Review by Suffurix

"Diablo III - As per usual with Blizzard, only half of a game with more to come with patches"

Well, after getting my level 60 Wizard to the end of Act I Inferno, getting bored since I couldn't beat the Butcher, starting a Demon Hunter and getting him to level 58 and getting bored again, I think I've been able to get a pretty good grasp on what this game has to offer. However, let me preface this review by saying this: Diablo III is an awesome game. It just hasn't been completely released yet. As was the case with Diablo II, Diablo III was hyped up to hell and back again, and then when it was so called "released" on May 15th, it was basically like a more in-depth beta than the actual game. Blizzard tends to do this, however, and quite often. They release a supposedly finished game; fast forward five to ten years; game looks nothing like it did to begin with (i.e. WAY better). I suppose you could see this as beneficial to the game, since if at it's release it's absolutely awful, then Blizzard still has a chance to save it over the years by continual patches. But seriously? That's what the Beta is for. You make a demo of your game, you release it to a select few, you pay VERY close attention to their feedback, and then you LISTEN to what people tend to agree on needs to change. You don't do this AFTER every person in the world has payed 60 bucks or more on your game, and slowly tweak the experience THEN. But alas, Blizzard does not understand this, or perhaps they do, and it's all a part of their secret plan to keep every buyer still playing in the hopes that the game will get better over the years. Then of course there's the issue of expansions and their prices vs. content, but just look to WoW for everything you need there.

That's the essential point of what Diablo III is, folks. But for those of you who are looking for something more detailed and in-depth or what not, here's the full review.

Graphics: 8/10

This game (when running on a computer that can actually RUN it) looks pretty darn good. Except when you look at what other developers are turning out, then your mouth drops to the floor and you say "was this planned to come out like three years ago?" Seriously, Diablo III's graphics are not impressive considering the technology available to a company like Blizzard of all things in this day and age. Overall though, not in comparison to anything else, spell effects look really nice, and I especially liked all those effects where it blurs the air around the spell, usually with some kind of color enhancement and energy ripples and shockwaves n' stuff. Pretty neat. But again, it's not fantastic, and it always depends very heavily on your own computer. For me, I literally have every single graphical option set on the lowest it can possibly be, and I downloaded a program called Game Booster that enhances gaming performance on a PC. And it STILL lags to hell and back in the same exact places, and then runs smoother than butter on a bald monkey in certain other places. The other thing I should mention is the overall art style of the game. For a videogame, it's pretty neat, and I really liked alot of the artwork and designs. But for a Diablo game??? Just didn't cut it. Diablo II was the darkest game I've ever played, and it pulled it off because of it's art style and presentation. Everything was just "dark." I can't exactly describe the difference, but Diablo III is just way more cartoony than either I or II was. It gives it more of that lame epic fantasy feel, which is exactly what Diablo has NEVER felt like to me. It was always that strange and much different from usual fantasy, and that's what I loved about it. Diablo III just presents a much more generic tale of sweeping fantasy than the previous two games. All in all, it's just a new style for the series, and not one I really appreciate. But that's just me.

Sound: 6/10

The music in this game WOULD be forgettable if I hadn't heard certain songs so many times. Even the redux on some of the original Diablo themes that plays in New Tristram is forgettable. The only thing about it I remember is the creepy electric guitar chords (and I think maybe a dulcimer, but I don't remember). Either way, all the other music follows the same pattern of just cheesy fantasy. Which is again, such a shame, because Diablo has always had that epic feel that was ACTUALLY epic. And it was because of crap-inducing Boss fights, and the crap-inducing build-ups to said boss fights. I mean, Diablo II just threw you into a scary, dark world where you knew nothing and could trust nothing but your own abilities, and you had to face the most gruesome spawns of hell that your imagination could never even do justice to. Then, after clawing your way through a bloody mess of demonic corpses, your fear ratcheting up every second as you delve deeper and deeper into some long-forgotten crypt, tomb, catacombs, or some other insanely creepy locale, you are suddenly faced with an all-powerful demon spawn of hell capable of eating you whole or charring your corpse to ash with a single breath, or both at the same time. And then you RUN like hell, feebly pawing at the beast every chance you get, keeping that town portal open for dear life. But then you die, and then you die again, but you keep fighting, even though your pants are far beyond soiled now, and you know you can't defeat it. Eventually you do, though, and as the foul creature slowly begins to writhe and explode and implode and become an utter mass of blood and gore, light and explosions emanating from it's quaking shell, you breathe for the first time in an hour, as beyond all belief, you finally slew that disgusting beast of the underworld. THAT is how Diablo II pulled you in. Diablo III is just another "Oh no, the demons are invading! The demons are invading! Who can save us??? *gasp* it's a hero from far away lands!! We are saved!!!" "Don't worry, villagers of New Tristram, I shall save you all..." *stares off into sunset with a deadly grimace fixed upon face* Yeeeaaaaah, that's not Diablo. That's called caving to modern expectations. NOW, to bring this all back to the sound point, almost every piece of music simply reflects this. It's all written with just this feel of soaring epicness, usually dark epicness, and it's just not the same feel as the previous two. I know, I KNOW, stop wishing for Diablo III and just play number II why don't you, I get that. But the fact remains that this is supposed to be a SEQUEL, not a half-assed spiritual successor. The music in this game just does everything it can to give you less of the despair and darkness of Diablo I and II and more of the sweeping adventure of, say, Lord of the Rings. It's just not the Diablo style quite frankly. As for the sounds effects, eh, I guess they were all pretty good. Nothing absolutely fantastic though. I've played PS1 RPGs that had way cooler sound effects than this game, if that's saying anything. But hey, they work for what they do.

Gameplay: 8/10

I would like to give the gameplay a 9.5, but unfortunately there are too many things keeping it back. For only being able to use 6 skills at a time, it's an absolute blast being able to custom tailor the combination of abilities to all complement each other, comboing from one to the other, activating a support skill, using your evasion abilities while executing attacks and defensive and you get the idea. But despite how damn FUN it is to play, it's ultimately a shallow experience. Because what do you do while having so much fun discovering new abilities and killing off hordes of bad guys? You play through the EXACT same quests, through only four ares of the game, the fourth being much shorter than the other three, OVER and OVER again, until you make it to the last difficulty setting where you suddenly find yourself being slaughtered at quite literally every turn. And all the awesome loot you pick up during your epic quest??? Trash. Sell it off and use the money to buy ridiculously better stuff on the auction house. It's ultimately a broken experience. Even legendary items (replacing uniques from Diablo II) are consistently worse than a very powerful rare item. That's when you actually even FIND a legendary item, that is. So essentially, it's replaying the same uninspired story all the way through three times over, selling every piece of equipment you find to just buy better stuff from somebody else, waste all your money on upgrading the Blacksmith to realize even the weapons you can have him craft are total crap compared to what you can buy yourself for way cheaper, all the way until Inferno until you realize that s*** just got real, and you're going to need quite literally millions upon millions of gold to buy uber-equipment powerful enough to even survive for a few moments in Inferno mode. But while it's going, it's really fun blasting the hell out of everything you see. Is this redeeming enough? Surely I say to you, HELL. NO. And that's it for gameplay

Story: 4/10

There's little to say here. 20 years post Diablo II events, seems like evil's defeated, suddenly a meteor crashes in the old cathedral nearby the town of New Tristram. You, an aspiring adventurer and hero, just happen to be there as a zombie uprising is starting to happen, so you save the villagers and they tell you where the meteor crashed (which, you're looking for as well, for some reason). And now it's off to find the fallen star, mateys!!! Aaaaand that's all you need to know. It's quite literally nothing more than that. Voice acting for everyone's pretty good, though. Cliched, but good. Except for Leah. She starts out like the rest of them, you don't really think anything of it, until you play through the game THREE TIMES hearing her pathetic lines, and you realize "oh wait, she's a whiny b**ch wh**e." Which is not accurate exactly, but she's annoying enough to make you want to call her that. I have to say, I do really like the whole Angels vs. Demons thing (and the angels in this game look AWESOME), but ultimately it's just pathetic.

Replay Value: 9/10, but turns into 4/10, so we'll say all together 6/10

If that was a confusing score, then let me explain. It starts off very easy to play through the game multiple times, heck, start another character even, then play through the game multiple times with that one, but eventually it all becomes a blur, and you realize that it's a total waste of time. See, there are games where you can play through it multiple times, and you still feel like it was a fun experience worthy of your time afterwards. But THIS game is really fun to play through multiple times until you realize it's a TOTAL waste of time, and you literally gained NOTHING from the experience. It's hard to describe, really, but towards the end of the game (i.e. upon reaching Inferno), you really feel like the whole thing is just a huge drag. So it's really replayable at first, but then it just becomes a grind.

Well, at the end of the day, it could've been an awesome game, but it's just mediocre. There's time for Blizzard to fix it, but ultimately it will still remain how most games today are. Bland and uninspiring. Setting, story, art style, not the same. I know, I know, it is not Diablo II, it is it's own game. But still, it's a sequel, and there's barely anything that they have in common.

PROS
- Pretty looking graphics, nice spell effects
- RIDICULOUSLY fun to play at first
- Tons of combinations of skills
- Trying different characters out
- Voice acting is pretty well done for most characters
- You can replay it again and again, and for a while it still feels fun

CONS
- Graphics seriously need to catch up with today's tech
- Sound effects were nothing special
- Music was forgettable, and the ones you could remember just gave the game that "bland fantasy" feel
- Totally different from Diablo II where it truly gave you that dark, desolate feel that the game so espoused
- Loot is useless
- Buy your own stuff on the Auction House
- Crafting is useless
- See above ^^^
- Eventually becomes a boring grind after a few weeks (3 or 4)
- Inferno will either make you cry, or incinerate your monitor from the beams of fiery rage emanating from your eye sockets
- Seriously, difficulty should make things challenging. Not frustrating ^^^

Final score: 6/10


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/12

Game Release: Diablo III (US, 05/15/12)


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