It’s finally time for IGT to check out the 800-pound gorilla in the arcade, Diablo III (D3). The game has been out for a couple of weeks now and I feel like I can finally give you readers a decent review (actually, I’ve been too busy raiding the dark to write one). It’s been twelve years since Diablo II (D2) was released, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting this game, read on to see if the wait was worth it.
For those who have played Diablo I (D1) and / or D2, the controls will be familiar. There are minor tweaks, mostly with the skill bars, but overall it’s the same clickfest you’re used to. The inventory system is the same window based on grid and gear slot. Items have similar stats to Diablo II, but with Damage Per Second (DPS) already calculated for you.
There are five classes at the launch of Diablo III; Barbarian, monk, demon hunter, wizard and witch doctor. The barbarian and the wizard should feel familiar as they are close to the D2 classes (the wizard is what the sorceress was in D2). The monk is similar to the paladin class from D2 and the witch doctor is similar to the necromancer. The Demon Hunter takes the place of the Amazon, but it is only something similar.
The story is quite engaging for an action RPG and I was eager to see the difference between the different stories in each class. The main story line is obviously the same, but there were little scenes that happened at the main story points in each act that were different for each class. One thing I loved about the story is that they were linked to plots from D1.
The online-only game doesn’t bother me too much as I played D2 exclusively on battle.net to play with my friends. At first it was annoying because the servers were having issues at launch, but I played World of Warcraft for 6 years, so it felt like any normal Tuesday patch or expansion release to me; After a week things settled down and I haven’t experienced any problems since. However, I can see how players without a constant internet connection would have a horrible experience. It’s kind of annoying that anyone on your friends list can join your game anytime they want, which can be dangerous if you’re in a boss battle and suddenly the boss is more difficult as the scale increases for new ones. players. On the other hand, if you and your friend want to play together, the quick join feature is a boon for the multiplayer aspect of this game.
The auction house is a nice addition to the game; I mean the game’s currency auction house, not the real money auction house (RMAH). I’ve used some of my hard-earned gold to get new weapons and lots of gems at decent prices and sold some of my unnecessary gear to get some decent gold boosts. I do not plan to participate in the RMAH because I do not like micro transactions and, along with many other people, I feel that the Blizzard cut is too much.
Graphics are a pretty weak aspect of this game. I would say they are at stake with the 2005 and 2006 games. For a game that has been 10 years in development, I would have liked to see better graphics. But again, Diablo has never been at the forefront in that department. The game is completely 3D unlike D2 which had 2D sprites, and the spell effects are nice. But in general they are lacking.
Was the game worth waiting for? I think so. I’m really enjoying it and I love playing with friends. I just included a couple of characters in Nightmare, so I have a long way to go before I play it all. I can also see how this game can get old pretty fast as even with 5 classes to play and reaching level 60 it doesn’t seem like a great undertaking. D3 still has a couple of months left for me, I’d say.
In conclusion, D3 is a good game, if not a brilliant gem. It feels like a natural build on D2’s Diablo franchise. The gameplay is familiar and super fun. The story is compelling and for fans of the previous two games it ties up some loose ends. IGT gives Diablo III a 9 on the hack and slash adventure d10.