Dueling with the devil: Diablo 3 review
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Demons, imps, ghouls, skeleton kings, and hellhounds surround you from all sides. Spiders the size of pit bulls run toward you, howling and shrieking with venom in their mouths and frenzy in their eyes. With sword in hand, you cut through them all, travelling through cathedrals, deserts, ruins, until you’re staring up at the face of your true enemy: the demon lord Diablo himself.
The third installment of Blizzard’s franchise Diablo has been long awaited by fans, and it did not disappoint. While much of the game’s format is the same as its predecessors – like the inventory and looting system – Diablo III stays true to its name, while it expands and improves on the battle system, graphics, and the overall story.
Diablo III returns to where it all began – Tristram – 20 years after the events of Diablo II. Each playable character – Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard – all have distinct play style and unique background stories that are incredibly entertaining and will keep gamers entranced for hours at a time. The hero journeys to investigate a fallen star and on the way, battles hordes of zombies, arachnids, and demons while seeing some familiar faces. Deckard Cain makes his appearance (like he does in every Diablo game) and so does his niece Leah, who travels with your character across the world of Sanctuary.
Similar to the previous Diablo games, the plot centers around the evil lords of hell and the player’s imperative mission to stop them,with help from hired followers such as scoundrels, templars and enchantresses. The burden of destroying hell’s minions is lessened and the world may be safe once again.
Instead of demons and ghouls simply walking around the ruins or fields, enemies come from actual places within the environment. For instance, instead of just spawning out of nowhere, reanimated corpses scale the walls from the depths of the decrepitcathedral to meet you in battle.Another element is the spiders, which slowly rappel down from the ceiling, reaching out from every angle to increase the dread and tension of impending doom.
Arguably one of the best aspects to Diablo III is the attention to detail. As you run through dreary dungeons, haunted ruins, and crumbling crypts,it becomes impossible not to point your mouse right on top of the tiny bugs skittering across the floors just to hear – and see – the “squish.”
But although Diablo III is an all around epic game, it still comes with its share of problems. For one, Diablo III is always online, even when playing a solo game; players must be connected to Battle.net. And when Battle.net is down for maintenance, the entire game is down for maintenance.
The skills and ability system is also different from the previous two games. As opposed to having a potions bar, players are now given skills bar. So instead of simply being able to equip two skills at any one time to the right and left mouse buttons, the player is given four additional skill spots. This makes the fighting more about strategy and skill instead of just rapid-fire clicking.
Another change is players no longer have to buy town portal or identity scrolls that take up space in the inventory. Now, there’s a button for town portals and a simple right click is needed to identify a rare item, which begs the question: why even have the player right click at all, seeing as it doesn’t require any items or money, just time.
The graphics alone make this game worth at least one play through. Running through the High Heavens with the aquamarine trees, golden banisters and flowing water-like bridges are enough to make any non-religious person think twice about sinning, just in case Heaven actually bears some resemblance to this fictional world.
If you’re looking for a role-playing game – or any game for that matter – to occupy your summer days, pick up a copy of Diablo III and you won’t be disappointed.