Is a pre-order still a pre-order if you can play the game immediately? Isn't that just an order? Well, whatever the case, the full version of Diablo 4 is playable in «early access» now for anyone who's pre-ordered the $90 Deluxe Edition or $100 Ultimate Edition, while owners of the $70 Standard Edition won't be able to start playing until June 5 at the earliest, depending on their time zone (see our breakdown of the Diablo 4 launch times for details).
I pre-loaded Diablo 4 and jumped in a moment ago, and good news: There's so far no sign of the infamous connection problems that scarred the words «Error 37» onto the minds of the first Diablo 3 players all those years ago. There was no queue time at all when I launched the game from California, though the player population is bound to increase into the evening Pacific time—I'll keep an eye on it.
For some, this early access launch isn't so much the start of a dark fantasy adventure as it is the start of a race. Diablo 4's MMO-like design has led to some MMO-like behavior: a sprint to level 100. The race is manifesting in a couple ways:
And then there's the rest of us, who are also free to forfeit any healthy habits we normally maintain to grind out 100 levels as fast as possible, but will possibly enjoy Diablo 4 more by playing it at a normal pace, perhaps with a cup of tea. That's my plan, but I will be watching the level 100 races to see what classes and builds are employed, for science—I'll let you know if I learn anything interesting.
And for those who are watching and waiting on the reception to Diablo 4 before deciding whether or not to play it, we'll have more to share soon.
So far, critics like it: Diablo 4 has received dozens of positive reviews based onRead more on pcgamer.com