The lights are on
Twelve years is a long time to wait for anything. Gamers were starting to think it was never going to happen. Fortunately though it did, but not without its fair share of problems. The most infamous of these, was of course "error 37."
Diablo III had a rocky start at best, with numerous login errors and server lag, which didn't really help extinguish the fire they started with always-online single player. Many gamers were and still are outraged at this, since some people don't have a decent internet connection or might travel to certain places with no internet connection at all. However, this also creates a better multiplayer experience, by being able to join a random game and automatically being put in a party and playing co-op. Blizzard also made it very easy to see all your friends playing and made it possible to join their games with a click of the mouse.Diablo III was the biggest launch in PC gaming history, with Blizzard posting over 6 million copies sold (including those that came with the WoW annual pass). Blizzard did some interesting things with this game, things that divided the gaming community, such as the always-online gameplay, the real money auction house and the lack of skill tree customization.
Diablo III's gameplay, to put it simply, is amazing. Whether you're mowing down hordes of the undead with the Wizard's beam or slashing through them with your Barbarian's axe, it is extremely enjoyable, for hours on end. Blizzard really nailed it in this department. The controls are mapped out really well, easily accessible and makes the gameplay very smooth. On normal difficulty the game is quite easy and perfectly solo able, with average equipment and somewhat random skill builds. However, once you reach the higher difficulties, having a good set of party members is a bit of a necessity, since monsters use different combination of attacks and are much higher levels.
One of the main reasons many people return to Diablo again and again, is for the loot. Every time you enter a new area, there will be more loot to find, and the stats are randomly generated to suit your level. Players can repeat "Acts" as much as they want to try and find better equipment. Areas change when you enter them again, so you can't try and finish a level off by heart. With the auction house being so incredibly cheap on most items, it takes some of the fun out of searching for better loot, which can seriously cut down on the re-playability of the game for some people. Blizzard will be launching the real money auction house at a currently unknown date, as it keeps being delayed.The skill selection had a total redesign and the skill tree has been removed. You can no longer set specific stats or attributes to your class, everything is done for you, in a very noob friendly way. You unlock new skills by levelling up and have to pick four slot skills, two mouse skills and three passive skills. These skills can be customized by adding specific runes to them, adding extra abilities or bonuses. Advanced players can choose "Elective Mode" in the game options, to add deeper customization to their skills. If for example you're playing as a Barbarian and you find another Barbarian, your characters can have exactly the same skills, the only difference will be your gear.
The story in Diablo III is good, but not spectacular. It is somewhat clichéd and quite predictable. However, the cut scenes during the game are out of this world. I think we can all agree that Blizzard should just go ahead and make a movie already. The story is not going to win any awards, but that is not the point of this game.
The graphics in Diablo III are very good, it's not Crysis or Battlefield 3, but they're good. The animations are excellent and the character models are very detailed. The terrain and monsters are nicely done. The effects of spraying a heap of arrows at a horde are very realistic and satisfying.
At the time of writing this review, there is currently no player versus player (PVP), but Blizzard has stated that it will be included in a later patch. This aspect of the game should greatly increase the re-playability for some people.
Diablo III is a good game, however, it's not without its flaws, such as the always online, lack of skill customization and the auction house being so cheap. In saying that, there is also a lot the game does incredibly well, the gameplay and cutscences are amazing, co-op is very fun and the "friends" menu is incredibly easy to use and the whole game is very noob friendly. Diablo III is the most anticipated game in PC history and gamers waited twelve years for it, was it worth the wait? Well, that's a question only you can answer.
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