Review by kyoakuma
"Hack and Slash NMMORPG at its best"
There is much to say about Diablo 3: The game mechanics, the graphics, the sound, the cinematics and the DRM/Online Requirements.
**First, the most hated and feudeed: Online Requirements:
I have to coin a new term when describing Diablo 3: Not Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. And the game should be treated as such.
The game feels a lot like World of Warcraft's client. And it probably should. It's the most widely used multiplayer client and is generally considered to be about as good as it gets. Everything is intuitive -- from looking at another player's inventory to sending a private chat message. The Diablo team definitely borrowed a lot of code from the World of Warcraft team.
You must realize that this is not a single-player game. You can play your own levels by yourself, but you'll still be connected by the chat system, friends system and auction system. Your characters and saves are all kept on a database on a Blizzard server. This is, of course, good and bad.
You are able to sell your equipment. You'll not see any cheaters. And you can quickly join other player's games. But you'll also be forced to always be online to play and you'll not be able to just simply install the game without a lot of downloading going on. Also, you rely on the Blizzard servers being up. If they crash, you can't get on.
**Next, Game Mechanics:
Diablo is perhaps one of the most fun action RPGs on the market. Blizzard spent their several years building the recipe for perfect gameplay mechanics.
The basics of the game are like almost all action RPGs. Top-down view (you can't zoom -- or at least, I couldn't figure out how). You click on a baddie and you kill him. You have hit points and some special points to use for special powers.
Unlike most games, you don't start off as some sort of weakling. You're already quite awesome and can obliterate hordes of zombies. And as you kill things, you gain levels which unlock more special powers and special power enhancers called "runes." Runes tweak your powers just a little to make them customized to your play style and expected enemies. For instance, you may use a rune to super-power your magic missile for the boss. But then use another rune to make your magic missile do less damage against multiple foes when you expect the weaker hordes.
You can change your skills and runes on the fly. Any time. For free.
And that is, in a nutshell, the whole game. Killing baddies using your myriad skills and skill tweaks.
I should also mention that the game builds the world with randomness. It's the best random map generator I've ever seen, but you'll still not get a lot of the neat things you can get without randomness.
The graphics for Diablo 3 are perfect. They're good enough that you know what you're seeing and they carry a lot of environmental feel to them. But they're bad enough that you can load them on your machine with wicked speed -- which keeps things moving very well.
This is no Skyrim in the graphics department. But everything fits perfectly to the point that you won't want Skyrim's realistic graphics. Diablo's style is some sort of dark cartoon/comic feel much in the vein of the Myth games.
Again, spot on. You hear what's going on and everything is crystal clear. The voices are perfect. The environmental sounds are perfect. It lacks for nothing and the sound only pulls you deeper into the environment.
Top notch cinematics start the game off. I was so amazed that I had to call in my non-gamer wife to see them. She was immedaiatley drawn into the story and the game. Both the sounds and the visuals could easily belong in a AAA Hollywood production.
**Is This Game For You?
It's the most important question to ask. If you liked Titan Quest, any of the previous Diablo games, Darkstone or any game similar, then it's a no-brainer. But remember that you must have a high-speed Internet connection like it's an MMO -- even though you might only want to play by yourself.
If you're new to this style of action RPG and you want to see what they have in store, your best bet of a great time would be with this game. It steps you into the mechanics very easily while presenting a fun story and a lot of action.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 05/22/12
Game Release: Diablo III (US, 05/15/12)
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