So, I just finished the Diablo 3 beta, and well I have a couple things on my mind.
1. It’s easy, and I mean really freaking easy. At no time did I ever feel challenged for even a second. Correct me if am wrong I remember Diablo 2 on Normal being quite hard, and almost stressfully so at times. This just seems ridiculously easy; maybe this is the game to make very easy the new normal?
2. The world feels claustrophobic; I know D2 wasn't huge either. But it felt larger then this game and those were the days of 800x640.
3. Voice Acting: is great, from Npc's, quests, and I really enjoyed the Lore logs being read aloud while I play.
4. Gameplay: Its super simple, yes I know the Beta is fairly limited in skills. But in no point did I ever feel the need for strategy, or even have any method of implementing strategy. The environmental weapons can't really be called strategic either. Towards the last half of the beta, I found myself trying to chain kill streaks. It felt as if I was playing god of war or batman but in a Diablo perspective in tight narrow halls. Those are great games, but is that what you want out of a Diablo game?
5. Crafting: Well I only found blacksmithing in the beta, and boy was it lame. It’s super simple, and quite underwhelming. I personally don't like crafting in games, but I can't imagine this system satisfying any crafting aficionados.
6. No character customization, even to a small degree. Now I know Diablo never had such a thing, but its 2012 and we've come to expect at least some level of customization in our rpg's. ( Yes, yes, diablo is all about loot, loot is the customization blah blah...)
7. Visuals: Well it looks decent, but to be honest it’s nothing to talk about. It actually feels like a torchlight clone in a weird way rather than Diablo. There's plenty of blood, and the lighting tries to be dark at times, but it feels so cartoony, so torchlight. I remember my diablo being grim, dark; full of anguish, pain, and the art style reflected such things. This art style feels confused as if it can't decide whether it should be torchlight, or whether it should be diablo.
8. Loot feels mediocre, it’s the traditional game of looking like shit till you reach end game. Also as a monk I found myself carrying swords, for the best stats even though all my moves use fists. So incidentally I’d be punching everyone while holding swords, while still benefiting from the swords stats. Seems kind of like a half assed way to solve class loot issues in the loot pool.
In the end this feels like an uninspired take at a new Diablo game. It feels like they really haven't tried to change much, or rather tried to innovate I should say. What they have changed seems like odd choices for a fan of diablo, and more geared towards mass market appeal. In the end I guess what I'm really trying to ask is: Is there a place for Diablo 3 in 2012?
Edit: Maybe i should of rephrased the last question in the form of; Is there a place for Diablo 2 in 2012?