-packed in the pocket-sized game that we think some fans might enjoy. Here's everything we know about the game so far.

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Now Playing: Diablo Immortal Beta - Necromancer Early Gameplay

Release date

As of right now, Blizzard has yet to confirm a release date for Diablo Immortal, though the company's most recent indication is sometime in the first half of 2022. While this might come as a bit of a shock considering the game was first announced back in 2018, the studio says this is due to the community being a "key collaborator" on the game's development.

Within the last year, the game has undergone both closed alpha and beta tests, both of which Blizzard said provided the development team with ample feedback on what players expect from the release. According to Blizzard, a 2022 release date gives the team enough time to utilize this criticism and "add substantial improvements to the whole game."

Platforms

While the Diablo games might be known for their PC presence, Blizzard has confirmed Diablo Immortal will strictly be a mobile game--a fact that caused a lot of tension back when it was announced. However, despite that staggering amount of backlash, Blizzard has remained firm that Immortal will only be available on Android and iOS. For those of you eager for a new PC and console title, rest assured that Diablo IV is currently in the works.

Trailers

Revealed during BlizzCon 2018, Diablo Immortal's first trailer didn't show much gameplay--perhaps ultimately exacerbating the amount of skepticism already felt around the mobile-only game. However, what Blizzard did show was a short cinematic trailer explaining the basic premise of the game: partnering up with other players to destroy malignant crystals known as Worldstone shards.

In December 2020, we finally got the chance to see some Diablo Immortal gameplay as we joined in the game's closed alpha test and played through its first 25 minutes. Then, during BlizzCon 2021, we got an update on the game that was slated to release later in the year, revealing more information on both Immortal's gameplay and classes.

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Shortly after, Blizzard hosted another closed alpha test for Immortal, allowing us to take a closer look at both the gameplay and the game's fearsome crusader class. We also got the chance to join the game's closed beta and test out the powers of the game's necromancer class, and last but certainly not least, a new cinematic, explaining the game's "Cycle of Strife."

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Plot

For all you Diablo fans who can't get enough of the grimdark world of Sanctuary, you'll be pleased to know that Diablo Immortal actually fleshes out the period between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 a bit more than we've previously seen. Set five years after the events of Diablo 2, Immortal takes place in the town of Wortham, a sleepy little village of hardly any consequence at all--until it is threatened by hordes of cultists and the undead. Players then learn from Diablo fan-favorite Deckard Cain that to restore peace to the hamlet (and subsequently the world), they must travel across Sanctuary to track down and destroy shards of the Worldstone, preventing a necrotic calamity.

However, in the midst of all that chaos is yet another struggle: the conflict between the Immortals and the Shadows, referred to as the "Cycle of Strife." According to the game's lore, the conflict first began when a powerful woman named Daedessa the Builder gave birth to two children: Kion and Akeba. To her son, Kion, she gifted an artifact known as the Eternal Crown, and bestowed upon him the responsibility of protecting Sanctuary from the undead. Ultimately, Kion used his power and the crown to create the Immortals, an organization focused on protecting the realm.

However, to her daughter Akeba, Daedessa gave an even greater responsibility: to live in the shadows, constantly challenging and testing her brother's vigilance in order to ensure the Immortals were always worthy of their station. Akeba thus formed a group known as the Shadows, with the understanding that if they were to ever overtake the Immortals, they would then become Immortals themselves.

Diablo Immortal Demon Hunter
Diablo Immortal Demon Hunter

Gameplay

While Diablo Immortal retains the action role-playing elements and isometric perspective synonymous with the series, what sets it apart from its predecessors is that it's a free-to-play, mobile-based MMO, and is therefore structured to accommodate that style of gameplay. Blizzard has confirmed that while the game will have dungeons not dissimilar to those found in the PC and console games, they will be quite a bit shorter, averaging 10 to 15 minutes in length to make them more digestible for mobile players. The studio also confirmed that much like World of Warcraft and other MMOs, you will be able to see other characters on the map and use voice chat to communicate with friends, adding a new level of interactivity to the series. Lastly, Immortal has also done away with the series' mana system in favor of a cooldown system that's more in line with traditional MMOs, but promises it will never turn to an "energy" system that limits the amount of free play time a person can sink into the game in a day--a frequent complaint with mobile games.

Upon starting Immortal, players can choose from six returning character classes, each with 12 unique skills to unlock: barbarian, wizard, monk, necromancer, demon hunter, and crusader. Throughout the campaign, players will gain experience points that allow them to increase their level up to the game's current level cap of 60. Once they hit level 60, you can then achieve "paragon levels," which can be invested into four different skill trees: survivor, treasure hunter, vanquisher, and gladiator. Blizzard has already confirmed it plans on increasing the level cap, adding even more abilities, and implementing battle passes in the game as well.

While the core of Immortals is single-player, it also boasts several multiplayer activities as well. Players will be allowed to join up in parties of four to play through "dynamic events" together in order to take on tougher dungeons and earn better loot. The game also features PvP modes, including a basic eight-vs.-eight Battleground mode and the Cycle of Strife, a vVP system open to players who have reached Immortal's endgame.

So, I've heard a lot about Blizzard lately. Is there something I should know?

Right now, there's a lot of turmoil at Activision Blizzard due to allegations that surfaced in July 2021 regarding the company's workplace culture. In short, Activision Blizzard has been accused of worker intimidation, harassment, discrimination, and unethical labor conditions, which has resulted in several lawsuits against the company--including one filed by the state of California. A lot has happened since then and we know it can be a bit difficult to keep up with, but for those interested in learning more, we have a complete timeline of Activision-Blizzard's lawsuits and investigations available that we definitely encourage you to read.

Can you preorder Diablo Immortal?

Kind of! Since Immortal is free-to-play and a mobile game, you're unfortunately out of luck if you were looking for a fancy steelbook game case or some sweet preorder swag. However, you can pre-register to play the game at Diablo Immortal's official website. And hey, while you might not get a cool pin, your pre-registration does come with a chance to participate in beta tests and earn in-game rewards.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.


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Jessica Howard

Jessica Howard is an editor at GameSpot and an avid fan of coffee, anime, RPGs, and repurchasing games she already owns on Switch. Her goal here at GameSpot is to approach games through a critical lens, and examine how mental health, sexuality, and gender is represented in the games we love. Prior to GameSpot, Jessica has worked for Uppercut, UPROXX, and Paste Magazine.

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