Diablo IV is the latest instalment in the popular action role-playing game series published by industry veterans Blizzard Entertainment. Reviews have been somewhat mixed, with those not fully sold on the Diablo format finding the new edition to be more of the same flaws, while committed fans are happy to explore more of their favourite flavour.
One of the biggest strengths of Diablo IV is its combat. The game features a fluid and responsive combat system that feels great to play.
The different classes all have their own unique play styles, and combined with a wide variety of weapons and skills to choose from, there’s plenty of dopamine to be mined by those who enjoy personalised play styles.
The loot system is another area where Diablo IV shines.
Although that really is to be expected of the latest in a franchise which perfected the grindy, loot and progression-based game play loop that kept players coming back for hundreds of hours.
However, Diablo IV is not without its flaws. One of the biggest criticisms of the game is its lack of innovation.
The game’s core game play is very similar to that of Diablo III, and there are a few new features that really set it apart. The main story is relatively short, and endgame content is an endurance race for better gear.
But all this is music to the ears of established Diablo fans who have been waiting for its next instalment since 2012. These players have always been here for the grind, and they will find that Diablo IV has continued to polish the formula towards perfection.
Multiplayer is once again a star of the show.
Dungeon-crawling with three friends goes a long way to injecting excitement into an old format, and heighten the thrill of finding something rare or unexpected.
Online PVP is also a stand out part of the endgame, though it remains to be seen how dedicated Blizzard is to bringing out new content through the live-service model.
It is worth mentioning that Diablo IV is experiencing a bit of a shaky launch, with a few bugs and odd glitches. However, these seem to be pretty specific problems that will hopefully be patched out shortly.
Overall, Diablo IV is a solid action role-playing game that confidently executes on the strengths of the franchise. If you were never much charmed by the Diablo game-play loop, this latest addition won’t offer any pleasant surprises. But for fans of the series, Diablo IV scratches exactly the itch that only hours of monster-smashing with mates can reach.
Topaz Labs uses AI to turn phone snaps into stunners
Topaz Labs is a software company that develops AI-powered image and video-editing software. Their products are used by professional photographers, videographers, and creative professionals around the world to improve the quality of their images and videos.
For image enhancement, Topaz offers excellent sharpening, noise reduction, and upscaling to larger sizes. These features also apply to video, along with options for stabilisation and removing interlacing artefacts.
While Topaz Labs’ products are more common among professionals (a R3 500 to R5 500 price tag will do that). They can also be incredibly useful for the average person who doesn’t have access to top-tier video and photo equipment. And for those with old videos and photos, Topaz can do an incredible job of breathing fresh life into old, pixelated memories.
James Browning is a freelance tech writer and local music journalist