Review: Diablo 3
Things We Liked:Engrossing Game Play I Simple Learning Curve I Complexity of Character Development
Things We Hated:Limited Active Skill Slots I Single Player Runs Through Online Network
There is a lot to respect about Diablo 3. This should come as no surprise to anyone that Blizzard knew what they were doing, and what kind of product they were going to be introducing into the gaming community. They had hit success after success in the forms of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo so it [...]
There is a lot to respect about Diablo 3. This should come as no surprise to anyone that Blizzard knew what they were doing, and what kind of product they were going to be introducing into the gaming community. They had hit success after success in the forms of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo so it wasn’t like they were unprepared.
From the moment I downloaded and installed the game I experienced the slickest and most precise version of the Action-RPG available today. People hoping for the messiah should look elsewhere, this game knows what it is. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and it lets you off the leash early and often. Matter of fact, once you do the first couple quests, you feel as though you have nothing holding you back from swinging your mace into another couple thousand enemies.
As you might expect Diablo 3 comes with all the finer things: easy to use user interface, sweet looking spell effects, and horrendously disgusting monsters as big as the screen. It gives the gamer exactly what they bought the thing for, quests, loot and the ability to make your hero as ridiculously awesome looking as possible while not having to slave away over MMO raid drops.
The logistics of this game were genius last go around, Blizzard was not stupid enough to change the format. Basically, if you want to play for 15-20 minutes and maximize your time killing monsters and picking up loot, then that’s exactly what you can do. Have a few friends that want to do it with you? Great, they don’t even have to span the game globe to get to you, they can pretty much port right next to you and help with the killing. No need to worry about which server everyone is on, if there are enough people to play or how much time it’s going to take to get everything prepared.
Outside of the repetitiveness that comes with playing the story over and over, this is a perfect template for anyone who wants a free-to-play MMO. It’s got the itemization, the character progression and complexity without the time constraints and the annoying in-game money for content formula.
All of this is old news to anyone who played Diablo II. What was not done here was try to re-invent the wheel. Blizzard had a solid product to begin with now they’ve reinforced it with steel-framed supports, stream-lined game-play involving quest-based goals along with and random events throughout your adventure. Add to that a little experimentalism in the form of legalized real-money transfers and you can see that Blizzard wasn’t fully content sitting on their laurels, maintaining the status-quo.
The new classes are great. My personal favorite, unfortunately, is not new. The Barbarian is iconic to Diablo as the Orc is for Warcraft, It’s just hard not to like. Luckily it remains just as up-close and in your face as ever and the enjoyable new advancement systems make even low-level powers interesting to use. I mean seriously, at level 7 your jumping right down the throats of your intended victims, cleaving a group of monsters so that they explode when they die burning everything surrounding them (except you of course). It’s great.
The higher you get the more options you are granted. Each of your main powers becomes somewhat customizable, giving you a say in how your charter will play. In a game where it would be simple to have cookie cutter build after cookie cutter build, Blizzard steers wisely away from the trees and talent points that made both Diablo 2 and World of Warcraft characters customizable but at the same time so very similar. Something that I found frustrating was the lack of slots for active powers, 6. I know, I know it makes for a simpler play experience and a more complex way to customize your character. It forces you to pick and choose so that you can have whatever type of play-style you can think of, given the powers of each class. I simply wanted a couple more slots.
The same thing that makes this game interesting and great is also partly its downfall. The fact that you can pick up and play single player games, killing monsters relentlessly for hours gets tiresome and old if that’s all you do. Community is lacking here, unless you have a large group of friends. When playing with 3 others this game truly shines. It harkens back to my days of Gauntlet Legends, with little dragons floating over my warriors shoulder as I and a couple of buddies put in hours and hours of storming castles and killing wizards (screaming at people to stay on the screen). In the end that’s really what this is all about.
Yeah, it’s cool to have a super bad-ass cinematic highlighting a storyline involving quarreling angels, the devil, and a couple of his brothers. But, once you’ve taken all of that lore in, it’s about having fun with the mechanics and killing crazy huge mobs of monsters over and over with your friends. Luckily, this game succeeds at that aspect thoroughly.
If you’ve already read my previous thoughts about Diablo 3, I remain, firmly entrenched behind them. Only time will tell if this game lasts as Diablo 2 has, garnering an incredible ‘Hardcore’ community, 13 years after launch.