Review: Diablo 3

Review: Diablo 3

Way back at the start of the century, Blizzard released a ‘little’ game called Diablo 2. This record breaking
game was one of the most loved, played and bought games on the PC for almost a decade. A mere year after its release, Diablo 3 went into production. Jump forward 11 years and the remaining lords of hell have finally shown their ugly mugs. The final battle between good and evil is about to begin.

Diablo 3 is an RPG with a massive focus on loot. Loot is everything, whether it be to increase your power, earn you gold or crafting materials or even to net you some real life cash through the auction house. Without it, you are nothing, with it you are a god. Luckily for us loot is quite literally everywhere. Putting loot aside, you also have fairly deep RPG mechanics that let you play your character exactly how you want to. You have six skill slots to fill, with roughly 25 skills to choose from. Each skill has six or so runes which augment and change how the skill works giving you 150 ‘skills’ to choose from, with thousands of possible character builds per class. Speaking of which, you have access to a plethora of characters: the brutal Barbarian, the deadly Demon Hunter, the mysterious Monk, the wonderful Witch Doctor and of course, the witty WIzard. Each class has a unique play style, with 150 potential skills per class, you have a lot of experimenting to do as you explore the world.

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Diablo is split into four Acts, with your progression through each act being heavily scripted and very linear. Luckily, the main story is interesting and you want to find out what is going on, and how to stop the denizens of hell from destroying the world. This is augmented further by a fully voice acted script, interesting dialogue and characters who are genuinely likeable. Further information about the world can be discovered by finding hidden tomes throughout the world or by simply talking to your companions. How much you get out of the story is really down to how much time you invest in getting to know the world and its inhabitants.

Whilst being a linear experience, each act has you facing different enemies in completely different locations. Whether you are trying to stop the undead hordes in Tristram, or taking part in a Helms Deep esque siege in Arreat, there is always something new and exciting to look at. Furthermore, each area and dungeon is heavily randomised. Whilst the general layout is roughly the same, the enemies, loot, chest placement etc. is all random letting you play through the game multiple times without getting bored. This is a very important aspect since Blizzard expect you to play through the game four times per character. Each playthrough greatly enhances the enemies you face with improved AI, levels, skills and HP with the reward being more loot and of course growing in power. To reach the level cap of 60 you will have to playthrough the game at least three times with the fourth and final playthrough being the REAL game.

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When you want a bit more of a social experience, you can activate the online portions of the game. You have a few options, either you open your current game for the public to join, search for other players games to join using the search function or simply by creating a party with friends. With 4 players being able to play simultaneously, and each player increasing the power of the enemies by 70%, playing online can be an immensely fun experience and is one of the key features of the DIablo series. Another online feature is the Auction House. This section is literally Ebay for Diablo. You can bid on rare loot, sell your own rare loot and make a hefty profit in gold. However, you can also optionally use real world money when buying and selling, allowing you to buy the best equipment if you want an easy way out, or even sell your own equipment for some real world dosh. The biggest downside of the online experience in Diablo however, is that the game requires a constant internet connection to play, even in single player. If you connection falters, your game performance drops, if it goes off, you can’t play the game.

Graphically, Diablo is a stunner. With great style and detail in every crevasse you can really see the care and attention blizzard have put into their work. To top it all off, there is never a lick of slowdown even when hundreds of enemies are on screen with thousands of skills flying around at the same time.  To complement the graphics, the sound is outstanding. Voice acting is top notch, the sound effects are fantastic and the music is memorable and fitting. The production value on the game are simply out of this world.

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Overall, Diablo 3 is easily one of the best games to grace the platform in a long time with only a minor gripe with the internet requirements. If you have the means to play it, then you simply must buy this game, which is why I give it 5/5.

Have you played Diablo 3 yet? DO you agree with our thoughts? Let us know either in the comments section below or over on our forums.

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