You can’t argue the fact that Diablo 3 has been one of the most anticipated games of all time. It was literally the most pre-ordered game ever, which is a pretty incredible feat, considering the enormous push for pre-orders these days. I’ve patiently waited nearly a decade for the next installment in the franchise and now it’s finally, officially, and undoubtedly here. After playing feverishly for the last week, almost to the point of addiction, I think it’s just about time to give my two cents on Diablo 3.
I would like to start off by dismissing all of the senseless nerd rage that has been spreading it’s way around the internet. I’ve heard various people complaining that “the customization is lacking compared to Diablo 2.” I believe a more appropriate statement would be “The customization in Diablo 3 is more streamlined for modern gaming.” The lack of a traditional “skill tree” can be altered by engaging “Elective Mode” in the game’s option menu. This gives you even more control of your skills and hot keys. Allowing you the flexibility to switch between skills you’ve unlocked on the fly instead, on resetting or creating a new character to obtain your desired skill set. This provides the player a whole new level of customization that works hellishly well. I’ve also heard “Diablo 3 is really short.” While it’s true that some people completed the game on their first playthrough in under six hours, this is not the norm. There is way too much to discover for the game to truly be enjoyed in that small period of time. The lore and cutscenes alone provide hours of entertainment. I found myself really intrigued by some of the enemy lore, especially this segment on the Tormented Stinger; “The tormented stingers may resemble giant scorpions, but in truth they are molded from the bodies of human sacrifices. The demons twist their victims into the stingers’ distinctive forms by slicing open their chests and viciously mutilating their legs. Maddened by pain, these creatures can poison their prey with a single strike.” The game is chalked-full of engaging background stories and subtleties and by powering through it, you lose the true sensation and powerful experience that is Diablo 3.
Blizzard did an amazing job creating engaging atmospheres for Diablo 3. Whether you are trekking through barren tar pits, or trudging knee deep in filth through crumbling sewers, you can always find yourself enveloped in the situation. The impending fate of the world is constantly on your shoulders and the weight becomes apparently heavier as you progress through the game. This is demonstrated very well through level design by increasing the amount of surrounding chaos as the game approaches it’s climax. In Act’s 1 and 2 I felt I had a little more time to stop and smell the roses, albeit rotting and probably deadly roses, but entering into Act’s 3 and 4 I really felt as though the fate of the world was in my hands. There is a certain sense of urgency as you find yourself flooded by mobs of enemies who seek to envelop our world in the darkness of hell. I don’t plan on revealing any of the story, but I will say that the end sequence of Act 3 is incredibly powerful and contains the most complex elements of storytelling in the entire series. It got my jacked up to start the next Act.
The multiplayer menu is where the game really shines. It’s never so been easy to play Diablo with your friends and really that’s what it’s all about, hopping online with a few good friends, cracking open an ice cold Dew and throwing down with some minions from Hell. No more setting up multiple games with passwords and emailing room names. Now to join a game, you simply click on the name of a person from your “Friends List” and click “Join Party.” It’s that simple and it works flawlessly. You also have an updated list of what level your buddies are at and where they are in the game. You will also see the achievements your friends have received in your chat window… once every 2 or 3 seconds, which is kind of cool, but sometimes a little much. The streamlined party system just makes the overall experience that much more enjoyable.
So far I have given Diablo 3 a few playthrough’s and I can honestly say I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. There is a ton of re-playability to be had. The game doesn’t even really start until you reach “Nightmare” mode. From here, you unlock more options for crafting, including specialty recipes and more items and abilities. The further you play into the game, the better lootz you obtain and you can keep finding new gear sets all the way until you reach the max level of 60. The ability to totally reassign your skills also gives you a variety ways to play the same character. It can be challenging sometimes to find a combination of skills that work well together, but once you do, you will notice a huge difference. The ever-expanding auction house and my desire to find the game’s greatest treasure is more than enough inspiration to keep me playing and loving this game for month’s to come. This game is downright amazing. All games have their flaws and I don’t necessarily believe in the perfect game, but Diablo 3 is pretty damn close.
For more information on character move sets and customization go to the ever-growing Diablo Wiki page.