Review by angermngment101

"Diablo 3. Just what you were waiting for?"

Diablo 3 is a point and click action RPG (ARPG). In this game, you are a hero that is tasked to fight off hoards of demons and monsters that have been plaguing the lands. You run from one location to another fending off evil, and bringing hope to the people of earth. As you progress you find out the truth behind the demon hoards, and vow to put an end to the destruction.

Let me start by saying, I have played the Diablo franchise since Diablo 1. To me Diablo 1 was a game that had a very dark atmosphere that was really driven by the music, and the light-devoid dungeons. It was creepy, and I loved it. Diablo 2 expanded on the success of Diablo 1, with an even more epic sound track that kept the dark vibe. It also added 8 player online multiplayer mode, which was a new and very memorable experience for me. I loved playing with friends, and with strangers alike.

That was some background information about me, now lets begin to discuss Diablo 3.

I have very mixed feelings about the gameplay in Diablo 3. I will start by discussing the difficulty. There are 4 different difficulties in this game (Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno). There is nothing really difficult at all about playing the game in any of the 4 modes. The monsters do nothing different from one to the other, with the only difference being their HP increases as well as their damage. The design of this game is to get better gear to be able to progress from one difficulty to the next. That being said, I felt that Normal, Nightmare, and Hell were all too easy. I spent almost no time getting through any of those difficulties. Inferno on the other hand, was just too frustrating. You get from easy mode (Normal-hell), and then you hit a brick wall with inferno. Its frustrating because you are gradually progressing through normal-hell, and then you get into inferno and everything kills you in 1 shot. There are things that target you from outside of your screen, and kill you in 1 shot without you even knowing it was there. Its simply not fun. The hit detection makes this even worse, because they intentionally have the game set up so that if you ever enter a monsters melee range, they will get a guaranteed hit on you even if you run/teleport/leap away before the hit animation. That game mechanic forced a lot of people to play the ranged classes at first because they thought "if I never enter melee range, I dont have to get hit". Two weeks later, those ranged classes were nerfed in a patch, and a lot of people felt compelled to play the melee classes instead, because they get an inherent 30% damage reduction.

The controls: Very simple like the previous titles, with some improvements. Now you get 6 ability skill slots, and you can remap the buttons to any keys on the keyboard. For example I use the 1,2,3,4 buttons for skills and right and left mouse buttons for the other 2 skills (you are allowed to have only 6 skills on at a time). This makes it so you want to choose 6 skills that work well together. The skill system is very well done in Diablo 3 in my opinion, and the way it is integrated in the game is very cool. My only gripe is that a lot of the skills do not feel strong enough, and so a large number of skills are just for show (not worth using).

The fun: Again... mixed feelings. I had fun while leveling a class to level 60, and then you hit the brick wall that is inferno, and it transitions from fun to frustration. Now instead of gradually progressing like you were doing from normal-hell, you have to sit in act 1 of inferno and farm for items or gold (more commonly gold) to progress. The reason I say gold, is because there is an Auction house in Diablo 3, which allows you to buy/sell any items that you want using gold as the currency. If you go and check the prices for gold find gear, you will realize quickly that a lot of people value gold find a lot higher than they do magic find. Many people would rather farm gold in this game than farm for items because it simply is more efficient.

Overall: Id give gameplay 4/10. The bipolar difficulty levels, the fluff skills, and the inefficient item hunt to me are dragging this score down. There are some fun skills though, and leveling a character is fun, but I dont feel like they are rewarding enough to help this score.

I feel that it is unfair to judge the story in this game, because the story is very weak, with a lot of missing details that leave you wondering "How did that happen? Why did that happen? When did that happen?" etc... As with the other Diablo titles, the story is not a selling point for the games, so I will refrain from giving this section a score. There are however some videos that summarize this story very well in 3 minutes, and outside of that, theres not much else to see story-wise in Diablo 3.

The graphics are great. I really love the way things look when they die, and how abilities look. I feel that graphics are very well done. When I saw certain areas for the first time, I couldnt help but stand and watch the scenery. Definitely a giant leap from the previous titles. The graphics in Diablo 3 are a great step up. I give Graphics 8/10

I mentioned the dark atmosphere that was driven by the epic music in Diablo 1 and Diablo 2. The music in Diablo 3 is almost non-existent. I have not noticed the music in over 100 hours of gameplay. All the game-play sound effects are constantly interrupted by your hero screaming at monsters every minute. Without an option to turn this off, it truly takes this game back down a few levels for me. I dont want to hear my demon hunter say "Do you want more" every time I see an enemy. Or my mercenary constantly asking about my religious beliefs, only to be answered with my demon hunter saying it is an athiest. Im sorry, but I dont want to hear this, and it definitely puts a giant wall between me and my character. In video games, I feel that my character is an extension of me. I am the one controlling you, please do not say things that I woudnt. I am definitely not an athiest, and it really makes me upset to hear my character say such things constantly with no way to turn it off. There are just too many repetitive phrases that just annoy me every time I hear them. There IS music in this game, but its difficult to hear, and its not very memorable. I will give sound 2/10, its a huge let down.

Its hard to judge replayability right now, because a core part of the game is missing. PvP is still not in this game as of August 2nd 2012. Im sure it will bring a lot of people more play time, but I cant really judge it at this time. Without it, you get to inferno, and either get frustrated and quit, or you spend hundreds of hours farming until you are strong enough to beat inferno, and then you quit, because theres nothing else to do aside from some accomplishments. Compared to the previous Diablo game, I was very disappointed with the lack of content for end-game. I will give the game 6/10 in terms of replayability.

Final thoughts:
The game had potential. I still have hope that this game will improve, but currently, I do not think it is worth buying. Perhaps when PvP is released, but definitely not at this time. If I could describe my Diablo 3 experience up until now, I would have to say that it has been very rocky. A lot of ups, and downs, with very steep drops (in fun, replayability, and as an overall experience). I wanted to love the newest diablo, but I simply couldnt.

Overall: 5.5/10.
Nothing special about it. A lot of better games out there for your money. Many people are upset. Too many problems, and not enough communication by the developers acknowledging gamers concerns.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 08/02/12

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

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