Most of the time when one tells you to “go to hell,” its not considered to be the nicest thing to hear. In this instance however, I would not only tell all of you to go to hell, but that you must go to hell.
The Diablo franchise is one of the biggest fantasy RPG franchises out there rivaled only by The Elder Scrolls Series. The last title, Diablo II was a massive success and really set the bar high for the sequal Diablo III. So did Diablo III hit the mark?
Definitely. Not only did the title live up to the spirit of its predecessor, it exceeded it in many ways. The visuals are excellent, the action amazing, and the overall presentation of the game is exquisite.
With a significant back-story to work on, Diablo III throws in to the world of Sanctuary, and again centers around the unlucky town of Tristram. The game starts out with a “fallen star” that lands square on the cathedral of Tristam. The character you play comes to investigate the strange object. Without revealing plot details I can tell you this: I found the story line good, but slightly disappointing and convoluted.
If you don’t know anything about the back-story to the Diablo series at all, I would highly recommend doing some reading before playing. It is hard to catch up on all the different “Lords of Hell,” Angels and others. That being said, I still found the story to be not as good as it really could of been. It wasn’t predictable but the plot twists weren’t as surprising as I thought they would be. Also, it didn’t vary much from the “kill this evil lord dude in this location.” Great story-line but could have been handled a lot better.
The visuals are excellent for a third person RPG with an isometric viewpoint. The interaction with the environment is a nice addition, and your characters look awesome as they acquire gear and levels. Ability graphics are extremely well made. When I drop a meteor on a demon’s head, it really looks like a huge sphere of fire and brimstone is raining death upon the land. Blizzard’s in-house graphics engine does justice to Diablo III. The enviroments have a great appearnce as well.
The game’s four acts take you from haunted countryside, to desert, to castle under siege and a trip to hell, to heaven itself. The monsters and feel of each act is definitely distinctive. When I am in the Hell part of Act 3, i feel like i’m in hell. The same applies to all of the other environments as well. An epic feel accompanies the areas of the game especially Heaven and Hell.
Overall, I would say the visuals of Diablo III are excellent. Most people criticise the game for its similar look and feel to Diablo II, but that’s the point. Blizzard obviously would never diverge from the model of isometric hack-and-slash. To ask anything else from them would ruin the franchise outright.
Diablo III stayed true to being a hack-and-slash RPG. Much left mouse button mashing is to be had while playing this game. Diablo III includes 5 distinct classes just like Diablo II but with some key differences.
Firstly, each class in Diablo III has a unique resource instead of the traditional mana. For example, The Barbarian uses fury which is generated in combat and degenerates over time if not used.
More importantly, the traditional skill trees have been removed in favor of skill runes. A skill rune is a specific modifier on an ability. The wizard for example can modify his/her magic missile to slow enemies or hit multiple enemies. It sounds like the options for unique builds has been lessened by the introduction of skill runes but the opposite could not be truer. Each skill has 5 distinct skill runes and each class has a few dozen abilities. The possibilities here are endless. The swapping of skill runes is a breeze as opposed to the old system having to reset entire skill trees. The abilities themselves are incredibly varied as well.
Speaking on difficulty, it widely varies act to act. Act 1 is a breeze, Act 2 is the hardest in my opinion, and in Acts 3 and 4, you feel like an unstoppable badass. When you beat the game first time around it doesn’t just end there as well. You will be around level 30 the first time you beat the game. You can beat it three more times on three more successively difficult modes, Nightmare, Hell and Inferno. The four difficulties greatly increases the replayability of the game. The encounters get more complex as well.
Each game map is randomly generated with random mini bosses (monsters with yellow or purple names), dungeons and mini quests. Each play through feels pretty different from the next but you get a sense of been there done that after a while. Evem singleplayer and multiplayer aspects are totally unique as well.
In Diablo III Bizzard has opted for a holistic approach to the expierences of single and multi player. The constant online connection requirement allows for anyone who is anyone to instantly jump into my solo campaign and help me if I am stuck on a certain part. Most people criticize this aspect of the release but I think its genius, and its great for the player in the long run.
Diablo III is an amazing gaming experience loaded with intense action, an interesting storyline, and a classic hack and slash feel while still being modern and up to date. Go to hell. I guarantee you will not regret the experience.