Diablo III Review
I’ve a confession to make: I’ve never played a Diablo game, never. So what in Caine’s name am I doing wring a review for it? Well, it seemed like I was the best person for the job. Let’s be honest, if you’re a veteran of Diablo then you already have it, you might have taken the day off work to play it and you’ve probably already finished it. So my opinion on it won’t matter as much to you, it’s those guys like me who have never played a Diablo who this is for, be you too young to be a gamer the first time two times round or simply somebody who just missed the first two games like myself.
My limited knowledge of Diablo tells me that no two games will be alike so I’ll be writing this review a little differently to normal. You’re coming with me on my journey, and I’ll be writing this review as I go.
I won’t bother you with my install woes; I was trying to get on it at the same time as the rest of the planet and it’s been fine since those first few hours. Opening cinematic out of the way – which was brilliant might I add, Blizzard rival any Hollywood studio with this stuff. I choose my class, opting for the Demon hunter; I play as a chick because I always do, and name her Jarrae, I’ll be honest I was expecting a little more customisation at this point other than picking my class and sex but it wasn’t that big of an issue for me.
Into the game after another short cutscene that related to my now chosen character and I was good to go. I’m dropped just outside of New Tristram and introduced to the basics of the controls. It’s simple enough; click where you want to go or hold and drag, attacks are performed on the left and right mouse buttons too.
Now again this isn’t for the benefits of you, you Diablo veterans, but as the noob I was expecting Diablo to be much more complicated than this – I’m glad it wasn’t and the tutorial section as a whole deserves praise. It didn’t feel intrusive or was teaching me to suck lemons like most tutorials do, and it acts like a good guide to your first few hours of the game. While it’s not this mess of complicated button pushing and stat management I thought it would be, if it does end up getting more advanced I’ve full confidence the game will build my skill level up to that point at a good pace.
The story has played a much bigger part of Diablo than I expected (don’t scoff at me like that veterans). Rather naively I just expected it to be a dungeon crawler and not much more, but there is a greater depth to the story than I ever expected. Everything in the world also has lore behind it; a back story and reason for being there. Some of these will be naturally presented to you as you progress, while the bulk of them will require you to travel off the beaten path. It’s worth it though, with every piece of lore being read out to you by a character from the game as you play, so there is no need to stop what your doing to read a page of text, keeping you immersed in the game and something you’ll start to wish every game does.
As you progress and level up you’ll find yourself unlocking new skills for your character and eventually runes which act as a modifier. New armour slots also start to unlock, and my personal favourite – the blacksmith. This raises a bit of a dilemma, and one that actually makes you think in the game’s later stages. Say you pick up a weapon that your class can’t use, but its a really good one, you can choose to drop it or you can choose to carry it back into town.
Once you’re back in town though you’ll have a few choices; you can sell it to a vender, break the item down at the blacksmith for use in crafting something you can use, give it to a friend who may be playing as the required class, sell it in the game’s auction house to another player for in-game gold, or the big one… do you put it in your stash and wait for the real money auction house to go live and maybe even make yourself a few quid. Granted that last option might be a little lofty but it’s one Blizzard are implementing, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the games economy when it goes live.
- Well paced.
- Approachable for newcomers.
- You don’t need a big gaming rig to run it.
- The voice acting and audio is amazing.
- Drop in drop out co-op works a treat.
- The “I’ll just see whats up here” gameplay will make you late for things.
- On rare occasions you’ll be over-ridden with an unfair amount of low level creatures that will kill you.
- Constant internet connection required to play.
- Not as long as you might want it to be.
Diablo III is a near flawless game and would be a 9; the actual gameplay, story, experience, levelling, approachability for newcomers and fan service for the veterans are all perfect. It’s the always on internet connection required to play a single player game (granted not a problem for most of us really), the problems with Battle.net and even logging in during my first week with the game that I’ve got to knock it down for. I’ve been wresting with if I should knock it down because of Battle.net as it’s not really part of the game but it is part of the experience, one that Blizzard embedded into the title and sadly the only thing that (at the moment) is a black spot on a near perfect report card. Give Blizzard a few weeks to iron out the kinks and you might be able to make this a 9 but at the moment, for the premium price of a PC title I expected better.