Reviews

Published on June 27th, 2012 | by Charlie

0

Review: Diablo III

Review: Diablo III Charlie
Story
Gameplay
Graphics

Summary: Charlie takes a look at Diablo III on PC, is it any good? read the review to find out!

4.5


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
A little late on this review, but better late than never. After many years of constant delays and promises, Blizzard has finally released the highly anticipated game, Diablo III. Personally, I had no interest in the game and thought that the game just wouldn’t be good purely because it’s taken them so long, but it looks like yet again I have just been punched in the face by the game, and I must say that was a good punch. Now I hate to start a review on a low, but if there’s one thing I have to ask Blizzard is this: What were you thinking on making this game online? For people like me, I like to play a game that has optional co-op by myself purely because it makes things more atmospheric and less of a hassle (as if I want my friends to steal all the good loot). With the game being online, this caused a whole bunch of problems for many gamers, where they couldn’t get onto a server to play. It took Blizzard hours to fix this, and even then, the game was hit with many day 2/3/4 problems, where Achievements began to not appear for a lot of players. Take note Blizzard, because what you should have done is a separate option where the servers would be available to those who do wish to go online. Anyone who doesn’t should have the freedom to play offline. And who said online games were the future if these are the problems that will be encountered every time? However, after people had passed all that commotion, it was actually time to play the game itself. Once logged in, you’re asked to choose from 5 different playable classes; the Barbarian, the Monk, the Witch Doctor, the Wizard and the Demon Hunter. For my playthrough, I chose to be a monk (for no special reason). Now what needs to be noted is that you cannot choose your characters features, which to be honest wasn’t a big deal partly because you’re not going to be seeing your character as close as you might with your World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic characters; this is an isometric game after all. Set 20 years after Diablo II, the game begins with you arriving in New Tristram after a fallen star has crashed upon the cathedral. This star seems to have a connection with the recent rising of the dead, so with the help of townsfolk, you’re sent to investigate, but to what you find is most surprising. Whilst this is all I can really reveal about the story without spoiling anything, the story itself takes many twists of turns, to which some may see coming and some may not. The story is simple enough to understand for the Diablo veteran and to newcomers of the franchise (which includes myself). The story sets itself over 4 acts, which believe it or not can be completed within 1 hour if you speed run the game (but to be honest, the point of the game shouldn’t be to speed run it, like most people seemed to have done). If you take your time to explore, grind and level up, then you might be looking at a good solid 20 hour game, perhaps more. What many people did find disappointing about the game is that the game will seem rather easy. When starting the game, you begin playing on “Normal Difficulty” and the sad truth is that you can’t increase it’s difficulty… not yet anyway. Once you complete the game once in “normal”, you can then play the game again but in a slightly higher difficulty, and the game will repeat this process until all 4 difficulties are unlocked. And as mentioned, whilst Normal will seem easy at first, the further you get into the game, the more you’ll realise it’s not as much ‘cake’ as you thought, where bosses get tougher and you end up swamped by mobs. What I find most interesting is the inclusion of “Hardcore” mode. You unlock this mode once you get a character to level 10, and the challenge of it is that if your character dies, that character dies for good. It adds a great challenge to Diablo III and is completely optional. With optional lore around certain characters, it really adds a lot of depth to people such as Deckard Cain and his niece, Leah. Sometimes people like to get all tactical with what class they should play as first, because each class will have their own unique abilities. As you play the game and level up, you’ll unlock new abilities which are a joy to activate and you’ll also be able to attach runes onto them to make them more powerful against enemies.  As you fight demons and the undead, they’ll drop health globes that will replenish your characters health instantly (which may make the game seem easier, but it honestly doesn’t) and loot that you can either sell at a vendor, use them for yourself or even sell at the auction house. Each class has their own attribute that they need to gain points towards, for example, the monk uses “dexterity” and the barbarian uses “strength”. Enemies will also drop gold… lots and lots and lots of gold, which after a while will all add up to a very nice sum. With this gold, you can buy some new gear from vendors, the auction house and you can even use it to train both the jewelcrafter and the blacksmith, which you’ll obtain later on in the game. Another thing you’ll obtain later on in the game are followers. Whilst I won’t say who they all are, one follower you will encounter will be a Templar named Kormac. These followers will fight alongside you and will level up as you do. When they reach a certain milestone in leveling up, you’ll be able to select one of two buffs that will permanently be active whilst you have that follower in your party. Unlike your own character where you can customize your entire armor, for followers you can only customize certain things, such as the rings they wear and the weapons they use. When Blizzard released Wrath of the Lich King for World of Warcraft, they implemented achievements that were not only fun to obtain, but were also rewarding. Diablo 3 also has their own set of achievements, set in a similar way to World of Warcraft’s. The only downside I have with the achievements is that the rewards you get are not as impressive, as you only get materials that contribute towards your sigil; not to mention the only times you actually ever see your sigil is on the character selection menu and in co-op mode when summoning a player. What about some true rewards like a nice gold reward or perhaps a rare gem with high attribute points that can be slotted into your armor? Each class uses resource power to activate abilities; the monk uses spirit, barbarian uses rage, the witch doctor uses mana and so forth. Resource bars will drop quickly, and you can replenish it by killing enemies with abilities that do not use your class’ resource, like melee abilities such as kicking. When playing the game, one thing you may notice is the environments and how they sometimes like to change. For example, say you reached the next room and there was a checkpoint. You then decided to quit the game and then you came back later. You may find that the environment you were just in may have slightly changed. Whist randomly generated environments only happen in certain places, this makes playing the game feel fresh and adds even more replay value. The game also has it’s fair amount of boss battles, and whilst most are a simple “tank-and-spank”, some bosses require tactics and sometimes even a change of skills. What did confuse me about the community vs. the game is how they complained about the graphics. Personally, I really like how Blizzard have set out the graphics, because they make the game feel very dark, gloomy and atmospheric, especially when fog and dust like to loom across environments. One thing I did find that annoyed me is that whenever I wanted to use the auction house, I had to quit my game and head into the character selection… is there any point to that? If you’re someone who wants to play something different to all those shooters, buy and play Diablo 3. Whilst the ‘always-online’ feature is rather silly, what you’ll find is a game that’s full of treasures just waiting to be found. Is Diablo 3 a true GOTY contender? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s definitely one of the best games I’ve played this year.

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.



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