Hi there everyone! For the regulars on the site you may know my column “Becky Bitches”. Today I’m taking a “non-bitching” look at Diablo 3, Blizzard’s newest, and long awaited installment in the Diablo franchise. I plan on reviewing gameplay, sound, atmosphere, graphics, how it stacks up to the Diablo legacy and the overall experience of the game.
The game plays very smoothly; the controls are intuitive and straightforward. The 6 ability cap is an evolution of D2’s 2 active skills but is not at the same time. For instance, in D2 you could assign buffs to cast to your “F” keys and scroll through them to cast, whereas it is unfeasible to switch out most abilities in D3. Also, for the harder difficulties, half your skill bar will be defensive skills just to survive which is not overly exciting. On another note, minor things like your mouse-bound buttons moving you if you don’t have the resources to cast the bound spell could be improved.
The sound and music are crisp and well done; though I wish there would have been more prominent music and sounds in certain areas of the game.
The feel of Act 1 was really what I consider “Diabloesque”, bringing you back to the feel of D1. Act 2 felt like somewhat of a rehash of D2’s act 2, thusly not super exciting. Acts 3 was a nice build up and Act 4 felt truly epic.
For this type of game ( I cannot emphasize that part enough-of course it doesn’t have FPS type graphics, it would cause a game of this type to explode) I personally felt the graphics were top notch. Definitely an improvement over D2 and not too cartoony.
This is where it really takes a hit. Unfortunately as many people have noticed and voiced their opinions on, this doesn’t feel like it truly stacks up to its predecessors. The itemization is odd in the fact that blue items are commonly better than legendaries which aggravated many players as well as myself. The D2 feel of itemization was ideal, I felt, where you COULD find rares better than legendaries but the legendaries were always better than blues and had some cool unique attributes. People have also been miffed that random rare and elite mobs are not only stronger than most of the act bosses but have better loot. Some people have been upset that there is no offline single player mode…the list does go on, sadly. And, to get a good picture of the various issues people have, I suggest visiting the D3 forums. I personally do not like the feel of having to kite certain rare mobs halfway across the world in order to kill them as I would in an MMO. This is Diablo. It is meant to be a hack and slash with the mass slaughter of demons and undead; not throwing blizzards down on them until they catch their death of a cold.
Overall Verdict 8/10
A good solid game worth the $60. As a stand alone game it may have rated better but in this case the legacy of Diablo and Diablo 2 actually is a hinderance rather than a boon as it creates player expectation. People are generally commenting that it’s a game for the newer generation and more appealing to WoW players than to classic Diablo players which may actually be a fair assessment.
My recommendation to everyone curious about trying the game is to get a guest pass key from a friend ( they included a few of them in each game box ) which will let you play roughly half way through Act 1 on normal. This will give you a fair idea of whether or not the game will be enjoyable to you. And to those of you already playing, keep up the slaughter!