Is Diablo 4 out now? The latest entry in the demon-slaying action RPG series has arrived, opening its doors to all budding demon slayers. While many are only getting their hands on it for the first time, we’ve already had the opportunity to play Diablo 4 extensively.
As you can see in our Diablo 4 review, where we also detail the Diablo 4 classes, this one is certain to make a push for our best PC games list. Blizzard’s latest “embodies the essence of what makes Diablo so great,” after all. So join us as we break the seal and delve deeper into the deepest dungeons of Diablo 4, fishing through every chest to salvage everything we know, from the Diablo 4 release date and its story to new gameplay systems.
What is the Diablo 4 release date?
The official Diablo 4 release date is Tuesday, June 6, 2023. The game’s early access period has now ended and the full launch has arrived.
The release date’s announcement came during The Game Awards 2022, and also confirmed that players would get access to the beta if they pre-order the game. However, we first saw the RPG game announced during Blizzcon 2019, where we witnessed the resurrection of Lilith, the new big bad demon of the series.
What are the Diablo 4 launch times?
The Diablo 4 launch times are:
- PDT – June 5 at 4pm
- EDT – June 5 at 7pm
- BST – June 6 at 12am
- CEST – June 6 at 1am
- AEST – June 6 at 9am
Diablo 4 story
Diablo 4’s story begins with the creation of the world of Sanctuary. As we see in the first of the mini-series Book of Lorath, voiced by the distinctive gruff Yorkshire tones of Ralph Ineson, we learn that there was once a being called Anu who embodied good and evil. After deciding to sever his ties to evil, it manifested into Tathamet, and the two beings fought for eons.
From Tathamet, three Prime Evils rose to power: Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo. Mephisto had two children – Lucion and Lilith – the latter of which is the main antagonist of Diablo 4, having been summoned by a necromancer. Four lesser evils were also created: Azmodan, Andariel, Duriel, and Belial.
To compensate for the Prime Evils’ creation, the Angiris Council was formed and led by several Archangels. Fans will know of Tyrael, who abandoned his post as Archangel of Justice and became mortal, but later took up the mantle of Aspect of Wisdom when Mathael abandoned his post. Others include Imperius, Inarius, Auriel, and Itherael. Inarius and Lilith created Sanctuary by stealing a Worldstone and their reappearance sets the wheels in motion in Diablo 4.
Diablo 4 gameplay
PCGamesN has already played a significant chunk of Diablo 4, and you can check out our Diablo 4 review to see what we thought of it – spoiler alert, we liked it.
Instead of the usual chapter-based progression, Diablo 4 is open-world, so players will need to travel between fast-travel hubs. Surprisingly, there are no loading screens between dungeons and the overworld. Since everything will be far away, you can ride on horses and attack foes while mounted. You may also find shortcuts by jumping off ledges.
The open-world structure allows players to join each other at any time in the same world via co-op or PvP. As outlined in the Diablo 4 gameplay preview, the world of Sanctuary is split into five major regions, each based on a real location. Activision Blizzard also confirms that Diablo 4 has cross-play support across all platforms, so you can explore them together.
With the large open world comes the need to fill it with quests and hidden treasures. Diablo 4 Strongholds are settlements filled with enemies you must slay to capture the territory. Once you do, if you come back later in the game, you’ll find either a friendly town filled with helpful NPCs, a dungeon waiting for you to plunder its secrets or something else entirely. And yes, we can confirm that you can pet the dog.
Series veterans have already fought most of the Evils seen in the Diablo 4 gameplay trailer above, and even the fallen Angel Mathael in prior Diablo games. So far, the only one to return for a rematch has been Diablo. Those who played the beta will have met the Archangel Inarius, and we’ll also likely fight Lucion and Lilith.
The player arrives in the Fractured Peaks 50 years after the Reaper of Souls expansion to a broken world. Lilith returned after Inarius banished her to the Realm of Darkness. At the same time, Inarius was handed over to the Burning Hells as a peace offering after the heavens learned of the creation of Sanctuary. You’ll also meet Prava, the leader of the Cathedral of Light, who Inarius taught the tenets. Lorath and Donan are the two remaining Horadrim with a mysterious history, while Neyrell is a young adventurer who seeks to stop Lilith after the demon murders her mother.
Players can also participate in Diablo 4 public events without partying up. One of these events features a gargantuan monster holding a bulky chest bursting with treasure to unlock when you kill its holder. Speaking of Diablo 4 monsters, they now have families that may be visually different but have common themes, such as being a ranged fighter.
As for Diablo 4 customization, you can create your personalized character for the first time in the main series, as opposed to the pre-rendered characters of the past. You can also tinker with skill slots, taking advantage of the three new powers: angelic, demonic, and ancestral. Each of these new stats has its effect and is a prerequisite for item affixes.
Diablo 4 skills
One system that has had a bit of an overhaul is the Diablo 4 skill tree. Activision Blizzard has said that “players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node,” and that they’re “currently aiming for 30~40% of the nodes filled in for endgame so that players can have very distinct and different ways they build out their character.”
So what’s the skill tree like in Diablo 4? Well, for starters, it’s an actual tree rather than an abstract approximation of one that most games have. Active skills branch out, while passive upgrades spread through the tree’s roots. You get separate skill points and passive points to spend in each section.
Classes have their unique mechanics. The sorceress currently has an enchantment system that lets you allocate active skills into the passive enchantment slots. An example of this is the meteor spell; when equipped as an enchantment, you periodically drop meteors on enemies automatically rather than actively casting the spell. We also now know that skills are tied to weapon damage.
The rogue class has access to multiple class specializations, all of which require the completion of unique quests. These specializations allow a rogue to gain one of three skills to augment their ranged or melee combat with special effects. For example, Shadow Realm creates a dark void in which the rogue can isolate and eliminate targets without their mates interrupting.
Diablo 4 design
Given that Diablo is a series about battering demons and a whole bunch of medieval Christian iconography, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that there is a heavy influence in Diablo 4’s art style by art from the medieval and Renaissance eras. In a recent interview with Diablo 4’s art director, John Mueller, he cites Frank Frazetta as one such inspiration: “his paintings reminded me of old European works – the subject matter was very different and visceral, but the technique and the way that surfaces were treated really did feel like those Old Masters paintings”.
Diablo 4 beta dates
There are no more Diablo 4 beta dates before the game’s release on June 6, 2023.
Prior to release, Diablo 4 held several beta sessions. The latest open beta in the form of a Server Slam weekend, was held in from 12 – 14 May. The most recent beta forced players to start again as progress wasn’t saved after the Diablo 4 beta, but players could access the same areas of Fractured Peaks to play through both the prologue and Act 1. The Server Slam also included all the fixes and updates as explained in the Open Beta Retrospective blog post, and the World Boss, Ashava could be encountered in multiplayer, with a new Cry of Ashava Mount Trophy rewarded to those who defeated her.
The open Diablo 4 beta ran from 24 – 26 March. The earlier closed beta was only available to those who pre-purchased Diablo 4, while the open beta weekend was open to everybody. Players were widely running into one of the many Diablo 4 error codes during its early hours but eventually got a chance to play as the Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, and Sorcerer.
Those hoping for a Diablo 4 endgame beta will be disappointed to learn that there won’t be one before the game’s release date. According to associate game director Joseph Piepiora, “We’ve done an endgame beta in the past where we got to check out a version of the [endgame] features we’re talking about today, and we got a lot of really good feedback from that closed beta test before”.
Despite confirming that the endgame content would not be appearing in the beta versions of the game, Activision Blizzard did release a Diablo 4 endgame showcase during which they detailed brand-new activities and narrative progression. Normal dungeons will be converted for high-level play after you complete the last mission of the Diablo 4 campaign. On top of this, Activision Blizzard confirms that it plans to support Diablo 4 for several years with game updates, expansions, and ladders.
Diablo 4 microtransactions
A recent blog post from Activision Blizzard confirms that Diablo 4 will have microtransactions, explaining that the cosmetics will be “grounded within Diablo’s world”. Players can mix and match these cosmetic items with their “transmogs from armors acquired in-game for endless customization options”. Some of these cosmetics are exclusive to specific classes, and others will appear in the seasonal Diablo 4 battle pass, celebrating the theme of that given season with similar looks across all classes.
Activision Blizzard also confirms that the “best-looking items” aren’t exclusive to the shop and that no items available via microtransactions have any bearing on gameplay. Regular expansions are also coming throughout the game’s lifespan. Oh, and in case you were worried, there is currently no confirmation that the auction house will return in Diablo 4. A survey was later sent by Activision Blizzard showing some potential microtransaction options.
Diablo 4 trailers
Along with the initial announcement, Activision Blizzard gave us a cinematic Diablo 4 trailer, showing a band of thieves trying to break into a sacred tomb while being chased by monsters. While three of the thieves narrowly make it into the inner chambers, someone is left behind, but it doesn’t take long for them to realize they shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, everything goes south very quickly as a wicked conjurer uses the blood of the three to summon the ‘daughter of hatred’, Lilith, into the world.
A further Diablo 4 cinematic trailer aired during The Game Awards 2022, depicting Inarius, Archangel of the High Heavens, facing down Lilith and her encroaching army of demons with his own servile bulwark of Pale Knights. The trailer culminates with Inarius hurling his spear at Lilith, while proclaiming that he has returned to hell for her.
The entire opening cinematic was released during IGN Fan Fest, giving players a sneak peek at how the game begins, as well as showing off the fact that custom characters can be included in high-quality cutscenes.
A live-action trailer was released to celebrate the Diablo 4 closed beta launch, featuring a 160-foot mural painted on the ceiling of the deconsecrated Chapelle de Jésuites cathedral in Cambrai, France. According to the behind the scenes featurette, the mural comprises 20 canvas paintings that took a month for artist Adam Miller and his team to create.
An extensive classes trailer was also released which detailed the five classes: Druid, Sorceress, Rogue, Barbarian, and Necromancer. In addition, classes now have multiple play styles, which should make for some diverse Diablo 4 builds. For example, the Rogue can excel as an assassin-like class or as a ranged crossbow user. The good news is that, according to general manager Rod Fergusson, Diablo 4 won’t have an insurmountable respec cost if you change your mind about your class build, so you’re free to experiment. He says the respec system is “for sure going to ship in the launch” and that “it’s not prohibitively expensive, and we’ve made it easier by being able to refund a single skill point or the entire tree at once”.
It wouldn’t be a Diablo game without an extensive Diablo 4 loot system with some hugely desirable Diablo 4 mythic items to seek out. Thankfully, Activision Blizzard has confirmed that the Diablo 4 damage numbers will be tempered somewhat, resulting in a cleaner UI that’s a bit easier on the eye at higher levels.
We’ve known about including multiplayer since the first official gameplay trailer. You can either play in co-op or turn on each other in Diablo 4 PvP to plunder treasure for yourself. Scattered worldwide, you enter The Plains of Hatred areas when you get a message proclaiming that your character is “overcome by Mephisto”. While it’s entirely optional whether you express this ‘hatred’ towards other player-controlled characters, your rewards for killing them or the local monsters are shards you can refine to complete challenges. However, be careful, as unruly adventurers can pluck unrefined shards from you.
That’s everything about the Diablo 4 release date and launch times. As you prepare for your descent into hell, check out our Diablo 4 tips, which has something for returning veterans and new players alike. And make sure you have checked out the very best Diablo 4 builds, whichever class you choose, as we found out Blizzard’s own favorites.