At the time of writing, Diablo Immortal is officially the worst-reviewed Blizzard game, as per Metacritic. With a score of 0.5, it's the third Blizzard game with a score of less than 1 on Metacritic. The game is tied for the worst score with World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. However, the percentage of negative votes and scores is higher for the latest Diablo game. While one can always wonder, the poor reception is easy to understand.
When Blizzard launched the game on June 1, fans were reasonably happy. After all, Diablo Immortal is a new entry to the series after several years, and it provided the first opportunity for players to enjoy the game on mobile. In addition, the feature to crossplay and cross-save between mobile and PC is quite useful.
Truth be told, the game's core gameplay is quite solid, and the game feels quite good in the early stages. The problem and majority of the reasons for the negative scores start with the game's microtransactions.
Diablo Immortal's early promise is let down by its predatory microtransactions
When the game starts, players can progress at a pace. The microtransactions seem like a luxury, and the progression feels smooth. Players can enjoy the main campaign and unlock many more quests and rewards. However, then comes the endgame point, where all the problems begin.
When the game was in development, the developers claimed that there would be no pay-to-win elements in Diablo Immortal. This meant that Blizzard wouldn't be selling gear and equipment in the game. Blizzard has partially stayed true to its earlier claim, but it has created the same thing it wanted to avoid.
The major reason why the game has seemed pay-to-win to many is because of how the game provides legendary gems. These gems are incredibly powerful and can make a significant difference. Unfortunately, the best of the legendary gems are locked behind legendary crests.
These crests can be sustainably obtained only by the exchange of real-life money. So while free-to-play players will have to wait for years to make their characters powerful enough, a paying player can do the same in a day. Unfortunately, Blizzard hasn't treated its paying players well, as calculations show a requirement of $110,000 to gear up a character fully.
This is the primary reason why the game has been bombarded with such high amounts of negative votes. It should be noted that Metacritic doesn't require a player to necessarily own or play the game. The percentage of votes might show hatred because of the overall sentiments against Activision Blizzard in recent times.
There's, however, no denying that Diablo Immortal and its microtransactions haven't made players happy. What has upset so many is that Blizzard had promised there won't be any pay-to-win mechanics. However, the reality has been the opposite, and Blizzard has done it quite brazenly.
The legendary crests also have a terrible gacha system, which means players will have to depend on luck. Buying the crests with real money isn't enough, and it will cost over $100 to trigger the pity to get just 1 legendary gem. Hence, the situation is quite grim, even if someone decides to spend their money on the game.
It's a shame when one plays the game, and they can easily see the promise there. At its core, Diablo Immortal does many things in a proper manner. The core gameplay feels satisfying at times and retains the strong core of the series. However, the good core gameplay isn't enough, as the plethora of negative votes shows that fans are extremely unhappy with the microtransactions.