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Friday, June 14, 2024

Diablo 4 is proof that your in-game fashion doesn’t have to be huge or complex

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There’s no better feeling than being able to dress up your videogame character like a little Barbie doll and parade it around a fake world, forming some strange sense of attachment to a bundle of pixels. It’s something I wasn’t actually expecting in Diablo 4, with its customisation being a pleasant surprise to me. For some background: I’m a total newbie to Blizzard’s dark and dreary ARPG series. My knowledge is sparse, mostly limited to snippets of conversations my friends have had about the games over the years.

I went into Diablo 4 knowing next to nothing, so immediately I was grateful for some semblance of character creation. It’s a little limited, sure, but I was able to whip up a female Barbarian I loved pretty fast. In a way, I appreciated that I didn’t have to spend hours tweaking nose bridge width and neck length for a character I’ll be spending most of the time viewing from the top down.

After an hour or so, I finally got to the fun part—switching out gear and making use of Diablo 4’s transmog system. I wasn’t even sure if equipping gear would make a visible difference to my character, so I was stoked when it did. I wasn’t really expecting much at all, and let’s be clear: Diablo 4’s wardrobe is by no means large. But it kinda rules, and I’m okay that it’s rather compact.

I was mostly privy to my own Barbarian’s fashion while I played, but I couldn’t help but inspect everyone as they teleported into Kyovashad, seeing how Sorcerers and Rogues looked in more sleek and subtle cloth armour compared to Barbarian’s hulking capes and heavy belts. Even with rather limited choices, everyone felt unique and easily identifiable as their class from a distance. I became fixated on looking at every tiny sinner who passed through, taking notes for when I eventually decide to check out other classes. 

Diablo 4’s small but mighty wardrobe system has made me realise that games don’t need a grand, complex array of garments to feel satisfying. It definitely helps that every piece I unlocked was dripping with class identity and almost all my armour mixed and matched well with the rest of my unlocked transmog. Sometimes quality over quantity prevails, and that definitely feels like the case with Diablo 4. Capsule wardrobes are totally in, and it works super well in this game.

Admittedly, some of the pieces look rather similar, but I had a ton of fun checking out each individual armour item and seeing how it worked with other bits of my unlocked transmog. It felt difficult to put together a bad outfit, which might be sad news for those who love to parade around in the most egregious fits, but for the more fashion challenged it may prove a small blessing.

Having such a good time making my Barbarian look badass as hell has made me painfully attached to her already. I’m genuinely gutted that Blizzard won’t be letting any of our progress carry over and I’ll need to build up her wardrobe all over again. I have a feeling I’m gonna be ferrying between the Blacksmith and wardrobe an awful lot once the full game launches, and you bet your ass I’ll be proudly displaying my fit in Sanctuary’s various hubs like the weird diet MMO Diablo 4 truly is. 

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