My order for one of the last “Diablo III” collector’s editions available in Florida finally arrived last month and I was thrilled.
The engravings on the 10 x 4 x 12 ivory-colored box were enough to make my skin erupt in gooseflesh. I ripped the wrapping off and immediately went to my computer to make sure the specs were high enough for the online game to run.
I bought my Acer laptop for this reason specifically, aside from the extended battery capacity that allows me to work on assignments for class wherever a Wi-Fi connection is available.
Unlike “Diablo II,” this game is completely online. You can pause the game by bringing up the game menu but it’s just as effective as opening your inventory, which means that monsters can still come and destroy your character if you give them a glimmer of opportunity.
Some sound effects, such as the “thwack” of a staff coming in contact with a goblin’s face, are much the same as they were in the last game, although you don’t hear that satisfying “blurp” noise come out of the speakers when you pick up potions from the dungeon and desert floors.
Your skill sets are different too. Once you reach a certain level in the game (my demon hunter’s level is currently 29) you can choose which skills to activate, regardless of how many times you’ve used them.
Instead of leveling up your fireball spell, like you would as a sorceress in “Diablo II,” and eventually gaining a wall of fire spell which enables the ground you walk on to alight in flames, you can arbitrarily switch your macros up pre- and post-battle.
Likewise, I would expect that if I used my companion skill often as a demon hunter, I would be able to call upon a wolf to fight by my side instead of having a lowly raven or spider as an aide. To my surprise, it all depends on your level, regardless of which skill tree you decide to use.
This actually helps when bosses come into play, as you can choose to strafe while firing if the boss is more of a stationary character or you can shoot slowing spheres of electricity at faster targets.
The graphics of the game are phenomenal. Cut scenes are akin to the palpable environments created by Square Enix in their “Final Fantasy” series, but Blizzard’s “Diablo” franchise is much darker, leaving you feeling tainted with guilt and grit as soon as you shut down the game at the end of a session.
There was a bit of a glitch in between Act’s II and III in which the storyline jumped ahead without much explanation as to how our innocent hero Leah was goaded into joining the dark side by the will of her mother, Aria.
Right before you confront Diablo for the first time, Leah appears possessed in a zombie-like state, walking up to the Diamond Gates that the angel, Imperius, guards with his life. And that’s when the pieces of the story fall together.
I have yet to finish the game, but I hear that there is a level cap of 60, which is highly disappointing. This leaves fans to lag their way through the same four acts repeatedly until they become bored of the game.
Blizzard made a comment in May about how “Diablo III” is related to “World of Warcraft” for the simple fact that is it an MMO, like WoW, but there will be no new content added to the game as players progress.
Was my $100 investment wasted, you may ask? I’d say it has been an eye opener, as I imagined more of my friends would join in my quests than they actually did. I wanted this game to be much more personal and more inviting than “Diablo II” and I must admit, I think I’ll take that crystal USB shard that came with the collector’s edition and install the older game after I run through this one.
Now there’s some familiar ground I can proudly defend as part of my own private virtual world.
- The Real Financial Impact of the Diablo III Auction House (epicagames.com)
- Diablo III Preview (Diablo 3) (epicagames.com)
- Torchlight II Vs. Diablo III: The Comparison We Had To Make (kotaku.com)
- I think I’m done with Blizzard. (pwrcords.com)
- Torchlight II vs. Diablo III – Runic’s approach against Blizzard’s money making machine (techspot.com)
- Diablo III (3) Release Date Announced (epicagames.com)
- Op-Ed: Diablo III Is Broken (escapistmagazine.com)
- Blizzard’s Jay Wilson publicly apologises for David Brevik comment (incgamers.com)
- Diablo III’s ‘Monster Power’ Makes Old Zones Hard Again (rockpapershotgun.com)
- Does Diablo III’s big online-only bet pay off? (reviews.cnet.com)