Anyone who has pre-ordered Blizzard’s long-awaited Diablo 4 sniping can dare the fight against evil since last night. Diablo 4 celebrates its final debut on June 6th, 2023, before which there are two beta test phases, the first of which runs from Friday at 5 p.m. to Monday at 8 p.m. From 24.3. until 27.3. follows the open beta for all interested but undecided players. PCGH has jumped into Diablo 4 Beta 1 to give you a first look at the tech. This is just a quick look at the options menus and general performance, more to come throughout Monday.
Diablo is already doing 4a mature impression, although the game will be fine-tuned for another three months. The graphics menu offers numerous controls for various effects in order to adapt the requirements and the look to your own computer and taste. If the performance of the installed graphics card is not sufficient, the number of pixels can either be scaled using a resolution controller, or you can use Nvidia’s DLSS version 18.104.22.168. Other upsampling modes, such as AMD FSR or Intel XeSS, are currently not available. These procedures may follow together with the final version, for which Blizzard has already confirmed DLSS 3 (more precisely: frame generation) for RTX 40 graphics cards. There is no trace of the announced ray tracing, but that is also expected – RT should appear after the release.
Diablo 4 Beta: variety of options
We looked at the Diablo 4 beta on a powerful computer and are generally impressed by the performance. Our test PC with Ryzen 9 5950X and Geforce RTX 3090 Ti runs with strong undervolting and is still able to display Diablo 4 (beta) with 70 to 120 fps. We use the engine’s temporal AA (TAA), not DLSS. The demands on the hardware vary greatly, although it is primarily the cutscenes that demand the graphics card. Interestingly, Diablo 4 alternates between in-engine graphics and pre-rendered videos. The latter look good – thanks to the installed HD package, which expands the game to 85 GB – but reveal the typical block artefacts and more or less clear color banding on closer inspection. It is gratifying that Diablo 4, despite being in beta, doesn’t have any stuttering caused by the shader. We were able to play for an hour at a time without any noticeable stuttering – that was unthinkable in some games over the past few months, patches had to be used for the shader/PSO compilation first implement or fix.
The gloomy graphics are atmospherically illuminated with all sorts of rasterizing tricks and have many details and dynamics. Among other things, it is praiseworthy that many objects can be destroyed, even those that do not contain any items. In addition to successful material presentation, largely fine textures, nice effects and a cleanly acting TAA, the audio backdrop in Diablo 4 is also pleasing. The noises are depressing, the (English) voices sound believable and the barbarian’s sound when he hits with smack could hardly be more pithy. The level of violence, which is used especially in the cutscenes, is also remarkable – no comparison to Diablo 3, which looks almost like Fortnite in comparison.
There is one thing Diablo 4 does identify as a beta: the hunger for memory. We hear numerous user reports about stuttering and are not surprised in view of our Afterburner protocol: Diablo 4 (Beta) allocated up to 23 GiByte on our Geforce RTX 3090 Ti user in our first test sessions with maximum details a Geforce RTX 4090 confirm this behavior, sometimes accompanied by the first reloading hiccups. These observations point to a memory overflow caused by “Messi behavior”: The game doesn’t seem to remove older data from memory as it progresses. What, in the worst case, leads to texture dropouts on a high-end graphics card with 24 GiByte obviously causes problems for graphics cards with less VRAM. Gamers report crashes and strong jerks, which are only alleviated after reducing the texture details – even on a Geforce RTX 3080, which has 10 GiBytes, not just the common 8 GiByte models. While we expect Diablo 4 to have lower memory usage without overflowing by the final release on June 6th, the behavior is noteworthy. What are your experiences with the Diablo 4 beta? Discuss with us! On the other hand, if you have any questions or requests for the PCGH testers, don’t hesitate to ask them. We’ll follow up on Monday with further impressions and first benchmarks.