Welcome to the Diablo 3 Review. Who didn’t play Diablo? Back n the 90’s, Diablo was everything an RPG player could ever want. A dark setting, three broad classes with an array of unique skills, and a labyrinth that continues to get harder and darker as you make your way from one floor to another. Things were no different when Diablo 2 came. It was multiplayer madness, with hundreds of secrets and epic armour sets that will keep you playing for hours on end.
Diablo 3 is (as the name implies) the third instalment in the Diablo franchise, and was arguably one of the most awaited sequels of all time. When I saw the words ‘Blizzard Presents’ along with the stained glass background, I knew that I was in for a treat. It did take them more than a decade to finally come up with a sequel after all.
Some fans even played Diablo 2 again, just to make sure that they are hyped enough for their next encounter with the Lord of Terror. As a fan, I was in complete bliss just by knowing that we were finally going to get another Diablo game. But did Blizzard deliver the game that these fans wanted to see after 12 years of waiting? Let’s find out.
The Next Hero
Much like its predecessors, Diablo 3 does not let players modify or change their characters’ appearance. A male barbarian, for example will always sport the stout white-bearded look, and will only look different through the armour sets he wears. It’s not that big of a deal, since Diablo has been like that since the beginning; however, it would have been nice to at least customize your character’s features.
There game offers five default classes. It was quite disappointing since its predecessor offered seven (if you count the expansion). I was kind of hoping that a game launched 12 years after its previous instalment had more to offer than 5 classes.
- Demon Hunter
- Witch Doctor
On the bright side, each class really played differently from the rest. It’s not that big of a leap for both the franchise and action RPGs in general, but it’s still Diablo.
A Dark Beautiful World
Despite sporting an isometric birds-eye-view, the visuals are quite astounding. Whether you are in the ruins of Old Tristram or in the lair of the Spider Queen, you can’t help but be impressed by the beautiful macabre feeling each area projects. The game really offers you a sense of diversity in that aspect, as a new ‘act’ would also mean another completely new map or dungeon to explore. Some dungeons may look the same, but the game still offers a good variety of locations that will keep you entertained for hours on end.
The boss fights are a spectacle to watch, with some returning abominations like King Leoric and the ever popular Butcher. Some fans were turned off by the game’s vibrant colours, but I for one find it as a welcomed change, since it really makes the elements stand out more without compromising the game’s violent and horrific setting. As far as the visual transition from 2D to 3D goes, I would say that the Diablo feel was translated pretty well.
Wait, Something Is Different
The gameplay has improved a lot since Diablo 2, with a more modern approach to both skill and item usage. I even wondered how I was able to stand assigning skills to my Fkeys and executing them with my mouse back then. The ‘Quick Cast’ bar was definitely a good idea, as it allows players to cast and play more effectively.
The game only lets players carry 4 active skills at a time (6 if you count the mouse buttons). This adds a little more depth into the game’s combat, especially since players will have to come up with their own set of combos. There are also a group of runes available to each skill, which greatly modifies the move it is assigned to. This allows users to really customize the way they fight and react around enemies.
Once done with the active skills, players can choose three skills from an array of passive skills available to each class. These traits can help determine what kind of character you are building, whether it’s a glass cannon wizard or a solo charging Barbarian.
GO TO HELL—with a catch
Whether you prefer playing alone or grouped with a bunch of players online is up to you; however, there is a catch. You MUST be online to play the game. This is why people have continuously argued about this game being an MMO. While the idea was somehow a more modern approach, the last thing we need in a Diablo game is a login screen (let alone lag). It would have been better if they just gave us the option to go online, rather than force it down our throats.
Anyway, despite these (and I quote) “flaws”, Diablo 3 still has the addictive element we all know and love. Ploughing through this new demon-filled world feels just as satisfying as its predecessors. There are also tons of ‘Legendary’ items and secrets to watch out for, giving players more reason to stay in the game.
The game also gets harder as more players join in (maximum of 4). Take note that each player has their own instanced share of loot, so users can just grab everything they want when it drops.
I Got The Goods… For A Price
Another feature that separates this game from its predecessors is the inclusion of an online auction house where players can buy and sell their acquired items. While some players see it as a means to boosts the relevance of in-game currency (I mean, what else is Gold for, right?), others think of it as an easy way out. While I have no problems with the inclusion of this feature, I do believe that it somehow undermines the whole Diablo experience.
Layers of Hell
The game features four types of difficulty settings: Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno. These extra difficulties are sequentially unlocked as you finish the game. Finishing Normal mode, for example, will unlock Nightmare mode and so on. The growing difficulty and constant upgrading of gear (the harder the difficulty, the better the loot) serve as Diablo 3’s backbone when it comes to replayability
If you really want to test your skills however, you can always enable Hardcore mode, which renders your character permanently dead once he/she is killed.
Mixing MMO elements with the Diablo franchise can be considered as a mixed satchel of pros and cons. It doesn’t offer anything new to gaming, but it does offer a lot of subtle differences that sort of revolutionizes the franchise. The good part, however, is that it stayed true to its lineage. Despite being an online only game, Diablo 3 did bring a lot of considerable advantages that make the online choice understandable. Being able to jump into a friend’s game was a piece of cake (Remember listing down IP addresses?). It also became much easier to look for people who share your objectives and current level.
The fact of the matter is that it’s still Diablo. If they strayed too much from the formula, then it would have become a whole new game entirely. Combat feels satisfying as well, especially with the new skill system that really lets you experiment with different builds and combos. The boss fights are absolutely marvellous, with awesome effects and attack scripts that are a spectacle to watch.
All-in-all, I would have to say that Diablo 3 is a good game. Replayability is not that strong in my opinion, but it always pays to know if you are strong enough to take on the harder modes. Granted, the amount of weapons and items are still more than enough to keep you playing for hours on end. The game doesn’t feature that many classes, but each character’s versatility in terms of usage greatly makes up for it; still, it would have been nice to at least have a bigger lineup. I would still recommend this game to anyone who considering it. The expansion is also coming soon, so you guys better start levelling.Related: Action, Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo 3, Review