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Diablo 3 Review

/ May 29th, 2012 1 Comment

D3 Review

Diablo 3 Review

Diablo 3 Review

Diablo 3 is the much hyped hack’n’slash RPG adventure game from Blizzard Entertainment that offers up intense hellish action and a ton of replayability. In this latest sequel that was 10+ years in the making, players will choose from five different playable classes to unravel the mystery of the return of demonic influences in the world and defeat the armies of hell. Overall, the game delivers on action, gory details, story and most importantly fun, while being slightly underwhelming graphically.

Gameplay

Chances are you’ve played the first two Diablo games and are looking for more action with the third and that’s exactly what you’ll get. The mechanics of the game haven’t changed one iota which is a good thing. Run and attack with the left mouse button, super power with your right mouse button with special abilities saved for the 1-4 keys on the keyboard. It worked then and it works now.

The character classes are decently varied between the Barbarian, Monk, Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor and Wizard. The Barbarian and Monk are the “tank” classes while the Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor and Wizard are the ranged classes. Which one you play will be up to you but they all offer up some surprises and enjoyable play. If there was a least favorite, it would be the Witch Doctor … his/her voice acting became strained at times and the abilities just didn’t seem anything special. Meanwhile, the rest of the classes were fun to play and as soon as you really get into one you’ll be pining to start an alt. It speaks to the amazing replayability of this game we’ll dive into later in this review.

D3 Review

D3 Review

Running around through all the various zones, picking up companions along the way is a rewarding experience. Leveling up also provides more and more interesting things to do with your character which in turns allows you to do more over-the-top actions to kill mobs. Diablo 3 is a game best played by those that leave no stone unturned instead of ones who just try to power through all the acts as quickly as possible. Even going back for a gold run to a fun dungeon or zone can be reward enough. The game should be savored and shouldn’t be force fed so if you enjoy a game that’s all about the small details, then you will enjoy Diablo 3.

Story

There’s a ton of new lore about the high demons of hell as well as more backstory to why Diablo and his brothers and sister continually return to reign terror on the world. All the familiar characters from the series come back, specifically Deckard Cain and the archangel Tyrael. In addition, the companions introduced all have great backstories of their own and varied personalities. The story driving Diablo 3 is solid and pretty imaginative considering this is the third, not counting expansions, go around for the franchise which basically has the same premise – the devil has returned and is trying to take over the world – and it’s all up to you to stop him and his ghastly minions.

Graphics and Sound

D3's Monk Kicking Some Tail

D3's Monk Kicking Some Tail

While we thoroughly enjoyed playing Diablo 3, if it had a major shortcoming it would have to be in the graphics department. The positives are that this did feel like a better Diablo game and many of the zones offered a ton of amazing small details to richly enhance the graphical experience. The deaths of the creatures are also well done, again in the small details, from flying of the screen or exploding or just having their heads punched off. Those details are all wonderful, however, the big picture in all this is that Diablo 3 can hardly be considered cutting edge and many games in this genre released in the last year or two easily equal what D3 is doing in this game. Dialog between characters in the game, for example, are shown at the bottom in dialog boxes with a static portrait picture. Given what we see in SC2 or even what was in WarCraft 3 it seemed like one of those details that could have been improved to be much better. Overall the graphics are bad, but they certainly aren’t cutting edge or taxing to your system – things we had hoped for from Day 1 with the game.

The audio of the game is amazing between all the creature sound effects, voice acting and wonderful soundtrack. The “special effects” of talents for characters are also well done and if you have the right headphones or speakers you’ll really want to crank this game up because it sounds so good.

Gearing Up / Auction House

Much has been made of the real money auction house and how Blizzard is planning to (finally) take a cut of players swapping in-game rare gear for real life cash. For now (at the time of this review the real-money auction house hasn’t been released) the Auction House for in-game gold represents the best way to gear up your character. The alternative is to find gear by killing monsters and bosses which does allow you to occasionally loot useable gear. Typically, you’ll use the crafting function to get mats from purple items and train-up to learn more items to craft. However, at level 20 for example, instead of using the $4k of gold to train up the crafter, we went to the Auction House (think WoW auction house) and geared up both hands for new rare weapons as well as filled three other armor slots with rare (yellow) gear for under the same $4k price tag. How scalable is that as you play into higher levels? We’ll see, but the addition of the in-game gold auction house seems to be a lot of fun.

Video Review

Multiplayer & Replayability

One of the great features of the game is that you can easily jump right into a game with one of your friends. If you see them online, as designated by a box in the bottom right hand side of your screen while playing, you can click on them and join up for a maximum of four players at a time. It makes questing together easily accomplished and quite fun if you and some of your friends happen to be on at the same time. Meanwhile, there’s always the ability to jump into public games so you don’t necessarily have to rely on your friends to play alongside of you. For some of you this can be very helpful, especially at higher levels of difficulty since you’ll need some help passing some difficult obstacles.

The biggest draw for the entire Diablo series, especially Diablo 2, was the replayability factor. Diablo 3 is a game you’re probably going to want to play through 10 times because you’ll want to play each character class all the way through on both Normal and Hardcore modes. At the very least you’ll see yourself probably playing through three or four times because there’s so much to experience with each class. When you take that into account the dollars-per-hour factor might represent the best gaming value of the year.

Overall Impressions

Overall Diablo 3 is a great game for PC gamers and lives up to the hype in terms of gameplay, sound, multiplayer features (with more to come) and replayability. It’s a fun game with a good story that you’ll be pining to play more and more of as you make your way further through the game. D3 is all about the small details and should be enjoyed deliberately and slowly with those looking to level up and “beat the game” as fast as possible probably missing out on a lot of the game’s worth. If you haven’t picked up Diablo 3 yet, you really should – it’s an enjoyable game and one that you can be playing with your friends rather easily. It’s a very additive, entertaining title and when coupled with the high degree of replayability, represents perhaps the best gaming value of any title released in the last few years.

Overall Ratings – Diablo 3 (PC)

Gameplay:

9/10

Graphics:

7/10

Sound:

10/10

Multiplayer:

9/10

Replay Value:

10/10

OVERALL SCORE:

90%

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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  • meh

    ARPG’s are not meant to be played deliberately and slowly, especially when it’s supposedly ‘DIABLO’.

    I want to see reviews on Diablo 3 six months from now. That’s the only time reviews on this garbage game will count.

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