Date Completed: May 26th, 2012
15 years ago I was introduced to the concept of online gaming with a game known as ‘Diablo’. AOL was still the primary ‘Internet’ service for a lot of people and my friends and I spent many long hours trying to get a game to stay connected for longer than 30 seconds. Online gaming came with a lot of new experiences including introducing me to my first stalker. I was playing as a female rogue and I had a stalker follow me around on battle.net who refused to believe that I was a dude in real life. I vowed to never be a woman again.
Diablo III takes place 20 years after the events of Diablo II. If you are one of the millions of people who played through Diablo II you may find yourself wondering how Diablo III can even exist after the definitive death of Diablo in the previous title. After playing the third game I’m still not sure about the answer to that question. After finishing the game I spent some time on the Diablo wiki to begin to make sense of the events in the game. Even after that I was left with questions than answers.
Action RPG games are basically just an excuse to make clicking the mouse more fun. You point at things on the screen and click. Sometimes you need to click quickly and sometimes you click slowly. For some variety you may need to click with the right button and advanced player may even find themselves using some of the buttons on the keyboard (only sparingly). Veteran players will be happy to see that clicking the mouse and pressing keyboard buttons has been streamlined and it is much easier to access your skills than in previous Diablo games.
The problem with Diablo III is that in an effort to make the game less irritating than it’s predecessor they actually ended up making it less awesome. Diablo II had a rich leveling system and skill tree system that had it’s flaws but it added strategy and replayability. In Diablo III you never have to worry about where to put your stat points, or which skills to research. You can’t totally botch your character and be forced to start over. This may sound like a good thing but in a game that essentially involves clicking the left mouse button over and over it eliminates the only strategic aspect of the game.
There’s also the pesky always-online system. StarCraft II required online access for achievements or multiplayer but it had an offline mode that you could fall back on if say, COMCAST SUCKS (Which it does) or if your in-laws live somewhere rural and are on Satellite Internet. Diablo III has none of that and while it hasn’t been a major inconvenience for me personally I know several people who this is a game stopper for.
There are four difficulty levels and beating the game on the hardest mode takes quite a bit of effort. In fact, playing through Diablo III all the way can become more of a way of life than actual gaming. Some of my colleagues have suggested that you haven’t truly defeated Diablo III unless you’ve defeated it on the hardest difficulty ‘Inferno’. After much soul searching I have decided that beating it on Normal is enough to count.
Diablo III is a fun game. It’s not quite as great a game as Diablo II but I do plan to be playing it off and on for the next 10 years so I won’t complain too much.
- More Diablo!!
- In theory, you can make real money by playing the game. (at the auction house)
- No Offline Play
- Skill System / Character Leveling greatly simplified
Genre: Action RPG