korolev's Diablo III (PC) review

It's more diablo

I wish I could give this game three ratings - one for the majority of video game players, one for those who liked previous diablo games and one for those who REALLY liked the previous diablo games.

This review is for the majority of gamers - you'll like Diablo III. It's a good game, well polished, well executed, with decent content, great mechanics and a decent length. For those who liked Diablo I and II, you'll love this game and I wish I could give it five stars. It's everything you want from a diablo game polished and refined so much that you can get right to the loot farming and character building. For those who REALLY, REALLY liked Diablo I and II, many of the changes are going to feel like sacrilege to you. Stick with the game though, and you'll quickly realize that Diablo II was the inferior game from almost any perspective.

Story:

The plot and lore of diablo has always taken a backseat to the mechanics and the loot. There is a plot, and there is lore - but nothing that compelling. The game takes place 20 years after the events of Diablo II - a falling star has landed in the ruins of Old Tristram, sparking monstrous events and the beginning of a prophecy that foretells the end of days. Your character (monk, wizard, demon-hunter, barbarian or witch-doctor) travels to Tristram, for reasons specific to each character class, to find out what is going on. Characters from previous Diablo Games make an appearance, there are a few obvious (and I mean really obvious) twists in the plot, and yeah, you'll kill demons and perhaps lord of hell or two.

The story is serviceable, and lasts a decent amount of time and contains some moments of high drama, but it's not going to light the world on fire.

Gameplay:

It's diablo - you click on things to kill them, you press keys 1 to 4 to trigger specific abilities and right click to use another skill. Q handles potions. It's definitely simplified from Diablo II - only four/five active skills at any one time, no mana potions and you can't allocate stat points. These are worthy criticisms. It makes the game easier, but also less complex. Personally, as a busy guy with a busy schedule, I am grateful for the automatic stat allocation because I don't want to re-role a character in case I do something wrong.

The strategy in D3 (and on the higher difficulty settings, there is a lot of strategy), revolves around ability selection. There are a lot of abilities in this game - some active, some passive. You won't unlock everything in your first playthrough. In addition to abilities there are also runes which you can freely swap in and out that change or tweak the abilities you use in certain ways. Items and crafting and gems alter stats as well - you can TOTALLY build a character geared towards a specific play-style... it's just no longer a locked-in choice, since you can change runes and abilities and items.

The reason for this is due to the fact that Hell and Inferno difficulty settings are extremely tough, with randomized enemies with three to four randomized abilities - which requires a diverse array of skills. If your character choices were locked in, there would be many instances in which you couldn't progress

Overall, D3 has strategy and depth in this gameplay, but less consequences. The game is no easier, but it is less of a grind. Some players who have limited time to play games value this change. Other gamers who care more about their pride and like to prove how "tough" they are by grinding through bullshit, are going to hate it because it cuts back on the amount of bullshit that people have to go through.

Visuals:

Nothing mind-blowing, but nice enough. Definitely an improvement over D2. Lighting is nice and so is the enemy, environment and character design. Models are a bit low-res.

Audio:

Music distinctly.... underwhelming. It's just ambient for the most part. Does the job, but I didn't really notice it very much. Nothing stands out. Voice acting is serviceable.

Overall, it's a good game, nay, great game. But only those who liked previous Diablo games are going to love it, and only those who love loot farming are going to play it for very long.

Oh and the online DRM stuff is a hassle, and one of the reasons why I only gave it four stars. I shouldn't have lag in singleplayer. That should never happen.

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Other reviews for Diablo III (PC)

    Could you at least give me a compelling story? 0

    It seems like it's a developing trend with Blizzard games. Highly polished, sophisticated gameplay and technology. Hackneyed, contrived storytelling. And I've had an internal debate with myself about whether or not I play Diablo for the story or for the gameplay. And after completing Diablo III, I'm definitely leaning toward the former. It's ironic, that as the gameplay becomes more sophisticated, the story becomes increasing mundane and simple, trading suspense and mystery and horror for explos...

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