Diablo III review
The third of Blizzard’s devil series is finally out after over a decade of waiting. Diablo III is the answer to the nostalgic void that has lived in the Blizzard fanboy hearts for so long. The game returns a certain familiarity for those who have experienced the previous devil games, while offering enough uniqueness to advance the series. Will Diablo III pan out to be the epic we have all been waiting so very long for?
Like any of the games in the series, Diablo III is about one thing — the loot. “Beating” the game, as in defeating the final boss at the end of Act IV, gets you an achievement and allows you to play on the next harder difficulty. By no means is that the “end” of the game though. The default difficulty is normal. For the most part, the game is fairly simple and easily completed by yourself. With a level cap at 60, you won’t even be close to max level by the end of your normal run through.
The formula for the game of the Beast III is unlocking the harder difficulties, play with three friends, and get all the loots — very Borderlands-esque (which took concepts from Diablo #fullcircle). The higher your level, the harder the difficulty, and the more people playing will account to you getting better drops. There are also items that add to your % pool for better items to drop. It’s all about the gear.
Speaking of friends, like the other recent Blizzard games, you can talk to any of your Battlenet friends at any time. The social system is awesome and so simple it is downright stupid. On top of that, and perhaps the best feature, is that you can jump into any of your friends' games at any time (if there aren't four players in there already). The reverse is also true; your friends can jump into your game whenever. I personally love this feature. If I get a great drop that a friend can use, I just jump into their game, portal to them, and hand it over. That’s networking baby.
You have a stash which works as a shared bank for all of your characters. What I mean by this is that a sword you put in your stash, will be there for all your characters — not just for the character you put it in there for. This same system works for the crafters; the upgrade you get for the blacksmith and gem crafter are present across all your characters. Again, I am a huge fan of this system. Lastly, to break up some confusion, you can be both a blacksmith and a gem crafter. Also, blacksmiths make weapons for magical characters, as well.
The auction house is incredibly simple and efficient to use. Besides being a bit slow on searches at times, I have no complaints. You can sell up to 10 items at a time. The auction house is at the character select screen and nowhere in actual play. With that said, you have full access to your stash when buying and selling items. The categorization is easy, fast, and quite searchable.
The story line was surprisingly interesting with twists that I didn’t see coming. The game revisits characters we have all come to know and love, with the addition of a few more. Blizzard did an excellent job of continuity and continuing the epic. In an action RPG like Diablo, I usually don’t expect much from the story line, but I was certainly impressed.
There are five classes that can be played as either gender. There is zero customization with how your character looks however which is a shame, since I’m always a fan of customization. I understand character customization hasn’t been a thing in Diablo's past and that I should be happy with the fact that I can play as male or female… but it certainly wouldn’t have hurt, though. The only customization found in the game is done through dyes which can be bought from certain vendors.
Each of the five classes has their own skill set and different resource to use their abilities. For instance, the witch doctor has the classic mana system, while the barbarian uses fury. The witch doctor uses mana to cast spells and over time it replenishes, while the barbarian has to build up his focus through attacks to use his abilities — diversity. Unlike Diablo II, this game doesn’t have skill trees. Instead, you build your character with a choice of six slots with various runes for each spell. Each ability you have has multiple runes that you can only pick one of to change an effect on that ability. Ability selection, rune selection, and what gear you wear determines your build.